Baseboard heater


The name of this type of heater comes from the sim­i­lar­i­ty of the place of its instal­la­tion with the loca­tion of the plinth — an ele­ment of the dec­o­ra­tion of the room, mount­ed around the perime­ter of the junc­tion of the floor with the walls. Base­board heaters are devices patent­ed at the begin­ning of the last cen­tu­ry, but the improve­ment of their design in accor­dance with mod­ern require­ments has begun recent­ly, which has led to an increase in the pop­u­lar­i­ty of warm base­boards, due to many advan­tages.

In order to bet­ter nav­i­gate the exist­ing types of heaters when choos­ing a method of heat­ing hous­ing, we will con­sid­er this device in more detail.

Operating principle

A base­board heat­ing device is a sys­tem for heat­ing a home, installed above the junc­tion of the floor with the walls at a low height. In addi­tion to the way the heater is locat­ed in the room, it may also have an exter­nal resem­blance to a con­ven­tion­al skirt­ing board, since the exter­nal design of skirt­ing heaters is dif­fer­ent.

But, even if the artis­tic solu­tion for the design of the device is far from what a real plinth looks like, it is quite an appro­pri­ate solu­tion to hide floor-to-wall inter­face defects with it.

The plinth heater is a lengthy heater of small cross-sec­tion — an infrared heat emit­ter placed in a dec­o­ra­tive pro­tec­tive cas­ing. The sys­tem is attached to the walls with brack­ets and is locat­ed at the floor lev­el or slight­ly high­er, being the main or addi­tion­al means of heat­ing the home — depend­ing on the height of the room, the length of the device and its pow­er.

The plinth heater heats the room due to two fac­tors — the infrared radi­a­tion of the heat exchang­er and the con­vec­tive move­ment of the air heat­ed by the device, which cre­ates a screen, a screen between the walls and the main space of the room. This warm screen, unlike the heat of con­vec­tor radi­a­tors, heats the walls around the entire perime­ter of the room, and they also begin to radi­ate heat towards the cen­ter of the room.

Varieties of baseboard heaters

Skirt­ing heaters are clas­si­fied accord­ing to the method of heat­ing and are divid­ed into the fol­low­ing types:

  • water;
  • elec­tri­cal.

In water units through the heat­ing sys­tem, trans­fer­ring heat to the sur­round­ing air, the coolant cir­cu­lates — hot water, in pure form or with addi­tives against freez­ing (at objects with peri­od­ic res­i­dence of res­i­dents).

In elec­tri­cal devices the heat­ing of the heat exchang­er is car­ried out by heat­ing ele­ments (ther­mal elec­tric heaters), which con­vert elec­tric cur­rent into ther­mal ener­gy when it pass­es through a spi­ral of a mate­r­i­al with high resis­tiv­i­ty.

Plinth type heaters

Both types of warm skirt­ing boards trans­fer heat to the sur­round­ing air through heat exchang­ers — two of their cop­per pipes, to which, due to the small area of ​​u200bu200btheir side sur­face, trans­verse ribs with a small spac­ing are added. In cop­per pipes, depend­ing on the type of warm plinth, heat­ing ele­ments are placed or hot water cir­cu­lates. Out­side, the design of the heater is placed in a met­al case with a sys­tem of slots for nat­ur­al air cir­cu­la­tion.

Sec­tion and schemat­ic arrange­ment of water and elec­tric warm skirt­ing boards

The base­board water heater trans­fers the heat received with hot water from the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem or an autonomous boil­er. Water that has cooled down after heat trans­fer when pass­ing through a warm plinth is returned to the cen­tral or autonomous heat­ing cir­cuit for heat­ing. Thus, a warm water plinth is an addi­tion­al con­sumer of heat car­ri­er ener­gy.

If the unit is elec­tric, then in its low­er cop­per tube there is a sys­tem of heat­ing ele­ments, con­nect­ed in par­al­lel with each oth­er by a heat-resis­tant sil­i­cone cable, brought out togeth­er with a ground wire through the upper tube.

Depend­ing on the length, heat­ing ele­ments are pro­duced with the fol­low­ing pow­er:

  • 0.7 m — 140 W;
  • 1.0 m — 200 W;
  • 1.5 m — 300 W;
  • 2.5 m — 500 W.

The advan­tage of an elec­tric warm skirt­ing board over a water one is that it is equipped with a ther­mo­stat that pro­vides eco­nom­i­cal heat­ing in a man­u­al­ly set mode.

Mod­els of skirt­ing elec­tric heaters are also pro­duced using in the design instead of heat­ing ele­ments a high-tem­per­a­ture heat­ing cable, the oper­at­ing sur­face tem­per­a­ture of which reach­es 240 degrees. Cel­sius.

Installation and operation rules

Depend­ing on the qual­i­ty in which the sys­tem of warm skirt­ing boards will be used — the main or addi­tion­al means of heat­ing, it is mount­ed around the perime­ter of the room or in sep­a­rate sec­tions. Design of skirt­ing heaters — indi­vid­ual mod­ules, includ­ing cor­ner ones, allow you to assem­ble and install a warm skirt­ing board of the required length, depend­ing on the heat­ing sta­tus, the pow­er of the mod­ules, the dimen­sions of the room and the degree of exter­nal ther­mal insu­la­tion of the build­ing.

Installation of an electric baseboard heater

The instal­la­tion of an elec­tric warm base­board begins with mark­ing the walls.

Impor­tant! The heat­ing sys­tem is locat­ed at least 1 cm above the floor sur­face, but not more than 20 cm from the lev­el of the floor cov­er­ing.

A self-adhe­sive heat-insu­lat­ing tape is attached to the wall along the perime­ter of the room or on areas sep­a­rate­ly select­ed for installing a warm plinth to reduce heat loss.

On it, 1 cm above the floor sur­face, using a bub­ble lev­el, a hor­i­zon­tal line is applied — the low­er bound­ary of the loca­tion of the heater. Then a plate is applied to it — the back wall of a warm plinth and the places for drilling holes for attach­ing the plates are marked.

Holes are drilled in the wall accord­ing to the mark­ing and plas­tic hol­lows are insert­ed there, after which the plates are fixed with screws, assem­bling into a strip of the required length.

Brack­ets are attached to the mount­ed plates — hold­ers for installing pipes, after which, using flu­o­ro­plas­tic inserts, pipes with heat­ing ele­ments are installed in them, assem­bling the mod­ules into a sin­gle cir­cuit.

For the base­board heat­ing sys­tem to work, it is nec­es­sary to arrange a sep­a­rate elec­tric­i­ty line to which it will be con­nect­ed. Since the pow­er of the heat­ing ele­ments built into the elec­tric plinth varies from 140 to 500 W, you should not load the con­nec­tion line with more than 15 mod­ules.

The heat­ing sys­tem of a warm base­board also includes ther­mo­stat — an elec­tron­ic or electro­mechan­i­cal device for main­tain­ing the set tem­per­a­ture in the room (mount­ed in a warm plinth when using one mod­ule or installed sep­a­rate­ly when oper­at­ing a sys­tem of sev­er­al ele­ments) with a built-in tem­per­a­ture sen­sor that mon­i­tors the tem­per­a­ture and sends data to the ther­mo­stat.

This ele­ment is installed after the instal­la­tion of the skirt­ing board is com­plet­ed, choos­ing a place acces­si­ble to visu­al review, with an objec­tive val­ue of the air tem­per­a­ture in the room — not behind stand­ing fur­ni­ture.

The last oper­a­tion is the instal­la­tion of the front cov­ers of the heaters — they are applied in place, put on top of the brack­et and fixed with light pres­sure until they click. Then, holes are drilled in the lin­ings at the loca­tions of the brack­et, and the front cov­er is fas­tened with a screw into the tech­no­log­i­cal slot. The head of the screw is dec­o­rat­ed with a dec­o­ra­tive over­lay.

Impor­tant! Front lin­ings of warm skirt­ing boards should have a shield­ed coat­ing on the inside to reduce heat loss.

Installation of a warm water baseboard

Installing a base­board water heater has a lot in com­mon with installing an elec­tri­cal device. The mark­ing and instal­la­tion of the rear pan­el is car­ried out accord­ing to the same tech­nol­o­gy — using a self-adhe­sive heat-insu­lat­ing tape, after which pipe brack­ets are attached to the fixed plates.

Impor­tant! For effi­cient oper­a­tion, the length of one con­tour of a warm water skirt­ing board should not exceed 15 m.

The installed mod­ules are assem­bled into one cir­cuit using spe­cial thread­ed con­nec­tions with rub­ber gas­kets.

If the mod­ule needs to be short­ened at the point of con­nec­tion to the exist­ing water heat­ing sys­tem, then the design of the thread­ed con­nec­tion pro­vides for this oper­a­tion — the ele­ment is cut to the desired size, then 2–3 ribs (lamel­las) are removed from the tubes, and con­nect­ing nuts, flare cones and rub­ber gas­kets.

When con­nect­ing a warm water plinth to the heat­ing sys­tem, the nuts are bait­ed man­u­al­ly, then tight­ened with keys, after which the mod­ule is installed in the groove of the brack­et, and the thread­ed con­nec­tion is final­ly clamped.

After the instal­la­tion is com­plet­ed, the tight­ness and oper­abil­i­ty of the sys­tem are checked — water is sup­plied, smooth­ly open­ing the valve to avoid water ham­mer. In places where leaks are detect­ed, tight­en the nuts or replace the gas­ket.

After elim­i­nat­ing the assem­bly defects, the front lin­ings of the warm plinth are installed.

Impor­tant! Unau­tho­rized con­nec­tion of a base­board water heater to the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem of an apart­ment build­ing, which is not designed for addi­tion­al heat car­ri­er con­sumers, is pro­hib­it­ed.

Advantages and disadvantages

Like every heat­ing sys­tem, a base­board heater has pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics, both com­mon to both types and inher­ent to each type indi­vid­u­al­ly.

General advantages of a warm skirting board

  • Com­pact­ness.
  • Pos­si­bil­i­ty of self-instal­la­tion.
  • Safe­ty (absence of short-wave radi­a­tion, safe tem­per­a­ture of the out­er cas­ing, envi­ron­men­tal friend­li­ness).
  • Func­tion­al­i­ty (heat­ing, dry­ing walls).
  • Aes­thet­ics.
  • Dura­bil­i­ty.

Disadvantages of a baseboard heater

Com­mon dis­ad­van­tages for water and elec­tri­cal devices are:

  • high cost of mod­ules (depend­ing on the qual­i­ty of work­man­ship and the man­u­fac­tur­er, the cost of one run­ning meter of a warm base­board varies from 5 0 to 70$, which can­not be called a demo­c­ra­t­ic price);
  • the inabil­i­ty to use as the main heat­ing in large areas;
  • slow­ly achiev­ing the effect of warm­ing up the room.

In addi­tion, the need to coor­di­nate the con­nec­tion of a water device to the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem calls into ques­tion the very fact of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of its use.

An eco­nom­i­cal elec­tric plinth heater can be called very con­di­tion­al­ly, since the con­sump­tion of elec­tric­i­ty for this method of heat­ing medi­um-sized (20 square meters) and large areas increas­es sig­nif­i­cant­ly.


For those who want to pur­chase ener­gy-sav­ing heat­ing devices for their home, skirt­ing board units can­not become the main object of atten­tion. But when choos­ing an alter­na­tive method of heat­ing a home, a plinth-type heater, despite the rather high cost, can be used as a com­pro­mise option — for heat­ing small rooms, espe­cial­ly chil­dren’s rooms, in the off-sea­son, when the main devices are not yet involved, and dai­ly tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions are already sig­nif­i­cant. Dur­ing such peri­ods, this sys­tem, espe­cial­ly the elec­tric ver­sion, is guar­an­teed to main­tain a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture in the room with­out sig­nif­i­cant costs.


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