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Adding radiant floor heating into existing zone?

Dregun Member Posts: 1
edited February 2020 in Radiant Heating
So my house before I purchased it had a kitchen addition done in the late 80's/early 90s. The house has a boiler heat system and utilizes some interesting methods to heat this large space (poorly). Their exists a baseboard heater along one wall and then 2 forced air heat exchangers parallel to one another (4 feet away one in an island and the other behind it under a cabinet). The kitchen is on its own zone and really struggles to maintain heat.

Currently we have a electric heater in the kitchen to keep the temps above 60 right now as we recently got hit with -10° weather in my area. I had an HVAC guy come out this summer to look at my system for normal checkups and he was involved with the installation of the kitchen heating. His words were "I told them this wouldn't work but he just didn't want to listen!" When I asked him what his thoughts were on how to fix it he just shook his head and said "I'm not sure, but this isn't it".

After this I was told by my friend that installing in floor heating under my kitchen floor would help in heating the kitchen. Before I bring in a HVAC specialist I'm curious if this is not only DIY possible but even professionally done a good idea? I've read that for floor heating you typically use a lower temperature then what is normally required for a radiator, yet this zone uses those forced air heat exchanger things that require a lot of heat. If the loop for the infloor heating was done after the heat exchangers would it be safe for the floor heating?

I don't know the level of heat loss on the system from those heat exchangers and if that would bring the heating from the return line to the floor within safe levels without being too cold to return to the boiler. Furthermore I'm not really sure what other methods I could use to heat my kitchen properly. I thought about removing the baseboard heater and installing a standard radiator however I'm not sure if that would be enough to heat this space.

My boiler cannot keep up with my kitchen zones demand for heat, it can run 24/7 and it just wont be able to heat that kitchen properly. The rest of the house is very comfortable and each room has a single radiator in them, except for the downstairs bathroom (again during the remodel of the kitchen) that utilizes a baseboard heater and doesn't do that great of a job.

So thoughts or suggestions? Is infloor heating no matter how its done (same boiler, different boilers, etc) my best option for heating this space? Should i instead consider remodelling my entire kitchen so their is room for multiple radiators in there?

Thanks in advance for any or all suggestions, not really sure how to move forward or what to expect when reaching out to HVAC specialists on this one.


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,378
    Seems those kick space heaters would not be adequate for a kitchen area. A heat loss calculation would best define how much heat the space requires. Then see if the heaters can supply that amount of heat
    I’d do a load calculation room by room for the entire home, assure the boiler, piping and pump is adequate

    Start the first step yourself with a free calculator at

    Report back with results
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream