Baseboard Heating 101

When it comes to heating and cooling your house, you want to have the most effective and cost efficient methods at your disposal. One of the many perks of having a “green” energy efficient home is that energy efficient often translates into cost efficient.

Location Matters

Heating your home can be done in a variety of different ways, some more efficient than others. Depending on where you live, your options for heating your home might be limited. Not only might your options be limited, but often the prices for gas and electricity vary from area to area. So while using gas appliances might be much cheaper in one city, electricity might be the cheaper option in another.

Overall, heating your home with combustion appliances tends to be the most efficient and cheaper method. Combustion appliances refer to gas and propane heaters, and furnaces that run on oil.

Why is electricity so expensive?

Electricity is often the more expensive option when it comes to heating your home. This not necessarily because the appliances themselves use much electricity to function, but because it costs so much just to get the electricity. When electricity is generated from fuels, roughly only 30% of the fuel’s energy is actually converted into electricity. This fact alone makes electricity a less efficient option overall.

As mentioned before, however, electricity is often the only available option. In these areas, heat pumps are typically preferable because they use the least amount of electricity to function.

Electric resistance heating, such as baseboard heating, is another option when using electricity to heat your home.

How efficient is baseboard heating?

Baseboard heating is good because almost 100% of the energy used is converted into heat energy. If not for the sheer amount of energy used just to conduct the electricity needed to run the heater, this would make baseboard heaters extremely efficient. That being said, they are still fairly energy efficient.

Electric baseboard heaters are very efficient at heating your home. Usually they are installed beneath windows at the base of the wall, close to the ground. This setup makes use of the cool air that flows in from the windows, heating the air and letting the warm air escape at the bottom. The warm air then disperses through the room, rising through the air to heat the area. The placement of baseboard heaters makes use of one of the most common areas that energy loss, also called heat loss, occurs. Half or more of a home’s energy loss occurs through windows.

If your electric baseboard heaters are very old or broken, you might be losing a lot in efficiency. If updating your home to a more efficient heating system is not a possibility, consider updating your baseboard heaters to newer, more efficient models.

Baseboard heating is one of the more efficient methods of electric heating for your home. While electricity itself is not entirely efficient, baseboard heating makes the most use of the power, turning nearly 100% of the energy used into heat. For this reason, baseboard heating is listed as one of the most efficient forms of electric resistance heating.

Posted in: