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Replacing perimeter hydronic baseboard radiators with internal kickspace heaters?

I'm renovating a 1983, 3-story, 1800 sq ft home in Rhode Island.

Currently there is a single 35-year-old propane boiler powering three zones -- one per floor.

There are slant fin hydronic baseboard radiators along most every exterior wall. The radiators are pretty banged up, and are definitely in the way when trying to place furniture in a relatively small house.

I'm interested in the possibility of replacing the majority of the baseboard radiators with kickspace radiators like those in the Quiet-One line from Smith's (https://smithsep.com/products/quiet-one-kickspace-heaters/).

In replacing them, I'd re-route all of the loops so that the new heaters are all in the "core" of the house, aimed so they are blowing out. (Re-routing shouldn't be too bad as all of the ceilings and a lot of the walls are already open.)

Is this all is reasonable idea? Terrible idea? Any alternatives I should be considering?

Thank you so much for any advice.

Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,981
    Conventional wisdom is to put the heater near the heat loss areas (exterior walls and windows) to offset the "radiant cold"
    I have never used a kickspace heater that was "quiet".

    I prefer panel radiator like Runtal on the exterior wall.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    kcopp
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
    Don't do it. Keep the heat on the outer walls. If you move the heat to the inside you will allow the cold to fully enter the home from the outer walls thus creating a "cold draft" along the perimeter of your home. That would not be a good thing.
    SuperTech
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,271
    as @Zman said kick space heaters are usually noisy. Most only use them in rooms where there is not enough wall space for baseboard.

    Before you commit, by 1 and try it first
  • gschallert
    gschallert Member Posts: 170
    edited December 2017

    There are slant fin hydronic baseboard radiators along most every exterior wall. The radiators are pretty banged up, and are definitely in the way when trying to place furniture in a relatively small house.
    ... Is this all is reasonable idea? Terrible idea? Any alternatives I should be considering?

    Thank you so much for any advice.

    I have two story colonial with baseboard along almost all exterior walls, love it. Would never consider what you suggest for the same reasons mentioned by others. Oh lawd I feel cold just thinking about it. *shudders*

    As for the baseboard covers being banged up there are several solutions for that from refinishing them yourself (I did about 200 linear feet myself over two years and they look fabulous!) to getting new dummy covers to higher end makeovers with products like Radiant Wrap, etc. I've also never had an issue with them being in the way of furniture placement since they are not high temp heat emitters like electric baseboard and I don't do bowling alley room layouts (lining up furniture along the walls) aside from moderate sized pieces that don't affect heat convection very much at all.

    You might also have a pleasant upside to all that perimeter baseboard in that you have excess emitter capacity over the structure's heat loss which would allow you to run lower AWT with a new modcon.

    My advice, spruce up the existing fin tube enclosures, keep the three zones if they are reasonable in size and don't short cycle (combine if they are too short) and spend your money on a new modcon boiler instead.
  • janwalker47
    janwalker47 Member Posts: 24
    FWIW I made the mistake of replacing good old-fashioned fin&tube radiators in exactly the same kind of house. Except I went to radiant. I would never choose kick-space; moving air is cold. Regretting it every heating day ever since. Would love to have that system back. Cheaper and simpler to operate and trouble-free.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,023
    This is a new product from SlantFin for sprucing up old enclosure. It is a nice quality, heavy gauge cover.

    http://www.slantfin.com/revital-line-series/
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,674
    I've never seen a banged up piece of cast iron baseboard. I still like that option. Quiet with better comfort than fin tube.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    SuperTechIs_solar
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,689
    > @Stephen Minnich said:
    > I've never seen a banged up piece of cast iron baseboard. I still like that option. Quiet with better comfort than fin tube.

    I couldn't possibly agree more