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Heat pipes running through attic - top with insulation?

We have had problems in the past with ice dams forming on the roof, leading to water backing up into the walls. I know that adding insulation will help cut heat loss. There is six inches of insulation between the joists now. My dilemma:

A former owner converted my house from all electric to baseboard hot water. In order to get to all the rooms, some of the pipes run through walls up to the attic, across the tops of the joists, then down into other walls. These pipes have only thin foam pipe insulation covering them, and angles and bleeders have nothing covering them. I live in upstate New York, so in winter the heating system runs quite a lot. I would like to know if it's safe or advisable to add insulation over the hot water pipes in the attic to prevent heat loss and save on utility bills?

Re: Heat pipes running through attic - top with insulation?

As long as you maintain at least a thin space between the roof deck where it meets the eaves so you don't have ice dam problems, adding more insulation should help your heating situation.

Installing heating pipes thru the attic is a poor design.

If you live in upstate NY, it's almost a given the pipes are going to freeze during the coldest days.

What do you have for a basement, or crawl space??? is it heated???

The connecting pipes from room to room are usually run thru the cellar.

If the cellar is not an option, they are run from room to room by drilling a small hole thru the connecting walls, so the pipes are always protected from freezing.

Have you had these pipes freeze in the past??

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