Hot Water Baseboard Heating Systems

Hot Water Baseboard Heating Systems are hydronic central heating emitters that release heat in two ways:

  • Natural convection, or
  • Fan assisted convection

Natural convectors simply rely on the convective air currents passing across the surface of the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a hot water tube within the unit, this tube is covered with fins to increase the surface area of heat dissipation so making the unit more efficient. These systems are heated by boilers.

These baseboard/skirting heaters are generally made to a low height to be able to run along or just above the baseboard/skirting in your home.

The unit allows cool air to enter the casing at a low level, pass over the heat exchanger before exiting as warm air via a top outlet in the casing.

Hot Water Baseboard Heating Systems provides a good level of heating comfort because heat is released evenly into the room at a low level so therefore reducing the temperature gradient from ceiling to floor.

Although hot water baseboard heating systems can be controlled by a thermostatic valve or a room thermostat like radiators, a manual adjustable damper is usually fitted to give a limited control ver the heat output of the unit.

Note: Baseboard/skirting units should not be obstructed by furniture or drapes as this can reduce their heating efficiency.

Natural convectors can also be located below the floor level in trenches which are covered with grills.

Fan assisted convectors considerably increase the air flow movement through the heat exchanger. The fan assisted units are usually taller than the natural convection units, and because the fan is electrically controlled it provides a better means of controlling the heat output therefore giving you better temperature control.

The advantage of a fan assisted convector is that they can produce a large amount of heat but only require a small wall space. Also, fan convectors has a thermostat to switch the fan on or off to maintain the desired room temperature. You will find that there are generally three fan speed settings, low, medium and high. The high speed setting is normally used only for rapid warm-up as it can be pretty noisy.

Note: Most fan assisted models incorporate a control to stop the fan from operating unless there is enough heat in the heat exchanger. However, some models provide a switch to turn off this control so the fan can circulate cooler air in the summer months.

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