3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Baseboard heating

Hello, I live in the pacific northwest and just bought my first house. The house is on a cement slab, around 1500 sq ft. It has baseboards installed in every room and they don't seem to do a sufficient job to heat the house. They seem to run constantly and never get the room temp up to normal 65-68F.

I was wondering if there was a more effective option to install that would serve us better for the amount of electricity we use. Maybe something in wall with a fan that would circulate the air more?

Home was built in 1984.
Insulation seems fine in attic and walls.
Windows are original aluminium framed.

Re: Baseboard heating


From reading your post, it sounds like you have ELECTRIC baseboard heat---please post back if you have something else, like hot water baseboard heat.

The first step is to try & work with what you have, rather than pull everything out---have you had any heating contractors over to check out the layout???

Do some research & try the following:

See if there is a label on each baseboard section that indicates the btu/hour rating of the unit.

For example, a 10' section of elec. baseboard puts out approx. 8530 btu/hr; an 8' section 6824 btu/hr; a 6' section 5118 btu/hr (your label info may differ).

Using a rough heat loss calculation take the square footage of each room and multiply by a heat factor of 40 (assuming 8' ceilings) to see if the amount of heat needed by the room is being produced by the baseboard section for each room.

Thus a 15' X 10' room = 150 sq.ft. X 40 (heat factor) = 6000 btu/hr to heat this room---thus you should have a 7' or 8' section of baseboard in this room, or a label that says at least 6000 btu/hr.

For the entire house, 1500 sq.ft. X 40 = roughly 60,000 btu/hour to heat the house & the btu output of all the baseboard should add up to roughly this figure.

If there is sufficient baseboard, check to see that the windows are tight (double pane/storms, etc.) & there is sufficient insulation (R19) in all the exterior walls, and R40 insulation in the attic.

You don't want to add additional baseboard if your elec. bill is already high, but this may be another option.

Re: Baseboard heating


Have you considering getting a professional home energy audit? Blower test and thermal scan.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.