Lastly, steam pipes must be insulated for systems to operate efficiently. The great asbestos scare of the 1980s caused many of them to have their asbestos pipe insulation removed and then never reinsulated. This is a disaster for steam systems. It costs money to generate your steam, and cold uninsulated pipes knock it down to condensate before it can do much work heating your home. Without insulation more steam must be produced, which means more fuel must be consumed. If that weren’t bad enough, the resulting extra moisture in the pipes from all that steam condensing leads to banging, spitting vents, and other system maladies. Especially today, the insulating of all steam piping should be considered mandatory. And, unlike fuel, you only have to buy it once.