Battle of the Heaters: Baseboard VS. Central – Which One Wins in the Pros and Cons Showdown?

March 7, 2023
Baseboard Heating in Roseville, MI

A functioning HVAC system is crucial to keeping Detroit homes comfortably warm during the winter and cool during the summer. While traditional HVAC systems can be found in most homes, some homeowners are turning to the newer technology of baseboard heating to keep things warm during the winter. Both traditional HVAC systems and baseboard heating have pros and cons that homeowners should consider.

What Is Baseboard Heating?

Before outlining the pros and cons of baseboard heating, it is good to define what baseboard heating actually is. Baseboard heating is zone heating. Each room has an individual heating control. With baseboard heating, there is no boiler unit, furnace, vents, heating ducts, or blowers for distributing heat. Instead, each room has a heating element that generates heat and releases it in the room.

Baseboard heaters use passive convection. With this principle, cold air sinks to the floor and then gets pulled in through the vents of the baseboard heater. The cold air is heated via metal fins and returned to the room. Baseboard heating can heat the entire room because of the principle of heat rising. In some units, a fan is included to blow the heated air out into the room.

What Are the Benefits of Baseboard Heating?

Baseboard heating is an excellent option for homes that do not have the ductwork for central heating. These homes may already have a mini split AC to complement the baseboard heating.

Baseboard heating runs very quietly. In fact, you may not even notice when it activates. Additionally, you have the control of adjusting the temperature room by room. Parents may want to heat their rooms a little warmer, but their children may want to cool them. The ability to control the temperature in each room makes this possible. Since you can control the temperature in each room individually, when a room is vacant in the house, you can turn off the baseboard heater in that room, which can save electricity.

Installing baseboard heating is very easy. You do not need to install extensive ductwork or do extensive remodeling. This can make baseboard heating a less expensive alternative to traditional central heating.

Some homeowners in Michigan with a central heating system may also install baseboard heating as a backup heating system. It can allow a person to keep their home warm without relying stress on their central heating system if it were to stop working for some reason.

The Downsides of Baseboard Heating

Baseboard heating lacks the energy efficiency of a traditional HVAC system. In fact, central heating and air conditioning may use up to 50% less electricity than baseboard heating.

Baseboard heating can impact the interior design of your home. You must ensure that drapes and furniture are kept away from the heaters. Since baseboard heaters are set along the exterior walls and under windows, they limit where you can put furniture.

Baseboard heaters get hot, so blocking or covering these units can be difficult. Little children and pets could inadvertently touch the heaters and get burned.

The heat created by these heaters is dry. This can affect some people’s health and might require the installation of a humidifier to compensate for the dry heat. In addition to the price of the additional apparatus, you also have an increased energy bill.

What Is Central Heating?

Most Michigan residents rely on central heating systems to regulate the temperature in their homes, providing warmth and coolness while being energy-efficient. These systems can be powered by either electricity or gas and involve various components, such as the central heating boiler, thermostat, condenser coil, furnace coil, heat exchanger, air conditioning unit, and ductwork. The intricacy of this system can be quite impressive. Like baseboard heating, central heating has its pros and cons.

Pros of Central Heating

Central heating systems offer several benefits for Michigan homes. First, they provide cooling and heating capabilities in one unit, making them incredibly convenient for year-round temperature regulation. Central heating systems also have a long lifespan when properly installed and maintained.

The increased comfort level in your home comes with reduced energy bills, thanks to the advanced energy efficiency of modern central heating systems. With centralized control, the temperature remains consistent throughout the entire home, making it easy to regulate in homes of all sizes in a reliable manner.

Safety features like thermostat controls and automatic and emergency shutoffs are also included in these systems. Finally, setting the central heating system on a timer ensures energy efficiency by warming the house when needed and allowing the system to rest when unused.

Cons of Central Heating

Central heating systems are more complex than baseboard heating. They require annual maintenance and the occasional repair to function correctly.

With central heating, the heat is produced in the furnace and distributed throughout the home through a series of ductwork and vents. The entire house is heated evenly. This means that you cannot control the temperature in different rooms. Because the system uses a series of ductwork and vents and has a central furnace unit, the installation process is more intrusive and can be more expensive.

One of the biggest downfalls of central heating systems is that they could be more energy efficient. The heat must travel through a series of ductwork and vents before reaching its destination. Through this process, some of the heat can escape before reaching the intended room, and the heating system works harder to heat the whole room to the desired temperature.

When the ductwork is not clean, it can collect dust and mold spores and spread particles through the house. Additionally, pushing air through ducts can produce some noise, unlike the silent running of baseboard heating.

Which Option Is Best?

The answer will depend on the size of your home and what you expect from a heating system. In recent years, baseboard heating systems have made several technological advances. They work perfectly for smaller homes that do not have a central AC system.

Central heating offers comfort, convenience, and flexibility. It heats the entire house evenly and is flexible, allowing you to choose from various heat sources and heat distribution combinations. Are you trying to decide what heating system is right for your home? Talk to the professionals at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, and let our team of skilled professionals help you evaluate the heating options that are right for you.

Enjoy the Complete Lineup of Comfort Services Offered by Detroit HVAC Professionals

If you own a home or business in the metro Detroit area, you can count on us at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning to help you with your HVAC installation and repairs. We are proud to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and be highly rated on Angie’s List. Our team of experienced technicians can help you find the perfect Energy Star equipment for your needs.

Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We offer duct cleaning, install electric furnaces, provide indoor air quality testing and mini split units, and offer maintenance plans. Contact C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today and enjoy the benefits of working with an experienced heating and cooling team.

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