In my 1950s rambler house, all the heating is via water-based baseboard units. These units are all tied by a single piping loop to a boiler in the “center” of the house. The main room has the majority of the units by simple length.

One unit in particular is on a shared wall between the main room and a bedroom. This bedroom is often colder than the rest of the house. I am wondering if strategic holes in this shared wall can improve the temperature in this bedroom.

Specifically, I have heard of the “popcan solar heater” concept, and to my way of thinking, the same idea should work for this baseboard unit, right? So if I drill holes at the base of the wall below the unit that is in the main room, the unit should pull cold air from the bedroom through the unit and warm it. If I also drill holes at the ceiling in the same wall to match, then there should be an air exchange so to speak.

Does this idea make sense? Will this air exchange make any appreciable difference in the temperature in the bedroom, or would I be damaging a wall with no noticeable benefit?

  • yes, that can work. the specific of how well are beyond internet speculation. I would use a vent cover: much larger and prettier than holes. put the bottom one on the other side of the room as the top, for diagonal flow and more mixing.
    – dandavis
    Nov 9, 2017 at 5:41
  • Cutting holes in walls to promote airflow would diminish privacy. Very large holes and/or forced air would be required. Produce more heat in the room. Nov 9, 2017 at 10:47

1 Answer 1


I could not recommend your strategy. This is not how we comfortable warm a room. You may need to break your single loop into two loops or even three loops. Almost never would we connect an entire house on a single loop. The first radiator would be too hot and the last would be too cold.
The heaters that are in each room should heat that room or the heater is not sized properly or the piping connecting it to the boiler is not sized and or designed properly. P.

  • In the standard installation of hot water water baseboard heat is it set up with bypass shunts to allow regulation of the heat in each room? I have seen a reference here of a relatively cheap sounding control which was louvers on top to regulate air convection through the baseboard heater units. Are such adjustable louvers standard? Nov 9, 2017 at 9:42

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