If you are remodeling your home and are installing a completely new heater system, you may have seen a lot of good reports about systems like radiant floor heating. There are advantages to using this type of system, but another type of floor heating, baseboard heating, could be more appropriate for you depending on your situation. Baseboard heating sometimes gets a bad rap, but that reputation is based on the performance of older models; newer models are more efficient. Here's a look at which type of floor heating is right for you.
Ease of Maintenance
If you want a system that's easier to maintain, baseboard heating wins. The heating units are easy to access -- they're right there along the baseboard -- and if one unit malfunctions, the others still work. With radiant floor heating, it's harder to tell where a problem in the system might be because the entire system is hidden in the flooring.
If you want more even heating around the entire room, then radiant floor heating may be better. Baseboard heaters emit very hot air that cools down as it circulates, resulting in spots that are warmer or colder in the rooms. But radiant floor heating has a long coil or water tube that becomes evenly hot, making the entire floor evenly warm. While the room will get a bit colder toward the ceiling, the area by the floor will have a better temperature balance.
You do have to be careful regarding furniture placement with baseboard heaters, so if you plan to have a lot of furniture against the walls, radiant floor heating may be best. But if you don't have a lot of furniture, or if you can find ways to place the furniture so it doesn't block baseboard heaters, then the baseboard heaters could work well.
One form of radiant floor heating uses a water-filled tube that heats up. While modern technology has produced tubes that are leak-proof, some companies still use cheaper tubing, increasing the chances of a leak under the floor. If you do not want to risk that and can't get electric radiant floor heating, then baseboard heaters are a much better idea.
If you want to see more styles of heaters including baseboard heaters, talk to heating contractors and visit showrooms. You can find baseboard heaters in different lengths, so you should be able to put together a system that works well for you.