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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    2

    Question Interested in electic baseboard heating

    Hi...I currently own a two floor cape, northeast with forced hot air (gas). Instead of running new duct work to rooms lacking sufficient heat, I'm interested in baseboard heat. Is this an efficient method? Any recommendations on which brand or what approach to take?
    Thanks
    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Interested in electic baseboard heating

    The first step should be to do some troubleshooting by yourself or with a contractor with the current system to determine why the ducts and other components of the forced hot air system are not currently doing an adequate job of heating---it may be simply an issue of opening stuck vents and balancing supply & return air flow, supply/return registers, checking function of dampers, replacing a main filter, etc.

    If this doesn't do the trick, you can then get some expert opinions on the best way to go on this issue by consulting the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" and have several of them come out to the house to go over the options and the relative cost.

    Electric heat, especially in the northeast is the most expensive option; there is also the issue of the adequacy of your main electric panel capacity.

    Other options might include a forced hot water baseboard system, or even radiant panels using a heat exchanger as a takeoff of the current forced hot air furnace---such additions are often less expensive than alternatives.
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 10-03-2010 at 09:18 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Interested in electic baseboard heating

    I have electric baseboard heat throughout my entire house. It is great, because after we bought the house we replaced the entire heating "system" for about $600 with newer styled baseboards and better thermostats. However, Nashua Tech is right. You should consult with a local pro. Here are my advantages and disadvantages...

    Advantages:
    1. We are on an electric cooperative, so its is cheaper than oil or gas even in upstate NY. However, we are lucky in this case. If my house was not on a co-op, I would have negotiated in the cost of a forced air system when I bought the house. In most places you would go broke on electric heat. I know people with $500-$600 electric bills in the winter on electric heat with modest sized houses that are on a typical utility company's grid.

    2. Easy to maintain (really no maintenance at all) and repair. The only repair is an occasional thermostat that stops working (we had 1 in 10 years) and physical damage to the heaters (from kids, etc.).

    3. Can regulate heat in each room easily, saving more $.

    4. Programmable thermostats are now readily available.

    Disadvantages:
    1. Operating cost, if you have typical for-profit utility in the eastern US.
    2. The heaters, as they age, can develop friction/expansion points where they ping/pop a little as the expand and contract.
    3. Retrofit could be hard if you don't have the wiring in place and a load center of sufficient amperage (we have 225A center + a 40 A sub panel).

    My two cents. I think that for occasional or winter supplemental heat in rooms you don't use much electric heat could work for you. However, getting your existing system to optimal performance levels first is probably a better start.

    GOOD LUCK!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Interested in electic baseboard heating

    I have very old baseboard heating in my basement, what should I replace it with that would not take up so much wall space and be economical?
    "Life Goes On . . . One Day at a Time!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Interested in electic baseboard heating

    Grandmom:

    Are you referring to ELECTRIC baseboard heat or FORCED HOT WATER baseboard heat???

    And what type of heat do you have in the rest of the house; and what is the total square footage of the basement?

    What do you pay for electricity per KWH?

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