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electric base board heat to supplement a room

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by chrisf, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    I have been wanting to do it for a couple years I want to put in elctric base board heat in my boys bedroom. It is on the second floor farthest room form both pellet stoves. It is not cold in thier room but I want to make it comfy for them on the real cold upstate day and nights. the room is approx 12' x 20' all open room with 7' ceiling. I am looking at qmark hydronic electric baseboard heater with a honeywell line voltage progamable t stat. and not sure what wattage to get I think 500w is not enough they make 750,100, 1250, 1500,& 2000. I just cant find anything on calculating for supplamental heat. I am looking at during the day keeping it at 60 in hte evening 70 and at night 65. on average the room is at 60 during the day with the stove running.

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  2. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Is the room fully insulated? If not, that might be the better place to start.

    If it's mainly supplemental or occasional heat, why not just buy one or two 1500 watt 120 volt space heaters like HD has? They're cheap and easy and portable, and don't take up nearly as much space. If you need more than one, they'll need to run on separate circuits, or they'll trip the breaker, but the same goes for baseboard heaters. 1500 watt max on a 15 amp circuit.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    To calculate how many watts are needed, you would need to know the R value and area of exterior walls, ceiling if single floor, floor if unheated crawlspace, type and size of windows, etc.. If you say it isn't cold now, then you probably don't need much but I would put 1000 watts. I'm guessing that it will be wired into 220V and as such the current draw is half what dave11 stated.
  4. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    well I have a small space heater in thier now. I think it is 1500 watts. I was just looking to put something in that is safer and perment. I have paneling on an extior wall in there and I am pulling that down and since i had the wall open I was going to run a 220 feed from the basement. reinsualte and put a new window in too. Like I said the room is cool not cold so I am looking to bring it up in a span of 10 degrees as needed.
  5. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    You're going to run 240 there, but using cable with what ampacity? If you're going with 12 g. cable, you can get 20 amps out of it, or a max of 4800 watts. That's the same as 16,300 BTU max.

    Or you could run 14 g. cable max of 15 amps and get 3600 watts or 12,240 BTU max.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    My house is equipped with individual electric heaters in each room. Almost every heater has its own circuit which is a 20 amp 220 volt circuit wired with 12 gauge 12-2 wire. You don't need a neutral so you use regular 12-2 romex and use the white as one of the hots. The house originally had baseboard heat and now has the little blower style heaters that don't consume floor space. I installed the line voltage programmable stats in the kid's rooms as well and think it's a great idea.

    The heaters are cheap, the wiring is cheap, and the installed units are much safer than any portable plug in device will ever be.

    There is no magic where you need a "hydronic" electric heater. All electric heaters are 100% efficient so go to the HD and buy the one you like.

    I wouldn't put any less than 1000 watts in the room. Most of my bedroom heaters are 1500 or 1800 watts.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I assume you will put the heater under the window. My former home had baseboard heaters.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I'd recommend you avoid the extra cost of so-called "high efficiency" baseboard heaters. When it comes down to efficiency of electric heat they're all pretty much the same. Some add oil, other liquids or waxes to store heat but much like soapstone on a woodstove, this change only how fast they heat up and cool down, not the total amount of heat produced per kilowatt hour.
  9. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i'm a electrician. i run heat in houses alot. if your house was a all electric heat you would need over 2000 watts. the baseboard companys tell us to take the square footage of the room and multiply by 10 and that is the wattage you'll need. run a 12/2 romex to where you'll need it. the heaters are generally 250 per foot. that will give you a idea of how much wall space you'll need. also if you can put it on the 12 wall so that it can send heat the long way down the room. doing it that way you won't get hot spots in the room. and make sure if you put anything in front of it, it is at least 6 inches away. no curtains within 18 inches. the electric baseboards run hotter than the hot water ones so be careful. if you put a separate thermostat on the wall see if you can put it as far as possible away from the heater and make sure that the wall it is mounted to is a inside wall.
  10. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    agreed
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Was just looking at them the other day, The box had a chart saying a 10 x10 room would take a 1500 watt stick.
    I assume this is a general starting point, and you could adjust up or down depending on insulation, windows and other factors.
  12. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    yeah I was going to go with 1500 watts. That should do the room Just fine Thanks for the input guys.
  13. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    the one thing about electric heat is it's almost fool proof. almost. price wise, what ever it costs to heat a room will be almost the same what ever the wattage you use. if the room requires 1500 watts to heat and you put in 2000, the heat runs less but takes more power. if you put in 1000 watt heater it runs more and you might not notice any difference, except when it gets real cold and the room might not come up to temp. at that point the small heater will cost you more to run because it running and doesn't shut off. this is what i see happen most times when people try to use a piece of electric heat or portable heater. they turn it on trying to supplement the heat that wasn't sized right or they have no heat in the room at all and expect the house heat to just take care of itself. they put in electric baseboard that is to small or sized ok for the room if the door was closed. the rooms door is left open or no doors beause it's a addition familyroom or what ever the room is called. they turn down the main house thermostat then leave the electric heater the same temp as if they were in the room and what happens is when the house cools off the additions electric heat turn on and is effectively trying to heat the whole house because of the door opening being open door or no door at all. and in the end some people shut it down and never turn it on because it costs them to much to run.
    bottom line is if you got a electric heater in only one room and forget that it is turned on and leave the door open and the heat doesn't shut down it can cost you big. if a space heater that takes 1500 watts runs 24/7 for a month and never gets to shut down, that would be 1.5 kwh x .15 cents per kilowatt x 24 hours x 30 days = $162.00
    so be careful not to get the surprise.
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Good thread. The little wall heaters that sit flush with the sheetrock have all the same benefits as the long baseboard heaters except they make noise. They are smaller and I think they look better than the big baseboard heaters. All the wall heaters are the same size nomatter the wattage, in fact I was just in that section of the store and instead of having a 1000, 1500, etc. model of heater they have a PIW or "pick-a-watt" heater that you can select the wattage of the unit. The 20 amp, 220 circuit should only be 75% utilized so you could actually run more than 2000 watts if you want to.

    With the programmable stats you just need to be sure to close the kid's bedroom door at night. This works for us since they sleep better while we are watching TV or whatever being loud.
  15. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I recommend getting your baseboard units from and electrical supply instead of home cheapo. I did when I replaced some of mine [originals from 1972 and dirty and beat up as it gets]. They have nicer units, you can get a nice digital thermostat there and you can get some tips from the boys at the counter.
  16. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    For fun I just bought one of those little electric fireplaces from menards. 1500 watts and it has a fan. I bought 3" ductwork and am painting it black so that it looks like it's installed into a thimble on the wall.
  17. robert@plamondon.com

    robert@plamondon.com New Member

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    By the way, I did some research to find an electronic thermostat that would let me mix wood heat and electric baseboard heat for the least money and the most comfort, and I'm pretty happy with the answer I came up: use Aube programmable line-voltage thermostats. These have proportional control and a bar graph to show you how much power the heater is using. Seeing the heater running at 100% makes me get up and build a fire! Waking up to a cold house because of a deep setback temperature makes me build a fire too. So I get the comfort of electric heat throughout the house while still relying mostly on the wood stove in the living room for all the heavy lifting.

    I wrote a blog article on my experience, in case you're interested: Aube Thermostats: Save Money With Supplemental Wood Heat.

    I have to admit that I like the idea of their proportional control/triac-based thermostat technology almost as much as the product itself, since during my amateur stage-lighting days I built a lot of dimmers based on the same basic switching technology.

    Robert
  18. bjkjoseph

    bjkjoseph Member

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    just in case your not aware,if you have a space heater in a child's room,you must have a smoke detector in that room.
  19. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    We've got two electric baseboards installed in our lower level up in VT. I set the temp on the one controlled by a t-stat to about 50 or so when we're not there.

    We have another one in our laundry room where all the copper in the house resides. This one has a basic dial t-stat built into the unit. The problem is, there's no temp control on the dial. Is there any way to hook up a t-stat to this unit and bypass the dial?
  20. robert@plamondon.com

    robert@plamondon.com New Member

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    There are two ways of using a new thermostat. One is to just wire a new thermostat in series with the old one, and turn the old one all the way up. The other way is to remove the old thermostat and wire in the new one at the same point. I've used both methods.

    The advantage to removing the old thermostat is that having two in series is weird and confuses people.

    Robert Plamondon
    http://www.plamondon.com
  21. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Robert. Maybe I'll give that a shot.
  22. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    As supplemental heat, I would recommend both a thermostat, preferably a wall thermostat, wired in series with a timer switch. That way it won't/can't be left on all the time.
  23. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking a water hot bottle(bladder), just like they had in the old days, should keep the kids warm. Just kidding, good thread.
  24. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    i've got my fireplace thing recently hooked up to one of those timers. it goes on around half an hour before bed, turns off about midnight, turns back on about half an hour before it's time to get up, and then shuts off about the time I go to work. still has a thermostat, but the cheap one I have runs the fan non-stop whether it's heating or not, so hopefully this prolongs its life and also saves a little electricity.
  25. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    there is a way you can put a thermostat with temperature settings. across the room from the heater (the opposite wall) about 5 feet of the floor run two same gauge wire romex into a electrical switch type box with 18 cubic inch rating. then run those wires to the heater where the thermostat is now and do the appropriate wiring. or run those wires and use a set back line voltage type of thermostat. or run a regular low voltage thermostat wire from the opposite wall down to the electric panel that has the circuit breaker or fuse for that heater. next get a relay made for switching the heater on and off with built in low voltage for the thermostat. and that way is a way to use a regular type thermostat so that you know what temp you have and want to set the heater at. electric supply houses have to relays. it should not be a special order they should have them in stock.
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