Dec 23, 2013

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What are hydronic baseboard heaters?

What are hydronic baseboard heaters?

The most efficient baseboard heaters are hydronic. Hydronic heaters use a liquid medium; it can be water, oil or liquid silicone to direct the temperature in a space, most often a room. The heaters are installed along the wall at the baseboard, when they operate, cool air is drawn into the unit from the bottom, the air is then heated and radiates through the grill at the top of the unit. As the heated medium is kept well back of the integral cover the units are not hot to the touch, this makes them ideal for mounting directly to the wall and of course they are very safe and can do no harm if they are accidently touched.

Hydronic heaters originally drew upon the old cast iron radiators as their inspiration. The technology used for both the modern efficient baseboard heaters and the old style radiators is similar, but the new units are light, small and easy to install. There are two different systems, one of which is permanent and works from a central boiler and the other is self contained, working off electricity. A central system is normally installed at the time the house is constructed as pipes need to be run from the boiler to the various rooms which have the radiators installed. In this design, modern thermostats allow the house to be divided into different zones, each zone can be set at a different temperature which allows for increased overall efficiency and reduced operating costs.

Hydronic baseboard heaters are self contained, the heat source and the liquid is permanently sealed in the unit. As they are designed for stand-alone use, they are not connected to anything in the house other than the electric power supply. These units are ideal for those who own an older home and they wish to retrofit or supplement the heating with efficient baseboard heaters. These units are usually wired into a circuit as the wattage is over the safe limit for a 120 volt outlet.
Portable electric hydronic heaters are readily available, these units are usually lower wattage but they have the advantage of portability and no need for additional circuits to be installed.

The most efficient baseboard heaters are hydronic, whether they are plumbed into the home when new, permanently installed as a retrofit or portable.

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