Electric baseboard heating is, in the modern era, a relatively uncommon form of heating. It is estimated that about .0039% of homes in the United States have electric baseboard heating, and there are an estimated 140 million homes, so despite the low incidence, there are still plenty of homes that utilize this form of heat.
That said, electric baseboard heating has been falling out of popularity for a number of valid reasons, including safety concerns and relative inefficiency. Let’s take a look at how it works and whether or not an electric wall heater can be a more practical electric baseboard heater replacement.
How Electric Baseboard Heating Works
Electric baseboard heating is usually quite identifiable within a room. Typically, they consist of long, narrow devices that run along the base of the walls around the perimeter of a room. Frequently, they are situated underneath windows to help counteract cold air ingress.
These systems lack ducts, vents, furnaces, or boilers and are controlled via a thermostat, which is sometimes located on or near the housing.
They typically feature aluminum housing, inside of which are contained electric coils. When power is supplied to the coils, they resist the electrical current, causing them to heat up. Around the electric heating element, there are usually fins that make it easier for the heat to spread into the room.
Problems Traditionally Encountered with Baseboard Heaters
Despite the fact that they were once more widespread, electric baseboard heating is not without its faults.
In the past they have been well-received because they can be used as a supplemental form of heating, and, since they lack ducts and pipes, are relatively easy to install. Nonetheless, they are associated with several drawbacks, including the following.
Baseboard Heaters: Running Cost and Environmental Impact
Electric baseboard heaters (and hot water baseboard heaters, which also use electricity) are associated with high running costs.
Electric baseboard heat, for many homeowners, will cost anywhere from $500 to $900 per month. Another way to look at this is, considering the average 2000 square foot home which uses 35,000 BTUs of thermal energy per year (at a price of $.13 per kWh) the yearly cost of running electric baseboard heat will run about $1,300 per year.
It is important to note, however, when giving these estimates, that other factors will weigh on running costs, including but not limited to the quality of a home’s insulation, its number of windows, the age of the home, its size, and its location in the country, as well as the per kWh cost of electricity.
Both electric and hot water baseboard heaters require professional installation, but since you likely already have them if you’re looking for alternatives, we can disregard this expense.
Instead, we need to consider the expense of maintenance costs associated with electric baseboard heating. Compared to some forms of heating, such as heat pumps and gas furnaces, electric baseboard heaters need minimal maintenance.
However, in order to ensure safe and efficient operation, it’s still necessary to vacuum electric baseboard heaters periodically to prevent dust from accumulating, which will hamper the efficiency of the heater and which can pose a fire risk. Some homeowners choose to purchase a cover for their baseboard heaters and cover them during the warm months to prevent dust accumulation.
Health and Safety
Electric baseboard heaters can be a fairly safe form of heat, but they can also get very hot to the touch, posing a risk to pets, small children, and elders. Moreover, dust accumulation or toys carelessly left too close to the heater, or furniture inadvertently moved too close can all pose a fire risk.
Hanging curtains can also interfere with the efficient operation of electric baseboard heaters and can also present a risk of fire. It is important to ensure that there is clear airflow in front of and around the heater to mitigate the risk of fire.
As far as safety is concerned, while electric baseboard heaters are not as suspect as forced hot air heaters at circulating dust and allergens, they do produce an incredibly dry heat which can exacerbate the discomfort of those with respiratory conditions or skin sensitivities, especially through the dry colder months of the year.
Envi Wall Heaters As Electric Baseboard Heater Replacements
Unfortunately, electric baseboard heaters are responsible for some of the mythos regarding electrical heat that suggests it is “too expensive.” While it is true that electrical heat can be expensive and inefficient, making such a blanket statement is simply misinformed.
Some forms of electrical heat can be inefficient and expensive, like electric baseboard heat; Envi wall panel heaters are not. In fact, they can potentially serve as suitable electric baseboard heater replacements.
Since you already probably have baseboard heat, let’s talk about the purchase and installation cost of a baseboard heater replacement in the form of a wall panel heater. Envi electric wall heaters start at $179.95 and do not require professional installation so there’s no installation cost and homeowners can do it themselves.
Envi wall panel heaters will save you even more on running costs and are enormously energy efficient. They cost as little as 4 to 5 cents per hour to run which can save homeowners on energy costs. Because they use so little electricity, they are the more environmentally friendly choice, too.
Envi wall heaters also are not associated with any maintenance costs, and in fact, are covered by generous 3-year warranties - so you’ll have no ongoing costs.
Envi wall panel heaters are not only an efficient heating option. They’re also better when it comes to safety and health. They do not circulate allergens and do not dry out the air in the same manner as baseboard heating systems.
They’re also cool to the touch, eliminating the fire risk of baseboard systems and making them safer for use around pets, young children, and elders.
You can learn more about the comparative advantages of Envi wall panel heaters via the previous link, which compares them not only to electric baseboard heaters but also to furnaces, heat pumps, and other heating systems.
Take a look through our resources and if you have any questions about how wall panel heaters as a replacement for baseboard heaters, get in touch with us at 1-800-807-0107.