6 Discreet Supplemental Heating Techniques

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Central heating systems do a good job of heating the entire home, but even the best system may not be enough to heat every nook and cranny. If you have a room or section in your home that never seems quite warm enough, supplemental heating systems can help make the space more comfortable. Unfortunately, while furnaces and boilers are typically tucked away in a mechanical room or closet, supplemental space heaters are much more in-your-face. Not only can traditional space heaters detract from the style of your room, but they also take up valuable floor space. Try these 6 alternatives to the space heater to add heat right where you need it without losing floor space or style.

In-Floor Heating

True radiant heat systems use pipes buried beneath the floor to radiate heat upwards through the entire room. Newer versions, which rely on mats of wiring that can be rolled out beneath tile, wood and other floor finishes, are better suited to supplemental heating. They are easy to install and can be controlled using a wall-mounted thermostat.

Toe-Kick Heater

A toe-kick is that small recessed area under cabinets and other furniture. Many manufacturers offer heaters designed to fit in this space. Some are radiant systems, which contain water-filled pipes connected to a central boiler. Others are electric, making them easy to install and perfect for warming up a too-cool kitchen. 

Ceiling Panels

Radiant ceiling panels look similar to drop-ceiling tiles, but actually contain a small electric heater, plus a fan to distribute heat through the room. If you have a drop ceiling, you can slip one of these panels into the grid. If not, you can still install the panel on the surface of your existing ceiling. Choose panels that match your ceiling for a discreet way to add heat.

Cove Heaters

A cove heater is a slim electric heater that fits into the area where your ceiling meets the top of your walls. The right units look similar to trim or molding, and take up very little space. Some have controls built into the unit, while others are controlled by a thermostat mounted on the wall.

Ceiling and Exhaust Fans

Some ceiling fans and bathroom exhaust fans have small heaters built right in, which serve as an easy way to add heat to a single room. The heater supplies heat, while the fan can be used to distribute it around the room. In the case of a ceiling fan heater, the heater is built into the unit, similar to a light, making it very discreet.

Mini-Split Heat Pump

A mini-split consists of an outdoor condenser and indoor fan unit, with a small tube or conduit connecting the two. They can be used for both heating and air conditioning, and are controlled by a wall-mounted thermostat. The indoor fan unit is generally mounted on the wall or near the ceiling within a room. While older mini-split systems were bulky and unattractive, newer ones have visually-appealing indoor components, many of which are smooth and sleek so that they blend in well with the decor within a space. Contact a contractor, like West Country Heating & AC, for more information.