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Community and Q&A

Saving on energy heating bills with electic baseboard rads

Michelle Gleeson | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I live in an older condo (40 yrs). It is heated with electric baseboard rads. I live in the lake Huron area, so our winters are cold. I am planning on changing my thermostats to programmable ones. Is there any advantage to changing the actual baseboards heaters? Would newer ones be more efficient? I also read somewhere that convection baseboard heaters could save up to 30% on your heating bills. Thanks for any input.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    All electric resistance baseboards heaters have the same efficiency (100%), no matter how old they are.

    Although some manufacturers of electric baseboard heaters refer to them as "radiators," and others as "convection heaters," all of these units perform the same way. All of them heat with a combination of radiation and convection.

    Unless one of your baseboard heaters is broken, there is no reason to replace them.

  2. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #2

    Replacing a baseboard with another baseboard won't save you any money, but heating the largest zone with a ductless mini-split heat pump would reduce the heating cost by about half if managed correctly, maybe even more. If there's a way to mount the exterior unit in such a way that wouldn't upset the aesthetic sensibilities of the condo association it's worth looking into.

    Replacing a baseboard with a radiant cove heater near the ceiling or an oil-filled wall radiator mounted at chair-height would usually increase the comfort at any particular temperature in which case you could lower the temp. With a lower temp you'd save some, but nothing like 30%, and probably no enough to pay off the additional wiring & installation cost in any reasonable time frame.

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