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How to Deal with Major Heat Loss

Hi All,

I've found this forum to be super helpful in the past and was hoping some of you may have thoughts/opinions on an issue we're dealing with. Here it goes:

- Last year, we moved into a new home and found that in our mudroom, there was slab leak in our radiant in-floor heating. Rather than rip up the floors in this room, we decided to just cut off the radiant and install baseboards instead.
- Unfortunately, we found in the winter that the baseboards didnt nearly do the job. The heat loss in that room was just too extreme. We believe this was due to the fact that there are two doors in this room (one to the garage and one to the backyard) and 3 windows. It also is surrounded by 3 outdoor walls.
- When the weather was really cold out (in the 20's or lower), we couldn't get the heat up past the very low 60s and it was running constantly. So we ended up having to plug in an electric heater during the day to get the heat up (which worked, but we don't want to do again).
- We're replacing one of the doors/frames completely, which we think will help a bit by reducing the draft. But this won't be enough. So we're trying to figure out what our options are.

Does anyone have suggestions on options? Here is what I have so far:
- The company that installed the baseboards said they can put in bigger elements that put out 25% more btus.
- Currently, our baseboard covers are plastic and only have the holes on the top. I've read that aluminum can generate more heat?
- I had another heating company mention radiant panels for the ceiling as an option?

Thank you!

Comments

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,543
    First you need to do a heat loss calculation to know what you need to put in . Anything else would be a guess ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    mattmia2GGrossKNPV_PSD
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,903
    What water temp are you feeding the baseboard? Baseboard has little output at the temps that are typically used for radiant heating. You could potentially size panel radiators to use the same temp as the radiant if there isn't a way to feed the baseboard with high temp water.
    broncosejr
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,397
    Can the baseboard be reconnected? A 60* floor is still warmer then. 30* floor. 
    What’s the water temp in and out of the baseboard?
    2 doors and a small room makes it difficult. 
  • broncosejr
    broncosejr Member Posts: 15
    Big Ed_4 said:
    First you need to do a heat loss calculation to know what you need to put in . Anything else would be a guess ...
    Thank you!  Would any professional heating company be able to do this calculation?  Or is it something I can do myself?
  • broncosejr
    broncosejr Member Posts: 15
    pecmsg said:
    Can the baseboard be reconnected? A 60* floor is still warmer then. 30* floor. 
    What’s the water temp in and out of the baseboard?
    2 doors and a small room makes it difficult. 
    The reason we had to cut off the in floor radiant was because of the slab leak under the floor.  Could cause other major issues.  So now we just have the baseboards which aren’t doing the job
  • broncosejr
    broncosejr Member Posts: 15
    mattmia2 said:
    What water temp are you feeding the baseboard? Baseboard has little output at the temps that are typically used for radiant heating. You could potentially size panel radiators to use the same temp as the radiant if there isn't a way to feed the baseboard with high temp water.
    The water temperature gauge on the boiler fluctuates between 150-200. But the rest of the house is baseboard also and it works well for the rest of the house.  So I’m thinking this isn’t the issue?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,836
    edited November 2022
    Just from an operating cost, look to where you can reduce the load first. Even window coverings can make a differance.

    If the fin tube is running radiant temperature below 130F, don't expect much output.

    These small fan convectors pack good output into a small space, and the chart shows what to expect at various flows and temperatures.

    As @Big Ed_4 mentioned a load cals would eliminate trial and error. Google heat load calcs There are some free long hand versions


    www.pprbd.org
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    broncosejr
  • gyrfalcon
    gyrfalcon Member Posts: 111
    edited November 2022
    My previously cold/winter and hot / summer mud room attached to my sunroom , which was also unconditioned, are now quite nice year round as I have a mini split to handle the spaces.  Both rooms are attached and also each has a door to my living room.  I don’t think you will ever get the floors warm , especially compared to the rest of your slab.  Can you confirm the water temp going to the baseboard emitters?  If the water temp is mixed down somehow or connected with the remaining slab , I can’t imagine its hot enough to do much, regardless of boiler temps.  Can you put down rug to buffer/insulate  the floor surface as a temporary measure?  
    Slant Fin Galaxy GG100(1986) , 2 zone hot water baseboard, T87 Honeywell thermostats. 
  • broncosejr
    broncosejr Member Posts: 15
    gyrfalcon said:

    My previously cold/winter and hot / summer mud room attached to my sunroom , which was also unconditioned, are now quite nice year round as I have a mini split to handle the spaces.  Both rooms are attached and also each has a door to my living room.  I don’t think you will ever get the floors warm , especially compared to the rest of your slab.  Can you confirm the water temp going to the baseboard emitters?  If the water temp is mixed down somehow or connected with the remaining slab , I can’t imagine its hot enough to do much, regardless of boiler temps.  Can you put down rug to buffer/insulate  the floor surface as a temporary measure?  

    Interesting idea on the rug! That might be able to help a bit.

    As to the water temp, I'm not really sure how to measure that. The piping is all in the walls... all I can really see if the temperature gauge on the boiler.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,903
    you can take the cover off the radiator and strap a thermometer to the pipe. where is it tied in, is there a new zone back to the boiler or is it connected to the piping for the radiant?

    btw those plastic covers are much more restrictive of airflow than the steel covers fin tube baseboard normally uses
    broncosejr
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,651
    edited November 2022
    If you’re in the low 60s at the coldest temps, then bumping up the baseboard output seems an easy solution if window coverings can’t do the trick. Much cheaper than replacing any doors/windows if they don’t need to be replaced. Another potentially cheap option would be to insulate the ceiling if it isn’t already. 
    broncosejr
  • Peter_26
    Peter_26 Member Posts: 127
    Wouldn't there be a mixing valve to control the temp feeding the now disconnected in-floor radiant tubing? Maybe they cut off and tied into the same piping before in enters the slab and used that for the supply and return for the baseboards. Can it be just a question of adjusting the mixing valve? That's assuming that it can possibly be the way the baseboards were piped in. Maybe some pictures of what the baseboards were connected to, is there a basement?
    broncosejr