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Old 10-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


I have BB heaters throughout the whole house. Very inefficient to say the least.
Is there anything I can do to upgrade/modify the existing heaters to something more energy efficient?

House is early '70's build. No gas/propane options. Electric only.

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Old 10-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


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I have BB heaters throughout the whole house. Very inefficient to say the least.
Is there anything I can do to upgrade/modify the existing heaters to something more energy efficient?

House is early '70's build. No gas/propane options. Electric only.

That is 100% not true. Electric baseboard heat is 100% efficient. They just cost $$$ to operate

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


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That is 100% not true. Electric baseboard heat is 100% efficient. They just cost $$$ to operate
Electric baseboard is an inefficient use of money, lol.

To the OP, you may want to look at having a heat pump installed. There are ducted and ductless options available. I don't know your location, but that could be a factor on whether a heat pump is a food idea for you.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


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That is 100% not true. Electric baseboard heat is 100% efficient. They just cost $$$ to operate
Exactly....which is why so many states are not allowing resistive heating in new construction.

Downside....the options are not cheap....but with the rising cost of electricity, the payback is getting shorter and shorter.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


upgrade the doors, windows and insulation, especially the attic ..not much else you can do if no gas available...
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


You say there's no gas avalible but all that means is there none there now.
I've never seen anyplace that does not at least offer propane. It's delivered to a tank out in the yard. It could even be an underground tank.

Sounds like a silly idea but I was at an old retired plumbers house one day and he had what looked sort of like a towel rack standing on end made of copper tubing sitting on top of his electric baseboard. It was filled with minerial oil and completly sealed.
I put my hand on it and it was really hot. It acted like a radiator and keep putting out heat even when the baseboard shut off. He claimed it had cut his power bill in 1/2.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:10 AM   #7
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


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You say there's no gas avalible but all that means is there none there now.
I've never seen anyplace that does not at least offer propane. It's delivered to a tank out in the yard. It could even be an underground tank.

Sounds like a silly idea but I was at an old retired plumbers house one day and he had what looked sort of like a towel rack standing on end made of copper tubing sitting on top of his electric baseboard. It was filled with minerial oil and completly sealed.
I put my hand on it and it was really hot. It acted like a radiator and keep putting out heat even when the baseboard shut off. He claimed it had cut his power bill in 1/2.
Any savings from that would have been because he turned the temp down because the rack kept putting off heat after the stat stopped calling for heat. So he didn't get that cool/cold feeling from the heat suddenly shutting off.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:47 AM   #8
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Going the other way for less efficiency, my Father in Law, who claims to be an electrician, has 5 or 6 220v baseboard heaters plugged into 110v outlets (with romex “cords”)!!! The amount of heat produced is laughable. His take is that 220 is dangerous.... in fact, you should have heard the tongue lashing I took for having my hot tub running 220v.... LOL

Mini split with a heat pump is the way to go, if there is no ductwork etc in the house.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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Wow that's nuts.
I went from gas heat to a 2 ton mini split years ago in a small house I own.
I just staired at the box it came in. That yellow sticker they put on things like water heaters and A/C units had the black line all the way over to the right where it says something like max cost savings.
I looked at the directions on how to wire it up and saw how small a gauge wire was needed and could not belive it and even called the company to make sure.
My heating and cooling went way down.
I did not need to buy gas for 2 years (just use it for cooking) so now the gas company wants me to pay rent on the tank.
I went from 200 gal. of propane a month to almost 0.
My highest electric bill was $75.00 in the middle of 100 deg. plus heat.
It's also super quiet.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


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Originally Posted by 211 View Post
I have BB heaters throughout the whole house. Very inefficient to say the least.
Is there anything I can do to upgrade/modify the existing heaters to something more energy efficient?

House is early '70's build. No gas/propane options. Electric only.
Not really. Insulation is your best bet, in the walls, attic.

A Pellet stove might also make some sense, it's not hard labor like operating a wood stove, with electric as a backup. Use the pellet stove in deep winter, with electric use during fall/spring.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:32 PM   #11
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


You can do a ductless system in your main living area and save piles of money. I did a Mitsubishi FE-12 system in my living room and tore out the baseboards. Significant increase in comfort (my wife likes the system more than me) and significant decrease in electric cost. We used to keep it 62-64 degrees and pay $140 plus in electric in the Winter. Three years later, we are still keeping it 72-74 degrees and have not paid over $80 dollars in any Winter month. I did it myself, but had to get the company out to do the lineset connections and to vacuum the system. I got a $1500 rebate from the power company to boot! I have since put a system in my parent's giant house and reduced their bill dramatically. Check out The Heat Pump Store (in Oregon), they do the DIY kits for people and I am happy they allowed me to do the majority of the install.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:48 PM   #12
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You can do a ductless system in your main living area and save piles of money. I did a Mitsubishi FE-12 system in my living room and tore out the baseboards. Significant increase in comfort (my wife likes the system more than me) and significant decrease in electric cost. We used to keep it 62-64 degrees and pay $140 plus in electric in the Winter. Three years later, we are still keeping it 72-74 degrees and have not paid over $80 dollars in any Winter month. I did it myself, but had to get the company out to do the lineset connections and to vacuum the system. I got a $1500 rebate from the power company to boot! I have since put a system in my parent's giant house and reduced their bill dramatically. Check out The Heat Pump Store (in Oregon), they do the DIY kits for people and I am happy they allowed me to do the majority of the install.
That sounds like a very reasonable option!
I've honestly never heard of a ductless system; but one in the livingroom would really be all we need.
I qualify for a PSE rebate as well (just got a check for $700 for my new windows!). Would you mind sharing your cost with me? I'd imagine since the rebate is over 1k. the unit must be at least double that.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:51 PM   #13
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


Alpine Home Air Products: Contractor-grade furnaces, heaters, air conditioners

Look here under Air conditioning / heaters for split systems.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:03 AM   #14
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I really did my homework on the ductless systems. Mitsubishi and Fujitsu are top notch. I have a Mit and my parents have a Fujitsu. Daikin is strong too. The market is being flooded with Chinese systems such as Lennox using a product.... a re-badged "Quietside". Anyway, just about every big-screen TV company has a ductless line. Forgive me for learning so much about this.....


The Mitsubishi I bought was under $2600 a few years back. It came with everything I needed to install including mounting screws and cinder blocks and a concrete foam pad. They even gave me "Linehide" which looks like a down spout to cover the electrical and line set. The kit had a 30 amp disconnect box too, but I had to supply the wire from the panel. The price included their technician coming out to do the HVAC stuff. If they would have installed it, it would have been a little over $4000. With the rebate and tax credits, I had less than a $1000 bucks in it.....a "no-brainer".

This has changed my house, in fact even on cold days and nights I keep it at 72-74 degrees. My baseboards in the bedrooms have been off at the panel for 3 years now. On cold nights the back bedrooms are still above 65 degrees as long as we keep the doors open.

Hope this helps, but we are sure happy.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:14 AM   #15
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Looking for energy mods for baseboard heaters


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
You say there's no gas avalible but all that means is there none there now.
I've never seen anyplace that does not at least offer propane. It's delivered to a tank out in the yard. It could even be an underground tank.

Sounds like a silly idea but I was at an old retired plumbers house one day and he had what looked sort of like a towel rack standing on end made of copper tubing sitting on top of his electric baseboard. It was filled with minerial oil and completly sealed.
I put my hand on it and it was really hot. It acted like a radiator and keep putting out heat even when the baseboard shut off. He claimed it had cut his power bill in 1/2.
I'm not from the show me state ,but I doubt it.

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