A worker cutting tubing for during a radiant floor heating installation, a baseboard heating alternative

If your home has old baseboard heating, you might feel that it’s time to replace it with something more efficient. A more energy-efficient system can help you enjoy greater comfort and see a pleasing decrease in your energy bills. 

However, you may wonder what replacement options should you go for.

There are several great baseboard heating replacement choices available for old baseboard heating. This article will go through seven options to help you make the right choice. 

So let’s get to it!

Good options for replacing old baseboard heating include solar heaters, high-efficiency furnaces, and heat pumps. Ductless heat pumps and wood heating are also excellent options and perform better than old baseboard heating.

Ducted Heat Pumps (Regular Air Conditioning)

Heating and cooling with heat pumps isn’t a new thing. A report by the government of Canada shows that this form of HVAC is the go-to option for most Canadians.

a man installs HVAC heat pump ducts inside a wood stud wall in a house

Heat pumps are electrically powered. They extract heat from areas with low temperatures and then deliver the same warmth to places with higher temperatures.

A heat pump can be an excellent replacement for your old baseboard heating system. It uses the same technology as your refrigerator to move heat from one place to another, so it’s very efficient. Heat pumps are also very versatile. You can also use them to cool your home.

Overall, heat pumps are reliable and provide a year-round heat supply.

In addition, you’ll enjoy the following:

  • High efficiency
  • Low energy bills
  • Environmental friendliness

Ductless Heat Pumps

Ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-splits, are one of the most popular contemporary home heating options.

Their popularity can be attributed to not needing a network of ducts to operate. This feature means they are more energy-efficient and more straightforward to install than baseboard heating and regular heat pumps. 

A homeowner laying on his living room couch uses a remote to adjust the setting of the mini-split air handler on the wall above

This heating method offers several additional advantages and is well worth your consideration. Since they are ductless, these heat pumps aren’t prone to leaks. Plus, they are less expensive to maintain. 

Here are several of the ductless heat pumps you can choose from:

  • Mini-split heat pumps
  • Wall-mounted multi-split heat pumps
  • Window heat pumps
  • Through-the-wall heat pumps
  • Portable heat pumps

Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy optimum convenience, control, and comfort.

High-Efficiency Furnace

Heating furnaces use less energy than traditional heating systems. As a result, they are a great choice if you’re upgrading from conventional baseboard heating.

two home grey furnaces stacked on top of each other with silver ducting running in and out of them

High-efficiency furnaces use technology that enhances comfort and promotes quieter operation. For an appliance to be energy-efficient, it should have a good AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. 

For example, a furnace with a high rating means that it loses less energy to processes such as combustion. The most efficient furnaces and boilers have AFUE ratings of about 95%. With a high-efficiency furnace, you can enjoy the comfort of up to 98.5% AFUE.

Additionally, high-efficiency furnaces emit fewer greenhouse gasses. This characteristic makes them a more sustainable heating option. Plus, they’re relatively easy to install, so you can even do it yourself if you’re handy.

Wood Heating

Wood heating is the baseboard heating replacement for you if you love to do things the conventional way. These systems are popular in many parts of the world because they are an efficient and renewable heat source.

Wood pellet's and a log transposed on a table in front of a non-electric pellet stove in the background

Wood heating uses wood as the primary fuel source. If you opt for this method, you can use a fireplace or a wood-burning stove to heat your home. The stove or fireplace is connected to a ductwork system that circulates the warm air throughout the house.

While the most common types of wood heating systems are stoves and fireplaces, you may also explore other options, such as:

  • Pellet stoves
  • Wood-burning furnaces
  • Outdoor wood boilers

Wood heating systems can be used with other heating sources or as the sole heat source. They are a cost-effective way to heat a home. Plus, it can also provide a unique sense of warmth and ambiance.

Solar Heating

Solar heating harnesses energy from the sun to heat your home. The heat is then stored for later use. This method is an excellent alternative to baseboard heating if you’re looking for an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to generate heat during winter.

A solar water heater, a baseboard heating alternative, installed on a roof reflects the clouds and blue sky above

You can use solar energy in a variety of ways. The list is endless, from powering your home and businesses to providing energy for heat.

Solar heating supplements existing heating systems. They can also serve as primary heating sources if it’s not too cold outside. Whichever the case, this form of heating will help you reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll also save money on your energy bills.

Radiant Heating

Radiant floor heating is a system that emits heat from under the floors. It’s a popular replacement for old baseboard heating because it distributes the heat evenly throughout your living space. 

Radiant heating is a good choice for rooms that are not used all the time, such as bathrooms. The heat is not constantly on in these rooms and can be turned off when not in use.

Here are the varying radiant heating system options available:

Hydronic (Water-Based) Radiant Heat

Hydronic radiant heating systems are the most popular type. They use water to transfer heat. This makes them more efficient than electric radiant heating systems. However, they can be more expensive to install and maintain.

The pipes and valves of a hydronic radiant floor heating system are shown on the wall attached to the exposed lines spanning the floor

Electric Radiant Heating

Electric radiant heating systems are less popular. However, they have some advantages over hydronic systems. 

For instance:

  • They are easier to install and maintain.
  • They are less expensive to operate.

However, electric heating is less efficient than hydronic systems.

Infrared Radiant Heating

Infrared radiant heating systems are the least popular type of radiant heating system. However, they are still used in some situations. Infrared radiant heating uses infrared waves to transfer heat, making them the most efficient type of system. 

A homeowner's hands at a safe distance from an IR heater, a good baseboard heating aternative

In addition:

  • Homeowners can use them to heat large areas quickly.
  • They are less expensive than other types of radiant heating systems.

Electric Heater Thermostats

This type of system can be more energy-efficient than traditional baseboard heaters. They can also help you better regulate the temperature in your home.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering electric heater thermostats:

  • Ensure the thermostat is compatible with your type of heater – there are different types of electric heater thermostats. You’ll want to ensure you get one compatible with your particular type of heater.
  • Consider the size of the thermostat – the size will determine how much area it can heat. If you have a large home, you’ll need a larger thermostat to heat the entire space.
  • Choose a thermostat with the features you want – for example, some electric heater thermostats have timers and temperature displays. Choose the features that are most important to you. 
  • Compare prices – electric heater thermostats can vary in price. So, compare prices before you make a purchase.
  • Installation – some electric heater thermostats are easy to install, while others require professional installation. If you’re uncomfortable installing a thermostat, hire a professional.

Cost To Replace Baseboard Heating With Forced Air

Like many homeowners, you may wonder how much it may cost to replace your old baseboard heating system.

The cost of the project will depend on these factors:

  • The size of your home
  • The current ducting
  • The type of forced air system you choose

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $9,500-$29,500 for the project.

This estimate may seem like a lot of upfront money. However, forced air systems are much more efficient than baseboard heaters. So you’ll save a lot of money in the long term.

There are a few things to consider when making your decision. So, it’s essential to research the affordable options available that best fit your home’s heating needs.


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