Electric space heating products have not seen any major advances in years. In most cases electric heaters are treated as commodities; the only point for comparison being price. Given the push towards green energy solutions, the need for performance and efficiency improvements in this relatively stagnant category has never been more apparent.
The seemingly timeless electric baseboard has remained more or less unchanged for decades. Panel convection heaters are a more recent attempt to condense long baseboard heaters into a smaller space while maintaining all the quiet comfort of convection heat. The result is a narrower heater that fits more easily into a room’s available space, however, it puts the heater higher up the wall and makes it an unwelcome part of the décor.
A baseboard creates a wide slow moving air curtain that travels up the wall and slowly spreads out across the room. A panel convector creates a much faster airflow over a smaller area; this airflow is able to deliver the heat energy to the center of a heated space much faster than the slow airflow from a baseboard heater. The delivery time of the heat to the center of the room is directly responsible for the overall comfort of the occupants. This is especially true when the room undergoes a change in conditions, such as a door opening, a change to the set point of the thermostat, or even a drafty room. The faster the heater responds to these changes the more comfortable the occupants.
We will be launching a product this spring that will fundamentally change the electric heating category by combining the best of the panel convector and baseboard heater. While this new “Linear Convector” may look similar to a baseboard, the overall length has been reduced by as much as 40% compared to a conventional baseboard, while simultaneously increasing airflow by 40%. The Linear Convector therefore delivers the size reduction of a panel convector while remaining far less conspicuous in a room. In addition, the end user can expect to enjoy energy savings of up to 10% courtesy of reduced heat loss through outside walls, which is where electric baseboards were typically located.
With more clean and renewable energy coming online every year, the future of electric heat is bright, especially for companies who are prepared to challenge conventional wisdom.