Radiant heat or toe kick heater

catlover5March 1, 2012

Hello. We have a 1940 cottage style home with gas hot water heat and old cast iron radiators. Making change to kitchen floor due to new cab layout and ceramic tiles in kitchen no longer available. I would like hardwood, DH wants tile again. We currently have one large cast iron radiator in kitchen in front of patio door (I know . . . ) and we are onsidering electric in floor heat or an electric toe kick heater or both. Any suggestions? The room is 110x101 and faces northwest. I can't say the room runs cold. We could swing the radiator away from the door but would like to keep that wall free and DH also would really like to use that radiator in the garage. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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Is there a basement or crawl space underneath the kitchen floor? If yes then you may be able to install a radiant heat system. It would tap into your current hot water heating system.

The other option is to replace the cast iron radiator with a base board radiator. It would free up some wall space. There are manufacturers which make radiators which are very stylish looking in various colors and shapes. Perhaps you can mount the new radiator high on the wall so you could use the space below it. It is not optimum, but it could work in your situation. I think you can also get a toe kick size radiator, but I am not sure if these are effective.

Use electric resistance heating is an option, but it is going to be much more expensive to operate compared to the gas furnace. This would be the least attractive option for me.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Thank you Mike. We love the cast iron radiators and have them in all rooms of the house but we know it is not ideal to have the radiator next to the sliding door. Yes, there is a crawl space under the kitchen which is easily accessible from the basement. I thought the installation of the electric pad under the floor would be so much cheaper and if you read on their web sites, fairly economical to run although utilities are never cheap!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 6:27AM
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I agree installation of a electric radiant system could be cheaper. The problem is resistive heating is the most expensive way to heat a room. Price out both options and estimate the additional cost of operating the resistive heat. You should be able to calcualte how many years it will take to offset the additional cost of the hot water radiant system.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 8:26AM
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