Baseboard heaters are a popular option when it comes to choosing the best heating system for your home. They have a few advantages over other types of heating systems but also come with some downsides, which must be taken into consideration. This article discusses the pros and cons of baseboard heaters, as well as popular alternative heating and cooling solutions for your home.
What Are Baseboard Heaters?
Baseboard heaters are a type of radiant heating system that consists of an internal metal housing containing electric coils or hot water pipes. Warm air rises, so the placement of the heater is critical to ensure the desired area is evenly heated. This type of heating system works well in smaller spaces and can usually be installed quickly and easily with minimal disruption to your home’s floor plan. Baseboard heaters come in two types: electric and hydronic.
Electric baseboard heaters use coils that are heated by electricity. This type of heater is usually more affordable to install than hydronic baseboard heaters and can be quickly adjusted on a thermostat. It’s also fairly unobtrusive as it takes up less space. However, the installation process itself can be time-consuming because wires must be run through walls and ceilings.
Hydronic baseboard heaters operate by means of hot water running through metal pipes. This type of heater usually takes longer to install since a dedicated plumbing system has to be set up, and it tends to be more expensive than electric heaters. Hydronic heaters are typically less efficient than electric systems because it’s difficult for heated water to move around the house. Nevertheless, they can generate much warmer air so they may be preferable in colder climates.
Pros of Baseboard Heaters
Baseboard heaters have several advantages that make them a viable option for heating your home.
One of the biggest advantages of baseboard heaters is that they provide quiet heating. Unlike other systems, which can be quite loud when running, a baseboard heater runs silently and will only make noise if it’s not properly installed. Baseboard heaters are also relatively easy to install. While the process may take a few hours, depending on your home’s floor plan and type of heater, it likely won’t require an extensive renovation project or major disruption to your day-to-day life.
Baseboard heaters require very little in terms of maintenance. Most will only need to be cleaned a few times a year. Cleaning a baseboard heater is also fairly easy.
Cons of Baseboard Heaters
While baseboard heaters have many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of these drawbacks is that baseboard heaters can produce dry, stuffy heat. This isn’t ideal for those who suffer from allergies or asthma or are in very dry climates.
Although baseboard heaters don’t have some of the same noise issues as other systems, they do get louder as they age. They also take up a significant amount of space, particularly if you need to install multiple units. This may not be an issue in some circumstances, but it’s something to consider if you have limited space in your home.
Another downside to baseboard heaters is that they are a potential fire hazard, especially electric models. The metal housings hold electric coils that can become very hot if the heater is not maintained properly. Ensure you follow all safety instructions and have your system inspected regularly.
The operation of baseboard heaters can be expensive if you’re not careful. They tend to use a lot of electricity, particularly electric models, so it’s important to install an energy-efficient unit and use it strategically. These inefficiencies get worse if the unit has not been cleaned regularly.
Alternatives to Baseboard Heaters
When it comes to choosing the best heating system for your home, you may want to consider other options besides baseboard heaters. Some of these include forced air systems, ductless heat pumps and infrared or solar heaters.
Forced Air Systems
Forced air systems, like furnaces, use a dedicated system of ducts to distribute warm or cool air throughout the home. While this type of heating system is more expensive than baseboard heaters initially and requires annual servicing, it can be more efficient in larger homes because it can evenly spread the warm air around.
One of the key differences between forced air systems and baseboard heaters is that the former can be used to both cool and heat a home, while the latter is usually only used for heating purposes.
Ductless Heat Pumps
Ductless heat pumps are similar to forced air systems in that they can both heat and cool a space. However, this type of system doesn’t use ducts as its counterparts do, so it may be preferable if your home doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure. Like forced air systems, ductless heat pumps are more energy-efficient than baseboard heaters. They’re also fairly quiet compared to other types of heating systems and usually take up less space than a traditional furnace or baseboard heater. However, they’re much more expensive to install by AC repair professionals.
Infrared or Solar Heaters
Infrared and solar heaters are another alternative to baseboard heaters. These types of systems use the power of the sun or infrared rays to provide a steady stream of heated air for your home. While these can be great options if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, they may be expensive upfront and may not be suitable for larger homes. Infrared heating options also take up significant space.
Choosing the Right Heating Solution
Choosing the right heating solution for your home is easier with the help of a local, professional company. If you’re in the Peoria, AZ, area, contact Cool Zone Air Conditioning and Heating today at (623) 253-1018 or complete our online form. We can help you choose and install a new heating system. To get your home ready for summer, we also offer AC maintenance services. If your AC unit is out of commission, ask us about AC replacement. With their expertise, our technicians can guide you through the best options for your home.