Radiator Heaters vs Baseboard Heaters

"As an Associate of Amazon I earn from qualifying purchases made from links in this post."

In this battle, we are going to look at radiator heaters vs baseboard heaters and discover the difference between them.

In the old days, when you were buying a new heating system, you usually had to make a decision based on the availability of electricity, firewood, propane, or natural gas in your area.

Radiator heater vs baseboard heater

Now, technology has advanced and you have to consider a lot more than just the fuel source when buying a heating system.

Radiator heaters and baseboard heaters are two of the most popular options nowadays.

The key differences between radiator heaters and baseboard heaters…

There are quite a few differences between them such as heating operation, initial purchase cost, heating design, and flexibility so let’s take a look at these differences in more detail.

Heating Operation

In a radiator heater… the water is heated in the boiler which is then forced through the back and front (depending on the specific type) of the radiators.

Fins or flutes are attached inside the radiator panels that use conduction to absorb the heat. The main advantage of radiator heaters is that they provide two forms of heating.

First, they heat the air via flutes and secondly, they emit radiant heat by passing hot water through the panels.

In baseboard heaters… on the other hand, the water is heated in the boiler, and then the baseboard housing forces it through the copper tubing.

The aluminum fins attached to the copper tubing use conduction to absorb the heat. The fins then heat the air inside the housing, which is then used to heat the room.

The baseboard then draws the cooler air from the bottom and the process repeats itself until the desired temperature in the room is reached.

Cost To Purchase

As compared to baseboard heaters, radiator heaters are generally more expensive. However, they are less expensive than in-floor radiant heating systems.

Baseboard heaters, on the other hand, are an economical option. They are easy to install and inexpensive. This is the reason they have become so popular among homeowners.

Heater Design

Radiator heaters are manufactured with design in mind. That’s why they are generally very elegant looking and allow you to easily position furniture around a room. They can fit into any home décor.

On the other hand, baseboard heaters are very limited in design. They also don’t allow you to place large pieces of furniture in front of or around them as it can result in poorly heating areas.


Most radiator heaters are compatible with thermostatic heads. Because of this flexibility, you can convert various panel radiators in individual zones.

So, you can keep your bathrooms a little warmer and your bedrooms a little cooler.

When it comes to baseboard heaters, they are basically standard heating medium.

Although you can add more flexibility by adding multiple zones, you will need to put a thermostat in each room for it. This would be more expensive and difficult.


Radiator heaters and baseboard heaters are two very popular heating systems for homeowners and both have their pros and cons.

In terms of initial cost, radiator heaters are more expensive but they also provide better flexibility and design.

Baseboard heaters, on the other hand, have a low initial cost and they also require less maintenance.

You may also be interested in… What Are The Advantages of Storage Heaters