One Odd Duct!

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    LESLIE: Anthony in Iowa is on the line with a question about baseboard heaters. What can we help you with?

    ANTHONY: Yeah. I have the old-school baseboard heat. Got forced air that extends around the perimeter of my house. So, essentially, what I have is two different kinds – sizes of baseboard in my house. And I’ve kind of come to the realization that I’m probably going to have to create a baseboard to match the baseboard heat.

    TOM: Well, let me just stop you there for a second, Anthony. When you say you have forced-air baseboard heaters, do you mean you actually have ducts coming through these baseboards? Or do you mean you have a hot-water system with fins where the air sort of washes through it?

    ANTHONY: No, I have – it’s baseboard created out of metal and there’s actually a gap in between my wall and the baseboard.

    TOM: Right.

    ANTHONY: About a ½-inch to ¾-inch on the exterior walls throughout my entire house. Then the other baseboard that walks up to it is 2 inches shorter than it and quite a bit smaller profile, tighter to the wall.

    TOM: Right. You have a forced-air system or a hot-water system in your house?

    ANTHONY: Yes. Nope, it’s forced air.

    TOM: Wow. That’s a very unusual – what you’re describing is a very unusual configuration.

    LESLIE: That’s really crazy.

    TOM: I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

    ANTHONY: I used to be plumber. I used to build houses and I’ve never seen it before in my life.

    TOM: Yeah. Wow.

    LESLIE: And lucky you. It’s in your house.

    TOM: Alright. So we’re no alone here. So I guess we’ve got to get creative with this. So, I guess what you’re saying is that you want to extend or modify some of these rooms and you’re wondering how best to accomplish that. Is that correct?

    ANTHONY: Yeah. Just to make the profile look a lot better. It’s looking kind of janky the way it is.

    TOM: Yeah, I’d love if you would send us a picture of this.

    ANTHONY: Oh, I can do that.

    TOM: Yeah. That would be …

    LESLIE: He’s like, “Oh, I have lots of them because it’s weird.”

    TOM: That would be super helpful.

    ANTHONY: Yeah. Everybody that comes into my house, they kind of look at the baseboard and they kind of think it’s falling off the wall but it’s not.

    TOM: Right.

    ANTHONY: It’s how the air comes through.

    TOM: Yeah. So how does the air get to it? Is it from below? Is there a duct underneath it that feeds it up?

    ANTHONY: It’s really odd because I had to put cable in my bedroom. And I know this is a no-no but I had to actually drill a hole to get the cable through.

    TOM: Right.

    ANTHONY: But I had to come out 16 to 18 inches from the wall because it’s all duct through there.

    TOM: Yeah. That’s really odd. Well, listen, send us some photos, let’s take a look at it and then we’ll get back to you and see if we can figure out a workaround.

    ANTHONY: Yeah.

    TOM: Sometimes, you’ve got to deal with what you’ve got there.

    ANTHONY: Right.

    TOM: And wouldn’t make sense to tear it all out.

    ANTHONY: No.

    TOM: So there ought to be a solution. And we’ll see if we can help you come up with one. I’d like to do a little research on it, as well.


    TOM: Alright? So ship that off to us to show at We’ll take a look.

    ANTHONY: OK. Thank you, sir.

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