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Hydronic baseboard heating * Guidance Requested*

kctopher Member Posts: 3
Hello friends, I'm in the process of finishing my basement and working on a solutions to address heating the space in the winter.

First before the flames... I've had a couple licensed HVAC contractors look at my space and found most contractors aren't interested in a job like this because its all labor (i.e. adding new duct work and not new construction, or broken unit..) and because there is more demand than supply - contractors can be choosy on which jobs they work, which is cool.

The current gas furnace/AC and supporting ductwork is sized for a 2100 Sq. Ft house. Everyone I've spoken to agrees adding to the existing ductwork will likely impact the performance of the existing conditioned space, and likely not regulate temperature in the new space efficiently. One proposal I recieved was a five zone mini-split, another proposal simply taped into ductwork. Because my home is located in the midwest (KC) during the summer my basement maintains 69 degrees pretty consistently. As a result I'm starting to think I really only need to address a solution for heating the space.

The conditioned basement space is well insulation (2" rigid foam/ taped with fiberglass bats on stud walls) and is roughly around 1700 sq. ft. and I''m currently exploring free standing pellet stoves (possible gas) centrally located... but I recently also started exploring water baseboard heating. Absolutely love the idea of them. The issues I'm running into that no one in my area knows anything about sizing, layout or installation.

Does anyone have any recommendations... or know of consultants or other professionals who are willing to design a system that isn't locally? Or is this just a matter finding a calculator and trying to design a solution on my own?

Thanks for taking the time to read. Chris


  • Tell us where you are and if there's someone qualified close by, maybe they will chime in.

    Have you already checked here:

    Is this a project you want to do yourself? If not, finding a qualified contractor to install it is important. If they can't do the heatloss calculations on their own, they're not qualified.

    If you're doing the job yourself, Monterey Energy Group can do the calc's; (831)372-8328.

    Or you can go here and do it yourself:

    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • kctopher
    kctopher Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. I will give those guys a call. I am also downloading the slantfin app now... I'm located in Kansas City. I did search and it said no contractor was available within 100 miles. :)
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,107
    edited August 2019
    Larry Lang at Charleston Supply in Overland Park can help you. he specializes in hydronics and radiant. a long time RPA supporter and trainer, he can help with a design and put you in touch with the right contractor
    I've know and worked with Larry and his family for 20 years.
    There are a number of qualified installers in that area also.
    913-262 5848
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,828
    At 1700 sq ft, a dedicated heat source is needed.
    What will be the finished ceiling height? If there's headroom, a small modcon with in floor radiant will make for excellent heat in a basement.
    If the direct fired water heater is getting up there in age, an indirect water heater installed with a boiler will save $$ in fuel costs.
    If the furnace is getting up there in age, replacing it with an air handler and hydro coil is also an option for the existing finished space.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,837
    Without insulation under the floor it will ALWAYS be cold!
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 722
    > @pecmsg said:
    > Without insulation under the floor it will ALWAYS be cold!

    I haven't found that to be the case in my basement. My biggest cold spots on the floor of the basement have come from gaps in the rim joist insulation. I know there is no insulation under the slab. To be fair, it is cooler than the walls but I don't think I'd cal it cold. I'll have to check the temperature this winter
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,373
    I told ya you'd get help here.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • kctopher
    kctopher Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for reply everyone.

    hot_rod I will give Larry a call. Appreciate the tip. Everyone I spoke to wasn't interested but glad to know someone in the area knows what they are talking about :) .

    HVAC Nut. House is built in 2016 so everything mechanical is newer. 9 foot ceilings in basement.

    Ironman - you were spot on man! Thanks for pointing me over here!!