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The Showdown: Convector vs. Baseboard Heating


showdown_heater

When it comes to replacing or installing electrical heaters, our clients often ask us “which are better: convector or baseboard heaters?”

A baseboard heater is a long narrow appliance that pulls cold air in through the bottom, uses an element to heat it up, and creates a wide, slow-moving curtain of air that rises up the wall and accumulates at the ceiling. The warm air is then slowly distributed throughout the room providing the heat.

There are two major disadvantages to this type of heating system:

    • slow-moving air is unevenly distributed throughout the room which can make the room uncomfortable
    • a larger amount of energy is required to heat a given area which proportionally increases your costs

A convector heater is a larger rectangular appliance that also pulls the air through the bottom but creates a much faster airflow over a smaller area. The slanted grille at the top of the convector helps project this heat to the centre of the room faster.

The airflow of a convector heater delivers the heat to the centre of the room much faster than the slow airflow from a baseboard heater.

Some other factors to consider in your decision:

  • humidity: convector heaters do not burn the air as much as baseboards do. (This means that the element never gets red-hot, burning the air, and resulting in an imbalanced humidity rate.) 
  • cost: on average, the initial cost is much higher for a convector than a baseboard but the comfort level and energy efficiency are much greater.
  • warranty: convector heaters are supplied with a far longer warranty (some, like the Allegro come with a 30 year warranty).
  • visibility: a baseboard has a lower profile; it is far less noticeable than a convector.
  • maintenance: a baseboard heater cannot be easily removed from the wall for cleaning; a convector can.
  • safety: the element on a baseboard can be easily accessed by children, because they can put their fingers and/or small objects through the grill and directly on heating element. Convector heaters have very small grills, making it much more difficult for children to access.

In our opinion,  the convector is a superior heater and while the initial investment is higher, the level of energy efficiency and comfort it provides will save you money in the long-term.

Electrika Inc. supplies and installs both baseboard and convector heaters, ask one of our electricians to assist you in determining the right heater that considers your home, your comfort and your budget.

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