Increase Your Comfort With Baseboard Heating and Other Easy Solutions

by Carmen Corbin on December 8, 2011

If you’re like many homeowners, you’re faced with the same problem every winter.  Some areas of your home are warm and toasty, while others feel like you’ve stepped inside your refrigerator.  We’d like to examine a few convenient ways to bring more heat to a cold room, so you can once again curl up with a good book in any room of the house – without getting frostbite.

Whether you’re trying to heat a garage, room addition or an attic, you might find a good option below to fix the problem.  But every house is different; heating contractors in your area can help determine the best solution for your home heating needs. 

Baseboard Heaters

Electric baseboard heaters can be used as either a primary or secondary source of heat.  They are normally installed down low near the baseboard on an exterior wall (hence, the name), often under a window.  They operate by convection – taking cold air in at the bottom of the unit (which is then heated as it passes through a set of aluminum fins), and circulating warm air out through the top of the unit back into the room.  Baseboard heating is inexpensive, easily installed and requires very little maintenance.   The website www.energysavers.gov recommends buying units with a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) labels for the best performance.

Tip:  To keep small children safe from accidental burns, use a specially made baseboard heater cover or even a fireplace screen.  To ensure proper air flow, do not block the unit with furniture.  Also, be sure to keep curtains well away from the heater.

Electric Wall Heaters

Small bathrooms can really benefit from an electric wall heater, since there often isn’t much floor space available for a baseboard heater.  Usually mounted between studs on an interior wall (to avoid condensation and insulation issues), wall heaters are also great for zoned heating in your home.  Air is heated by an electric element, and a reflector aids the built-in fan in getting heat into the room. 

Toe-Kick/Kick-Space Heaters

These heaters are ideal for small spaces, and fit easily under cabinets and stair landings.  They are controlled by a built-in thermostat, and are best used as supplemental heating.

Cove/Panel Heaters

Cove heaters (also known as panel heaters) operate by producing radiant heat.  The panel itself is heated, and then heat radiates into the room.  An advantage to this type of heater is that they can be mounted anywhere; units are often mounted near the ceiling so they won’t interfere with furniture placement.

For more ideas on effectively heating your home, call or visit your local heating service or home improvement contractor.

Sources:  www.energysavers.gov; www.homerepair.about.com.

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