6 Advantages of Replacing Your Electric Baseboard Heaters
If you’re like most homeowners—or indeed, most people—you hate to replace appliances. Replacing things costs money. It can also cost time, depending on what is being replaced, and the new appliance might not function the same way as the old one it replaced. If you’re one of the millions of Americans with electric baseboard heaters in your home, you might feel this way. After all, your electric baseboard heaters keep your rooms warm, don’t they?
Still, there comes a time in every appliance’s life cycle when it’s due to be replaced, whether by a newer model or by something else entirely, and an electric baseboard heater is no different.
In this blog, we’ll look at three questions:
- What are the advantages of replacing your electric baseboard heater?
- When do you know it’s time to replace your heater?
- What should you replace it with?
What Are the Advantages of Replacing Your Electric Baseboard Heater?
Though they are less popular today than they used to be, electric baseboard heaters remain the heating element of choice for millions of people all across the US. These heaters are mounted on the base of walls, typically by a window to counteract any draftiness coming in. Cool air is forced over heated electric coils and then drifts up into the room. Since heat rises, this provides an organic way of heating a space.
Electric baseboard heaters are very quiet, much more so than other types of heating. They are also easy to install and don’t require any ductwork, just plugging into the wall with a minimum of electrical work necessary. Since these heaters all have their own thermostats (rather than a central one), it’s easier to heat a house where each occupant prefers their own temperature.
However, there are many downsides to an electric baseboard heater too. While they may be inexpensive to install compared to an HVAC unit, they’re significantly more expensive to run. They’re simply less efficient at heating air than other types of heaters, which means that you’ll spend more money to get the same temperature benefit. They also reduce usable space in rooms and can be eyesores.
Here are six of the main advantages of replacing an electric baseboard heater.
1. You save money
Let’s not beat around the bush here—at the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for your pocketbook. Baseboard heaters, especially older ones that haven’t been dutifully maintained, are not very efficient at heating up an environment. Replacing your electric baseboard heaters with things like heating ducts or radiant heating may be a significant up-front expense, but you could save as much as 50 percent on your energy bill during the winter months.
2. You’ll get more accurate heating
On the one hand, each individual heater unit has its own thermostat. On the other hand, those thermostats are part of the unit itself, which means they’re down at floor level. Unless you’re spending most of your time down on the floor, this won’t be an accurate representation of the temperature you encounter most of the day compared to a wall-mounted thermostat. An inaccurate thermostat can mean the heater turns on when you don’t need it but won’t turn on when you’re feeling chilly.
3. You’ll dry out your air less frequently
One common complaint about baseboard heating units is that due to how they work, they can be a significant source of dry air, forcing homeowners to invest in humidifiers (which in turn cost more on a power bill). That’s less of a problem if you live in wet climates like the Pacific Northwest, but it can cause dry skin and other issues.
4. You’ll save time on cleaning
Due to how baseboard heaters work, even trace amounts of dust or other irritants can result in a dramatic loss in heating efficiency, and this only gets worse over time. As a result, for optimal use, baseboard heaters should be cleaned regularly. Other options require much less effort in terms of time and work from you.
5. You get more space
If your room layout is like most homeowners, the spot where it makes the most sense to put an electric baseboard heater is along a wide wall. But that’s prime real estate for things like couches and chairs. You can’t put furniture in front of the heater because, not only will it block the heat, but it could catch fire. Replacing the electric baseboard heater will let you freely use all the space available in your room.
6. It’s safer for children and animals
If you’ve ever touched an incandescent lightbulb, you know how hot it can get. Electric baseboard heaters work on the same principle, which means that a curious cat or wandering toddler can easily learn a painful lesson by getting too close.
When Should You Replace Your Electric Baseboard Heater?
Replacing your heater with a more efficient heating system can be done at any time, but if you’re cost-conscious, we recommend that you do it as soon as you notice a loss of efficiency. If your heater seems like it’s taking longer to heat up spaces than it used to, it might be time to hit the market for a replacement.
What Should You Replace Your Electric Baseboard Heater With?
As fortune would have it, we’ve covered this exact topic before on the Entek blog. There are many options available for homeowners looking to heat their houses. One option would simply be replacing an older model with a newer one. While it would still have issues like child safety, needing to be cleaned, and blocking room layout, modern baseboard heaters have significantly improved in terms of efficiency and are smaller, freeing up more space. So if you’re really married to the idea of a baseboard heater, there are definitely options.
Otherwise, there are many great options, like solar heating, ductless heat pumps, a high-efficiency furnace, and more, which will ultimately save you money (and protect curious toddlers’ fingers) in the long run.
Either way, before you make the decision, you should talk to an expert. Contact the professionals at Entek today for a consultation.