Replace an Old Radiator Heater

October 17, 2023

Small duct systems are a great way to supplement or get a radiator heater replacement.

The Unico System, a high-efficiency cooling and heating system, can be discreetly retrofitted into historic homes without the need for extensive remodeling or intrusive ductwork. There’s less mess, less dust, less installation time— and no need to get your home for installation whether you’re replacing or supplementing your radiant heating system.

The Unico System offers three configurations in radiator homes:

- Connected to an existing boiler

- Connected to a heat pump

- Connected to an electric duct heater

Here are 10 ways small duct systems can increase comfort in homes by replacing a home radiator.

Home Comfort

Efficient supplemental system. Small duct systems can supplement old radiators or boiler systems. In colder climates where radiators are needed to deliver warmth after the temperatures drop below freezing, Unico efficiently improves comfort in the fall and spring. Plus, Unico also delivers the same home comfort in the summer when it’s time to turn on your air conditioner.

Draft-free. A small duct heating system eliminates drafts. That means no more chills down the back of your neck when your heat isn’t running. Air is heated inside the central system and is released at a higher temperature, creating a more even warmth than systems that draw air from the outside. Unwanted drafts are often caused by systems that pull in outdoor air and need to work harder to warm the cold air coming into the system.

Ultraviolet light. When installed with an ultraviolet (UV) light, The Unico System penetrates and kills harmful bacteria and viruses as it delivers clean air throughout your home. UV lights have been used in hospitals and water treatment plants for years, and now you can have the same benefits in your home.

Air filtration. Are allergies a concern? If so, The Unico System has an air filter rated MERV 13, which filters out particles as small as 3 microns, including pollen, dust and other allergens. Why is MERV 13 important? That’s the standard hospitals use when rating their air systems. Because Unico is a compact system with small air registers, it traps less dust and allergens in the system compared to traditional and mini split systems.

Even temperature. Radiators make the surrounding air warm but do little to circulate it, making the air hot near the heater and cool everywhere else. Small duct systems circulate air evenly throughout every room of the home. With The Unico System’s SMART Control Board, your HVAC system intelligently delivers consistent temperature to every room. That means the same temperature in every room—even rooms that always seem to be warmer or cooler than the rest of the house.

Fits in Your Space

Reclaim floor space. Old radiators can take up an inconvenient amount of floor space in a room, and newer versions still require a significant amount of space near the wall. Small duct outlets are only 2” to 2.5” in diameter and can be placed on the floor, wall, or ceiling—wherever it will be out of the way for the design of the room. Installing a small duct system would let you regain floor space in your home.

Works with boilers and hot water heaters. When installed with the Unico Hot Water Coil, The Unico System can bring ducted heating and cooling to homes with a boiler already in place. Hydronic heating is a modern solution to an old radiator heater. The Unico Hot Water Coil is designed to integrate with boilers, hot water heaters, and radiant systems, such as radiators, baseboard heating and in-floor heating.

Ideal for historic homes. Small ducts fit in most homes without requiring major renovation. Air supply tubing is flexible and can be inserted into existing tight spaces. This makes mini ducts the best choice for historic or older homes where you want to maintain the home’s character and want your heating system to have minimal visual impact. Plus, Unico has partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 2002 and has been installed at sites, such as President Lincoln's Cottage.

Sustainable Heat

Reduce fossil fuels. Looking to reduce your home’s carbon footprint? Supplementing a radiant system with small duct heating helps you convert from burning fossil fuels to a more sustainable solution. When configured with a heat pump or electric duct heater, your Unico System generates heat from geothermal or electric sources.

Regulation compliance. The Unico System helps homes meet changing energy consumption regulations that are being adopted by state legislatures across the country. Most of these regulations are aimed at new home construction, but major renovations may also be affected. Fortunately, installing a Unico System requires little to no renovation and improves efficiency by delivering comfort at a lower thermostat setting. The Unico System’s airtight supply tubing means 100% of the warm air is used to improve home comfort.

To learn more, find your local contractor for more information.

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