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Trying to understand my home heating system

Dumb question but I’m curious.  How do baseboard heating systems work? I have propane as my source of fuel, a Navien hot water heater and baseboard heat. My baseboards are not electrically heated and I am pretty sure they are oil filled not water filled. I do have a round Honeywell non programmable thermostat on the wall to control the heat. Thanks for any insight!


  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,712
    post a general distant picture of the navien showing as much of the piping around it,
    also of a typical radiator and one more closeup of the radiator end and any pipe there,
    with only one thermostat it's likely you're controlling a hot water rad system,
    might as well show a picture of the thermostat also
    known to beat dead horses
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 241
    Your baseboards are probably copper tubes with lots of little aluminum fins on them (“fin-tube” baseboard). The thermostat has a little switch that closes when the temperature is colder than the temp you set it at. This switch tells the propane-fired boiler to heat up the water, as well as telling a “circulator” pump to start running, which moves the water in a big loop - going through the boiler where it heats up, through your baseboards where the heat is transferred to the room by drawing air up through the fins, and back to the boiler where it can be re-heated. The circulator and the boiler keep hot water moving through the system until the switch on the thermostat opens up and stops “calling for heat”.