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Design help hydronic baseboard system old house

I'm planning to install a baseboard system in an old house. It's two stories so it will need two zones or the upstairs will be an oven. There are no ducts and much of the crawlspace is inaccessible. So... Baseboards. Are there any companies which design hydronic systems? Supply houses which do design as a perk in the sales process? I see that for radiant floor heating but that seems like way too much time and money. I've done a lot of maintenance on boilers and hydronic systems, so I'm sure I can install and maintain it, but I'd love to have someone with design experience keep me from overthinking it too far.


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,868
    Have you done a heat loss calculation? If not, then download Slant/Fin’s free app and do one. That’s the first step in designing anything.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,740
    Heat lose is number one and before leaping into baseboard take look into panel radiators . In most cases w older home which usually have real trim and possible plaster walls the panel rads are a better fit and do not require making a mess cutting old trim to get a acceptable looking job . In a lot of cases I have seen most just screw the baseboard to the old trim and it looks like crap ,it leaves a gap on the back for dirt and dust to gather they say it can be trimmed in but it never gets done. Panel rads in some cases are easier to pipe back to a manifold back at the boiler w heat rated pex tubing and also allow for individual temperature control at each radiator which means more comfort easier temperature balance and less controls,zone valves and thermostats . Take a look at buderus ,dianorm ,myson and Runtal there’s a few other s like Smith Enviromental . Personally I feel panel radiators are vastly superior to baseboard heat emitters on many levels especially on retro fit jobs and even new work. Some may argue that there expensive but after pricing in what it would cost from zoning each room or have the ability to regulate room by room temp with out thermostats and zone valves the clear winner is panel radiators . The other huge plus is they can be isolated individually and drained and removed for repainting of walls or other remodeling projects ,try this w baseboard and then figure the labor difference . Biggest plus is that after ten or so years the panel rad still looks good the baseboard has the cover falling off and some great dust bunnies and compromised fins , it’s not brain surgery .
    Some food for thought Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    mattmia2Paul PolletsIronmanRich_49
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 873
    great advice:

    Doing heat loss calculations is important especially when you are concerned about overheating.
    Panel radiators is superior to base board rads.
    Again the budget is also important. But think about the long term installation of panel rads, Aesthetics is also important when it comes to the resale value of the home.

    Paul Pollets
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,516
    Panel radiators also have some amount of radiant heat, fin tube baseboard has virtually none so panel rads tend to be more comfortable for that reason as well.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,995

    Yes some supply houses may do some design. You may be able to find someone on this site if you can come up with a heat loss and a drawing or decent sketch
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,508
    Panel rads are installed with TRV's (thermostatic radiator valves) That means zoning is done with 1 thermostat and each radiator is individually adjustable. If they're sized to satisfy setpoint at 140, significant fuel cost savings will occur.
  • Bullinchinashop
    Bullinchinashop Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for your responses! I think panel radiators might be an excellent choice for this project. I'm going to run a heat loss calculation as suggested and post it