Baseboard Heaters

What are baseboard heaters and how do they heat?

Electric baseboard heaters supply heat to each individual room. Baseboard heaters use electric resistance to provide heating; cool air is drawn into the bottom slots along the floor and warmed by the heating coils/elements. As hot air is produced, it rises by convection into the room. Baseboard heaters are usually installed underneath windows. There, the heater's rising warm air counteracts falling cool air from the window. They are a common choice for heating homes because they are simple and inexpensive to install.

The temperature in each room is controlled individually; using a wall mounted thermostat or some come with an integrated thermostat control. Once the air entering the baseboard unit reaches the desired temperature, the unit will shut off until it is needed again.

Pros

  • easy and inexpensive to install: baseboard heaters require no extra insulation or ductwork
  • can heat individual rooms

Baseboard Heater

Cons

  • limits furniture placement in a room since electric baseboard heaters cannot be obstructed by furniture
  • heat only emanates from one place in the room
  • baseboard electric heaters are only a good solutions for small loads and sparse needs; not efficient at heating large spaces
  • baseboard heaters take slightly longer than some other home heating systems to reach higher temperatures
  • thermostats are placed on the wall, so before the thermostat registers that the room needs heating, the cold air must cross the room and rise to a height of five feet; inconsistent timing
  • must keep baseboard heaters clear of drapes to avoid a fire hazard

Maintenance

Baseboard heaters require minimal maintenance. They should be cleaned to maintain them free of dust that will accumulate over time.

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