Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Heat Is Trapped in Base Cabinets
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Heat Is Trapped in Base Cabinets

We recently had custom base cabinets installed in our home. Some of the cabinets were placed on top of the floor heat vents. To get the heat out into the room, the installer cut in heat vents into the toe kick area of the cabinets. Well, this has become so inefficient. There is some heat coming out of the toe kick area, but the majority of the heat is still being retained under the base cabinet. Is there anything we can do to better vent out the heat into the room? We have a gas forced air furnace. The only thing I am doing now is leaving the base cabinets doors open.

Re: Heat Is Trapped in Base Cabinets

See if the guy who did the installation will come back free of charge to do the job right, otherwise, get someone else who does sheet metal duct work (forced hot air systems) to do the work.

Some form of sheet metal boots, pans or boxes will have to be installed to direct the hot air from the vent to the outside of the kickspace.

There are countless shapes & pieces that can be used to get the air out & still preserve storage space in the cabinet.

Try to find some photos/drawings on the internet of the various inserts available: Google Sheet metal wallstack and fittings, wall caps, wallstack boots, stackheads, stackboots, wallstack elbows, wallstack angles, etc.

Re: Heat Is Trapped in Base Cabinets

this guy had to know this would happen. get him back to finish the job. It really shouldn't cost that much to have some sheet metal ductwork to bring the heat out to where it belongs. I hope you had a good working relationship. Call him and ask,see what he says. good luck, john

Re: Heat Is Trapped in Base Cabinets

The cabinet should not be radiating heat! When I read the title I thought that you were going to say you put cabinets over a radiant floor!

But, it sounds like your installer tried to cut a few (too many) corners and just cut an opening in the toe kick and put the cabinet over the old register opening - hoping that the air would find it's way out!

I've retrofitted toe kicks into supply/returns all the time - first, the surface area of the new register opening in the toe kick must be equal the original register opening - this isn't rocket science so a few square inches one way or the other isn't going to hurt. And it absolutely must be fully ducted and all the seams sealed with metal tape. Then I have always added a single layer of 1/2" rigid insulation on top of the duct and put batt insulation all around the dead spaces. Never had a problem when done like that.

Re: Heat Is Trapped in Base Cabinets

Thank you for the great advice! After reading it though, it seems all the solutions involve removing the cabinet before the installation is done. Is that correct?

Since the cabinets are all interconnected, it would be hard to remove the center cabinet to correctly install the duct work. Instead of removing the cabinet, could the duct work be installed if the toe kick area be cut out farther? Or, will the installer have to cut out the inside bottom of the cabinet to do the install? I was going to attach a picture of our cabinets, but the attachment was to large. I hope my questions make sense. Thank you, again, for any responses.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.