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Replace 1 Room Steam Radiator with ?

Dave_72 Member Posts: 1
We have a room that we want to replace the old large steam radiator (from the 1940's) with a baseboard radiator, or something similar that is smaller. The system is a Gas/Steam system just replaced this year. What are my options for replacement? Will the area of the house be colder because we have reduced the surface area for heating? Do they make Steam Baseboard radiators?


  • Jon Gerstad
    Jon Gerstad Member Posts: 11

    For comparison, I've used the hydronic btu ratings (for hot water heating), because that's what I have committed to memory. Cast-iron baseboard has a rating for hydronic applications of about 540 btu/foot, whereas fin type radiation's rating is more like 680 btu/foot. Sounds like fin type wins, right? I mean, it's cheaper, you use less, it'll probably have that "modern" look you want, and yes, there's a type available for steam use.
    HOWERVER, fin type cools too fast, cast iron, because of it's mass, will stay warm long after the boiler has cycled off.
    Your local Plumbing/Heating Supply store can help you estimate the btu output of your current radiator if you count the number of sections, and take the measurements
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,734

    If you replace a cast-iron radiator with a fin-tube or steel panel unit, the lack of thermal mass will cause the room to cool more quickly than if heated with cast-iron.

    Burnham makes cast-iron baseboard for steam, but you would have to add a return line to it.

    Why not try to find a cast-iron radiator with the same capacity, but shaped differently?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
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