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baseboard v recessed sunray?

I'm having an economical gut renovation done in my basement (3' below grade), turning it into two bedrooms.  The building is attached townhouse in Brooklyn, 16' wide, 3 levels (incl basement) on a steam system right now.  We're planning on replacing the main boiler (w/ 145,000 BTU unit), leaving the upper two levels as steam, and using a diverter pump from the boiler's hot water for the basement to plumb it as a hydronic heating system.  The architect has spec'd baseboard heating because it's the cheapest option, but I hate to give up even that much floor space in such small apartment.  The contractor and his plumbing sub came by and suggested that I could do recessed heaters in the remodeled walls for about $1500 more.

Which style of heater is more efficient?  If the recessed is indeed less efficient, is it worth the tradeoff in order to keep the floor area that gives me?

Are there any warning flags to the overall plan of a mixed steam/hot-water system?


Cris in Sunset Park
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