The cold winter is coming, and you need a little heat.
What’s the best way to get that?
Well, if your house doesn’t have any baseboard heating already installed, there are two options: buy it or install it yourself. And while installing an electric baseboard heater sounds like an intimidating task for homeowners without experience, this article will show you how easy it really is!
- Electric Baseboard Heater Units – between four and ten depending on room size (see chart below)
- Wall thermostat
- Wire connectors – available at any hardware store
- Cable Ties
- Screw Driver
- Cordless Drill with bits
- Electrical tape or wire ties
1. Make sure there is nothing in the space where you will be installing your electric baseboard heater (furniture, pictures, etc.). It’s best to do this project on a day when you won’t be using that room for several hours. This will prevent the risk of accidentally hitting or damaging something with your tools while working.
2. Use a screwdriver to remove the baseboard that is on your wall (this will vary depending on where you are installing it). Check with your manufacturer if you aren’t sure how to do this properly.
3. Once the old baseboard has been removed, make sure there isn’t any damage done to the wall or floor behind it (holes, cracks, etc.). If there is damage, you will have to patch it up with some spackling compound before continuing.
4. After the patching has dried, measure the length of the baseboard that is in your hand and use a piece of cut-off baseboard to mark where to cut. Now using either an electric baseboard heater unit or a Dremel, carefully cut through the wall and into the floor until you’ve reached your mark. This is why it’s best to use an electric baseboard heater if possible because it has a thinner blade. If there are any stubborn pieces, try using a hammer and chisel to remove them.
5. Now that everything is cut, all you have to do now is attach the end of the new piece of electric baseboard heater to the end of your previously installed section (for units with adjustable feet, be sure they are at their highest setting). Connect all other sections following manufacturer instructions; make sure your pieces fit tightly and securely together so heat isn’t lost!
6. Assemble and install thermostat following manufacturer instructions. Once it is installed, attach the thermostat cable to the electric baseboard heater unit.
7. Strip your wire ends and use wire connectors to attach them to their proper connections on the wall thermostat (red to red and white to white).
8. Now all you have left to do is turn your circuit breaker back on, set your new wall thermostat temperature, and enjoy a warm home!
If this type of project isn’t for you but you still need some heat in your living space; why not consider purchasing an electric or kerosene radiator? They’re affordable, easy-to-use, and last all winter long!
Why Put the Thermostat on the Wall?
If you’re wondering why the thermostat should be installed on the wall it’s because that allows it to sense what the temperature is in all of the rooms, so your whole house gets heated evenly.
What would happen if you put it under a window or in an alcove is only part of your home would be warm and the other end would remain cold.
Additionally, as mentioned above, when installing electric baseboard heater units, it’s good practice to have one unit for every four feet of wall space; this helps to provide even heat distribution throughout your living area and prevents hot spots (areas around individual electric baseboard heater units which are warmer than others). This is also true when using any type of heating system.
Electric baseboard heater installation can vary quite a bit from project to project, and if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hiring a professional is usually the best option.
If you don’t want the added expense of going with someone else’s do-it-for-me service but still need help putting in your electric baseboard heater units, there are plenty of books available at your local bookstore which will help guide you through every step of the process.
Now that winter has arrived, taking a little extra time to ensure that your heaters are working properly will go a long way towards keeping both you and your home warm!
What Is a Line Voltage Thermostat?
Line voltage thermostats are designed to be used with 120 V AC power.
This means that it can only be installed on heaters that operate off of standard household current (120 volts). Line voltage thermostats might also be referred to as piggy-back thermostats because they are “piggy-back” onto a regular wall switch. They are designed to fit into an existing wall switch box and just a plugin.
By installing one of these you no longer have to worry about constantly adjusting the temperature either up or down when you feel hot or cold. All you do is flip your regular wall switch on and off and the line voltage thermostat takes care of the rest!
Mechanical Baseboard Heater Thermostats:
Mechanical baseboard heater thermostats are the most basic type you can buy. There is no electrical wiring involved; they consist of a dial which must be adjusted manually with a screwdriver to set the desired temperature. Once it has been turned up or down, all you have to do is wait for your electric baseboard heaters to kick in and drop off again when it reaches that optimum temperature.
Digital Baseboard Heater Thermostats:
Digital baseboard heater thermostats are much more accurate and easy to program than their mechanical counterparts. Because they come equipped with a battery, no wiring is necessary (for installing these all you’ll need is an electric drill).
Some of the best digital models even adjust themselves automatically when it comes to saving energy and preventing those regular blasts of cold air throughout your home.
Programmable Baseboard Heater Thermostats:
Programmable baseboard heater thermostats are definitely the most high-tech, but they’re also the most expensive. These work just like your traditional thermostat: you program it for different times of day and days of the week.
When installed on an electric baseboard heat system, this type offers a lot of conveniences if you don’t want to have to manually adjust your heaters all of the time, but still enjoy coming home to a warm room after work or school.
Do Energy Savings Matter To You?
So, you’re out shopping for a new baseboard heater. You want something nice and efficient but, let’s face it: the price is an important factor here. How do you know if the more expensive unit will save you money in the long run? The truth of the matter is that it pays to invest in quality products because they are both designed to be more energy-efficient and can often reduce your monthly electric bill significantly.