There are two types of baseboard heaters. Both use the same principles and physical set up. But the similarities end there. Here's the run down on each and what you need to know for your hydronic and electric baseboard heater covers.
Electric Baseboard Heaters
Electric heaters use a resistor that converts electrical energy into heat energy which is transferred directly to a neat row of thin aluminum fins. This creates a large heated surface area for the passing cool air currents to encounter, which then heats the room by convection.
This process operates at relatively higher temperatures, making electric baseboard heaters potentially dangerous with risks for both burns and starting fires. Typical electric baseboard heater covers do little to sufficiently protect against these risks.
In all fairness to the manufacturers of electric baseboard heaters, these big open gaps are required. It's simple thermodynamics. Convection air current heating requires sufficient airflow around the heating element. That means there can only be minimal restrictions on the heater's enclosure so that the gentle air currents that move in a circular pattern around a room can easily encounter the heating element.
Hydronic Baseboard Heaters
Hydronic baseboard heaters work the same way electric heaters do except they use heated water instead of electricity to forward the energy load to the fins and then heat the air by convection.
Operating touch temperatures will rarely exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit - a hot, but still relatively safe temperature especially compared to electric heaters. They are hailed as the safest baseboard type heating.
Using Baseboarders® as Electric Baseboard Heater Covers
Although Baseboarders® are designed for use on hot water baseboards, we have customers that have successfully used them for electric baseboard heater covers. Be aware that if you attempt to do the same, there continue to be potential safety risks. Baseboarders® heater covers do not mitigate the risks associated with electric baseboard heaters.
Our designs do not have the wider openings of other covers, but the covers will still get as hot as your original covers. Exercise caution with all electric baseboard heater covers.
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