An Unbiased Look At The Pros And Cons Of Electric Baseboard Heating

Posted on: 24 February 2017

Electric baseboard heaters are sometimes seen as outdated and clumsy. Homeowners often completely write them off as a heating option, choosing forced air or boiler heating instead. But while baseboard heating has its shortcoming, it does have some benefits, too. Here's an unbiased look at its pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Pro: You can heat one room at a time.

With forced air and boiler heating, your heat is either on or off. While you can close the vents in certain rooms, you're still running the entire furnace or boiler each time you turn the heat on. WIth baseboard heating, you can just turn a baseboard heater or two on if that's all you need. This ensures you're not wasting power and can be very useful on those slightly chilly days when you don't need to heat your whole home.

Pro: There are no ducts to worry about.

Yes, you do have to deal with the baseboard heaters sitting along the wall. However, you don't have to have your walls built to accommodate large ducts as you would with a forced air heating system. There are no pipes running behind the walls as with a boiler system, either, so you don't have to worry about leaks.

Pro: Baseboard heating is quiet.

There are no blowing noises when the heat kicks on. You also don't have to deal with hissing and gurgling as with boiler heating.

Con: The heaters themselves get hot.

You'll need to keep a clear space around the heater so that you don't damage items or risk having them go up in flames. If you have kids, baseboard heaters are not the safest option, since they do get hot to the touch and kids might burn themselves.

Con: They're not the most affordable to run constantly.

If you live in an area where you only need to heat your home up by a few degrees or you only need to use the heat occasionally, then this is not a huge deal. However, if you're heating a large home throughout a very cold winter, the baseboard heaters tend to be more expensive to power than a forced-air or boiler system powered by natural gas or even propane.

To learn more about baseboard heating and whether it's right for your home, contact an HVAC contractor like Ricotta Heating & Air. They can analyze your specific needs and let you know whether this style of heating is a wise option.