New To Baseboard Heat? What First-Time Homeowners Need To Know

Each heating type can offer some distinct benefits, as well as disadvantages, for different residential structure types or individual heating needs. In many cases, homeowners can find that incorporating two types of heat can help to overcome the challenges they face in keeping their homes at a consistently comfortable temperature, especially when outside temperatures fluctuate. 

Baseboard heating is one type of heating that can serve as both the main source of home heat or a supplemental option to deal with particular areas of the home. If you are a first-time homeowner who would like to learn more about baseboard heat, the following information can help. 

Types of baseboard heaters

Whether the home you have just purchased was already equipped with baseboard heaters or you are interested in adding them, you will want to be familiar with the available types. The most common type uses electricity to generate heat that rises to heat the space. 

Another type, called hydronic baseboard heaters, use electricity to warm water or oil, which then radiates warmth out into the room. Hydronic systems are available as whole-house systems where the warmed fluid flows throughout all the units of the home or as individual units designed to warm specific areas. 

Standard electric heaters can be more convenient to install and use because they require no liquid, pipes, or modifications to the home. Hydronic baseboard heating systems, however, can be more economical to operate because the fluid retains and radiates heat over a longer period of time. 

Placement of baseboard heaters

Those unfamiliar with the concept of baseboard heat are sometimes puzzled when they see baseboard heaters placed directly under windows or near doors. This placement is done deliberately because any cold air that enters around windows and near doorways will naturally sink. When the heater is placed correctly, the colder air will be drawn into the heater's vent as it falls, while warm air rises out into the room. 

The action of the falling cold air with the rising warm air creates a convection current that helps to continually circulate the warm air. Convection currents are why baseboard heaters are commonly used in rooms with large or numerous windows or areas that tend to feel drafty without the use of some type of supplemental heat. 

Using baseboard heaters can be a safe source of quality comfort in many types of residential housing. Homeowners interested in learning how to use baseboard heaters effectively in their own homes should take time to discuss their situation with a reputable residential heating contractor in their area. 


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