When you first see the new Linear Convection heater next to a conventional electric baseboard, you’ll likely be struck by how small it is. It is up to 42% smaller than a conventional baseboard, but that’s just the start of the story. We’ve all gotten used to the idea that things like computers and MP3 players get smaller every time a new one is introduced. However, when something has been around in the same form for 50 years, it’s generally thought that the status-quo is good enough. This was the case with the electric baseboard until Dimplex took a long, hard look at it about three years ago with a view to setting a new standard.
We started from a blank page and looked at every possible way to improve performance. Using powerful computers and computer fluid dynamics software, our engineers found the optimum shape for both the housing and the element blades that transfer the heat to the air. The result of combining a top vent with an element blade that looks like a shark fin, is an air speed increase of 40%. By moving that much air we could make the whole thing a lot smaller and also increase comfort for homeowners by pushing the heat faster and further into their room.
Conventional baseboards are notoriously slow, especially if used with a programmable thermostat. It takes half the time of an old baseboard for a linear convector to bring a room back up to temperature after being setback to save energy. We proved this and other energy saving features by building an air flow and heat loss visualization chamber – the only one of its kind in North America. Using this room we were able to measure a 10% reduction in heat loss through a cold, outside wall. This translates into immediate energy savings for homeowners.
It’s said that good things come in small packages and we’ve certainly proved that with the Linear Convector. Homeowners will have more wall space for their furnishings, greater comfort, increased savings and less packaging to dispose of. They’re also easier to install and better looking than conventional baseboards. The bar has definitely been set high for the next 50 years.