Which heat emitters should you consider? Electric wall mounted baseboard heaters or wall mounted panel heaters?
Electric panel and electric baseboard heaters may not differ much, or just differ in a few small details, but they can also involve other more significant differences. It depends on their exact type. Below we list possible differences and their pros and cons.
Baseboard heaters can be of different types
Here, in this page, we are considering electric baseboard heaters. But there are also hydronic and oil-filled baseboard heaters – particularly common in the North-America. We can think of these baseboard heaters as being like water radiators (they may be self-contained and restricted to a room or specific rooms or fed from a central boiler system).
Common features of electric baseboards and electric panels
Both electric baseboard and electric panel heaters use electric resistance elements to provide heating, and thermostats to control temperatures.
Both use cables inside the heating unit to warm the air and to push it out of the unit (while colder air enters at the bottom of the baseboard/panel to be warmed).
Both types of heaters are very silent (except some electric panels, using fans). Since they do not use fans, they do no not blow air, or dust or pollen and other pollutants.
Both are mounted tight to a wall, giving you more floor space; in this sense they are safer than other small portable heaters; you do not have to worry with cords.
Anyway, they can differ a lot on the type of heat they provide (radiant or convective), and where exactly they are mounted. And that may have significant implications on the efficiency of the heater.
Electric Baseboard Heaters are typically convective heaters; Electric Wall Panel Heaters can be radiant heaters or Convective heaters
A first idea to keep in mind is that electric panel heaters can be of radiant type or convection type (or provide both convective and radiant heating).
Being of radiant heating type means that the electric heater is able to provide immediate heat to the people in their line of sight, once switched on - even if the room’s air isn't yet warmed. A radiant panel heater provides straight line heat, giving an immediate sensation of heat, which can be important.
Radiant panel electric heaters are generally made of steel or cast iron and aluminum, and perforated with tiny holes to allow heat to dissipate in a direct straight line. A plate is heated, and then it spreads some or most of its heat in a straight line, very quickly heating up people and objects, walls, floors and ceilings. Radiant heating is different from convective heating (the type of heating provided by many electric panel heaters and by typical baseboards); convection heaters are designed to heat the indoor air, not the objects or the people in their line of sight.
That’s an important distinction that you should consider carefully.
Electric wall mounted radiant panels can provide a more quick heating, and significant energy savings over convective baseboard electric heaters - if your goal is not to heat the entire room.
Electric Baseboard heaters are a typical cheap option
The prices of electric wall panels vary significantly, according to their exact type, percentage of steel/aluminum, its capacity, and other factors. There are cheap and not so cheap units.
Electric baseboard heaters are inexpensive and are easy to install (if the wall isn't obstructed by furniture or other obstacles), but since their goal is to heat the room where they are installed they tend to have higher running costs than electric panel heaters.
Contrary to electric panels of the radiant type, electric baseboard wall heaters do not heat up quickly or immediately. Typically you have to wait 30 minutes to an hour to begin to feel the heat.
Which type of emitter is Less obstructive?
Manufacturers of electric panel heaters use to say that baseboard units are limited by their design and their placement. This may collide with furniture placement, or the furniture in front of the baseboard (it can disrupt air currents, resulting in uneven heating).
According to this view, the design and the placement of the electric panel heaters free up more wall space and provides more flexibility.
And though that may be true, there are many cases where there is no such advantage. The ideal positioning varies.
Baseboard electric heating manufacturers
(they also provide water baseboard systems):
Qmark and Farenheat (they belong to the same group (Marley) but use to follow different price policies);
Baseboard electric heating manufacturers (they also provide water baseboard systems):