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brasilmom 02-09-2009 06:24 AM

Heating options for one room

We are remodeling our sun room, which has 2 base board heaters. We would like to get rid of those and install something more efficient. There are gas lines that run on the adjacent wall, which I thought we could use for installing a fire place type. We also considered radiant floors, but do not like the cost of it.

Questions: Is it possible to install a "fireplace" type of unit that could be in the wall? Would that be efficient? My idea is: we are going to have the current wall under the windows expanded to a 8", rather than 4. So, maybe under one of the windows we could install the "fireplace"? The problem would be the measurements. The space under the windows are about 55" long, but only about 18" high. Is there anything that would work? The reason behind that idea, for me, is that the unit would not take floor space.

Thanks for any help you can provide. Be well


jdougn 02-09-2009 08:56 AM

Sounds like an interesting project you're working on Miriam. Let's get a better understanding of your situtation.

First, whether or not building codes apply to your location I would strongly recommend building according to code. This protects you from dangerous situations, helps ensure the structure's integrity long-term, and it increases the overall value of your home. For example, an open flame fireplace underneath a window is not code because the open flame could come in contact with window treatments. Obviously, you don't want this to happen.

How often will you use the sun room? If you are using it often or intend to keep it heated, then the heat needs to be regulated. Most fireplaces will not regulate heat well, or at all.

What type of heat does the rest of the house use?

How much space will you have under the window? It's not clear in the first post.

Is there any wall space, not under a window, where a fireplace could be installed?

Electric baseboard heaters are efficient electric heat and well suited to the narrow space below your windows. They also heat up an area relatively quickly and don't require much maintenance. You may also consider a wall heater that could use electric or gas.

Electric radiant floor heat would not be any more efficient and, as you already noted, more expensive to install. Radiant floor heat is subject to damage which is expensive to repair. It does not heat quickly and, because of the thermal mass of the floor, can overheat a room. So particularly if the room were used only occasionally radiant heat would not be the best option.

Well hope this helps, Doug

brasilmom 02-09-2009 11:12 AM

Thank you Doug for your reply. I certainly did not think about the codes, but will check on that. I do see the point about the window treatment and that must be taken in consideration indeed.

The sun room is used a lot year around. The preference is to keep it heated during the winter months. Our house has force air, but I am not really inclined in having that room added to our furnace.

Under one of the windows we would have a 55" length and about 18 - 20" height. I know it is not a lot of space, but I am just trying to look into all options.

The baseboard heater would fit in the space without problem. I just do not like them as I find them very slow and not efficient at all. Right now, I have them st on 45 and keep 2 small radiant heaters to warm the room. I think they are more economical to operate and efficient.

The radiant floor is out of the picture for most part. We will continue to research, and maybe even look into a radiant heater that can be installed in that space. I guess the reason why I like the gas heaters is just so I still can heat it up in case of power failure...

Thanks again. Be well


jdougn 02-10-2009 08:10 AM

Gas wall heater
Hello Miriam,

For your application, you may consider using a gas wall heater. Just Google "gas wall heater" and there are many options. But, I'd be surprised if there is one for under a window. Your local supplier can probably recommend what heating capactity you need.

hth, Doug

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