Radiator fins on hotwater pipes in unfinished basement
I am looking at a ranch house for sale that was built in 1958. The main floor rooms all have long radiators along the walls with fins in them. The unfinished basement has hot water pipes with some sections with fins attached to the floor joists overhead along the outerwalls. Is this to heat the unfinished basement and/or protect the plumbing from freezing? We are in southern Wisconsin. It seemed kind of wasteful, since the basement probably doesn't get below freezing where the pipes would freeze. Is this layout typical? Why not run them along the floor too? Or are they really necessary?