Insulating Pipe to Central Air

Old 12-05-00, 03:10 PM
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I originally posted this message in the Insulation forum, and someone suggested that I give it a try over, here goes! =)

We have a central air conditioning unit that sits on a pad outside of our home. This season, I noticed that the foam insulation around the pipe that leads from the wall to the unit was dry rotting and shrinking in size, leaving exposed areas of pipe.

Since the pipe has two bends in it, I opted for insulation tape with an R-Value of 1.6. The tape consists of three layers. A sticky backing, a layer of foam, and a layer of aluminum.

My question is this a high enough R-Value for my climate (Pittsburgh, PA)? Our average winter temperature is around 20 - 25 degrees F, and lows (with windchill) CAN hit negative numbers. Would double wrapping do anything at all? Should I opt for a different kind of insulation?

The unit is, for the most part, sheltered from high winds since it is on the side of the house and next to our chimney.

Also, by no means am I an HVAC expert so I'm not sure whether the pipe carries water or gas. Could someone enlighten me on its purpose?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Old 12-05-00, 03:44 PM
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Not to worry

If I understand your ? is the insulation that keeps the piping from "SWEATING" when humidity is in the air.IT is not crucial for that length of pipe to be insulated.The job you did will help.The insulation,however is more important if this piping runs thru attic spaces.If it becomes worn it is possible to soak insulation and eventually dripping thru the ceiling.IT IS NORMAL for sun,rain and weather conditions to deteriorate "armaflex" insulation.PDF
Old 12-06-00, 06:33 AM
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The pipe is the suction line to your condensing unit. It is important to have it insulated to maintain your super heat keeping the refrigerant in a gasous state before it enters the compressor. Typically 1" armaflex is used I'm not sure the R value

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