9 Places Perfect for Kickspace Heaters
Kickspace or toekick heaters are a versatile option when you need to heat a cold room. Designed to fit in the toekick area of installed cabinets, they deliver warmth right at floor level where you often need it most.
Fundamentals. Like baseboard units, kickspace heaters come in both electric and hydronic versions. Most are designed to draw in cool air, heat it and use the built in fan to distribute the warm air throughout the space. Both the heater and fan automatically turn on and off based on how you’ve set the thermostat.
Features. Standard kickspace heaters are roughly 3 inches high by 14 inches wide, but other sizes are available. Many are compact enough to fit into wall cavities, and some can be placed in floors or ceilings. They also come in a range of capacities with variable heat output. Some are designed to supplement an existing heating system, while others are powerful enough to warm the entire room.
Uses. You can use kickspace heaters to solve a host of heating issues throughout the home, but they’re perfect for:
Kitchens with traditional installed cabinets.
Bathrooms with vanities.
Laundry rooms with installed cabinetry.
Any room with built-in bookcases or cupboards with toekick spaces.
Stair risers in difficult-to-heat stairwells.
Landings or entryways short on floor space.
Mudrooms or airlocks with benches or cabinetry.
Offices with built-in cabinets or credenzas.
Garages and workshops.
Options. Kickspace heaters can be installed as an integral component in a whole-house heating system, as an alternative to baseboard heaters in areas where wall or floor space is at a premium, or as a retrofit option in tricky spaces. If they’re part of the whole-house system, they’re generally connected to the central thermostat. In retrofit situations, individual units may be installed with heater-mounted controls or wall-mounted thermostats, while multiple units are generally connected to a wall thermostat.
Kickspace heaters have been around for years, but they were underutilized due to complaints about noisy operation and insufficient heat output. Modern versions have been significantly improved, so they’re quieter, more powerful and more versatile, but installation and unit quality are critical to long-term performance and satisfaction.
Work with an HVAC professional who’s familiar with the installation requirements and can help you select a configuration that will suit your needs. Then invest in quality heaters with desirable features such as self-contained, fully enclosed units that are quieter, interchangeable sizes so low output units can be replaced with higher output units if necessary, and easy part repair and replacement should the need arise.