How to Install Electric Baseboard Heaters in a Basement

What You'll Need
Electric wire
Electric baseboard heater system
Circuit breaker
Power drill
Wall brackets

Unlike other heating systems, electric baseboard heaters do not employ any sort of motorized air circulation mechanism; instead they rely on the natural flow of air for heating purposes. Due to low initial costs, electric baseboard heaters are ideal for basement installation. You can install electric baseboard heaters at home as follows.  

Step 1 – Calculate the Heating Requirement

Determine the exact dimension of the area you need to heat. Usually 10 watts of heat is required to heat a square foot of area. Thus, a standard-density baseboard heater of 250 watts can heat about 25 square feet of space. For higher requirements, you can either can install a high-density baseboard heater or install multiple heaters.

Step 2 – Decide the Location

Identify a location in the basement which contains a sufficient amount of ventilation. Ideally electric baseboard heaters should sit below windows, and they should not be obstructed by any furniture or curtains.

Step 3 – Determine Wiring Requirements

Determine if electrical wiring is available at the place where the baseboard heater will be installed. If it's not available, you will need to provide a power connection in that place.

Step 4 – Use Separate Circuits

Place separate circuits for the thermostat and the electric heater. Electric baseboard heaters require 120 volts of supply for proper functioning. Separate circuits will prohibit circuit overloading and tripping. You also need to place the thermostat away from the heat source. Ideally you will install it in a dead space like behind the doors, well-separated from the source of heat.

Step 5 – Mount the Electric Baseboard Heaters

With the help of the drill, bore holes to fix wall brackets. Screw the brackets tightly and mount the heaters on the wall. In the same way, hook the thermostat in its place.

Step 6 – Make Connections

Since electric baseboard heaters have two wiring compartments at both ends, you don't need to install a separate wiring box. Simply put a hole in the wall to bring the wire out from one end and proceed as follows:

  • Connect the bare wire from the electric line to the green screw of the heater.
  • If there is no such green screw, connect the bare wire from the line to the bare wire of the heater.
  • Connect the white wire from the line with one of the loose wires of the heater.
  • Connect the black wire in the line to the other loose wire in the heater.
  • Tighten all the wire nuts.
  • In the same way, connect the electric line to the thermostat.
  • Finally connect the baseboard heater to the thermostat in a similar fashion.

When you finish these steps, test run your new basement heaters to make sure everything works correctly.