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Old 09-23-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


I have a cottage(bungalow in Ontario Canada) with crawl space. Walls are insulated with 2" foam; floor is stone dust over a 6 mil poly sheet. Headers are insulated with Roxul. I have replaced a wood stove and electric baseboard heaters with new High efficiency propane furnace. All ductwork is exposed in the crawl space. There are 4 windows in foundation and each has a heat pipe/vent near it.

This moving from a 3 season cottage to a year round home.

It has been suggested to insulate the other heating pipes in the crawl space, presumably to ensure no more heat than necessary remains in crawl space, and is delivered to the rooms/heating vents in the cottage living spaces.

The plastic bubble wrap with aluminum has been suggested.

Can someone with experience please comment on the pros/cons and need for this? If insulating is suggested should the wrap be on the hot air plenum, or specific pipes?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


do you have water lines or drains in there? it is not a bad idea to have some heat in there otherwise your floor will be cold and pipes could freeze. we don't insulate them in houses here. doubt it will save that much $$.

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


Yes water lines are there. That's why we want some heat in crawlspace. It also heats the floor. The concern was to make sure we were getting proper amount of heat in the living space.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


If there are water lines then don't insulate them. There is no proper amount, the furnace just runs as long as it needs to satisfy the demand. If one room is cool add a electric 1500 watt oil filed radiator type heater from HDepot. Totally quiet and has 3 heat settings. I use one by my bay window in my kitchen.

Pipe some of that hot air from Parliament hill under there, what the heck us taxpayers are paying for it anyway.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


Yep, need some heat in there to protect the water lines.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


Yes, I am aware. There are 4 terminations (1 for each basement window) to supply direct heat in the crawl space. Plus the plenum and all heating tubes/pipes before they go to the vents on the main floor.

The question is not about the water lines freezing, I am well aware of that. But is there any advantage to putting the bubble/aluminum insulation on some of the duct work to ensure heat to the living area?
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
Yes, I am aware. There are 4 terminations (1 for each basement window) to supply direct heat in the crawl space. Plus the plenum and all heating tubes/pipes before they go to the vents on the main floor.

The question is not about the water lines freezing, I am well aware of that. But is there any advantage to putting the bubble/aluminum insulation on some of the duct work to ensure heat to the living area?
Not if your heating the crawlspace up to human comfort level.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


Thanks for the info. I'd like the crawl space to stay above freezing (~50F), but not necessarily 72F.

I found interesting threads at
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...bble-wrap-my-h

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...approved-and-i

Last edited by orange; 09-24-2013 at 09:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


you would need to put a temp sensor down there and on the coldest day of the year with a high windchill see what the temp is. need to have enough heat in there for the worst case scenario. if you insulate those pipes now and on that day have a freezeup you will be sorry. if the heat does go off and you are closer to 50 or lower and you don't get a furnace guy out quick then the pipes may freeze. having it a bit warmer buys you some time b4 they freeze. if there is a blizzard and he gets stuck or delayed you may be sorry.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


Yes that's what I'm thinking also. I haven't experienced the propane furnace in the real cold weather, so don't know how much heat in crawl space is enough/too much etc. It's easy enough to leave things as they are at the moment, get some experience and make a decision if and when necessary.

Previously, as a 3 season cottage, we shut down all water; drained lines and blew them out. Then shut the place up till next spring (for 20 years).

Now with new furnace no baseboards nor wood stove it's a new ball game.

Thanks for responding.

Last edited by orange; 09-24-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #11
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Insulating heating pipes in crawl space


actually if it was my place I would put a 1500 watt baseboard heater down there in case the furnace fails. as a service guy I have been stuck by freezing rain etc and can take a long time 2 get 2 U and then there is the chance he may need to go get a part etc etc. after the Quebec ice storm disaster a few yrs ago I bought a coleman 5000 watt generator and can keep going with some baseboard heaters and wearing a few coats.

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