Advantages & Disadvantages of Electric Baseboard Heaters

If your property doesn't feature a central heating system, keeping the home warm during the winter months might require using a fireplace or perhaps space heaters.

Initial Cost

Keep your house warm and cozy in the winterKeep your house warm and cozy in the winter
You can also explore other options, such as installing electric baseboard heaters. These units provide warmth and comfort, but before adding a system, familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages.

It's costly to install a heating system in a home, whether you're starting from scratch or replacing an existing system. Electric baseboard systems add warmth to the house, and the installation cost is far less than a new central heating system. There's no expensive ductwork or furnace to purchase. The contractor or heating company that installs the unit attaches the electric heating system to the baseboards throughout the home, and then connects the baseboard heater to the house's electrical system.

Saves Energy

With an electric baseboard heater, you can determine the desired temperature for each individual room. Central heating systems operate differently. Once the thermostat detects that the house has reached a specific temperature, the entire unit turns off. This often creates an imbalance, with some rooms being warmer or colder than others. Electric baseboards eliminate this imbalance because each baseboard has its own thermostat. The heaters turn on or off according to the temperature in the individual rooms.

Heating a Room

Electric baseboard heaters do not provide warmth at the same rate or speed as central heating systems. These systems draw in cold air, heat it and then release the warm air into the room. The process isn't instant and warmth isn't immediately felt. Central heating systems, however, create an instant outflow of warm air that quickly heats the house.

Noise and Quality

You might select an inexpensive model to save money. Understand, however, that cheaper or low-quality models may not produce the desired results. These models are typically noisier, and you might experience dissatisfaction with the temperature control feature. Carefully research different models and make sure the one you select meets the standards set by the Underwriter's Laboratories and the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association.

Aesthetics

Central heating systems are often hidden in places like the attic or a closet. Electric baseboard heaters are visible throughout your house, and this might create a decor issue. Improve the appearance of electric baseboard heaters with a protective cover. These covers not only hide the system, but offer protection from injury. Baseboard heaters emit heat and burns can result from touching the unit.

About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as Sidestep.com, AOL Travel, Work.com and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.