There are two main types of baseboard heaters.

Hot Water Vs. Electric Baseboard Heaters

October 31st, 2016 by

There are two main types of baseboard heaters.

Baseboard heaters are effective and affordable solutions to your home's heating needs, and there's a decent chance you already have them installed or are considering doing so. If you don't know what they look like, they're pretty easy to recognize: Baseboard heaters are short metal structures that typically line the walls near the ground.

Compared to forced air systems, baseboard heaters are quieter, easier to maintain and tend to provide more even heat dispersion. But not all of these systems operate in the same way. They can either be heated by hot water or electricity, and while either can work well, each comes with vastly different safety and operational concerns.

Electric baseboard heaters are the easiest of the two to install. They don't require much more than a power source, making them ideal for smaller homes that don't have a lot of room for infrastructure. However, one risk associated with these heaters is that they can cause fires if they malfunction. That's because if they are too close to flammable substances like drapes or paper, they could cause them to ignite. Electrical cords should also be kept away from these heaters, as they could become too warm and emit sparks.

Hot water baseboard heaters require a series of pipes to be installed around the home, and may not be a good fit everywhere. The good news, however, is that the safety risks associated with these is much lower than with electric heaters. Water's boiling temperature is much lower than what is required to ignite most flammable materials, and the water that flows through baseboard heaters is almost always cooler than that. It is generally safe to have power cords plugged in near these heaters as well.

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