Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Should Boiler Pipes Be Insulated? Save Energy with the Right Insulation

If you’re new to property ownership or management in New York City, you may have wondered, “Should boiler pipes be insulated?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Here are four top reasons why you need to protect those pipes, along with information about different types of insulation available for various needs.

Four Important Reasons to Insulate Boiler Pipes

Reduce heat loss

The biggest reason to insulate your property’s boiler pipes is to reduce heat loss. It’s a simple equation:

Lack of insulation = lost heat = extra energy to heat water = wasted money.

How do you know if your building is likely experiencing heat loss due to uninsulated pipes?

  • Tenants complain about not enough steam heat or hot water.
  • Pipes are “sweating” (see below).
  • Your boiler fires more than you think it should, perhaps almost constantly in cold weather.
  • Your gas bills are sky high and not commensurate with properties of that size or city-wide rises in fuel costs.
  • The boiler is experiencing more wear and tear or failures than it should for its age because of increased use to make up for heat loss.

Prevent freezing

Insulating vulnerable pipes (see more below) also prevents them from freezing. This typically isn’t an issue with pipes emanating from the boiler, as the water leaving the tank rarely gets cold enough to solidify. But it’s possible that some pipes leading back to the boiler or in particularly cold areas of the building could freeze, resulting in burst pipes and water damage.

Eliminate sweating

Sweating is the term for evaporation that accumulates on the outside surface of pipes as steam cools and water returns to its liquid state. Why is this an issue? Sweating can result in microscopic corrosion of pipes that gets bigger over time. Eventually, these pipes can leak, causing water loss, damage, and expensive repairs.

Protect workers

If your maintenance staff works around pipes in the boiler room, the pipes need to be covered. This prevents burns, which can in turn result in employee injury, lost work time, workers compensation claims, and even lawsuits.

What Types of Boiler Pipe Insulation Should You Use?

Foam insulation

Although this type of insulation, which you can cut to the desired length and slip over pipes, is ubiquitous, it’s not usually preferred for the boiler area. It’s not meant to withstand the high temperatures generated there. Foam insulation is best for protecting pipes in other areas of the building, such as those along cold walls or under sinks.

Nitrile foam rubber insulation

This kind of insulation provides multiple advantages:

  • You can use it to prevent both heat loss and condensation (sweating).
  • It comes in many forms, such as tubes, coils, and sheets.
  • Some models are self-sealing for ease of application.
  • It can be applied for plumbing, as well as HVAC uses.
  • It’s good for pipes up to 221 degrees Fahrenheit (105 Celsius).
  • With the right UV finish, it can be applied outside as well as inside.

Mineral fiber insulation

You’ll recognize this insulation by its foil coating. You may already be familiar with it, as it’s commonly used in commercial boiler rooms due to its high temperature capacity: up to 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit or 700 degrees Celsius.

There are a few other benefits to mineral fiber insulation:

  • It can be used outdoors with the appropriate sheet covering.
  • It’s more eco-friendly than its cousin, rigid fiberglass insulation.
  • It provides superior insulation in large buildings, like condo, co-op, and apartment buildings, as well as commercial properties.

EPDM foam rubber insulation

This insulation is made for outdoor use over medium-high temperature pipes that reach up to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). Because it’s intended to be used outside, it has built-in UV protection. Users like it because it is available in multiple formats for different applications.

Phenolic foam insulation

Although this insulation is typically more expensive, as it must be professionally applied and sealed, it does provide excellent protection. This is another kind of insulation we see used in industrial and large-scale residential settings.

Phenolic foam insulation can handle temperatures up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit, or 120 degrees Celsius. It can also be used when temperatures go as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit (-50 Celsius). It’s available in sheets, slabs, and tubes of various diameters, so you buy or create insulation in the shape you need for your unique boiler area.

Which Pipes Need Insulation?

The hottest and most vulnerable pipes

How do you know where insulation should be applied in your building? First, pipes in your boiler and mechanical rooms must be insulated to protect workers. This also reduces immediate heat loss.

Additionally, pipes used for heat and hot water should be insulated. This prevents both energy loss and sweating. Insulating pipes that run through humid areas will also stop the sweating phenomenon.

Finally, any pipes that travel through cold areas of the building, even if they aren’t associated with your boiler, should be insulated. This includes:

  • North-facing walls
  • Walls exposed to constant wind
  • Areas that never receive sunlight
  • Walls in attics
  • Crawl spaces
  • Anywhere you’ve had a problem with freezing pipes before

Choosing the right insulation for your boiler pipes can be overwhelming when you look at all the options today. Plus, some insulation should only be applied by a professional. When you need help insulating around your boiler, Calray Boilers should be your experts of choice. Call us at 212-722-5506 today to schedule a service call to discuss your boiler pipe insulation needs.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of Antler.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with Antler.nyc). We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
  • Other information, including IP address and other web log information.

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since Antler.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.