Electric Baseboard Heaters Buying Guide:( Best Tips)

Tired of being smothered under an avalanche of blankets and quilts, you decide enough is enough. And this is when you go in search of a supplemental heater for the house. You may at first look at various conventional types of systems such as baseboard heaters, space heaters, ceramic heaters, and quartz heaters or even indoor wood burning stoves or inserts.

However, since there are so many varieties of heating appliances it can become a little overwhelming to figure out which specific appliance to choose.

In this guide, we are going to get into the heart of baseboard heaters and specifically electric baseboard heaters. We’ll look at what electric baseboard heaters are, the pros and cons and some buying tips.

So then, what exactly is a baseboard heater?

These units happen to be a basic add-on to virtually any room that requires a little more temperature, as these generally do not require a lot of installing, or consideration to setup.

These are positioned, as the title suggests, on the baseboard, and are generally effective when situated under an external window, so they counter the heat lost as a result of the windowpane.

They’re compact and narrow enough to be situated right on to the wall, or, using a bit more commitment, directly into a space in the baseboard, that means that simply the front of the device is seen.

There are four types of Baseboard Heaters available:

Portable Electric Baseboard Heaters:

These are sleek, portable units that can easily be installed in any room. They easily fit along any wall and provide effective heating.

Residential Convection Heaters:

These heaters are available are various sizes ranging from 24 inches wide to 84 inches wide.

Hydronic Convection Baseboard Heaters:

These contain an immersion heating element in an anti-freeze solution. These units are costlier than the conventional models.

Commercial Convection Baseboard Heaters:

As the name suggests, these are heavy duty heaters for commercial use. These vary in size from 24 inches to 120 inches.

These efficient Baseboard Heaters come fitted with aluminum heating elements or stainless steel heating elements.

Electric Baseboard Heaters Buying Guide

 Before installing baseboard heaters, it’s important to take into account the electrical codes associated with them. 

A heater without enough capacity won’t heat the space properly, and you’ll find yourself using it much more often and at much higher temperatures.

Electric baseboard heaters come in either in 120- volt or 240-volt models.

A 120-Volt Baseboard Heater 

A 120v hydronic baseboard heater is most suitable as a supplemental source of heat to zones and seasonal rooms. 

A 240- Volt Baseboard Heater 

A 240v hydronic baseboard heater is best used as a hard-wired baseboard heater that is wired directly into a household circuit to act as the central heating system.

Manufacturers have Hydronic baseboard heaters with different specifications ranging in terms length from 24 inches to 96 inches. The longer the baseboard heater the more wattage it is going to produce. 

If you are unsure of what length you should get that will offer sufficient heat, determining the measurement is a practical easy procedure.

Step 1 

Measure the length and width of the room to determine the square footage.

Step 2

Multiply the square foot answer to 10 watts. The figure is the baseline wattage per square foot. 10 is an average watt required to heat a square foot. You generally need 10 watts per square foot.

Step 3

Determining the total wattage of a typical room is run by adding 10% to each window, exterior wall, uninsulated space, and poorly insulated wall e.tc.

Divide the answer by 240 to get the length of the hydronic baseboard heater. The 240 factor is the voltage of a typical baseboard heater.

For example,

  • Assuming a 225 square foot room. 
  • Multiplied by 10 to give 2250 watts.
  • Add 10% for one window to get 2475 watts.
  • Adding 10% for an uninsulated wall to get 2722.5 watts.
  • Then dividing the figure 2722.5 by 240 factor you get 11 inches. 
  • Rounding this figure to get an estimated length of 12 inches which is a 96-inch long baseboard heater.


Energy Efficient Electric Baseboard Heater 

For better conservation of energy, some heaters come with ‘eco’ settings. They are energy-efficient units with innovative energy regulating thermostats designed with smart features, which allows it to be programmable.

The programmable thermostat provides the most convenient and flexible way of avoiding wasted energy from overheating. 

Households that choose to install smart thermostats with baseboard heating on average get a 30% reduction of energy consumption.

When selecting an energy efficient heating system for your home, it is important to identify the delivery mechanisms your house supports, as well as the area you need covered. In order to avoid cold winters, it is best to find a system that can offer long term benefits, such as electric baseboard heaters.

The electric baseboard heaters work as the most efficient energy saver instrument as they control the room at certain level.

Electric baseboard heaters are energy efficient because they keep a room at a certain level, the Fahrenheit PHH15002 Oil Filled Electric Baseboard Heater, is ideal for keeping rooms up to 150 square feet warm.

 The PHH15002 offers a variety of safety features, making the unit perfect for bedrooms, offices, or even the living room.

 The heater has two heating levels with a built in electric thermostat. The heater is easy to install and does not add much bulk to the area.

The FBE15002 features a full-length sensor that automatically shuts off the heater if it becomes blocked and begins to overheat. Heavy-duty construction provides unfailing durability.

The manufacturer’s protects against any unforeseen problems. Best of all it pumps out 5,200 BTUS of power with its twin 1000/1500 watt output settings.

If you have a large area that needs to be kept warm, consider using the Marley PLF504 Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heater.

The unit measures 28 inches long and blend in perfectly with other furniture. The PLF504 can be mounted on the wall and elevated from the floor to allow for vacuuming underneath.

The electric baseboard heater uses proprietary technology to keep rooms warm by the use of a freeze-proof liquid.

In terms of energy efficiency, it makes no sense to heat up a room when nobody is in it. The Dayton UG01 Portable Electric Baseboard Heater solves this problem and can bring cost effective heat to any room in the house.

The unit is compact and stylish, which blends in with any decor. The unit offers a wide array of safety features, including auto shutoff and tip-proof mechanisms.

The Qmark HBB500 baseboard heater is perfect for households with kids and pets. It sports a sheathed electric heating element that is totally immersed in a heat-transfer liquid and sealed in a heater-length copper tube.

 Its large diameter reservoir maximizes the volume of heat storage fluid to prolong the thermal constant of the entire heater. It heats even after it is turned off to save you energy and keep your house warm. It easily attaches to any wall no matter what flooring you are using.

The low operating temperature allows carpet to be installed up to and around the baseboard. Heavy-duty welded steel louvered grilles discourage insertion of foreign objects and direct heat outward into the room. It features a built-in cut off feature to prevent any potential damage.

Its neutral off-white finish fits in home with any decor. It has carrying handles is great for easy mobility. The built-in thermostat is great for constant regulating of the temperature.

Depending on the interior design of your room, you might consider the exterior framework of the baseboard. To avoid the colors conflicting with the background color, you can select a heater that matches with color coated.

Baseboard heaters come in a variety of colors. They are available in golden, cream, and white or black.

Electric Baseboard Heaters Installation Tips 

When installing a baseboard you’ll need professional installation. However, having these tips can be handy. 

·          Circuitry 

Depending on the total wattage of the baseboard heater, the general rule of thumb is a 20-amp circuit for a 12-gauge or 30-amp circuit for a 10- gauge wire for either type heater.

·          Install beneath windows

The best location to install the baseboard heater is on the external wall below the window for slow and steady heat. The reason for this is that cool air coming from the window area is warmed before it hits the floor. 

·          Baseboard Thermostats 

For best performance, thermostats are best mounted on an interior wall but not directly above the heater. 

This will allow the warm air to cover the area of the house before the thermostat turns the heater off till the air cools, and the cycle will start over again. 

·          No Direct Contact with Floors and flammable materials 

It’s recommended to not set the baseboard heater in direct contact with the floor maintain but to keep at least an inch of clearance under the baseboard heater. 

This is because your home may have carpeting or flammable floorings like carpet, vinyl, tile, or hardwood.

This keeps the heater a safe distance to avoid igniting due to the interaction of the carpet and heat of the heater.

Are baseboard heaters worth the money?

Designed to be permanent in built systems, hydronic baseboard heaters are sleek in design and can easily be integrated into the layout and décor of a home.
Although, Hydronic baseboard heaters Takes longer to warm up a room, they have surprisingly wide range of benefits.

• Save money
Electronic baseboard heaters have the ability to continue radiating heat long even after the thermostat have been turned off. This is attributed to the asbestos tube element which heats up and retains heat maintaining a stable room temperature.

This makes them energy efficient that leads to a significant savings on your final electricity bill.

• Consistent warmth in your home
Hydronic baseboard heaters are in built with a sealed heating tube element that converts all the electric power into heat.

The heat warms the liquid in the metal tube and because water runs the entire length of the heating system, it spreads the heat the evenly rather than being concentrated in one hot spot.

The asbestos tube element and the large diameter reservoir which maximizes the volume of heat transfer fluid further assists in maintaining the temperature of the water even after the thermostat has been turned off thus ensuring a constant flow of warmth.

• Quiet operation
Hydronic baseboard heaters are quiet, clean and give comfortable heat unlike traditional baseboard heaters thanks to its fanless operation. This makes them perfect to install in bedrooms and living rooms.

Sturdy quality material
Hydronic baseboard heaters are made of rugged steel which is strong and durable. Baseboard heaters also come in variety of colors. Depending with the interior design of your home, there is a golden, cream, white or black baseboard heater.

Moreover hydronic baseboard heaters often include a front grille to stop foreign objects from getting into the internal area of the heater.

Besides hydronic baseboard heaters are also made in the United States which furthers assures you of the quality of the unit.

Are hydronic baseboard heaters safe?

Hydronic baseboard heater is enclosed with a baked enamel element that prevents overheating. Also the design of hydronic baseboard heaters works by running the liquid the entire length on the system rather than concentrating in one area.

Moreover they come with lower surface temperature than a standard baseboard thereby ensures safety from accidental surface burning. This is a safe option if you have children and pets. Baseboard heaters are much cleaner.

The heater doesn’t singe airborne particles in the air or dry out the air or blow dusty air, pet hair dander and other pollutants through a series of old vents as much as a standard baseboard thanks to its fanless operation. This makes them not have health impact to those with allergy.

How do you install a hydronic baseboard heater?

Installing a baseboard might be hands on job that requires a lot of plumbing and soldering and is best left over to a professional.

However, below is a breakdown of the step to install a baseboard heater.

Step 1: Locating a heater location.
The best location should be typically 15 inches from any furniture. Do a practical dry fit of the system first to get the picture of the layout. This will give you a guide on how to set the system up
Step 2: Measuring the dimensions of the room in square foot.
Step 3: Identifying a suitable baseboard heater.
Work out how many the wattage of your heater and use the dimensions of your room to determine the right size of the hydronic baseboard heater. Use 10 watts per square foot.
Step 4: locating the Hydronic baseboard heater thermostat;
Some thermostats can be mounted right on the baseboard heater, front
panels or mounted on a standard wall.
Step 5: noting the input and output pipe.
Step 6: the installation process
Check all the part of the baseboard heater and look at the installation manual. Ensure that all parts are available.

Once you are confident of the set up of the system, mount the baseboard and screw it into place. Start running the hot water pipes and solder the joints and connect them to the baseboard heater. In case the job gets overwhelming, you might consider getting some assistance.

How do you maintain the hydronic baseboard heater?

Having a regular inspection done on the hydronic baseboard will ensure it keeps running smoothly.

First monitor the thermostatic pressure to make sure it measures the temperature, pressure and the height of the water in the unit. Failure to check the pressure gauge could put you in a potential risk if the pressure exceeds 30 pounds. The optimal pressure should be between 12 pounds to 15 pounds.

If the pressure is too high, drain the excess water. Locate the drain valve then turn off the power unit. Then drain off the excess water until the meter is reset.

Hydronic baseboard heaters covers
Perhaps you would want to put a cover on your hydronic baseboard heater. Either because you can’t find a hydronic heater that matches interior decor or you simply want to replace the one you use for reasons which could be the cover is discolored or damaged.

Don’t worry, you can find a hydronic baseboard heater cover that best suits you.

Baseboard Heat Covers, Baseboard Heater Cover With Caps
This is an elegant baseboard cover with superior quality that comes in a variety of measurements available from 2 to 8 feet. Besides having long lasting qualities, they are also easy to clean.

What Is A Hydronic Baseboard Heater?

You may wonder, what is a hydronic baseboard heater?
To answer the question, let’s isolate each component of the word Hydronic baseboard heater. It’s called hydronic because it uses a liquid as a medium. The liquid is typically water or mineral oil.

The use of the words baseboard heater means, that the heater is installed externally on a wall near the floor as opposed to mounting inside walls or freestanding.

So a hydronic baseboard heater is a unit that uses water to some capacity and are attached to a wall at the floor level at a central position. Heating pipes are run under the floor, which are designed to be used to transfer and emit heat across several rooms or zones. This creates an inbuilt heating system.

Hydronic baseboard heaters evolved from the old hollow cast iron radiators to today’s trendy and beautiful and stylish baseboard heaters.

Hydronic baseboard heaters are long and relatively slim and provide a simple, cost effective alternative to warm up your home.

How does a Hydronic baseboard heater work?

Hydronic baseboard heaters are common in many homes.However many people do not know the technical aspect of the hydronic baseboard heater.
Basically a hydronic baseboard heater uses the same principle of radiation like the sun to warm up your home.

The baseboard heater contains a heating element surrounded by a metal tube. The metal tube is filled with water.

When the heater is switched on, the electricity heats the element in the tube which then heats the water inside.

The water turns to hot which then disperses the heat to the aluminum fins along the heater tube. This heat up the surrounding air before the air starts circulating throughout the room or heating zone.

The piping system then further channels heat into more rooms. Heat is sourced from the central baseboard heater, is maintained through flow control valves. In this way hot water regulates the temperature according to the settings on the thermostat.

Convection baseboard heaters are other baseboard heaters that are typically resemble hydronic baseboard in terms of design characteristics.

They are placed under windows and are used to warm up small rooms. Unlike hydronic baseboard heaters, convection heaters aren’t able to diffuse the heat produced so they require a fan.

They draw cool air in from close to the floor, through the bottom and project it up and a small fan pushes the warm air out over heated fins on top of heating unit into the room.

Are hydronic baseboard heaters self contained?

Hydronic baseboard heaters are self contained types. You can move the baseboard heater anywhere in the room. Nevertheless you can opt for a central location for the baseboard heaters.

How many hydronic baseboard heaters do I need?

You only require one baseboard heater to warm your home with hydronic baseboard heaters. For small rooms or zones use an electric baseboard heaters because they are most convenient and are quick to install.

Will hydronic baseboard heaters freeze?

The liquid inside hydronic baseboard heaters is made special treated water that cannot freeze regardless of the outside temperature. The asbestos material used maintains the temperature of the liquid to continue emitting heat even when the baseboard heater has been turned off.

Conclusion

Technology has allowed us to bring comfort to our homes during the cold months with Hydronic baseboard heaters which give a very convenient and effective source of heat to add comfort to your home.

Whenever you go shopping for baseboard heaters, it’s important to consider the proper dimensions of your room size and the baseboard heater.

How to Clean Baseboard Heaters

Marcus Reynolds
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