Replacing radiators to update heating system

Our house is equipped with a hydronic heating system.

  • The boiler in the basement is at least twenty years old but shows no signs of quitting.

It easily handles the severe local weather. We typically deal with six to eight months of winter and the temperature is often well below zero. The boiler requires only annual maintenance to keep it operating reliably. It runs quietly and is wonderfully energy efficient. My only complaint was that the boiler was originally linked to radiators in each of the rooms. The radiators took up a lot of space and were very unattractive. They required a special arrangement of the furniture to allow the heat to spread evenly. Plus, the radiators became dangerously hot to the touch. I was very concerned with a fire starting if a curtain or any fabric came in contact with them. I was also worried about the kids or pets getting hurt. While the radiators provided plenty of heat and zone control, they also needed to be manually adjusted and made a hissing sound whenever they started up. I finally consulted with a local HVAC professional who recommended replacing the radiators with baseboard heaters. The update was rather expensive but not an overly invasive project. The house wasn’t torn up and I wasn’t left with a huge mess to clean up. The baseboard heaters are such an improvement. They still link to the boiler and create a very consistent and gentle heat, but they are totally safe. They run along the perimeter of the room and take up no living space. I don’t need to worry about the placement of the furniture. The best part is we now have smart thermostats which allow adjustment of the heaters from my smartphone.