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What Are the Pros and Cons of Electric Baseboard Heating?

When it comes to heating your home, there are many options to choose from. You can go with an oil-powered furnace or natural gas, but if those options don’t appeal to you, it’s possible you may prefer electric baseboard heating. Electric baseboard heating is safe and simple, and it allows you the flexibility to either heat each room individually or use home-wide temperature control.

Baseboard heating got its name because it involves installing heaters along the baseboard of a room. If an electrical connection is present near a wall, that wall can be used for baseboard heating. If you like, you can use a central thermostat to control all the baseboards or individual thermostats in each room to control the temperature of each room separately. Once you program the thermostat, the baseboard creates the amount of heat you’re looking to achieve.

However, if you’re going to make an informed decision regarding whether you want this type of heating in your home, it’s important for you to know electric baseboard heating pros and cons. The HVAC experts at Entek can help you with that information.

Pros

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Pro # 1: No Ducts Required

When evaluating baseboard heating pros and cons, one of the biggest positives is unquestionably the fact that you don’t need to install ductwork anywhere in your home in order to operate a baseboard system. So you can completely rebuild your home’s heating system or simply upgrade what it already has without having to spend a lot of money on equipment and labor.

In fact, most electric baseboard heaters can be installed for around $300, and it’s a simple enough process that many people can do it on their own without a professional. This makes installing baseboard heating one of the better home heating options for those who are on a tight budget.

Pro #2: Easy to Clean

Some home heating systems are difficult to clean, but as far as baseboard heating pros and cons go, the ease at which you can clean baseboard heaters is a nice feature. All you need to have for the process is a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, which should easily be able to reach all the dust and lint built up in each baseboard unit and clear it away.

Pro #3: Rare Breakdowns

For baseboard heating, you use wiring that supplies electricity and exterior casing, so a major malfunction to the system is infrequent if you clean the baseboards on a regular basis. This makes a baseboard heating system an excellent long-term option, as they can often last between 15 to 30 years and require minimal maintenance and repairs.

Pro #4: Comfort Zones

Any home with baseboard heating can supply heat to any location in the home that directly requires it. Baseboard heating allows you to warm specific rooms or spaces based on what the needs of that area are. This makes baseboard heating an especially strong option for areas that generally experience a draft in the winter months, such as garages and basements.

Furthermore, with multiple thermostats, you can set each room to different temperatures to cater to the preferences of numerous people in the home. If one person who lives in the house likes to have the room they’re in at a very warm temperature and somebody else prefers the room they are in to be at a much cooler temperature, baseboard heating allows for this exact type of flexibility.

Pro #5: Peace and Quiet

You’re probably aware of how loud a furnace can get when it’s running at its full capacity. Worse yet, if you need to sleep anywhere near that furnace, you know it can be very disruptive to your ability to rest, and the noise can even give you bad dreams or make you feel uneasy. Electric baseboard heaters make very little noise, to the point where you might not even know they’re there. That you can truly appreciate the lack of noise is an especially nice feature of the system on a day where you’re exhausted and desperately need some beauty sleep.

Cons

Con #1: Inconsistency

Any system with a built-in thermostat is likely to produce inconsistent heating results. In other words, the system will sense what the temperature in the room is and respond to that sense. That means where you’re standing could feel a few degrees cooler or warmer than the system senses, and the hot air may rise more or less than you would ideally like. The best counteraction to this issue is to make sure your system has thermostats that are wall-mounted.

Con #2: Cheap to Install, but Expensive to Run

Most baseboard heaters run strictly off electricity, in which case your utility bill during winter months could be significantly higher than if you had a traditional furnace. So while the cost of baseboard heating installation is very budget-friendly, over the long haul, the monetary savings tend to evaporate due to higher monthly energy costs.

Con #3: Clean or Else …

The good news is electric baseboard heaters are easy to clean; the bad news is you had better not forget to clean them regularly. This could lead to major problems achieving maximum heat efficiency in your home. If dust collects inside the baseboards, that will cause the system to work harder to maintain the temperature you’re looking for, which might not change your level of comfort but will definitely cause an increase in your energy bill.

Con #4: Keep Furniture Away

This is important, not only because any furniture placed in front of an electric baseboard heater can be severely damaged by the high temperatures or even be a fire hazard, but also because the furniture can significantly restrict the airflow of the system. This causes the system to have to work harder to provide heat, and in some cases, may make it outright impossible due to the furniture outright blocking the heat’s path.


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