What are the Pros and Cons of Baseboard Heaters? (Complete Guide)

What are the Pros and Cons of Baseboard Heaters

In case you don’t know baseboard heaters are the major sources of heat to most home owners in North America and the Pacific Northwest who would want to retrofit an old house or are constructing a new one.

In this guide we are going to find out what is baseboard heating? And…..

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Baseboard Heaters?

Baseboard heating refers to two separate kinds of heating systems; electric baseboard heaters and hydronic baseboard heaters.

Electric baseboard heaters are individual units that use electricity in the range of 120V to 240V to heat a house room by room or one specific zone through natural convection of air. While hydronic baseboard heaters, are central heating units that use a liquid medium to heat a room through the principle of radiation and air flow.

Unlike other alternative types of heating systems such forced air system, electric baseboard heaters and hydronic baseboard heaters are efficient. Close to 100% of the electric current that is supplied to the unit is transformed into heat.
Forced air systems are less efficient. Forced air systems are made of a furnace that blow heated air through a series of sheet metal ducts and require expensive duct work to run through walls, under floors or above ceilings.

If you are searching for the best heating equipment one that offers a heating option in your home without the costly ductwork, then you might consider electric baseboard heater and hydronic baseboard heaters. Below are the pros and cons of electric baseboard heaters and hydronic baseboard heaters.

Electric Baseboard Heating Pros and Cons

Electric Baseboard heaters are typically mounted under a window on an exterior wall to promote convection of heat. Electric baseboard heaters work by taking in cool air from close to the floor.

The air is then projected up and pushed through heated fins on top of heating unit into the room.
Electricity flows through the unit, creating heat and warming the room by passive convection as the heat naturally rises without the use of a fan


  • Energy Efficiency.

Electric baseboard heaters have an energy efficiency of 100% because all the incoming electric energy is converted into heat.

With innovative energy regulating thermostats designed with smart features, which allows it to be programmable, you can pre-set the unit so it warms your room at specific times i.e. when temperature drops or when the temperature rises.

  • Provide consistent warmth.

Electric baseboard heaters offer effective way to heat up your home or whenever you simply want to supplement an existing heating system to a particular spot that requires additional heating.

Baseboard heating creates a zoned system for comfort. A heating zone is a separately controlled area of your home that is adjusted independently from the rest of the house.
With an electrical baseboard heater, you’ll supply heat to a location where it’s needed directly. That’s why this option is an effective choice for basements, garages and other spaces that typically require a supply of warmth.

  • Costs less to install.

Duct work is expensive to fabricate and install. Electric baseboard heaters are relatively simple to install in retrofit situations because there are no bulky ducts to run through walls.
You do not require duct work to distribute the heat from room to room

  • Save money

A good thermostat can save your energy budget by controlling the levels of heat received on the equipment itself. With an investment in a baseboard brand without onboard thermostat, you can cut down on the electric bill down to 30%.

With a programmable thermostat, you can automatically set the thermostat by dialing it, programming it to a specific temperature for each unit in your home or business.

  • Durable

Life expectancy of the unit is relatively longer. As long as they are properly maintained, baseboard heaters can last up to 20 or more years. 

Recommended Post: Best Hydronic Baseboard Heaters


  • Expensive to run.

With an electric Baseboard heater, you can expect an inflated energy bill. Besides the energy consumed in watching, laundry, taking shower etc electric baseboard if not monitored will drive the electric bill through the roof.

  • The thermostat can become faulty.

Some thermostats are not programmed properly. A faulty thermostat will display an incorrect temperature reading and fail to contain and regulate the heater.

  • The thermostat can produce inconsistent heat.

The thermostat can form layers of dirt which insulate the heater causing it to block heat flow thereby making it to record inconsistent readings. However this can be easily cleaned with a vacuum and requires little additional maintenance. 

Hydronic Baseboard Heaters Pros and Cons

What are the Pros and Cons of Baseboard HeatersHydronic baseboard heater is a unit that uses water to some capacity and are attached to a wall at the floor level at a central position.

Heating pipes are run under the floor, which are designed to be used to transfer and emit heat across several rooms or zones. This creates an inbuilt heating system.


  • Save money

Hydronic baseboard heaters have the capability to continue radiating heat long even after the thermostat have been turned off. This is attributed to the asbestos tube element which heats up and retains heat maintaining a stable room temperature.
This makes them energy efficient that leads to a drop of up to 10% energy drop on final electricity bill which is a significant savings.

  • Consistent warmth in your home.

Hydronic baseboard heaters are in built with a sealed heating tube element that converts all the electric power into heat.

The heat warms the liquid in the metal tube and because water runs the entire length of the heating system, it spreads the heat the evenly rather than being concentrated in one hot spot.

The asbestos tube element and the large diameter reservoir which maximizes the volume of heat transfer fluid further assists in maintaining the temperature of the water even after the thermostat has been turned off thus ensuring a constant flow of warmth.

Though hydronic baseboard heaters were reputed to be slow in response, some manufactures have come up with thermostat which tracks the performance of the system that heat up faster and achieve comfortable temperature.

  • Operates quietly unlike forced air system

The noise can be overwhelming if you are standing next to the equipment.  Hydronic baseboard heaters are quiet, clean and give comfortable heat unlike traditional baseboard heaters thanks to its fanless operation. This makes them perfect to put in bedrooms and living rooms.

  • Sturdy quality material

Hydronic baseboard heaters are made from rugged steel which is robust and sturdy. Baseboard heaters also come in variety of colors. Depending with the inside design of your home, there’s a golden, cream, white or black baseboard heater.

Moreover hydronic baseboard heaters always include a front grille to stop foreign objects from getting into the internal area of the heater.
Besides hydronic baseboard heaters are also manufactured in the United States which furthers assures you of the quality of the unit.

  • The equipment is safe

Hydronic baseboard heater is housed with a baked enamel element that prevents overheating. Also the mechanism of hydronic baseboard heaters works by running the liquid the entire length on the system rather than concentrating in one area.

In addition they come with lower surface temperature than a standard baseboard thereby ensures safety from accidental surface burning. This is a secure option if you’ve got children and pets.

Baseboard heaters are much cleaner. The heater doesn’t singe airborne particles within the air or dry out the air or blow dusty air, pet hair dander and other pollutants through a series of old vents the maximum amount as a typical baseboard because of its fanless operation. This makes them not have health impact to those with allergy.


  • Cost to install and operate

With hydronic baseboard heater, you’ll need to install heating vents or make other upgrades to accommodate this system.

  • Long time to heat

Without installing the new system which accelerates the speed in which the system heats up, the heater takes longer to heat up than other systems.

Also Read: Hydronic Baseboard Heater Comprehensive Guide


How Can I Make My Baseboard Heating More Efficient?

To make the baseboard heater more efficient, some factors need to come into consideration. Ensure the wall, the flooring and insulation should not be the cause of heat loss.

To prevent heat loss, invest in a window efficiency and glass technology. It seals the window preventing loss of heat.
The best product to purchase is a Weather Stripping Silicone Seal Strip Door Bottom Strip Silicone Sealing Sticker Adhesive for Doors and Windows Gaps of Anti Collision.
Wall-mounted the thermostat can save up to and place it further away from the baseboard heater.

How Can I Lower My Electric Bill With Baseboard Heat?

Invest in a good thermostat In order to significantly save your energy usage. Smart thermostat offers a better warm experience with your baseboard heater besides lowering your electric bill by up to 40%.
You are also able to remotely control the heater through an app. are baseboard heaters efficient

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James Smith