Working in much the same way as radiant floor heaters, hot water baseboard heaters transmit the heat that is stored in water into a room. Although they closely resemble electric baseboard heaters, hot water baseboard heaters are very different. In addition, they are more efficient and require fewer costs to operate them.
Hot Water Baseboard Heaters
The way they work is this: water is heated in a boiler (electrically) and then pumped through insulated pipes to rooms where hot water baseboard heaters are installed. When the thermostat is activated in a room, the heat that is carried by the water is transferred into the room. In this way they are very similar to radiant heaters. Whereas radiant heating often requires a major renovation to install the pipes under the floors, hot water baseboards do not. Thus, their initial cost is less, while the energy efficiency is comparable.
Water stores and transfers heat much more efficiently than air, putting hot water baseboard heaters at an advantage to forced air systems. They are also more efficient and economical than electric baseboard heaters. Although they are comparable to radiant heating systems that use wall radiators, their installation cost is typically less, making them the more affordable choice.