Electric Baseboard Heater:Hydronic or Not?

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Old 11-01-11, 08:08 AM
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Electric Baseboard Heater:Hydronic or Not?

If I were to buy new electric baseboard heaters to replace existing ones in my family room addition, would there be any substanial savings in electric cost by buying hydronic electric heaters over just electric? The assumption here being that they are each 240v 1500w approx 8amps. I know there may be a better comfort level with the hydronic...

One of the existing heaters thermostat has seemed to have died and the units are all over 20 years old. They are an early version of hydronic. They seem to have to be set higher now to reach the same comfort level and the electric cost has been creeping up each year.

I have thought of just replacing the thermostat on the one unit and letting it go at that.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
 
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Old 11-01-11, 08:33 AM
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Hi,

What is your budget and what are you looking to accomplish?

Any fuel source around?

Energy Savers: Electric Resistance Heating

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-01-11, 08:41 AM
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With electric baseboard heaters, watts is watts; they all produce exactly the same amount of heat with the energy they use. The only difference is how it feels in the room. Radiant heaters will feel warmer when you are standing in front, convection heaters will make the air warmer which will then heat the items in the room, and hydronic will warm more slowly but evenly.

If you do decides to replace the baseboard heaters, make sure to get replacements with the same or less watts than the originals so you don't overload the circuits. I would just replace the faulty thermostat.

The effect you notice over time is probably due more to window/door seals breaking down, insulation settling in the wall cavities and so forth. You can get some efficiency back by thoroughly checking for air leaks, caulking, weatherstipping, etc.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the info...As for budget, I have priced the hydronic units and they are quite a bit more than I'd really like to spend at this point. Although, I would if I thought the difference was worth it...

The rest of the house is hot water baseboard. The addition (added before my time) is down a couple steps and the floor is concrete.

I am leaning toward just doing the thermostat for now...
 
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Old 11-01-11, 10:30 AM
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A gradual lessening of heat output from finned tube baseboards, regardless of whether they are electric (either hydronic or straight resistance) or hot water supplied is from a build up of dust and such in between the fins. These NEED airflow from the bottom upwards between the fins and out the top to perform properly. Even a shag carpet installed so as to restrict the airflow into the bottom can adversely affect the operation.

I suggest that you remove the covers and do a thorough cleaning of the heaters before anything else.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 10:32 AM
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If it were myself I would indeed do the calculations and add baseboard from the hydronic system. There are many factors involved but IMO I think that would be a great option.

Cost wise short term just change the t stat.

Cost wise long term, tap into the hydronic heat.

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 11-01-11 at 11:53 AM.
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