Baseboard heating technically refers to two separate types of heating systems. First, you have the electric baseboard heaters which are individual units that keep a house warm by being placed in each individual room. Second, you have hot water baseboard heaters which work the similarly to central heating. Hot water baseboard heaters keep a home warm by sending hot water through the pipes to the individual units in each room. Learning more about baseboard heating can help a homeowner decide if it is the right heating system for him or her.
Electric Baseboard Heaters
An electric baseboard heater utilizes electric resistance. There are cables inside of the heating unit that warms the air and then pushes it outside of the unit into the room. Cooler air in the room enters the bottom of the unit and waits to be warmed and pushed back out into the room. Thermostats are used in every room and the unit will continue to pull in cold air and push out warm air until the room reaches the temperature set on the thermostat.
Hot Water Baseboard Heaters
Hot water baseboard heaters operate using a boiler which heats water and then sends it through pipes from one heater to the next. Each of the units takes some of the heat from the water before sending the water to the next heater. The problem with hot water baseboard heaters is the heating units farther away from the boiler will receive less heat. Fortunately, the valves on the units can be adjusted so heaters in smaller rooms take less heat from the water than heaters in larger rooms.
They Will Take Up Space
The real big downside to a baseboard heating system is the space the units require in each of your rooms. This needed space is unavoidable if you choose this heating system and you cannot hide the unit near curtains or any other type of hanging decorations of fabric as it could catch fire. The heating unit needs to be unrestricted in order to function properly. You can, however, paint the heating unit to match the current decor of the room the heater is being placed in.
A baseboard heating system does not utilize any duct work making it easy to install. Some baseboard heaters can be mounted directly on the floor regardless of what type of flooring you have. Maintenance on this type of heating and air conditioning system is also a breeze as there are not any moving parts. Minor cleaning including removing any dust and lint from the heater's grill is all that the heating system requires to continue to function.