Warm Baseboard: Baseboard Radiators In The Heating System

Unusual heating technology, fundamentally different from the usual systems with radiators under the windows, came to us from European countries recently, although it has been used there for more than twenty years. The name of the innovation speaks for itself - a warm baseboard, the demand for it is growing due to the technical advantages and modern design.

All about the varieties of baseboard heating and the features of its operation, you will learn by reading the article we offer. We will tell you about the structural specifics and rules of construction of all types of baseboard heating systems. With us you will learn where the heating baseboard is used, what models are popular among consumers.

Content of the article:

  • The principle of baseboard heating
  • Features of baseboard heating
  • Objective about all the advantages and disadvantages
  • Installation of warm baseboard
    • Assembly of water heating system
    • Assembly of electric  heating
  • Design, application, price
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The principle of baseboard heating

The baseboard heater is a heating device 140mm high and 30mm thick which is placed along the walls above the floor around the perimeter of the room.

Imagine that the big radiator we all know has been reduced and stretched - a simplified design can be described this way.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

The required power is gathered from heating sections of different length, the warm baseboard not only heats the room but also dries damp bottom of walls and corners

The materials used are the most heat conducting and therefore expensive - aluminium, copper, brass. On the outside the Thermo Plinthus is an aluminium box with a heating element inside - two copper tubes with brass, copper or aluminium fins (lamellae) strung on them.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

The tubes have an outer diameter of 13 mm and an inner diameter of 11 mm. The heating modules are connected to each other and the joints are joined by copper soldering or crimped nuts and in the corners special turning pieces - polyethylene or copper

Depending on the heating medium there is a difference between liquid and electric warm plinths:

  • in liquid ones water or antifreeze circulates, 0.34 liters of liquid per 1 running meter, the temperature range is from 50 to 85 °C, the temperature is set manually at the manifold or automatically;
  • in electric ones heaters are connected in parallel, their operation is controlled by a thermostat with a built-in temperature sensor that determines the degree of heating of air in the room.

The heating modules are fitted on a rear aluminium plate fixed to the wall directly above the floor. The heating medium is led from the distribution manifold.

The distribution manifold is equipped with flow meters, cocks (drain, cut-off), automatic air vent valves, thermometers, manometers - all this is needed to control and adjust the heating system. The safe heating of the plinth surface is 40°C, the maximum is 80°C,  the air in the room is heated to 20-24°C.

In the lower and upper parts there are slots. The cold air flow enters from the bottom inside the casing, is heated there between the hot plates, and exits again, but through the upper slit.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

In a water thermoplintus, the coolant moves inside the heat exchangers through tubes, while in an electric one the heating cable, laid similarly, performs the coolant function

The manufacturers of baseboard heating equipment claim a heat output within  200 W per 1 meter of length, but in order to achieve this index in the liquid system, the temperature of the heat-carrier has to be raised up to 65 ºС, and such heating of the front panel can't be called safe.

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Warm skirting is the perfect solution for furnishing rooms with panoramic glazing: verandas attached to the house, loggias in attics, halls of private houses and places of presence

The installation of a heating baseboard allows to perfectly disguise the presence of the heating system

The installation of a warm baseboard allows to remove radiators where they will really disturb, but still provide the room with heat

There are no restrictions for installation of a baseboard heating system. It can be installed in city apartments, country houses, shopping, sports complexes, hospitals, kindergartens

Baseboard heating can serve as the main source of heat and be used as a supplement to the radiator circuit

The baseboard heating circuit provides a uniform supply of heat into the room,

The skirting board ideally blends in any design decision, blends with wooden walls and all types of finishing

The skirting heating contours take minimum space, that's why they are widely used in rooms with small dimensions, Small hallways,

Burning skirting boards in veranda

The best way to hide the heating system

Safety variant heating system option

Floor heating system in the apartment

Application as a supplement

System uniform heat distribution

Compatible with any interior design

Small system dimensions

Features of skirting heating

From its invention up to nowadays, heating is divided into two kinds - convection heating and panel and radiant heating. radiant. In the first one, the hot surface of the radiator (radiator, convector) heats the air first, after which it circulates in the room and gradually warms it up.

In the second one, the objects in the room are initially heated, and the air is heated by useful infrared radiation from them, without drying out the air, without oxygen being expelled from it, and this process is secondary.

In the old examples there are stoves in country houses, tile stoves in old mansions, in the modern interpretation - heated floors, but what about the skirting heating and what type of heating should it be referred to?

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

Warm baseboard heating allows a uniform supply of heat over the height and area of the room to be treated

We turn again to the opinion of the manufacturers. They unanimously state that the heat radiated from the perimeter rises from the floor to the ceiling along the walls, warms them evenly and creates a kind of veil against the cold coming in from outside. When the temperature of the walls at different heights varies between 26 and 30 ºC, and in order to get heat from the walls, the surface should be much hotter. Consequently, the talk about the coveted infrared heat coming from the walls is not so much a truth as a marketing ploy.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

Thermal plinths radiate maximum heat at foot level. This is not only pleasant, but also optimal for well-being and health (+)

It is more correct to state that thermoplintos are also convectors with a high surface temperature. The warmed walls guarantee that you will not find dampness or mildew anywhere.

It's also fair to say that the amount of heat decreases as you move up, and that's a good thing. It is evenly distributed in the lower and middle areas, and less so in the ceiling. Such a microclimate is considered most comfortable for people - they do not get cold and chilly, but breathe fresh and cool air.

All the advantages and disadvantages

The rising heat flow is pressed against the wall according to the physical law of Coanda. Without mixing with the rest of the air in the room, it heats the vertical surface. At up to a meter and a half high, the wall temperature is several degrees higher than in the room, and this creates thermal comfort for the occupants.

During the heating season, the heating system is used 6-8 hours per day. Multiplying the total capacity by the number of hours worked per month gives the monthly energy consumption.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

The distribution manifold distributes the heating medium uniformly to the individual circuits. Its choice is determined by a number of factors - product material, capacity of the comb, pressure, energy consumption, possibility of further expansion

Do baseboard heaters really save energy resources due to the low temperature of the heating medium?

The answer is this example:

  1. The size of the room is 3, 5m x 5m (17.5 square meters), the perimeter is 17m (minus the doorway is 16m).
  2. The volume of the room at 2.7m ceiling height 17.5 * 2.7 = 47.25 cubic meters
  3. The temperature  outside in winter is on average -10 ºC.
  4. It takes 1.5 kWh to keep the room +20-22ºC with normal insulation. Heating will run for 7 hours a day.

With 200W per 1m length when the heat transfer medium is heated to 65 ºC (see above), we obtain 200W * 16m =  3200W  or 3.2 kW. Since this consumption is double (3,2 kW/1,5 kW = 2,1), it is possible to reduce the temperature of the heating medium by the same proportion: 65 ºC /2,1 = 31 ºC.

Calculate the monthly electricity consumption: 1,5 kW/h * 7 hours * 30 days. = 315 kW. A more reliable result is obtained by a detailed thermo-technical calculation on the basis of the full input data for the facility.

If you compare the efficiency of floor and baseboard heating, you can argue at least for the reason that convectors from the floor heat the air immediately, while part of the warm air from the baseboard is taken up by the outside wall, which is constantly fed by the cold outside.

The heat used to constantly heat the cold outside walls is a kind of loss. Is the compensation for this their dryness, lack of mold, dampness? There is also a debate on this issue: some say yes, others point out that the humidity in the room is controlled by  supply and exhaust ventilation, not heating.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

If the water radiators are connected in series, the coolant will cool down while it goes around the whole perimeter. Therefore the modules are connected in parallel, each pair of incoming and outgoing pipes are led separately to a collector

In terms of appearance the skirting boxes covering the heating really look nice in the interior, but problems arise when there is cabinet furniture in the room - it is not possible to round it from the front and the warm air has no freedom of movement behind it.

And about the absolute absence of dust in the air it is worth objecting - perhaps it is less than in air circulation in traditional heating systems, but it is there, because convection is present.

In general it can be concluded that the baseboard heating radiators already have customers, and with time their number will increase. The limiting factor is the excessively high cost of the equipment, which is explained by the use of copper, brass, aluminum, i.e. expensive materials.

And installation, if ordered by professionals, is not cheap. Baseboard piping is the most complicated of all available water heating schemes, but there are many nuances in the assembly of electric baseboards as well.

Installation of baseboard heat

Tools required for installation: adjustable wrenches in the kit, percussion drill (or punching machine), hammer, wire cutters, pliers, scissors (cut plastic). The baseboard heating system is quick to install if the connection points are prepared in advance.

Even before acquiring the necessary equipment you must plan the output of the heating elements and their position around the room.

Assembly of the water heating system

Step 1.Measure from the point where the distribution manifold will be located to the position of the baseboard. Cut off two protective pipes and two with an extra 20 cm for the connecting pipe. The connecting pipe is inserted into the protective, ends sealed with adhesive tape to protect against dirt.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

Installation of the baseboard water heating system: red for main flow, blue for return flow. The return pipe must be higher

Step 2.Pipes are stretched on the floor without tension so that if necessary one or more can be installed next to each other. Fix them with masking tape, cover with protective mortar to prevent damages and lead them to the wall at the right place, 6 cm above the floor and 10-15 cm from the edge of the wall or the corner, fixing with cement.

Step 3.Perform the finished floor and continue. We glue the insulating strip all the way around. We stretch the aluminum edge (also over the entire length of the heating), closing the joint between the wall and the floor. We screw it or fix it with masking tape, silicone.

Step 4.Lay the special profile along the upper line, put the holders on it at 15 cm from the corners and every 40 cm along the wall.

Step 5.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

Fitting the heating module, remove 2 or 3 lamellas from the edge and put on the connecting nuts, compression pieces, rubber seals

Step 6.Connected heating sections carefully pressed into the holders. Put on the decorative panels (fix them with screws or snaps) and the decorative corner elements.Connect the system to the manifold, fill with water, test at operating and maximal pressure.

Hot-plate floor heating, like all manifold systems, needs a circulation pump to stimulate the flow of the heating medium. Without a pump it is difficult to circulate the heated water through a long circuit. However, the use of technical devices is reflected in the overall system cost.

The baseboard will work if all technological operations have been performed correctly. In case of a leak, problematic connections must be tightened with a wrench. The heating medium is supplied through the collector by the circulation pump from the boiler or from the common (centralized) heating system.

Assembly of the electric heating system

For the warm baseboard a separate automatic switch must be made in the electrical switchboard. Its power is determined by the number of heating modules. 

Step 1. Bring the power to the junction box, which should be near the location of the system at a height of 4-6 cm from the floor.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

Installation of the electric heating system: The electric system is most often used where proper power is available or in small rooms as additional heating

Step 2. Tape the wall with insulation tape.

Step 3.Install the lower aluminium profile (edge) and the upper profile on which you put the holders at the same distance as for the water system - 15 cm from the corners and at 40 cm along the wall. Let's mount the remote thermostat. It must be about 1;5 m high  in front of the system modules and at least 2 m away.

Step 4.Insert the electric heating elements (TENS) into the lower tube of the heating module, fix the modules in the holders so they do not touch the wall.

The electric contacts of the heating elements have a thread, two nuts, a locking ring on a spring and a heat shrink tube for additional insulation. The modules are connected in parallel with a silicon coated high temperature silicone cable up to 180°C.

Step 5.From above the system is covered with a plastic box.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

The heating modules are connected with a 3 wire cable: brown wire as phase, blue as neutral and the green (yellow) as earth. It is necessary to ground the cable

Wiring the installed heating system to the power supply is best left to an electrician. He will check the insulation with measuring instruments, supply the electricity and set the thermostats.

Design, scope, price

The slim, sleek, ambiance-matching heaters allow for the most extraordinary design ideas.

The peculiarity of baseboard heating system is that it does not take away the room space at all and can be placed near furniture, antique things, household appliances, musical instruments.

The material of the flooring and walls does not matter either - there is no damage or deterioration.

A palette of hundreds of colors and shades makes it possible to choose the appearance of the cabinet to your liking. In texture it can be smooth and even surface or imitation granite stone, marble, wood.

The baseboard radiator equalizes the temperature in the colder corners and end rooms, this technology is of interest to owners of cottages and country houses, seeking to create an elegant interior in their homes. And in multi-storey buildings many people want to heat loggias and balconies, and this problem is also easily solved by such a heating scheme.

Where only skirting heating is used - in greenhouses and conservatories, swimming pools and gyms, in museum buildings, concert halls, etc. Panoramic construction is in fashion, but along the wall that is solid glass you cannot put usual radiators.

Warm baseboard: baseboard radiators in the heating system

The wide range of textures and shades of the warm skirting board allows you to use it as a decorative element. In this case, it blends in with the door trims

Traditional heating also loses out in rooms with high ceilings. No matter how many times you heat them up with radiators, the warm air will still tend to rise under the ceiling, leaving the lower zone cool, and with the help of a thermo baseboard this situation can be easily solved

What concerns the price, the purchase and installation of a warm baseboard is comparable to the price of underfloor heating. Neither will cost less than installing a classic heating system with radiators.

Unfortunately, all energy efficient devices are not cheap, but the costs pay off. In order not to overpay extra, you need to pre-package the system - each element has its own price. Only a specialist can do this competently.

Conclusions and useful video on the subject

Video #1. How a warm baseboard works:

Video #2. Installing a baseboard heating system:

To summarize: a warm baseboard is a new, aesthetic and reliable type of heating equipment that deserves attention.

Would you like to tell about how you assembled and installed a baseboard radiator? Would you like to share your experiences with baseboard heating or ask a question? Please write your comments in the box below.

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