When the spring weather starts to bring sunshine and warmth, this is the time to start thinking about your home's heating system. It gives you plenty of time to have the system tested, cleaned or even upgraded before the cold weather comes back again. If you've been thinking about installing a whole new heating system, you should talk with your HVAC technician about the possibility of baseboard heating. Here's a look at what you should know about baseboard heat for your home.
Why Baseboard Heat?
Although some people believe baseboard heat to be an antiquated option for heating, it remains as relevant and effective now as it has always been. In fact, newer baseboard heating systems can be efficient, comfortable heating choices for most any home. Since baseboard heating relies on baseboard installation, it makes a great choice if your home is lacking ductwork for central heating. The key is to work with an HVAC technician who understands the systems well, because that ensures that your installation will be optimized to your home's floor plan for the most efficient heat distribution throughout the house.
What Options Are There?
Before you choose any heating system to install in your home, you should understand the primary types of baseboard heating that are available. Knowing what the choices are will help you make an educated and informed decision. There are two primary systems that you should consider.
Electrical Heating System
Electric baseboard heating, also called an electric resistance heating system, is possibly one of the most cost-effective choices for home heating. The electrical system relies solely on the baseboard units to heat your home, operating directly off your home's electrical wiring. While this can increase your electric bills like any other form of electric heat, there are things you can do to help keep your costs reasonable.
For example, make sure that the units you choose are rated for the least energy demand. Baseboard heating is rated according to the demand per foot, and the higher that demand, the more power it draws. If you're looking at a unit that doesn't have a rating visible, simply divide the wattage of the unit by the length in feet. As an example, a ten-foot-long baseboard heater with a wattage rating of 2400 watts will utilize 24 watts per foot when it operates. It's not as efficient as a unit that only uses 19 watts per foot. The more efficient the system, the less power demand you'll have.
Hydronic Heating System
Hydronic baseboard heating is a bit more complex than electric resistance heat. It relies on hot liquid to generate heat. Unlike an electrical baseboard system that requires little more than the units themselves for installation, these systems utilize a series of water lines to keep circulating the heated liquid. Hydronic systems are efficient because they retain heat even when the system is shut off, providing radiant heat in the room even when it isn't actively running. Although all hydronic systems are closed designs, which means that they cycle the liquid continuously, the water source is different for some units.
Independent hydronic systems have no external water source. These systems have their own plumbing and are rated based on how well they retain heat. Dependent systems, on the other hand, rely on an outside source for their hot water. In many cases, they're connected to a system that uses a furnace to heat water. If you're looking at one of these systems, it'll be rated according to how well the furnace can heat the water.
As you can see, baseboard heating is more versatile than it used to be. It's an efficient, cost-effective heating option for most any home, especially when compared to the thousands it can cost for installing air ducts. Talk with your heating specialist today or visit websites like http://mikesbremenserviceinc.com to see if this type of system might work for your home.