Standard Baseboard Heaters vs. Radiant Infrared Baseboards

A recent question by a customer asked about the difference in his electric baseboard heaters as compared to radiant heating units.  The person informed me he has an all electric home with 220 watt electrical service.  I answered him as follows:

Thank you for your visit to the web site and for your question.

If your baseboard is convective heat the benefits of our heaters are:

1) First understand that among the most absorbent materials of radiant heat is human skin followed by all other objects; shiny metal objects are the least absorbing material…shiny objects actually reflect radiant heating away.

Radiant heat is superior heat to any type of heating system. All other systems heat ambient air first. Radiant heat heats people first, not the air. Radiant heat then heats all objects in the room which in turn releases the heat back into the ambient air which warms the room. The room air is heated last while people are heated first.

2) Convective heat is poorly directed and such units can get very very hot. Warmth is dependent upon the current of hot air rising that ultimately fills the room. This takes some time to effectively heat the air in the whole room which will then eventually heat the people in the room. The problem is convection is not efficient, takes time, and heats people last.

3) Hot air rises, but people tend to sit on furniture in the lower third of a room. Hot air at the top of a room doesn’t heat people and does not necessarily flow to the bottom of the room. The very nature of the rising of hot air over cold air dictates this issue. This creates a striation of temperature in the room, hot at the top and cool at the bottom.

If your baseboards are radiant heat all of the above plus what follows are benefits to you:

4) Our baseboards are radiant and are designed to perform superior to any other type of baseboard. They are designed with an element that directs radiant heating upward at a 30 degree angle and they follow the radiant heating principle noted in 1) above. However, baseboard heating at the floor has the following issues (hot air rises, lower wattage units, furniture can obstruct the flow of the heating, etc.)

5) Our ceiling cove units are optimal by delivering radiant heating from above directed downward at nearly twice the wattage power of baseboard.

6)The ceiling cove unit is mounted 7′ – 8′ above the floor, therefore, the effects of radiant heating as noted in 1) above are enhanced by the heat being directed from above down onto the room area. This has the effect of heating everything under it. The heat warms anyone who walks into the room or is present in the room (heats people first), it directs heat to all objects in the room which then releases the heat back into the room warming the air. All objects in the room become a heater for the room. If a door or window is opened allowing cooler air into the room the objects retain the heat and re-release it into the air making heating recovery faster.

7) With the room being heated from above there is little or no striation of hot and cold air in the room as occurs with convective or other air heating systems as noted in 3) above. By heating with radiant heat from above there is only about a 3 degree difference in temperature at the floor compared to the rest of the room.

8) When properly mounted above windows our Cove units act as a barrier to cold air infiltration through windows as the radiant heat is attracted to the cold air and the radiant heat is directed downward toward the room ahead of the window. This barrier to the cold improves the heating of the room and recovery of room heating following the opening of a door or window.

9) The recovery time of heat loss due to an open door or window allowing cold air into the room is far less than the recovery time of re-heating a room with a furnace or convective heat system as noted in 6) and 8).

10) Heating with our electric units allows for a decentralized method of heating which allows a consumer to lower or turn off heat in rooms not in use and to warm up the rooms they are in or use most often. This control reduces electric cost and is eco-friendly by reducing power or natural resource consumption.

11) By using 220 watt outlets the units operate at a lower ampage improving the units efficiency.

12) Our units are solid state, have no moving parts, have no combustion, require no maintenance, do not move air (no dust particles blowing around), heat immediately, get hard wired into the wall, operate on thermostats for your comfort and control, and they are Made in America.

Thanks again for the question,

Kevin Owens


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4 Responses to “Standard Baseboard Heaters vs. Radiant Infrared Baseboards”

  1. Angie Says:

    I’d like to ask the same question, but from the point of view of a gas fired, hydronic baseboard system. We are needing to add 1 – 2 zones to our existing system, in an area where water going through pipes has us scared. Total area for each zone is about 900 sq ft, on slab (unknown insulation value, the space is an addition built 30 years ago). Our coldest outdoor temps drop to -30. One zone is integrated with the interior of our home, the other is a greenhouse that can be kept cooler than interior (like 50-60 degrees) and can be isolated from the interior of the house at night/cold.

    • Kevin Owens Says:

      Water based systems have inherent risk due to the potential for leaks.

      Our baseboard and cove units are electric radiant infrared units that can be piggy backed to have multiple units in a room or zone, and can be zoned in sections of the house or in individual rooms.

      You have room by room, or zone by zone control at the thermostat to keep costs down by lowering temperatures in rooms you use least, or are not currently using such as a bedroom. IN a bedroom you can lower the thermostat in the day and raise it at night.

      Our units heat objects so you can expect the floor and furniture to feel warmer as well.

      Visit our site at and reach via through the contact page and email!


  2. Howard Says:

    I was undecided if I should by a CAdet electric base board heater (convection heater) or a infrared heater to warm a open space ( 750 sq ft space ) which one would heat better n quicker)

    • Kevin Owens Says:

      A convection heater only heats the air in the room. It does so from the floor and the heated air has to rise and slowly fill the whole space before you feel warm. Radiant heat is mounted up near the ceiling on the wall and it warms from the top down. But instead of heating the air, radiant heat heats objects first which in turn re-radiates into the room heating the air last. Human skin is the most absorbent of radiant heat, so it heats people first, then objects (including the floor, chairs, etc), then the room air. Kevin

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