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Skydmark1 10-08-2007 01:07 PM

Electric Baseboard Heat
Hello everyone, this is my first post at this forum. I'm going to be starting a project soon that involves renovating our now unusable 2nd floor. I'm researching how to heat it right now. The 1st floor is forced hot air and I don't want to have to go through putting duct work to the 2nd floor, especially given the type of house this is (new england style built in 1880's)

SO, I'm thinking electric baseboard is the way to go. I have a couple of questions that somebody here might be able to answer. First is, what are the differences from convection and electric hydronic. Is one more efficient than the other?

Secondly, I'd like to wire in a temperature controlled thermostat to at least a couple of the heaters, what can I use to do that? Lastly, what's the best way to figuire out how much baseboard I need? I read somewhere that 10 watts per square feet should be sufficient.

Any help is appreciated.....THANKS!!!! :thumbsup:


redline 10-08-2007 01:41 PM

How many square feet is the space that will need electric heat?

Will you be installing insulation?

How many amps is the main electriclal panel? (100, 150, 200...)

Skydmark1 10-09-2007 07:55 AM

Hi Redline, thanks for the reply. Here's some more info on the space I'm working on. There are 3 Bedrooms, each is 160-170 sq. ft. about 1/4 of each room is slant ceiling down to 4ft. The max ceiling height upstairs is just shy of 7 1/2 feet. There are a couple of windows in each room. All the windows are going to be replaced with Pella Replacement double thermal pane glass. The Master Bedroom is getting all new insulation, ceiling and walls. The other two rooms will be using the original insulation (4" walls) We have a 200 amp square D breaker box. What size wire do you run for electric heat?

Other than that, I mean our basic needs are to sustain 65-68 degrees without skyrocketing our electric bill. We have forced hot air downstairs, and even with no insulation in the ceiling or walls of one whole room upstairs, it still is warmer than you would think up there.

Also, I don't know if I mentioned that I'm in The NorthEast :thumbsup:

Thanks in advance for any and all help :thumbup:

chris75 10-09-2007 06:59 PM

If your using electric heat, your electric bill is going to skyrocket...

NateHanson 10-09-2007 07:04 PM

You're going to be shocked at how much you'll spend even with supplemental electric heat. This is the wrong way to do it. You MUST have a closet where you can put a duct chase through the 1st floor. Or bump out a section of wall to 2x6 and put ducting in the stud bay. You only need a couple outlets at that level, and you can possibly supply some of them from a common duct up from the basement if you're doing a renovation and have access to the floor joist space.

dmaceld 10-09-2007 09:30 PM

How new/old is your current FA system downstairs? Old enough to consider replacing it?

Find a dealer around you somewhere who handles either Daikin or Mitsubishi high efficiency heat pump systems. They're called variable refrigerant volume (or flow) systems. One outdoor unit can feed up to eight indoor fan coil units. The biggest advantage is they will produce heat down to 5F with a coefficient of performance (COP) around 3. That means that for every Btu of electrical energy you put into the heat pump you get 3 Btus of heat out.

Not cheap to install, but can save you a lot of $ in the long run. Easy to install in an old house because all you have to run are copper tubes to the rooms upstairs. You put an individual fan coil in each room, each with its own thermostat. You can replace the furnace with a ducted fan coil and continue to use your existing duct work for down stairs. You could even buy the outdoor unit, hook up the bedrooms, and later change out the furnace. The system is that versatile.

Worth looking at.

Skydmark1 10-10-2007 06:43 AM

Ok, so sounds like maybe I don't want to put in electric because of the increase in my monthly bill. I thought maybe I could get away with it for another $30 a month or so.

Anyway, My current furnace is about mid-life but replacing it is out of the question anyway because it's just not in my budget. I'm working with about $10k to do the entire upstairs (3 bedrooms and a 3/4 bath)

I'm going to explore running a duct upstairs but it'll be hard to find a spot, I only have 1 closet on the 1st floor and I don't think it's going to work. We'll have to see. I think I'll still put in a couple of fan forced small electric wall heaters just to take the chill off if we need to.

Are there any other options I should be exploring? Suggestions are welcome, and thanks so far :thumbup:

chris75 10-12-2007 08:43 PM

You can run the duct anywhere any always just box it in, just pick a spot that will not look so bad on both floors...

hvactech 10-13-2007 07:51 AM

like others said electric heaters are not the way to go, you are not going to be happy with the results.

redline 10-14-2007 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by Skydmark1 (Post 67152)
... and even with no insulation in the ceiling or walls of one whole room upstairs, it still is warmer than you would think up there.

The heat from the first floor should rise thru the uninsulated ceilings (2nd foors)

You may be suprised that if you fully insulate the second floor that your heating needs will be less than you think. Heat will rise to the second floor by the stair way and other means.

Cooling during the summer will be another concern.

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