How Much Does Electric Baseboard Heat Cost Per Month?

An electric baseboard heater is a popular choice for heating an entire house. They are inexpensive to operate and can be set to keep the temperature in the room at your desired setting.

An electric baseboard heater is also very versatile, as you can install it anywhere there’s an outlet with access to 240-volt power. But how much does electric baseboard heat cost per month?

The cost of running a baseboard heater per month depends on the size of your room, how long you run the heater per day, and your local electricity cost per kWh

A typical 12000 Watts baseboard heater costs an average of $1.67 per hour to run. If the electric baseboard heater is used for 8 hours per day, it costs $13.33. Running the electric baseboard heater for one month will cost around $400

Is an Electric Baseboard Heater Expensive to Run?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Electric baseboard heaters are more expensive to run than other forms of heating like natural gas or propane.

However, there may be circumstances that would save you money compared with these alternatives depending on your location and the price difference between natural gas and electricity.

Do Electric Baseboard Heaters Use a Lot of Electricity?

Electric baseboard heaters are a great way to keep your home warm in the winter without costing too much money. However, they do use electricity, which can cost you extra on your utility bills each month.

In most homes, an electric space heater uses between 500 watts per hour and 1500 watts per hour, depending on how large a heater you have. If you use an electric stove or other high-wattage electrical appliances, the amount of electricity used will differ from your home is all-electric baseboard heaters.

An average size heater uses about 1500 watts per hour and costs between $0.11 to $0.30 depending on where you live in the United States.

If you have a larger home, it may be smart to look into purchasing multiple small heaters instead of one large heater. This will give your floors the warmth they need without spending too much money on electricity bills or heating costs per month.

How to Calculate How Much it Costs to Run an Electric Baseboard Heater

The easiest method to figure out how much total heating wattage you’ll need is to determine the room’s square footage and multiply it by 10 watts. This enables you to obtain a baseline wattage requirement.

If you’re heating a 12-foot x 12-foot room, for example, the total amount of space is 144 square feet. The required heater wattage for this area can be calculated as follows: 144 x 10 = 1440.

This wattage calculation technique assumes the standard wall, ceiling, floor insulation, and 8-foot ceilings. If the room does not meet these standards, make the following modifications:

  • If the ceilings are 10 feet higher than 8 feet, add 25% more wattage.
  • If the ceilings are 12 feet higher than 8 feet, add an extra 50% wattage.
  • Multiply the square footage by 12.5 watts in an older home; instead of 10 watts.
  • Multiply the space’s square footage by 7.5 watts, not 10, in an ultra-insulated house.

Using our earlier example, let’s say that the space is standard. The necessary wattage is 1440 watts, implying a single 1500-watt baseboard heater or two 750-watt heaters could heat the room.

Calculating the Cost by Length

This approach assumes that baseboard heaters with a 240-volt connection produce 250 watts per linear foot of length on average.

The main aim of this technique is to tell you the typical length of your baseboard heater.

  1. To calculate square footage, first measure the width and length of the space.
  2. The next step should be to multiply the square footage by 9.
  3. Add 10% to the base wattage estimate for each of the following, as needed:
  • All windows
  • Exterior walls
  • Exterior doors
  • Any poorly insulated wall
  • Uninsulated space below the room
  • Ceilings taller than 8 feet

The total wattage required for baseboard heaters to heat a room is the resulting number. To get the required length of the baseboard heater, divide your answer by 250.

We’ll use the same room size as in the first calculation approach, assuming that our 144-square-foot bedroom is typical and features a single window with two exterior walls.

Therefore, you can calculate it like so:

  1. 9 watts multiplied by 144 square feet to give you 1296 watts
  2. Add 10% to each window to arrive at 1425.6 watts.
  3. An added 20% for two exterior walls gives you total energy of 1710.72 watts.
  4. When divided by the standard wattage per linear foot (250), the length of the baseboard heater required will be 6.84 feet.
  5. To summarize, this implies that 7 feet of the heater, or 84 inches, is required. Multiple heaters are the most likely option in this length because standard heaters aren’t available in such lengths.

When it comes to choosing baseboard heaters, it’s usually better to oversize them slightly. There is no efficiency loss when baseboard heaters are slightly larger than the minimal requirements.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Running a Baseboard Heater

Many different factors affect the cost of running a baseboard heater. The type and size of your home, how much you use it, weather conditions in your area, efficiency rating on the unit, and so forth.

We will go over each factor briefly to help give context to why heaters are priced differently.

Heating Capacity

How quickly a heater can heat a room is called the “heating capacity.” Heaters with more heating capacity will reach your desired temperature faster and, therefore, use less energy overall.

This might not seem like an essential factor when choosing which type of baseboard heater you want, but if you’re trying to save money on your energy bill, every little bit helps.

Efficiency Rating

Heaters come with an efficiency rating so you can see how much usable heat is generated per unit of electricity used by the heater. The US Department of Energy recommends a minimum of 80% for efficient heater models and higher than 90% if possible.

A higher efficiency rating will save you money on your energy bill and keep more of the electric baseboard heat in your home, making it a little warmer for everyone!

How Long You Run the Heater Per Day

Heaters come in a variety of wattages, which directly correlate to how much electricity they use.

The longer your heater runs per day, the more it will cost you electricity costs at the end of every month. So, if possible, try only to use them when necessary and turn them off when they aren’t needed anymore.

The Temperature of the Room

If you have a lot of insulation in your home’s walls, flooring, and ceiling, it will be easier for heat to transfer throughout. If there is not much insulation in your home, it will take more energy to keep you warm.

The colder it is outside (especially below 0 degrees Fahrenheit), the more heat you need. Try to keep your home at a comfortable temperature that doesn’t require too much energy for heated baseboard heaters.

Size Capacity

The heating capacity is also affected by how big or small the room is. If you have a large open space to heat up with an electric heater, you will need a larger capacity heater than someone with a small room.

Ways to Bring Down Your Baseboard Heating Electric Bill

Keep your Heater Clean

The easiest way to save money on your heating bill is to keep your heater clean. Dirt and dust accumulate around a unit, which prevents it from operating at an optimal level.

If you don’t regularly clean out the space beneath or behind the baseboard heater, there will be an extra buildup of dirt that could lead to additional heat loss through those areas.

Insulate your Home

Keeping your house well insulated is another way to bring down the cost of heating. Insulation will prevent heat from escaping through windows, doors, and floors, in addition to keeping it inside where you need it.

Be sure that all areas are adequately sealed with weather stripping or caulking to minimize any drafts around openings into your home.

Change your Air Filter

Every time you change your air filter, the furnace will have to work a little harder. This means that it’s going to use more energy and cost you more money in doing so.

So changing out your filters once or twice each month is an easy way to reduce this additional stress on the system while at the same time saving some of your money.

Turn the Temperature Down

If you’re at home, your baseboard heater is doing its job by heating that space for you to feel comfortable in it. However, if no one is there or nobody needs to be heated, turn down the temperature!

This will save energy and keep money in your pocket as well, especially when you’re away from home for a while.

Final Thoughts

Baseboard heaters are a great source of supplemental heating in your home that will help you save money and energy. However, there’s much more to it than just plugging them in and forgetting about them.

You can easily bring down your electric bill from baseboard heaters while keeping your home comfortable and warm by following these easy tips.