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Home » Forced Air Furnace » Is Forced Air-Heating Better Than Baseboard Heating?

Is Forced Air-Heating Better Than Baseboard Heating?

When choosing between forced air-heating and baseboard heating, it’s important to weight their pros and cons as they depend on a lot of factors, especially the layout of your house.

Here we take a close look at the benefits and downsides of both the heating options to help you choose the  best option for your family.

Baseboard Heating

Baseboard heaters focus on heating up different zones in the house. Usually installed beneath windows to resist the cool air coming from outside, they are controlled by thermostats located in the specific rooms.

By using heating elements within the metal sheaths, baseboard heaters control the transfer of heat within the house. There are essentially two types of baseboard heaters: electric and hydronic. While electric units will heat a single room, they are a better choice for small spaces because they sufficiently make use of the principles of airflow and radiation.

Hydronic baseboard heaters use a heat-transfer liquid and a metal-sheathed heating element to preserve warm temperatures in the house.

Pros

  • Money saving- the initial installation costs are always lower than radiant heating systems and can help you save on electricity bills.
  • Energy-efficient- baseboard heating utilizes the heating from condensing boilers, making them energy efficient and economical.
  • Consistent Heating- the heater throws a constant flow of heat equally around the house.
  • Non-toxic- while conventional HVAC systems expel carcinogenic gases, baseboard heaters are eco-friendly because they only use hot water for heating.

Cons

  • Low Heat- it can’t produce large quantities of heat because the system is mechanical.
  • May Take Longer To Heat Up- if the room is large, the system may take longer to heat up completely.
  • Requires Regular Maintenance- the boiler and the water pump are more likely to breakdown leading to leaks. Hence, they require frequent maintenance.

Forced Air-Heating

A forced air-heating system uses air to distribute hot air across the house. The system uses ductwork and expels the heat through vents into different rooms, while also regulating the temperature you set your thermostat to.

The heating system will automatically shut off when the desired temperature is heated. If it gets cool again, the system turns on again. There are different types of forced air heating that may use either an electric furnace, a gas furnace, a hydronic coil or even a heat pump. When combined with a fan blower, all of these systems can work efficiently to warm up the entire house.

Pros

  • Prompt Heating- for quick and rapid heating no matter how large the room is, forced air is a much better option.
  • More affordable- both baseboard and forced-air are in close competition when it comes to the cost but forced-air heating tends to be more affordable.
  • Efficient Heat Pump- a single heating pump will take care of both your cooling and heating needs.

Cons

  • Blows around Dust – the air from the vents can blow in pollutants from outside.
  • Leaky Ductwork – there are chances of having a leaky duct because of poor sealing.

The Decision

If you’re specifically looking for an affordable and energy-efficient heating system then baseboard heating is an ideal choice. However, if you can’t wait too long for a room to heat up you should consider the cost-saving forced-air heating.

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