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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    17

    A question about tubing insulation

    I have a heat pump and this morning I was thinking about it's efficiency.

    The pipe/tubing insulation is on the thicker of the two lines and it goes from the exterior of the air handler to the exterior of the condenser. Looking through the fan blades on the condenser, I can see the thick tubing continuing to the reversing valve - there is about 1 ft. of tubing there. After the reversing valve, up to the compressor itself, there is another 10 inches of tubing.

    So, when the HP is running, there is almost 2ft of tubing that sits outside in cold temperatures and inside of a metal box that is even colder (it is basically air conditioned).

    Is there any problem with insulating the thicker tubing inside the condenser box? I bet I am losing 5-10 degrees right there (when it is, say, 35* outside).

    Does it also make sense to insulate the thin tubing (for A/C) because of the same issue in the summer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,123
    Won't help that you will notice. The refrigerant is traveling at around 1000 foot a minute in that tubing. So its in that 2 foot section for about .12 of a second.

    Since the air temp in the summer is usually cooler then the small line. Best not to insulate it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Olathe, KS
    Posts
    10
    If there were much to be gained from an efficiency standpoint the manufacturers would be insulating these areas instead of making units larger. Insulation costs much less than additional copper and aluminum for heat exchangers.

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