Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters vs Standard
In the first part of this article we’ll go over a few differences between hydronic and standard electric baseboard heaters. After that we have an extensive list of important features to look for in a baseboard heater. Luckily these features can be found on both kinds of heaters.
Advantages of Hydronic Baseboard Heaters
The biggest advantage hydronic heaters have is higher efficiency and lower costs. They apply electricity to a liquid, causing it to heat up. Once the liquid reaches the appropriate temperature it begins heating the air in the room. The heated liquid stays warm even after the electricity shuts off. This is just like boiling water on the stove. Even after turning off the burner the water remains hot for a long time.
Advantages of Standard Baseboard Heaters
Standard electric baseboard heaters do not have the liquid heating element, so they retain heat for a much shorter period of time. This leads to more cycles of the appliance of turning on and off. Generally, the start up period is the more energy intensive time for a machine. However, standard electric heaters begin heating the room much faster than a hydronic system.
Our recommendation for the best type of Baseboard Heater
In most instances the heater will not be raising the temperature in a freezing room. Because of this, the longer warm up time of hydronic baseboard heaters is less of a disadvantage. In our opinion, the increased efficiency and energy cost savings offered by hydronic heaters far outweighs the few minutes longer it may take to start feeling heat.
Here is a list of the top rated hydronic baseboard heaters available on Amazon. We also include unique features to be aware of when considering a baseboard heater. The links listed below will take you directly to the product listing on Amazon.
This heater is portable which gives it a few significant advantages. Its great to take with you to a remote cabin in the woods. Also, it plugs into a standard electrical outlet. It does not require complex installation or alterations to your home’s wiring.
Fahrenheat FHP1500TA Portable Electric Hydronic Heater
This one is a 240-volt heater which means you will most likely need a certified electrician to install it.
Fahrenheat PLF1004 Hydronic Baseboard Heater, 46-Inch, Navajo White, 240-volt, 1,000-Watt
Similarities between hydronic and standard Baseboard Heaters
Regardless of the type of baseboard heater you decide to purchase, be sure to look for one that has these two standard safety features
- Automatic overheat shut off – this will turn the heater off in case something is in the way of the heated air and causes the unit to become too hot.
- Tip over switch – this feature will automatically turn off the power to the heater if it is knocked over. A carpet or other floor covering could easily catch fire without this safety measure.
Both types of baseboard heaters come in 120V and 240V versions.
- 120V models can be plugged directly into an outlet in the wall. If you plan to use the heater seasonally or need to move it between rooms or buildings you need a 120V version.
- 240V models need to be wired into the wall. A certified professional will need to install 240V units. While it is more expensive and permanent this kind of set up looks very clean and modern. The unit will also likely be secured to the wall. Tipping over a unit like this is no longer a concern.
Standard and hydronic heaters both have models with optional thermostats that come as part of the unit. They can also be used in conjunction with separately sold thermostats. Honeywell makes a great lineup of thermostats for exactly this purpose. Due to the nature of the way the thermostat functions, you do not necessarily need to purchase a Honeywell baseboard heater.