Home Buying in New Jersey>Question Details

Airahcaz, Home Owner in Glen Rock, NJ

Baseboard heating

Asked by Airahcaz, Glen Rock, NJ Tue Oct 18, 2011

I'm really perplexed when I see houses built in the last 10 years and actually new construction that have baseboard heating. Really? Baseboard heating is coming back? Yes forced air is dry, but there are built-in humidifers etc, and baseboard is hideous.

Interested in your thoughts.

Help the community by answering this question:


Thanks, Jeanne; right back at ya!

I had a client who installed a really nice convection unit on her walls, it was a little spendy but worked great.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
But Mack tell me you are "in" if we launch a great baseboard advantages without any downside initiative - we could use the west coast idea execution expertise. I am generally not short on ideas, its that darn execution piece...

Good to hear from you my friend!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
Airahcaz - you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but you asked about bb heat, and now you know - it is considered superior as far as heating goes. The reasons have been listed.

But................Since you dislike it so much - don't buy a house with that kind of heat!!
As far as it being "ugly" , furniture placement generally hides most of it.

( btw - I raised my son in a home with bb heat, as did many of my friends, and it never was a problem...many people also have homes with steam radiators - children seem to be ok living in those homes, too)

By the way - did you ever decide on a specific community?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
I thought these to be genius..until I had Grandchildren..those gaps in them are dangerous for small hands and feet, they need to close up the gaps somehow and still afford the heat to escape. This and glass shower doors are just stupid.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
I've never actually lived in a house with baseboard heating. Does it have advantages over regular forced heat? It seems like a lot of HVAC specialists don't really focus on baseboard heat. None of my Markham heating consultants have ever mentioned it to me, and I've lived in several houses and apartments that have needed heating help. http://www.summersandsmith.ca
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 25, 2012
I have baseboard heating in my home. I love it! I don't have to dust as often (air isn't being forced through the home), it's a moist heat (which helps with sinuses) and it's an even heat (the second floor feels as warm as the first floor). The heating element isn't the best looking but the majority of it is hidden behind furniture.

I love our central air also. The second floor stays as cool as the first floor. It can cost more as there isn't any ductwork in the home from the furnace. In talking to different people who have looked at the cost for central air, the prices seem to be coming down.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
There are more attractive solutions than baseboard, and I think it's useful to recognize that there are completely good reasons why people prefer localized heat other than price.

We could have this same sort of argument over garages - how many people leave their $25,000 car on the street and fill their garage with junk?

I'm not going to go marching in the streets with you over this, Airahcaz. I think baseboard is fine, and it's also fine to pass it up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
Good idea! Now take that good idea and execute, that's what separates the Steve Jobs from those of us that just have jobs.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
There are indeed pros and cons, and the major con is cosmetic - seems we can pool our resources and like Steve Jobs, make these things more cosmetically appealing, opportunity!?!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
Hi there, I live in a fairly new neighborhood and several of the homeowners opted for hotwater baseboard over forced hot air at considerable expense - the reason, because members of their family have allergies and hot water baseboard results in less dust. I'm sure most of us can confirm that the layers of dust from the forced hot air can build up.

So yes, baseboards are unsightly to some, but when I am showing homes - and I don't run in to it too often with newer ones, but sometimes - I point out this positive to the buyers that question it.

Good luck to you on your search and purchase,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 26, 2011
Having recently moved out of my 1960's Shultz-designed California ranch to a brand new construction Pond & Spitz home, I really have to say "I miss my baseboard heat." My wife and I enjoyed the consistent, even heat. In our new home, we know when the heat comes on and we know when it goes off (lol). Don't get me wrong, we love our new construction and we agree many baseboard installations can be unattractive, but if you enjoy the performance/efficiency benefits, there are creative ways to conceal a baseboard system. Take a look at some Frank Lloyd Wright designs and see if that "sparks" any inspiration. I know I will be doing that before we build our next home. We will be looking at radiant as well. Tom
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
Bob, it's very simple................... most builders do not put in bb heat (plus separate ac ductwork) in their new construction because...... personal preferences aside....... it is MORE expensive, which has been said here several times already........it is cheaper to build a home with forced hot air heat using shared ductwork for the heat and ac.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011

indeed, there are a few, I will try to find them for you. btw, that is exactly what the wife said, if we are interested in buying such a house, how much do we have to spend to remove the bb!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
I have heard this time and time again while looking at homes. Many really do not like it as it is very tough to then put central air conditioning in. I have heard many inspectors, heating and cooling pro's, etc all say that it is a very good system. I have yet to see in our area where they are putting these in new construction, that would be interesting to see
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
One cannot place furniture to cover every extension of baseboard heating.

I too grew up in a house with radiators, that was not the point - and I assume radiators have matured to baseboards it seems.

I was just curious why some new construction houses have baseboard, and yes, will stay away from those.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
It is downright ugly and reminds me of the 80's, maybe 70's. They need to make them more aesthetic, and it is not good for folks with little children.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
Debbie and Brian are correct. Baseboard heat is more even with less fluctuations in temperature and less dry than forced air. Additionally, new high efficient forced air systems blow air at temperatures below 98 degrees at the beginning and end of their cycles (some as cool as 80). While that is warmer than the house air, it feels like a cool draft and may be uncomfortable depending on your proximity to the vent.

Feel free to contact me for more information. I don't make money for referrals, just my inspections.

Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections
NJ Home Inspector Lic. #076900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
Brian is correct - Forced hot air is cheaper for bulders to install as it uses the same ductwork for the AC.
That's not the case with bb heat.

Baseboard (hotwater baseboard) is considered a higher level of heating , more expensive than forced hot air.............and it is healthier as it's not so drying (humidifiers can also spread mold spores/bacteria)........With baseboard heat, the AC vents are usually overhead - a more efficient method of cooling a house, as cold air drops and heat rises............there is the need to install separate ductwork for the AC when baseboard heat is used....creating a higher expense for the builder and ultimately the buyer...hence, forced hot air is the less expensive and less efficient way to go.

Furniture placement is not an issue with baseboard heat - just have to leave a couple of inches between the baseboard and the furniture........but you'd have to do that with any heat vent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
Baseboard heating is NOT cheaper. It costs more than forced hot air systems. Forced hot air systems use the same duct work that delivers your air conditioning therefore the forced hot air would be a reduction in construction costs. Baseboard heating is the most superior heat available. The cons are that it takes up space and they aren't as instantaneous as forced hot air (big blow dryers). They are however more comfortable and more efficient.

Forced hot air units with humidifiers greatly shorten the life of the heating unit. Ever wonder why there is rust on your heating unit? Because you are feeding moisture through the system!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 20, 2011
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer