ELECTRIC Baseboard heaters uSES, TYPES AND ENERGY performance

Electric baseboard heaters are inexpensive and easy to install, but relatively expensive to run.

Electric baseboard heaters use electric resistance elements encased in metal pipes, running along the length of the baseboard housing.


Electric baseboard heaters are...
Inexpensive to buy and install;
Very safe;
Good as a main source of heating in moderate climates or in super-insulated homes;
A supplementary source of heating in cold climates and homes with low or moderate levels of insulation and air-tightness.

Two types of electric baseboard heaters

Modern electric baseboard heaters come in two types.

The most common type of baseboards heat the air directly: aluminum fins, surrounding the metal pipes, helps heat transfer, allowing the heat to rise while cooler indoor air is captured at the bottom of the heater...

But there are also hydronic baseboard heaters, using a special oil or other circulating heat transfer fluid; these heaters can provide a steadier warmth, and lower temperature variation.


Electric baseboard heaters are cheap (a 3 foot-long 750 watt/240V heater may cost less than $50) and easy to install, besides being afe and provide a quiet operation. An electronic programmable thermostat helps control temperatures and performance.

They do not blow air or pollutants and dust (they don't use fans); air flows naturally, with low operating and surface temperatures.


Electric baseboard heaters are inexpensive to buy and install, but expensive to run.

They only make sense in moderate climates or in super-insulated homes with low heating requirements, or for occasional use and as a supplemental source of heating.

The fact that electric baseboard heating is cheap to buy and install can make it a good option in moderate climates, and in super-insulated homes with low energy needs; it doesn't make sense to buy and install an expensive heating system to save a few dozens of dollars per year.

They work best when installed under windows, mounted to the wall (in some cases on the floor). Keep them 12’’/30cm or more from furniture, objects and drapes.

Quality, warranties and manufacturers

Pay attention to quality. It varies a lot.

Look for units with Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) and the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association (NEMA) labels, and compare warranties.

Top manufacturers: Cadet, Fahrenheat, Honeywell and QMark.
Amazon.com prices and reviews: Electric baseboard heaters.




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