What is that special thing that makes baseboard radiator heat a good option to pursue? The baseboards of your home are fantastic place to install a heating system because of one simple principle – heat rises. Through the use of a baseboard radiator heat system your entire home will be able to be warm, from the floor on up. Baseboard hot water heating systems are working great because the “radiators” that bring warmth into the room are installed very low, along the baseboard. Then the water is heated in a boiler tank, either by gas, oil or electricity in a system that is similar to, but separate from the water heater that supplies your plumbing system. These systems are clean because they are closed, so you do not have to worry about dusty air being blown through vents all over your house, and they are extremely quiet because of the way they work.
Lets see how do they work exactly, and why it may be a good option for your home. We have already established that water is heated, and this is what provides the heat to your home; but once the water is heated what happens? Well in general this is how it works: most baseboard heater units have an electric motor that pumps the water through the house through a series of pipe systems. When you install your system you want to make sure that the first radiator of the house is installed in the main room, or the room you would want heated the best because hot water enters the radiator first, so that radiator is normally the hottest of any. The heat flows from the surface of that radiator, and some of that heat is transferred, and heats the room. Thus you get a nice toasty room, but the water that comes out of the exit end of that radiator is cooled somewhat.
The water follows the series of pipes, flowing to the next radiator in the system where more heat is extracted from the water and released into the room. By nature of the system, the last room in the system receives the coolest water. Once it has run its course, the water goes back to the boiler where it is heated and re-circulated again. This is a closed system. All the water in the system remains in the system. The main water supply from the house is fed into the circulation system through a pressure regulator so that any lost water is replaced instantly.
This is a neat system for households where not everyone likes the same temperature. It is almost like having a different thermostat for each room of the house, but significantly less expensive. However, not all baseboard heaters have the problem of the water cooling significantly from the first radiator to the last. You can buy a system that has a flow control valve on each of the radiators which is adjusted so that a smaller amount of water flows through the first radiator, and so that the excess flow is diverted around and on to the next radiator in the system.
But the question is, if the room is heated through water, how can you control the heat that you want? Wouldn’t that mean you are at the mercy of how hot the water is? Normally the boiler temperature is controlled internally so that heat is available instantly when it is called for by the room thermostat. Basically, when you flip on your thermostat, a signal is sent to the circulation pump which turns on and begins circulating hot water through the house. You can set the temperature, when you want them to work and how long do you want them all. You got all the freedom, all the time.