Can You Install A Baseboard Heater In Basement?

A baseboard heater is a type of heating system that is installed on the walls or floors. They are typically used in homes, offices, and other enclosed spaces because they are not as powerful as floor units.

Yes, you can install a baseboard heater in the basement. Baseboard heaters are typically used as an additional heating source in basements.

But if you are planning on installing a baseboard heater in the basement, it is important to know that this type of unit will work well when installed near an exterior wall. 

It would be best if you did not place it too far from the wall, and it also needs to have its dedicated air supply and return lines. If your home has high ceilings, then you can install a baseboard heater without any problems. 

The installation process for these types of units typically takes between 4 and 6 hours. However, it will depend on what parts need to be replaced or added during the process.

Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater vs. Standard

A standard electric baseboard heater is a commonly used home heating device that heats the room by running electricity through wire coils. However, it requires power to function, so it’s not suitable for areas without nearby electrical outlets. 

Hydronic electric baseboard heaters are similar, except they work with water rather than electricity, making them ideal for basements or other places without wiring access.

The good news is that both types of systems can be used safely, provided homeowners follow manufacturer instructions carefully.

For example, hydronic baseboard heaters need to be set up at least 12-inches away from walls and other flammable objects. They also require a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) hooked into the building’s electrical system to function safely, so don’t forget this step.

When it comes to standard heaters, make sure you have adequate ventilation since they emit carbon dioxide and warm air.

Although this makes them suitable for basements, it also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if they aren’t installed properly.

Advantages of Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters

Some of the benefits of hydronic electric baseboard heaters include:

  • No combustion – They don’t emit carbon dioxide, smoke, or other dangerous pollutants.
  • They require less ventilation since the unit’s water doesn’t produce hot air that needs to be vented outside your home. Additionally, there are no electrical components involved in their operation. Therefore, this makes them safer to use than standard baseboard heaters, which increase the risk of fire when installed improperly.
  • They require little maintenance and provide a steady source of warmth even if the power suddenly goes out. 
  • They can be used with alternative heating sources such as solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, and wood stoves.
  • They are cost-effective since they use less energy than standard baseboard heaters to provide the same amount of warmth for your home. Also, their installation is cheaper since you don’t need additional ventilation or wiring. Plus, there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if installed correctly.
  • They come in various sizes and styles so you can choose the one that’s right for your home.
  • They are an excellent choice for basements because they don’t require wiring access.

Disadvantages of Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters

Like any other products out there, these types of heaters also have their fair share of disadvantages. These disadvantages include:

  • Since they need a pump to function, you will experience higher energy usage than standard baseboard heaters.
  • Their installation is slightly more complicated than standard electric baseboard heaters. That’s because of the water hookup and electrical components that are involved in their operation. This means there’s an increased risk if installed improperly. In addition, homeowners also have to pay for professional installation, which can be expensive depending on where you live.
  • Hydronic electric baseboards heaters shut off immediately if the power suddenly goes out due to bad weather or other infrastructural problems. Therefore, it takes time for them to turn back on again once electricity resumes. The good news is this only happens during major storms or emergencies.
  • These heaters are not suitable to use in garages, kitchens, or any other room with flammable objects. That’s because they emit carbon dioxide and warm air. Also, homeowners can’t install them near walls. This means that you can’t cover the entire perimeter surrounding your home with hydronic electric baseboard heating systems.
  • Not all hydronic electric baseboard heaters are compatible with alternative energy sources. So, you have to do your research first before making a purchase.
  • They don’t work well in arid climates since they need water to function properly. Therefore, this can be difficult if there isn’t enough humidity available for the system’s pump.

Pros and Cons of Baseboard Heaters

Pros

  • They are incredibly cost-effective since all you have to do is attach them to your walls and plug them in.
  • Installation requires a bit of wiring, but it’s not complicated or expensive, provided you don’t need additional ventilation for these types of heaters. In addition, if installed properly, they won’t emit carbon monoxide, which means there’s no risk of poisoning the air quality inside your home during installation.
  • Most standard baseboard heating systems use convectional heating, so they require less energy than other types of electric furnaces such as radiant and hydronic models that rely on alternative sources like solar panels or geothermal pumps to function.
  • These units provide consistent warmth across their entire surface area, making them ideal for small to medium-sized homes.
  • Not all types of standard electrical models require a power source. So, they still function even if there’s an outage as long as there is fuel available. However, this necessitates having alternative heating sources on hand if your primary heat source stops working.
  • They don’t emit carbon dioxide, which means they’re safe to use near the walls. Unlike hydronic electric baseboard heaters that need water hookups and additional wiring to work correctly. In addition, homeowners can install standard electrical baseboard heaters near the walls without worrying about excess moisture building up around these units. This is because they emit warm air instead of carbon dioxide like their hydronic counterparts do.
  • Standard baseboard heaters are more energy-efficient than other types of heating systems such as radiant or hydronic models. This is because there is no risk of overheating your home if you leave them on for too long by mistake.

Cons

  • Standard baseboard heaters are unsuitable for use in garages, kitchens, or any other room with flammable objects mainly because they emit carbon dioxide and warm air. 
  • They require an alternative heating source in case there is a power outage. 
  • They don’t work well in arid climates since they don’t emit carbon dioxide. This means they’re not suitable for use near the walls. 

Which One Should You Choose?

The type of heater you decide to choose highly depends on your needs. As you’ve seen from the advantages and disadvantages of both types of heaters, no “one fits all” solution works well in every situation. 

You should carefully consider your options and decide on the best heating system for you. If you’re still not sure about installing a baseboard heater in your basement, you can try other heating options to replace baseboard heaters.

Installing Baseboard Heating in Basement 

The good thing about baseboard heating systems is that they are pretty easy to install. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it. 

Determine the Heating Requirement

Calculate the precise dimensions of the space you need to heat. For example, you usually need 10 watts to heat one square foot of area. Therefore, a 250-watt regular-density baseboard heater can heat approximately 25 square feet. You can also consider installing multiple baseboard heaters instead.

Choose the Location

The next step is to find a spot in the basement with adequate ventilation. Electric baseboard heaters should ideally be located beneath windows and not be hindered by any furniture or drapes.

Know the Wiring Needs

Examine the area to see if there is accessible electrical wiring. If it isn’t, you’ll need to supply a power connection.

Utilize Different Circuits

For proper operation, separate circuits are required for the thermostat and the electric heater. In addition, electric baseboard heaters require a consistent supply of 120 volts to operate effectively.

A separate circuit would prevent overloading and tripping. Finally, you should install the thermostat at a safe distance from the heat source. Ideally, you’ll place it in a dead space like behind the doors, away from the heat source.

Mount the Heaters Appropriately

Using a drill, create holes to secure wall clamps. Install the heaters on the wall and fasten them firmly. The thermostat should be similarly positioned.

Connections

The last step is to make the connections. Connect the bare wires, white wires, and black wires. Also, connect the electric line to the thermostat. Finally, connect the baseboard heater to the thermostat.

When you complete the installation steps, go ahead and test run the new basement heaters to ensure everything is working correctly.

Best Baseboard Heater for Basement

Cadet 83″ Softheat Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heater

Pros

  • It provides fast heating suitable for warming an area of approximately 200 square feet.
  • This hydronic baseboard heater delivers low surface temps compared to standard baseboards. 
  • Energy-efficient – The baseboard heater significantly saves energy and enables you to minimize your electricity costs.
  • It is suitable and safe to use at home.

Cons

  • You have to closely monitor the heater to ensure you’re safe unless you set the auto-timer.
  • It is not suitable for heating large areas of more than 200 square feet.

When choosing a baseboard heater for your basement, it’s crucial to consider its efficiency and reliability. Luckily, the Cadet 83″ Softheat Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heater offers fast heating and is quite reliable.

If you want to save on energy costs, this is also the right heater to consider. Its lower surface temperature makes it suitable to use in homes with kids and pets. Although safety is also not that convenient with this heater, it still stands out as our top recommendation.

Fahrenheit FBE15002 Portable Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heater

 Pros

  • The heater features a portable design that allows you to move it easily without any hassle.
  • It features a fanless operation. This means that the natural convection moves heat throughout the room, evenly distributing the heat without any noise.
  • It provides cleaner heat, thanks to the convection heat that keeps allergens, dust, and any bacteria from blowing around your space.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t blow enough heat to keep you warm if you’re far away.
  • Although the heater is said to be silent, it still makes a bit of noise when running.

The Fahrenheit FBE15002 Portable Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heater is what most people need, especially if you’re looking for a simple device to keep you warm. This portable baseboard heater is not only easy to move from one place to another, but it’s also relatively easy to operate.

It comes with excellent safety features for worry-free warmth. An overheat protection is included in the heater that prevents heat from running when the air intake is blocked. There is also a linear high-temperature safety cutout that automatically shuts off the unit if there is any air blockage.

Fahrenheit PLF1504 Liquid Filled Hydronic Baseboard Heater

Pros

  • This baseboard heater’s hydronic design helps keep it cool, which makes it safe to use.
  • This Fahrenheit heater is pretty easy to install. Therefore, you won’t need to hire a professional to do it for you.
  • It features the perfect size, and this makes it ideal to use in homes.

Cons

  • The heater doesn’t deliver as much heat as one would anticipate
  • The basic electrical diagram provided doesn’t help with the installation

The Fahrenheit PLF1504 Liquid Filled Hydronic Baseboard Heater is a unique device that helps to keep you warm when it’s cold. It has a hydronic design that helps to keep it cool and makes it safe to use around kids and pets. When it comes to installation, you won’t have to strain too much because this heater is designed with a wire-way along the back to be wired on both ends.

The heater’s overheat protection feature helps to prevent it from running when the air intake is blocked. Therefore, this helps to reduce any risks of fire. Since the heater uses convection heat, this helps to keep the heat clean by preventing dust, allergens, and other bacteria from blowing around the room.

Baseboard Heater Safety Tips

  • Ensure that the thermostat is installed at a safe distance from the heat source.
  • Remove all furniture and drapes near the electric baseboard heater to provide adequate ventilation.
  • Keep children away from your unit as it can get hot during operation, potentially causing injury if touched by bare skin or clothing.
  • Never use an extension cord for powering up your electrical baseboard heater since this could cause overheating and lead to a fire hazard.
  • Regularly inspect any exposed parts of your heater because these might get worn down with time due to friction or excessive heat exposure.

Conclusion

Overall, installing a baseboard heater in the basement is doable, but you must follow the right safety precautions. This will ensure you’re completely safe in your home, especially if you happen to have kids or pets.

Hopefully, we’ve gained valuable insights from the information we’ve provided in this post. But, if you have any questions or feedback regarding this post, feel free to reach out to us through email, and we’ll be happy to help.

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