Baseboard Heating vs. Radiant Floor Heating

We all have those rooms around our homes that are always cold even when the rest of the house is warm and comfortable. It could be due to the layout of your home, an abundance of windows, or a lack of insulation, but whatever the cause is, you’ll need a supplemental heat source. Radiant floor heating and baseboard heaters are two of the most popular options for secondary heat sources, but certain homes are better suited to one over the other, so we’ve broken down the pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Baseboard Heating

Most baseboard heaters are electric and use heated fins that warm the cool air as it sinks towards the floor. They need to be installed on the wall underneath windows to be effective because that’s where most of the cold air will enter your home. There are also many hydronic hot water baseboard radiators that Spring Home carries and can install in your home.

Baseboard Heating Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Easier to install and repair than radiant floor heating.
  • Easily replaced if a system failure occurs.
  • Prevent moisture from accumulating on windows and causing damage.

Baseboard Heating Cons

  • They don’t provide even heating because they have to be placed underneath windows.
  • Not extremely energy efficient.
  • Restrict furniture placement because they run along extended lengths of the wall.
  • Can dry out the air if left running for long periods of time.
  • Efficiency of the hydronic baseboard radiator is low

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating can be electric or hydronic, but most homeowners opt to use the electric option unless they already have a boiler system. This heating style is becoming more and more popular across Canada because there are few things worse than having cold feet all day. Radiant floor heating uses heated cables or hot water tubing installed in a serpentine fashion underneath the floor to heat your floors and the air above them.

Radiant Floor Heating Pros

  • Extremely energy efficient when compared to other heating systems.
  • Minimal heat loss because the heat is constantly rising from the floor to the ceiling.
  • Even heat distribution due to the serpentine layout of the heating cables.
  • The system radiates heat, so it won’t dry out the air in your home.

Radiant Floor Heating Cons

  • Unfortunately, it needs to be placed underneath the flooring, which could potentially mean you’ll need to replace your current flooring, although that isn’t always necessary. There are a few different ways to install hydronic heating tubes. One is above the subfloor and under the floor (tiles, hardwood floor or concrete), while another way is to mount the water tubes underneath the subfloor from the opened basement/main floor ceiling. As we know, drywall is relatively easy to fix, so this method isn’t too difficult to clean and patch up after completion.
  • If you are going with an electric system, the operating costs can be high if you live in an area with high electricity rates, but the same can be said for electric baseboard heaters.

Interested in installing baseboard heating or radiant floor heating?
The experts at Spring Home have the system for you!

The experts at Spring Home have been servicing the Greater Toronto Area’s HVAC needs for over 15 years. Our award-winning team of licensed technicians is committed to providing our clients with dependable service and equipment they can rely on.

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