oil filled electric baseboard heat,


Old 03-01-08, 04:54 PM
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oil filled electric baseboard heat,

I am thinking of replacing my oil heat in the apartment in my house with electric oil filled baseboard. There is currently about 50 ft. of baseboard now and its on a separate burner in my house, so if I change to electric I can eliminate 1 of the boilers. I have just been told I need to replace the current boiler and would rather not. Any one have any ideas about his form of heating and would I have to upgrade my current electric service. I am not sure what service I have now.

Thanks for any help...
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Old 03-01-08, 09:07 PM
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Location: (near) Boise, ID
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I'm no expert in this area by any means, but here are a few thoughts:

-Please indicate your location, house age, and explain what you mean by apartment.

-A (properly running) heating system that burns fuel rather than using electricity is generally cheaper and more efficient (power plants are 30-45% efficient, furnaces 80-95%) to operate. The exception is if you have cheap electricity where you live or have a heat pump.

-If you live where the winters are mild, don't plan on living in your house long, or do not usually use the space you are going to heat, it may be worth higher heating bills to offset lower installation costs.

-You said that you had multiple boilers. Is there enough capacity to heat this area with another boiler?

-There may be tax incentives to replace an inefficient boiler and/or insulate.

-This may be a good time to consider natural gas if it's available.

-I'm sure boilers aren't cheap, but it may be cheaper to stay with your current heating system than to change to electric.

-The electric service for your house was probably sized based on having the oil heat. If you have an older house, it is probably overloaded already. You should expect minor, and probably major electrical work.

-I wouldn't consider this a DIY project. It will probably require several permits/inspections and experts to install and possibly decommission old equipment.
Old 03-02-08, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
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This is one of few thin line i gernally dont cross over but you meantion the word " Apartment" there are some issue will come up with this.

any wiring to do with the apartment must be done by electrician [ most state will required that per their code and laws ] and it will be wise have a HVAC contactor to check it out too to see what the sisuation you have there to see there is other alternative way to deal in safe manner.

but electric service it get tricky with baseboard heating system there is some chance you will end up changeing the service entrance size to larger main breaker box size.

the only legal way to do this.,, do the load demand caluatcations that the only safe way to correctaly sized the electrical service system.

Merci, Marc
Old 03-02-08, 07:25 AM
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As Marc said, you'll have to do a Demand Load Calculation to determine whether your current electrical service can handle the increased draw. Google "Demand Load Calc" and you should be able to find an online calculator. Or you can post your current service size (100A, 150A, etc) along with a list of your major appliances (stove, oven, dryer, etc) and someone here may be able to help.

If it's only 50' worth of baseboard, I would think your first boiler could handle it, but I can't say I'm very knowledgeable in that area. Also, oil filled baseboards are quite expensive. I just purchased a 24" electric baseboard replacement for my parents - the electric baseboard was about $20, the oil filled one was $110.

Wiring them up should be pretty simple, though it requires running the wire from your breaker box to each baseboard location. Depending on the age of the house/apt and layout, you can probably determine how much work this will be. Also, check to see if you have any open spaces in your breaker/fuse box to allow 2 or 4 new breakers. If not, you'll need either an upgrade or a fuse panel.

I know it's a lot of questions/comments, but things to consider. The easiest way might be to bring in an electrician and ask for an estimate. But I will say, my parents have electric heat in their house and they HATE it. It is incredibly expensive, and very dry. Their electric bills are astronomical!

In any case, good luck!

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