Insulating hydronic supply and return piping

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Old 12-13-13, 08:53 AM
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Insulating hydronic supply and return piping

My CI boiler feeds one zone, 5 loops of tube fin baseboard emitters. Some of the supply/return pipes are over 30. I believe insulating the long lengths of copper supply and return piping would be beneficial...allowing lower boiler operating temperature(?) Comments?
 
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Old 12-13-13, 09:08 AM
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I believe insulating the long lengths of copper supply and return piping would be beneficial...allowing lower boiler operating temperature(?) Comments?
Unless the heat being shed by those pipes is otherwise somehow beneficial, i.e. providing some heat in the basement, on the floors above, etc, then sure, go ahead and insulate them.

My guess is that it won't make a heckuva lot of difference in the boiler temp though...

Radiation from 3/4" bare copper pipe might be around 65 BTUH/FT of pipe at a temp difference of 100 from surroundings.

Thirty feet of pipe times 65 is around 2000 BTUH of heat radiated from that pipe. You're only looking at a few degrees of temp difference from end to end of 30' of pipe.

It still makes good sense to insulate the pipes if heat is not needed in the area the pipes run through.
 
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Old 12-13-13, 12:12 PM
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If they are located in unconditioned space, then definitely insulate them. Like trooper said, your not losing a ton of btuhs through a small 3/4" line.
 
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