Everything You Need To Know About Electric Baseboard Heaters

Everything You Need To Know About Electric Baseboard Heaters

Anthony Barnes

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Baseboard heaters are a great invention to help provide heat throughout people’s homes without all of the added features and stress that come with standard electric heaters.

However, there is much more to them than this simple description and they have lots of pros and cons to owning this particular type of device.

Many people may have thought about installing these devices in their house for added heat and warmth, however, they might not know all of the ins and outs that come with adding these heaters into your home.

Follow our guide to help you find out whether you should install these features in your house and all of the benefits of doing so.

Everything You Need To Know About Electric Baseboard Heaters

What Is An Electric Baseboard Heater?

An electric baseboard heater (see also ‘6 Reasons To Consider Hydronic Baseboard Heaters‘) is an electrical heating system that heats the floorboards or walls directly below it.

They’re usually placed low on the wall to help increase the amount of heat that comes from the floorboard or wall, which can be helpful when trying to keep the temperature down in a room where the air conditioning has kicked off.

There are two main types of electric baseboard heaters: those that use a convection method to distribute hot air and those that use radiant methods to do the same thing.

The majority of models will include both types. Some models only include one method of distributing heat and others that combine several different heating techniques.

When looking at the many different options available, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider before making any purchase. Whether you’re interested in a single unit, a full-featured model, or something in between, we’ve got you covered.

Different Types Of Electric Baseboard Heaters

There are a few different forms of a baseboard heater, which can suit different homes and different needs of different people. Here are a few different variations, which you may also want to consider.

Convection Heating Methods

Convection baseboard heaters utilize fans to circulate warm air through the heater. This allows the heater to quickly reach high temperatures, keeping rooms warm in a matter of minutes.

These units tend to be smaller than other baseboard heaters, but still, feature a variety of settings and controls to ensure that you get just what you need.

Radiant Heating Methods

Radiant baseboard heaters work by using heated elements to produce heat within the wall itself. This helps to prevent cold spots in a room and gives you a consistent level of heat.

Many people choose radiant heat because it provides a steady stream of heat, which means that you won’t notice any changes in temperature unless you step outside the room entirely.

Combination Models

Some baseboard heaters are designed to offer both convection and radiant heating modes. These allow you to switch back and forth depending on how you feel.

It’s important to note that most combination models will be larger than either convection or radiant versions alone.

So, How Do Electric Baseboard Heaters Work?

Electric baseboard heaters operate by utilizing electricity to create heat. When you turn them on, the heater creates a small area of heat that warms up almost immediately. As long as the power stays on, the heat will continue to flow.

Most models come with a thermostat that lets you control the exact temperature that you would like.

On top of this, they also have many different options for controlling the heat. For example, you can adjust the speed of the fan to control how much airflow goes through your home.

Some models even let you set timers so that you don’t have to worry about turning the unit on and off every time you leave the room.

How Long Does A Typical Electric Baseboard Heater Last?

The average lifespan of an electric baseboard heater ranges anywhere from five to seven years, although some newer models can last even longer.

If you plan to buy one, make sure that you look at the warranty information carefully to see if the manufacturer offers a replacement guarantee.

If your heater starts to show some faults or isn’t heating up properly, then it’s always best to contact a technician or try to get in contact with the store where you bought it from.

They will most likely have some sort of warranty system that will be able to help you out.

Where Should I Install Electric Baseboard Heaters In My House?

Depending on the type of unit you end up choosing, several factors play into where you should install it. For example, some models require that you place them between studs while others have holes built right into their frame.

Make sure that you pay attention to these details when choosing the perfect model for your needs.

When looking for a new baseboard heater, remember that not all models are created equal. Therefore, before you start shopping around, do a little research to find the best option for your particular space.

After all, your comfort is very important – especially during the winter months!

Different Things To Consider When Getting A Baseboard Heater

Size

The size of your baseboard heater depends on what kind of room you want to warm up. Smaller ones are ideal for smaller rooms, while larger units are better suited for large spaces.

You want to find a heater that will fit around your home and its spacing needs.

Style

There are several different styles available, including traditional, contemporary, and modern. Traditional designs tend to be more classic and simple.

Contemporary designs are usually sleek and streamlined. Modern designs are often futuristic and clean. Each style has its benefits and drawbacks.

Warranty

A good warranty is essential for any product. The length of the warranty will depend on the company that makes the heater. It is best to choose a company that provides a full replacement guarantee.

This means that if anything happens to the unit within the first year, they will replace it free of charge.

Cost

Electric baseboard heaters come in a wide variety of prices. Depending on the brand and features, you may need to spend as little as $100 or as high as $1,000. Keep in mind that higher-priced models generally offer more features than lower price models.

Safety Features

Some models include safety features such as flame-retardant material, which helps prevent fires. Others have built-in thermostats so that you don’t have to manually turn them on and off, which is useful when working away from home.

Some also have remote controls that allow you to control them from afar.

Pros For Baseboard Electric Heaters

Pros For Baseboard Electric Heaters

They’re Quiet

One of the biggest advantages of electric baseboard heaters is that they’re extremely quiet. They can run quietly enough that they won’t wake anyone up while still providing warmth throughout the house.

This can be extremely useful for those cold nights in December when you want to sleep warmly without being woken up.

Easy Installation

Another benefit of electric baseboard heat is that they are easy to install. Most models only take about an hour to set up.

Most people can install these devices throughout their home without having a professional to help them along the way, which can save you a lot of money.

Zone Heating

If you live in a big house with multiple rooms, then electric baseboard heaters can provide heating to each one individually. This allows you to keep certain areas warmer than others, depending on how much time you spend in each area.

This is great for those with multiple members of the family sharing the same home, or for big houses with lots of rooms.

Cons For Baseboard Electric Heaters

Cost Of The Heater

Depending on the model, electric baseboard heaters cost anywhere between $50 and $500. If you’re looking at a low-end model, you’ll probably pay less than $100.

However, if you go for a high-end model, then it will cost considerably more. Because many people tend to have multiple around the house, the cost can add up.

Can’t Always Heat Large Areas

Although some models do have large capacities, this isn’t always true. Many models are designed to heat small spaces, like bedrooms or bathrooms.

As a result, they aren’t able to heat larger areas very well. If you plan to use your baseboards to heat a whole room, then you should look for another type of heater.

Baseboard Heaters Vs. Radiators

We’ve chosen to compare these heating devices to radiators because the latter is seen throughout many homes around the world, however, they aren’t always as effective as people would like.

One massive problem people have is having to walk over cold floors, which radiators can’t do much about. Baseboard heaters, on the other hand, can help with this problem directly.

While both baseboard heaters and radiators work by transferring heat through the surfaces, there are several differences between the two.

First, baseboard heaters are typically smaller than radiators, so they save less space and can be fitted perfectly for smaller rooms.

Additionally, baseboard heaters usually have a single outlet, whereas radiators often require multiple outlets, which can be frustrating for homeowners.

Finally, baseboard heaters transfer heat through the walls, whereas radiators transfer heat through the floor, which has a different effect but the same result when looking at heat rooms in your house.

Much like radiators, baseboard heaters can only heat one space at a time, depending on the size and the capacity of your heater.

As previously mentioned, this can cause the prices of your heating to go up because you’re spending more money on more devices to produce more heat throughout your house. 

Just like radiators, baseboard heaters can be controlled from afar, with radiators often working on a  timer of some form.

With lots of electric baseboard heaters being controlled via remotes and on similar timer systems to radiators, you can expect to have a fairly similar experience in some aspects when heating your home.

Is An Electric Baseboard Heater Right For My Home?

First of all, you need to think about the prices involved and what you can afford.

If you think that this is a good investment and an efficient way to ensure that you don’t feel too cold at home, then you should consider buying one of these heating devices.

Once you’ve found a price range that suits you, you should think about where in the house you want the heat to be.

As previously mentioned, most people will opt to place one of these in a bedroom or bathroom because of the size of the rooms.

If your bathroom or bedroom tends to get particularly cold, especially at night, then these devices can be a good addition to your home. You just need to know when to turn them on and off. 

On top of this, you need to consider if there are any features with these devices that can be useful. For example, having a time system or some sort of remote control allows you to not waste money.

Having these heaters on for too long can cause a spike in the running costs and can leave a lot of people out of pocket. We recommend turning these heaters off when they’re not needed or when you’re out of the house for long periods.

Final Thoughts

Electric baseboard heaters (see also ‘Baseboard Heating Vs Forced Air: Which Is Better For My House?‘) are great inventions that allow people’s homes to be warmed up by passing heat into the floor.

By allowing these devices to be placed in small rooms, you ensure that they heat their little area thoroughly without worrying about them having a small effect on your home.

However, there are things to consider before buying your baseboard heater.

They come in all shapes and sizes and fit many different needs of different people. With regard to their price, it’ll vary depending on the size and the quality of the product.

If you don’t mind forking out an extra few dollars for a better model, then we highly recommend it. Keeping them off when you don’t need them will save you money in the long run.

At the end of the day, we all want to be comfortable and warm in our own homes, so this is a small price to pay for your comfort.

These devices can be a real-life-saver for those without radiators in their home, so why not try them out? You might find that they’re more effective than you first think.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age