Electric Radiators vs Central Heating
What’s the Difference?
Central heating systems are the norm for most residential buildings in North America and come in a variety of different heat exchange technologies. Depending on what the climate is in the geographical area, forced air systems are the most popular because they offer the ability to offer both heating and cooling (air conditioning). On the bad side, forced air systems rely on the most inefficient and inaccurate method of transferring heat, by using air. Essentially heat is generated by a furnace or heat pump. This heat is then transferred into the air and forced through a series of duct work by means of a blower (fan).
For heating purposes only, and popular in climates where average winter temperature is close to the freezing mark, hydronic systems are more efficient if well designed, and can be one of the most comfortable systems. By transferring heat by means of water (hot water through piping ) hydronic systems are much more efficient than forced air systems when it comes to moving the heat from point A to point B, in this case, from a boiler to the baseboard or fan coil in the room.
Complexity vs. Control – In both cases, (forced air / hydronic), the degree of control of the system is a matter of increasing complexity (and thus cost). In the case of forced air, the system must be very well designed and balanced in order to assure that each room receives the right amount of “hot air” to reach an acceptable comfort level. In the case of hydronic systems, it is again a matter of a very well designed and balanced piping system, and a complex matrix valve control.
Fly by Wire – Heat by Wire
Although electric heat can cost a bit more to operate over the heating season than a central system it has many effective and compelling benefits:
Installation cost and simplicity. Electric heat costs much less to install and is very simple and effective to control. Instead of running complex and bulky ducting through out the building, or complex piping systems, electric heat requires only wiring, and only one tradesman (electrician) to install versus central systems requiring at least 4 different trades.
Full control of each space – Electric systems allow you to control your heating comfort much more precisely and efficiently. Essentially each room can easily have its own control. Not only does this provide precise comfort for the occupants (some like it hot, some like it cold), when the room is not occupied, the heat can be turned off (or way down) for operating efficiency. All of this control can be very easily and accurately operated from anywhere on the planet that has a Wi-Fi connection by incorporating a Smart Line Voltage Thermostat.
Indoor Air Quality and your health: Electric heat operates by means of convection (natural air flow/heat rises) or better yet, radiant heat transfer. (no air flow) In the case of forced air central systems, air is being pushed around the building through oftentimes very dirty duct work packed with dust mites/allergens and particulate, even after the filter.
Versatility – Your best option for improvement projects, additions, vacation homes, basement remodels or places in your home where the current system just can not keep you comfortable. Electric heat requires only an electric source vs adding duct work to a system not designed for the new room, or complex piping systems and perhaps upgraded (boiler /furnace)
Clean safe energy – Electric Heat is clean-green energy relying on NO combustion. This means no exhaust stacks, no carbon monoxide, no flammable gas or oil lines and very low carbon generation in the environment.