There are several home heating systems to choose from and depending on your needs, some may be better than others. One that isn’t as common today but still a great option is a baseboard heating system. Baseboard heater systems can be used as a supplement to an existing home heating system on an as-needed basis in rooms that just refuse to heat up. Or they can be a complete home heating system all on their own. Here are some things to know.
Baseboard heating system vs. forced air heating system
There are several reasons why you may want to opt for a baseboard heating system over a forced air heating system, despite the fact they’re less common. For one, baseboard heating systems are much easier to install, especially in older homes, since there is no ductwork. Because there’s no required ductwork, baseboard radiator systems tend to require less maintenance. Unlike a forced air heating system which blows hot air loudly and intermittently, baseboard heating systems work quietly and constantly as long as they’re turned on.
Two kinds of baseboard heating systems
Baseboard radiator systems can be generally classified into two different types: electric and hydronic. In an electric baseboard heating system. Electricity is used to directly heat the air in the home. For supplemental heating, you can purchase plug-in portable baseboard heaters. For a complete home heating system, however, you’re better off paying for a system that’s hardwired into your home’s circuitry.
Hydronic baseboard heating systems also operate off of electricity. The difference is that the electricity heats the room indirectly rather than directly. In a hydronic system, electricity is used to heat up fluid (usually water though some systems use oil) enclosed within the radiator. It is the hot water which warms the air in the room. Hydronic systems are more common for whole home use since electric baseboard heating systems are known for being less energy efficient. A downside to hydronic systems is that they take longer to warm up a room once turned on. Once the enclosed fluid is warm though, it retains its heat much longer after it’s turned off.
Is a baseboard heating system right for you?
If you have an older home with no forced air heating system, installing the necessary ductwork may be more trouble than it’s worth and you may want to strongly consider a baseboard heating system. If your current heating system just doesn’t cut it for certain rooms in the home, such as in the basement, a baseboard heating system may be for you. Since heat rises, a heat source at floor level makes a lot more sense when it comes to circulating heat and warming a room more evenly.
If you’re going to go the baseboard heating system route, it might be wise to protect them with snap-on baseboard heater covers. These make the system look more stylish. If you have an older system, these easy-to-install baseboard radiator covers can make it look like new again.