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Considering Radiant Heating

I have baseboard heating in my family room. I have the thermostat set to 65 but the heater just can't get the room much warmer than 63 degrees.

I am considering leveraging what I already have and putting radiant heating in the floor just to get more heat into the room. I believe that the main problem with respect to why it is so cold in the room is because the house is poorly insulated. What are people's general thoughts about putting radiant heat in considering my predicament?



  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    the house is poorly insulated.

    If you are right that the house is poorly insulated, the most cost effective thing you could do is improve the insulation. I used to do engineering, though what I did had nothing to do with home heating. I found that to find weak spots in thinking processes, a good way was to exaggerate things. Then the errors became more obvious.

    So to exaggerate poor insulation, open all the windows and doors of your house (in the mind's eye). House would get too cold. Possibly you could get a large enough boiler to overcome this, but you would be sending a huge check to your oil or gas supplier every month because it is expensive to heat the outdoors. And an otherwise oversize boiler costs more to purchase, to install, and to operate.

    If insulation is not the problem, what might be? Is this a new problem, or was it always a problem? If new, something has changed and whatever it is should be fixed. Controls on the boiler? Defective circulator? Ineffective air separator? Stuck zone valve?

    If nothing is broken, what temperature water are you putitng through the baseboard? Is it high enough? What amount of baseboard is installed? Is it enough? In other words, is the boiler not putting out enough hot water? Or is the installed baseboard insufficient to get the heat from the water into the air? Is the thermostat located right next to the stove? I had to move a floor lamp in my living room, because it has three quartz-iodide incandescent lamps in it right under the thermostat. Easier to move the lamp than to move the thermostat.

    I imagine the professionals on this wall will have even more suggestions.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    Heat Loss

    I would only consider my options after having a heat loss of the room done. Both a radiant heat loss and design and a conventional baseboard heat loss. I would then weigh my options.

    There is more to consider. What are the finish floors? What type of radiant application, joist with plates or without? What about the boiler piping? What is the age of the boiler?

    I would also while at it do a complete heat loss and evaluate the entire system to see what long term plan I could come up with to increase my overall system efficiency and comfort.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537

     Has this always been a problem?

    Are you experiencing colder than normal temps?

    Is the baseboard running at proper supply temp.?

    Is there room to add more baseboard?

    Obviously if you insulate that will cut down on your heatloss.

    If baseboard that is properly sized is not cutting it radiant probably won't. You may need to do both. Unless you insulate.

     Insulation is probably the most effective option for future payback.  You could add more emitter but it will cost you more to operate with out a good envelope.

This discussion has been closed.