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Types of Home Heating Systems


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Hydronic (Hot Water Baseboard)
baseboard unit

Baseboard Unit Showing Heating Tube and Fins to Increase Surface Area

© Slant-Fin 2006

Hot Water Baseboard System
Similar to radiant heat, this system uses hot water heated by a boiler to heat a space by a combination of radiation and convection.


  • Hot water heated by boiler and piped to "fin-tube" baseboard units mounted along walls. The fins increase the surface area of heat dissipation making the unit more efficient.
  • Air is distributed by convection as air rises and is heated by the baseboard unit.

    Fuel Sources

  • Boiler may be fueled by natural gas, propane, oil or electricity


  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet
  • Close temperature control


  • Baseboard radiation / convection units must remain unobstructed and can provide challenges in furniture placement and drape design.
  • Slow temperature increase.
  • Air conditioning requires a separate ductwork distribution and cooling system.
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