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How do I heat a room with wall to wall bookcases that go from floor to ceiling?

Joseph_4 Member Posts: 271
I have a customer which I am installing baseboard throughout house except for kick toe in kitchen. One room is 13 x 13 with 9 foot ceilings and being covered wall to wall with bookcases from floor to ceiling. The only idea i came up with is let them leave the bottom shelf open from books and cut back of bottom shelves open so it can heat the room?
(Radiant is not an option) Will it heat room properly or will i need to add extra footage? Its a forced hot water system. or any other ideas?


    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,964
    Why not install toe kick under the bookcases?
    rick in Alaska
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
    Have you done room by room lead calc? Does that room have windows or all interior? Maybe doens’t need as much heat as you think. If it has windows, use a different radiator with higher output per foot, or if needed a fan conveyor.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510

    google Beacon Morris "Floor Vector"
    nicholas bonham-carter
  • Joseph_4
    Joseph_4 Member Posts: 271
    Thank you all. looked up the beacon morris kick heater seems perfect
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    This is something I have designed over the years and it works really well, very much along the lines of what you said, Joseph, but with a twist. The key is that you said this room is "being covered with" book cases, which says to me that it is not a done-deal yet.

    The detail I worked out is to have the book cases brought out into the room by about an inch and a half. An inch might work but more is better. Let's call this the "airspace"

    The base plinth (fancy architectural term for the part held up the height of the baseboard) has finned element within it and a generous grille along the base. The finned element covers the entire height of the base plinth interior so that air cannot easily pass around it.

    What makes this detail work well is the "height of the chimney" -that airspace- behind the book case. That induces a stronger draw and pulls the warm air up and out.

    You will need some relief on top, meaning that the book cases need to either be held down a bit from the ceiling, say a few inches. There would be a slot open at the top of the air space (out of sight from room occupants).

    Stepping back a bit, I know one can say, "how does getting heat out high help?" The real answer is, you have placed a film of warm air against the exterior wall, not super warm but enough so that you have effectively knocked off the heat loss to the exterior.

    Years ago, designing warehouses, we would put sensors on the inside face of exterior walls and control to those. If the wall surface was 68F, the job was done.

    All of this detail of course means little without the proper heat loss calculations and supporting radiation sizes at conditions. But you knew that. The above is an application detail that works and is very discrete, though it takes up a bit of room from what is a defined, small-ish room. Can make a difference though.

    My $0.02

    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
    Larry Weingarten