Are you considering switching from baseboard heating? You are not alone!
Baseboard heaters are a great option to heat your home during winter. However, certain drawbacks make them less attractive to homeowners. As such, more homeowners seek out baseboard heating alternatives to keep their homes warm.
There are different heating systems that you can install in place of baseboard heaters. Keep reading as we explore the best alternatives to baseboard heaters to consider.
What is Baseboard Heating?
Baseboard heating is one way to provide heating for your home in winter. This type of heating system uses convection heating to warm your house.
Unlike the forced-air systems, no air is blown into or out of the baseboard. Instead, cold air freely enters the baseboard, where it’s heated by a series of metallic fins.
The two main types of baseboard heaters include:
Electric Baseboard Heaters
These are common in many homes and use electric currents to heat a space. Each unit contains electric coils that make up the key heating element.
If you’ve ever seen the heating coils of a toaster, coils in electric heaters work similarly. Once you turn on the heating system, the electric coils heat and distribute heat. A thermostat regulates how much an electric baseboard heats your home.
Hydronic Baseboard Heaters
A hydronic baseboard heater requires a liquid to disperse heat in a specific area. The most commonly used liquid is water. This begins with a hydronic boiler system that heats up the water before it’s dispersed.
The hot water travels through a series of pipes in a specific room to heat the air there. When the water cools, it returns to the boiler to heat up, and the cycle continues.
Folks who prefer not to use forced-air systems opt for electric or hydronic baseboard heating. It’s a great option since you won’t need to worry about installing or cleaning ductwork.
What are the Disadvantages of Baseboard Heaters?
As good as baseboard heating is, there are drawbacks worth noting. These drawbacks include the following:
- Dry Heat
You risk having dry heat if you live in a home that relies on baseboard heaters to keep you warm during the long winter. This can lead to dry air that can bring a whole host of health issues like dry skin, itchy, watery eyes, and a running nose. Some homeowners consider humidifiers to help fight this.
- Noise Pollution
Baseboard heaters tend to get noisy with age. Older units that need replacing can often be loud and disruptive.
- Hot Heating Systems
Imagine a heating system that’s hot to the touch. This is what you get when installing baseboard heating in your home. This puts everyone in your home at risk of getting burnt, including young children and pets.
Which are the Best Alternatives to Baseboard Heating?
Given the disadvantages of these heating systems, what are some potential alternatives?
- Wall Furnaces
Wall furnaces are one of the top alternatives to electric baseboard heating. These are smaller heating systems set up in the wall. A wall furnace’s primary energy source is electricity.
Wall furnaces are pretty reliable and tend to work faster. However, it’s important to hire an HVAC professional when you opt to get a wall furnace. Experts will ensure proper installation that will set you on the path to comfortable heating.
Proper installation also ensures energy efficiency since these units can use up a lot of energy if not installed properly. You can also have complete temperature control with this unit, which is good for your utility bill. And you will enjoy lasting warmth as the heating system delivers even heat in your space.
- Ductless Heat Pumps
Another great alternative to baseboard heaters is a ductless heat pump. Here, you still enjoy the luxury of heating your home without needing ductwork.
A ductless heat pump is a heating system that relies on a heat exchanger. Essentially, the coils in the heat exchanger can move hot air from one spot to another. This means using the heat pump during winter moves hot air from the outside into your home.
It’s worth noting that the same unit also comes in handy during summer. Baseboard heating is only useful in winter or when the temperatures outside are low – you can’t use the same unit in summer. However, it’s possible to use a ductless heat pump in your home throughout the year.
More good news is that ductless heat pumps don’t require much to install. Now, that’s a plus for many homeowners, making them excellent baseboard heating alternatives.
These heating systems are also suitable for different spaces with varying needs since you can install zone heating. And, you won’t hear them work to heat or cool your home thanks to the little noise generation.
- Infrared Heaters
The third alternative to baseboard heating is installing infrared heaters in your home. These systems employ the same technique as the sun to keep you warm and cozy. They emit IR rays that collide with different objects to produce heat.
The more the collision happens, the warmer your space becomes. The heat transfer by the rays to different objects is effective. These heating systems are also known for being very energy-efficient.
It’s common to come across infrared heaters that rely on electricity. However, other options use natural gas and propane to heat your home. The good news is that 100% of the energy an infrared heater uses converts to heat.
Another advantage of an infrared heating system is efficient humidity levels. Air in your home is often drier during winter, which can be worsened when using a specific heating system. Luckily, an infrared heater won’t cause dry air, which can have adverse effects on your health
- High-efficiency Furnace
New furnace models are all the rage and are great baseboard heating alternatives. Gone are the days when furnaces had a bad rep for being too cumbersome and risky. Now, there are modern high-efficiency furnaces that heat your home without leaving you with a massive utility bill.
A high-efficiency furnace is among the best baseboard heater alternatives for your home. This heating system can use up to 30% less gas or electricity. And, even with the reduced energy consumption, you still enjoy excellent heating all winter. These units are also much quieter than baseboard heaters – you can rely on them to warm your home without disrupting the ambiance.
While baseboard heaters can be effective, they can also make your home atmosphere drier and noisier and pose a danger to residents. If you’re looking for alternatives to baseboard heating, call an HVAC professional to help match you with the best solution for your residence.