Best Electric Baseboard Heater Reviews and Guide for 2017
A baseboard heater is a type of electric resistant heater which is a low-cost and energy-efficient option for heating a home. Essentially, it consists of a heating element in a steel case. As this heater has no fans, it relies on convention to heat a room. It is primarily used when a stronger heat source for a particular area of the house is required. Clearly, a baseboard heater is not designed to take the place of a central heating system, it can only provide zone heating, or heat on demand, for any room wherein you need to provide a warmer and more comfortable environment.
So, it helps you gain control of the temperature of a particular area of your house/office without affecting the other parts. To select the perfect baseboard heater according to your requirements, I am going to provide a list of the best baseboards heaters in my opinion. Further down the list, I have also explained their basic types, features, and specifications that you must look at before making your purchase.
A baseboard heater can easily be installed in any part of the house by plugging it directly into a wall socket. It is an environment-friendly option as compared to heaters that use coal/gas. It is also a cheaper alternative to installing heat pumps and furnaces. As these heaters don’t produce much noise, they are ideal when you need to heat only one or two rooms in your home. These are ‘spot-heating’ devices that are self-contained that is no they don’t require ducting. Also, they are usually fitted with an electronic programmable thermostat that can be used to adjust the temperature and performance. They are mainly used as a secondary source of heat in places where additional heat is required or in places that have moderate climatic conditions, in which case, it is a better option to use these as compared to central heating systems.
Reviews of the Best Baseboard Heaters of 2016
Dimplex Baseboard Heater
Undoubtedly one of the most powerful baseboard heaters of the year, it has a very efficient and versatile design that can heat up a variety of room sizes.
It sports an in- unit thermostat, which is a rare feature and an RF transceiver, which enables whole-house heater syncing. The Dimplex is compatible with more wiring schemes than most other baseboard heaters. It not only comes with the necessary wiring for traditional 120 and 240-volt wiring, but it can also easily work with 208 and 347-volt wires for three-way systems if you want to hardwire heaters to the multiple thermostat controls. It offers an incredible level of efficiency because of its well-designed heating element and top vent. It comes with two types of warranties- one year warranty and a ten-year warranty, each covering different parts of the unit.
The Lasko Silent room heater is a very compact, lightweight heater that sports carry handles on each side, making it extremely portable.
This low-profile heater provides comfortable warmth and its sleek design does not clutter the room. Because of its natural convection heating system, warm air is evenly and silently distributed throughout the room. This one also sports a few inbuilt safety features such as a tip-over safety switch and tools that prevent overheating while providing up to 1500 watts of warmth. Additionally, it features a digital display with thermostat and timer. This model comes with a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty and is available in a variety of neutral colours that will easily blend with the décor of your room. I recommend this solid, sturdy, stylish heater for small rooms.
A brand with a clever twist of words (Fahrenheit = Fahrenheat), it is a well-known name in the market.
This quiet, energy-efficient heater works well in bedrooms, garages, basements as well as office workstations of about 150 square feet. It can work only at 120V power supply providing either 1000 or 1500Watts of heat depending on your settings. The model comes with built-in carry handles making it very portable and easy to transport. A built-in thermostat is also provided which helps regulate the temperature settings for optimal comfort. It comes with a 12 months manufacturer’s warranty for different parts which can easily be extended with a service protection plan accordingly.
Known for its durability, it is a mighty, power packed baseboard heater capable of providing up to 2000Watts of heat.
It works with a 240V power outlet which means that you can plug it even in a 120V supply but its heat output will be halved.( Be careful that the reverse will not work and can damage your appliances)Additionally, it can function at 208V giving 1500Watts of heat. Its most amazing feature is the lifetime limited warranty that comes with it covering all the critical components of the equipment. It is a good choice for those of you looking for a low-cost installation as it is a quiet heater that circulates warm air effectively in smaller rooms. This model lacks a thermostat so if you want to regulate heat, you’ll have to purchase one separately. It has a thermal cut-off safety device which prevents overheating and universal wiring which can be available at either end. Cadet is a renowned brand that exclusively manufactures zonal heating products making this a reliable option.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use, portable baseboard heater that comes within your budget, then you must have a look at this one.
It is very easy to install because it doesn’t have any complicated wiring and it can be moved from one room to another conveniently making it quite popular among young people in new constructions. Like most good heaters, it comes with an in-built thermostat that can be easily used to change temperature settings. In case the unit gets knocked over or it is overheated, it automatically shuts off using a tip-over switch making it a very safe option especially with children in the house. It works at 120V power and gives off 1000 Watts of heat. One year manufacturer’s warranty is provided with the product.
Types of Electric Baseboard Heaters
Now that you have seen some of best models in the market, let’s have a look at baseboard heaters in detail. When shopping, you’ll be presented with two categories of baseboard heaters as given below.
Also known as ‘convection heater’, this one contains an electric coil that heats up quite like the coils of the inside of a toaster. It has a thermostat hard-wired either on the heater itself or on the wall. If you are on a tight budget then this is the cheapest heater you can buy. It is also reliable as it uses minimal equipment, no fan, no oil, making it more durable. The only disadvantage of this heater is that its heat dissipates quickly and the temperature starts dropping as soon as it is switched off.
Also called ‘oil-filled heater’, its heating element warms water/ oil which in turn heats the air. The water or oil is properly sealed within the system and do not require recharging. The best thing about this heater is that the liquid will remain warm for a long time even after the thermostat goes off. These heaters can be thought of as steam or water boilers. These heaters are pricier as compared to their counterparts, sometimes costing four times more than the corresponding convention baseboard. But even though their initial cost is more, they prove to be energy-efficient in the long run.
Even though these two types of heaters work on different principles for heating, they have quite a few similarities. Both emanate a slow, gentle trickle of heat throughout the room, they are built on the same type of frame and they look exactly the same on the outside. Baseboard heaters are available in different qualities in the market. Cheaper models usually make a lot of noise and do not provide much scope for temperature regulation either. While choosing the perfect heater for your needs, you must look closely at the following details.
The first thing you need to consider is the area that needs to be heated up. The room size plays an important part in the type of unit you get. Some of the baseboard heaters aren’t designed to heat large and spacious rooms and only work well in smaller spaces. The size of the heater should also be in proportion to the room and it must not look out of the place. Be careful not to place your heater beneath a power outlet in order to avoid any potential safety hazards.
A heater that generates the maximum amount of warmth while taking the least amount of floor space is considered highly efficient. Floor space is an important factor as these heaters require all obstructions including heavy furniture and curtains to be removed from their immediate vicinity in order to avoid the risks of overheating, reduce electrical dangers and also to increase airflow efficiency. This is the main reason why they are usually placed beneath a window or mounted on a wall. The cool air coming from the window gets heated up and is then circulated in the room.
- Voltage Compatibility: Whereas smaller heaters require 120-volt wiring, larger, heavier and higher-output models need 240-volt power due to the high energy requirements of their heating element. Most modern homes that are newly built are wired, specifically for such high-energy devices, with 240-volt wires throughout the house. However, older homes usually haven’t been wired for 240-volt appliances and require a lot of additional electrical work such as bringing supply wires to the heaters, which can be troublesome. So you must check the voltage supply in your home before buying a heater. In our review, Dimplex is the only model that is compatible with both 120 and 240-volt wiring, making it a good choice.
- Warranty and Support: Some baseboard heaters come with a one-year warranty, some with ten while some such as the Cadet 8F2000W with a limited lifetime warranty. Ideally, the company should cover all repair/replacement costs within the given time period which includes transportation of the parts. But a limited warranty covers only certain specific damages and their costs. So carefully read the warranty manual before buying the product. If the warranty structure is not in accordance with your needs then it is a good idea to go for an additional coverage.
- Height of Ceiling: While the majority of people keep the size of the room in mind, what they forget is to account for the ceiling. If the ceiling of your room is very high, it might take a long time for the heater to heat the room, thereby reducing its efficiency. So you must buy a heater that can provide a large amount of heat quickly, without being overheated.
- Safety Features: Majority of the heaters is designed with a thermal cut-off feature that automatically switches off the unit in case of overheating or any other complication. It is also recommended not to set the temperature too high which can be sometimes risky. Also take particular care of proper airflow through the system without obstructing its flow in any way. If you have small children/pets in the vicinity then extra care should be taken and an enclosure can be used to cover the equipment.
- Programming and Styling: Last but not the least, look for specific features of a system that you prefer other others. For instance, some heaters such as Lasko 5624 include a ‘digital temperature’ feature which is displayed directly on the unit. Some heaters sport a ‘tip-over protection’ as a safety precaution while several others come in beautiful designs that can match with your room. While some baseboard heaters use simple plug-ins, others require special wiring in which case you might need an electrician’s assistance.
We have seen throughout this review that a variety of baseboard heaters are available in the market across a wide range of sizes, capacities, colours, heating efficiency, warranty and other specifications. They are a very portable, convenient, environment-friendly and energy-efficient source of additional heating. They can help you provide a warm, comfortable environment in specific areas of your home, making it more inviting. And the latest, sleek designs can easily blend with their surrounding without cluttering your room. Select the appropriate size of heater that would fit your room and look for an option that would be most suitable for your home. Lastly, don’t forget the points mentioned above and you are good to go!