Baseboard heaters can be found in most parts of the country. In the north they are normally used as a secondary source of heat and in the mild climates farther south they are used on those odd occasions when the temperature gets just a little too cool for comfort. Rarely is an electric baseboard heater in Canada used as the primary heating source as the winters there are vicious and require a much larger central system for comfort.
Some years back baseboard heaters were pretty simple and there were few choices available. Perhaps due to the ever increasing cost of electricity, electric baseboard heaters are now available that are extremely efficient, run quiet, have more smarts and provide more heat for the heating dollar.
With these new heaters becoming available, it may be wise to find out the differences before you hire an electrician to install new supply lines and purchase a heater which may not give you what you want.
An electric baseboard heater in Canada can normally run on 120 and 240 volt power, many people chose 240 volt as it is more efficient. Most baseboard heaters are hard wired but others are considered to be portable and can be plugged into a 120 volt power source.
These heaters do not heat up immediately such as you might expect from a radiant heat source. There may be a wait of 30 minutes until the temperature has reached the comfort zone but many people would rather have this than an immediate blast of hot air that is normal in a forced air system.
Electric baseboard heaters are extremely quiet as they contain no moving parts. As they do not blow air, the same air that contains pollen and allergens, they are considered ideal for people with allergies.
This type of heater uses an electric coil which heats the air. These types of heaters are the least efficient however, they are the least expensive. As the heating element cools quickly, the room also cools; this is the primary difference between electric convection and hydronic units.
Hydronic and oil filled heaters:
This style of baseboard heater does not use electric coils, they are filled with oil or similar material, it is this medium which heats up and it heats the air in the room. Once the room has reached the desired temperature the unit switches off but the medium remains hot for an extended period of time, the savings in electricity and the comfort are quite remarkable.
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