Good Question: How Do I Insulate HUGE Heating Pipes?

Good Question: How Do I Insulate HUGE Heating Pipes?

Stephanie Kinnear
Feb 12, 2009
(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: green(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)
Virginia left this question as a comment on our DIY: Insulate Water Pipes post: I live in an old building in NYC on the first floor and we have exposed heating pipes. These things get HOT. CRAZY HOT. And they are really big - I've never measured them, but they take two hands to reach around the circumference. They are in the corner of our living room, bathroom, one of the bedrooms, and kind of in the middle of the kitchen. Oh, and we have 9 foot ceilings, so you see a lot of pipe. I'd like to insulate, because they can make the apartment very warm (and you can't regulate their temp like you could the radiator). But I think the insulation would look really bad.

(FYI: Pipes pictured above are not Virginia's pipes)
(Question continues after the jump)

Right now, the pipes are painted. Probably 100 years of paint on 'em, but they don't stand out the way I think insulation would. And I am a renter, so, I can't do anything permanent (nor do I want to do something expensive).

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I'm also a little afraid the insulation would melt. I know that may be illogical, but I'm telling you, these are hot pipes! And I don't want the smell of melted plastic...

We thought some readers out there (especially ones who've dealt with pipes like this) could help Virginia out with some suggestions. Anyone?

image via chris is; Flickr.com

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