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How to Replace Cast-Iron Radiators With a Baseboard Water Heater

Eoghan McCloskey

Homeowners interested in trimming their household energy costs often become interested in hydronic baseboard heating, heating systems that heat a room from the floor up rather than by forcing heated air through a duct into the room. If you use an older form of home heating such as cast-iron radiators in each room, it is important to consider several important factors when switching from one system to the other.

Step 1

Consider if a hydronic baseboard heating system is a good choice for your home. While hydronic baseboard heating systems are generally more cost- and energy-efficient than other home heating systems, if your home only used radiators as a heat source, you will need to install a boiler in addition to installing all of the components of the baseboard heating system. Therefore, include the cost of installing a boiler and all necessary ventilation when weighing the cost effectiveness of switching from iron radiators to hydronic baseboard heating.

Step 2

Choose an installation type for your hydronic baseboard heating system. So-called "wet" installations embed the cables and tubing necessary for heat distribution into the flooring material itself; newer, more common and less expensive "dry" installations simply suspend cables and tubing in the air space underneath your flooring. Choosing an installation method that suits your budget is an important part of making sure the switch from radiators to hydronic baseboard heating is a cost-efficient one.

Step 3

Obtain quotes for a hydronic system install. The final step to wisely switching from iron radiators to a hydronic baseboard heating system is to garner several quotes from installers and choose one that best fits your budget. Once installed, you can reap all the energy efficiency benefits of using a hydronic baseboard heating system in lieu of cast-iron radiators.