If you are simply tired of the traditional methods of warming your house, then baseboard heaters offer an ultimate solution. These heaters require a thermostat in their operations for heat regulation. The best baseboard heaters can fit under most windows or the wall to enhance heat convection. These locations enable you to install them even in smaller rooms such as the bathroom which may be a bit cold or drafty.
As a homeowner, you need a baseboard heater for their advantages including:
- They are ductwork free
- They are cheap and easy to install
- They are durable with up to 20 years lifespan
- They require little maintenance
- They offer a quiet way to warm your room
Types of Baseboard heaters and how to select the type that suits you
Are you stressed every time the winter season approaches? Worry not, with baseboard heaters; you can efficiently warm your household space. Baseboard heaters are safe and suitable for fixed spaces hence once you get the perfect size to fit your home, you will enjoy a warmer house and save up on future cost. These heaters are of two types based on their source of power. These include the electric and hydronic heaters. The heaters heat and distribute air in the room through convection. The key thing however in selecting your heater should be the quality.
Hydronic baseboard heaters
These baseboards use environment-friendly liquids such as water to regulate room temperature. The liquid relies on electricity to heat or another source of fuel up to an appropriate temperature. This hot fluid then goes through some heating units and heats the room air through convection. Even though the liquid may take longer to heat, once it is hot, the room retains this warmth for a longer time.
Hydronic baseboard heaters provide a suitable alternative for individuals with allergies as their heating is much softer and releases nontoxic byproducts in the process.
Electric baseboard heaters
The best rated electric baseboard heaters rely on electricity power to supply warmth to a room. For this reason, they have a thermostat for heat regulation. The heat circulates by convection to warm up the room. This process is faster compared to the hydronic baseboard heaters as heating is almost instant. However, they maintain this warmth for a shorter time hence the thermostat has more on and off cycles. In the long run, however, the best electric baseboard heaters are more energy efficient than the hydronic heaters. The best electric baseboard heaters also do not emit toxic byproducts in their heating process hence environmentally friendly.
What is the best baseboard heater?
Choosing a baseboard heater implies selecting the best among the best hydronic and electric baseboard heaters. Among the best baseboard manufacturers to consider before making your purchase decisions include Cadet, Fahrenheat and Qmark. The following therefore comprises the best features of the top three heaters from these brands:
Energy efficiency: If you are looking for the best baseboard heater that will save you money and be efficient in heat distribution in your space, then Fahrenheat PLF1004 is what you should buy. This heater is ideal for small rooms hence can conveniently fit in a bedroom or office space. The heater, filled with water, features good heat retention capacity that enables it to continue disseminating heat to your room for a long time after switching off electricity. Moreover, this heater is compatible with the 240-volt and 208-volt hence can achieve up to 1000watt and 750watt respectively.
On the other hand, if your room is big, then Marley HBB1254 Qmark Electric/Hydronic Baseboard Heater is the ideal selection. As it stands now, this is the best heater for big spaces. It features a power output of 1250 watts hence stronger convection flow. This feature, therefore, makes it a powerful heater. Being hydronic, it comprises an environmentally friendly fluid that increases its efficiency in heat supply for more extended periods such that the fluid continues to radiate heat even after you switch off the power source. This heater is also energy efficient, saving up on electricity bills due to its efficient consumption.
Efficiency in mounting: If you are considering building a new home or migrating into a new house, then Marley HBB1254 Qmark Electric/Hydronic Baseboard Heater is the ideal solution. This heater offers a clean and quiet heat supply when needed. Its uniqueness comes in that the entire baseboard can mount to any wall or floor type whether wood, tiles or carpet. Alternatively, you can also choose Cadet or Fahrenheat since being UL listed; they can safely mount on the wall or the floor.
Strength and durability: If you want a long-lasting baseboard heater that will serve you for many years to come, then Cadet Manufacturing 09952 should be your ideal purchase. This heater features a 25 gauge steel casing and a 20 gauge junction box with the ground that ensures strength and durability, qualifying it among the best rated electric baseboard heaters.
Security features: When it comes to baseboard heaters, just like other household electric appliances, you need to consider the safety features. For instance, the Fahrenheat PLF1004 Hydronic Baseboard Heater comprises a thermal shut off function that automatically turns off the heater and reactivates it later when an obstruction occurs in the process of heating. This feature deals with the possibilities of fire hazards caused by overheating.
Warranty: This feature, in most cases, depicts a lot about the product quality. Usually, baseboard heaters, especially the hydronic have a shorter warranty period. However, with the Qmark, which tops among the best hydronic baseboard heaters; you can enjoy a warranty of up to 10 years.
Special Features that we need to consider when purchasing baseboard heaters
Safety features: The best baseboard heater if not properly installed poses a threat to homeowners. For this reason, ensure you enlighten your family on how to stay safe while using it to avoid potential accidents. Other safety features you need to check include the presence of the tip over switch and automatic overheat shut off. The tip-over switch switches the baseboard heater every time it is accidentally knocked, preventing fire outbreaks. Automatic overheat shut off, on the other hand, turns off the heater when the unit becomes too hot due to some fault.
Cost: The baseboard heater costs comprise of the initial, installation and maintenance costs. These costs, however, are not constant and thus depending on the design and manufacturer will vary from time to time. As an efficient buyer, you need to also factor in the efficiency of the baseboard heater since the more consumption it has, the more costly it will be. In as much as efficiency may cause you to pay a higher initial cost, it is worth in the long run. Maintenance costs, on the other hand, will be less with the right quality appliance, proper care and handling.
Source of power: To be efficient and save up on costs, select baseboards that use gas, oil or electricity power to run. These resources are easily available and cost-effective.
Baseboard design: Also of importance is the design you select for your baseboard. The design in terms of color and shape, you pick should match your home’s theme and still add aesthetic value.
Stand-alone versus integrated baseboard: Your decision to select either one of these baseboards will dictate their portability. Portable baseboard heaters offer convenience. In the portable case, you will need to set them up as a standalone unit with their thermostat. On the other hand, if you can consider setting your baseboard heater together with your other household appliances such that it is a part of your household thermostat system. Where this is the case, your family can access the warmth from the baseboard from whichever location in the house.
Size of your room: Before purchasing a baseboard heater, it is important that you establish the exact space of the area you want to heat. This is because some heaters are only limited to smaller rooms hence inefficient when installed in bigger ones. The size of the room will, in turn, dictate the size of heater you purchase saving you the hustle of returning the heater to the seller because of poor fitting in the long run. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing portable heaters as you will only need to put them where you want to heat and finally free the space once you are satisfied.
UL listing: Checking for this factor in the baseboard heater you purchase is important to ensure your safety. UL, a global safety science company conducts audits on these appliances and validate them to ensure the consumer’s safety and peace of mind. Therefore, when purchasing your baseboard heater, check the product to ensure it has the safety mark from this company.
While you may settle for a baseboard heater simply because it fits your space or meets your lifestyle needs, you need to be keen enough on its technical specifications in order to stay safe. These include the space you want to fit it, insulation and wattage, voltage, mounting style and warranty.
Space: An important consideration when installing your baseboard is its location and size with respect to your room size. As a rule, locate your baseboards at least 12 inches away from your furniture and appliances. Fit it 12 inches under the window or just place it on the floor.
Room size versus wattage: The size of your room dictates your baseboard heaters wattage. As a rule, to establish the ideal heater wattage to use, multiply your room’s square footage by 10. With the right wattage, your room will heat efficiently.
Voltage and wattage: Baseboard heaters have a wattage range from 500 up to 1500 watts. They, therefore, operate at either 120 or 240 volts. This is the same case with their thermostats. The 12 volt requires a single 20-amp breaker while the 240 volt requires a two-pole 20-amp breaker to feed the heater. Thus, where you purchase your thermostat separately, ensure you attain this match for efficiency. To select the right voltage for use in your home, consider the insulation in your home. A well-insulated room will hold in heat and consumes less power. Similarly, a poorly insulated home will force you to use a baseboard with a higher voltage as more heat escapes in the process. Among the factors that term your house as poorly insulated and therefore necessitating high voltage heaters include:
- Age factor: If your house is old, then it probably has some drafts and leaks. These elements are a disadvantage when it comes to making your purchase decision as the holes form a heat escape route forcing you to buy high voltage heaters to heat your rooms efficiently.
- Ceiling: Houses with ceilings have better insulation unlike those without. On the other hand, if your ceiling is located high in the roof, you will need a higher voltage heater to warm your room since the middle space offers a warm air escape route.
- Your windows are either leaking out heat or cannot hold in the air. Where either your windows cannot close well, or you have some broken windows, then you will require a higher voltage baseboard heater to warm your house efficiently.
Mounting style: Your baseboard heaters voltage will dictate its mounting style. If you pick the 120V, you can do the mounting on your own as these models require plugging on to a wall outlet. A safety advantage of the 120V models is their ability to prevent the flow of electricity to the heater when connected to the wrong voltage. The 240V models, on the other hand, require you to hire a professional to do the wiring for you and they are more permanent and safe when installed
Warranty: To ensure you get the best baseboard heater, select one with a warranty of 10 years or more. With this, you will cover expenses such as shipping and replacement parts costs. Moreover, longer warranties are an indication of a quality appliance.
FAQS about baseboard heaters
Can I install my heater under the window?
Yes, you can. Where you consider this option, ensure there are no movements and swings directly in front of your heater. The air in front of your heater should circulate freely for even heat distribution in the room. Moreover, you should ensure that the air coming through your window is warm enough to maintain the room’s temperature. Finally, keep furniture at least 12 inches away from your heater.
Which is the ideal place to mount my thermostat?
To ensure your thermostat functions appropriately, mount it either on the heater or separately on the wall. Mounting your thermostat on your heater will result in inefficiencies where your heater heats up faster than the air, switching off the thermostat.
Which heater voltage is appropriate to install in my house?
Your decision to install either the 120 volts or 240 volts in your house will depend on the size of your room. With a bigger room, you may require the 240 volts heater due to its high wattage. When making these installations, check your voltages with a voltmeter to check your power supply as a safety precaution. However, if you either lack the proficiency of handling the installations, consider the help of a professional for safe installations.
Can I utilize the on and off switches on my heater for control?
Heaters employ the thermostat mechanism, in their operation. The thermostat is accurate enough to switch off hence prevent overheating, maintaining the system at a safe and right temperature. For this reason, avoid using the on and off switches to regulate the temperatures.
Will my curtains affect the efficiency of the baseboard?
The curtain has no major impact on your heater’s functionality. However, ensure that you uncover the bigger part of your baseboard to allow the warm air it emits to circulate freely.
Can I change the original colors of my heaters?
Yes, you can. Baseboard heaters are usually cream or white. These colors, however, do not limit you from your choices and preferences. If you want to match their color with your house theme however, consider seeking your dealer’s advice.
Should I go for the integrated or electronic thermostat for my heater?
These two thermostats equally function well. However, for more accurate temperature regulations, consider the wall mounted thermostat. Besides their accuracy, their location on the wall’s interior is convenient for you to read and adjust accordingly.
Should I only go for programmable thermostats?
While the programmable thermostats sound like a better option, this does not mean that it is the best. However, it is efficient when it comes to energy consumption.
Finally, it is evident that baseboard heaters offer an efficient and effective way of warming households. Their versatility allows you to conveniently use them in the lounge, bedroom or office setting. The quiet operation they exhibit adds up to their benefit. As a homeowner intending to upgrade your heating system, consider the above best-rated baseboard heaters. Where you are unable to settle for one, it is important that you liaise with your dealer, at the end of the day, with a quality appliance, you are sure of quality services.