Are you weighing your options on a new heating system? For older homes without ducts, baseboard heaters have been a traditional choice. Newer ductless heat pump systems provide advanced heating and cooling technology for these homes. Since up to half the energy used by your home goes to heating and cooling, your choice can have a significant impact on your monthly energy costs and your carbon footprint. Which is best for your home?
Baseboard heaters are typically electric, though some work with boilers used in radiant heat floor systems. Each room has its own thermostat, which allows you to operate the heaters. In order to work properly, baseboard heaters require careful installation. Each unit must be placed by a window and fit perfectly to prevent heat loss between the heater and the wall. This is to take advantage of natural convection, in which rising warm air from the heater counteracts cooler air falling from the window.
Heating and cooling professionals know there are cons to these heaters, however. Electric baseboard heaters are noisy in use. They require added insulation to prevent heat loss and operate using line voltage thermostats, which provide inconsistent operation over time. When left unused over warmer seasons, dust accumulation can cause a burning smell when the heaters are put back into use in cooler fall and winter months. They also produce a very dry heat, which can cause red, itchy eyes, sore throat, and nose bleeds in sensitive individuals.
While electric baseboard heaters offer a reliable, cost-effective heating option, the Department of Energy (DOE) recommends heat pump style systems, such as Mitsubishi ductless systems, as a more efficient way of heating your home. These systems collect heat from the air outside your home, repurposing it for indoor use, allowing them to provide up to three times more heat than the energy they consume for operation. Based on DOE calculations, heat pump systems reduce electricity use by 30-50% compared to baseboard heaters.
Ductless heat pumps offer all the benefits of electric baseboard heaters – and many more. Like baseboard heaters, they also don’t require indoor space for invasive ductwork and air handling equipment and operate using individualized thermostats in each room. However, they don’t require proximity to a window for proper function. Ductless heat pump systems offer precise temperature control. Small and sleek, they don’t detract from your home décor. They provide more comfortable heating, with less of the dryness and irritation caused by electric baseboard produced heat, so that you can breathe easier. Ductless units don’t produce any unwanted odors and are whisper quiet when in use.
Heat your home with confidence. Find the perfect heating system for your family and your budget. Learn more about the latest in energy-efficient, flexible home heating technology from the pros at H & H Heating & Cooling today.