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Electric baseboard heat vs forced air

Hi all,

I live in an area where electricity is an inexpensive heating source. It is hydroelectricity so it's pretty green aside from the effects of dam building, etc. About 7-9 years ago, the heating system was converted from an oil furnace to an electric furnance. It's a Norton furnace made by Broan. It's not putting out heat as it should and probably needs one of the elements replaced. The air is tepid so the fan is running longer to keep up. I am wondering if I should repair it or convert to electric baseboard heating. I like the ability to regulate the heat in each room. I planned on adding a central air conditioner at some point but I would be just as happy with a minisplit system.

Anywho, does anyone have an opinion on baseboard heaters vs central heating? Which is more efficient? I am looking at the Cadet SoftHeat models.


Re: Electric baseboard heat vs forced air

Check the price of having electric baseboards installed vs. replacing an element in the existing furnace. If it is an element you are looking at a few hundred vs. at least a few thousand dollars for baseboard.

Re: Electric baseboard heat vs forced air

The mini-split systems can be either strictly A/C or can be heat pumps too. If you are considering converting the central system to A/C also, as well as new heat sources, a mini-split system might be quite competitive, and far more controllable room to room. The new mini-splits are also extremely efficient. A heat pump is going to be more efficient than a resistant type heater.

Re: Electric baseboard heat vs forced air

I would suggest that you get and electrician from a company that does electricity and plumbing to check the elements in your electric boiler. You probably have some burned out elements or relays. The electrician can then give you a price to change what ever is needed because it will required both plumbers and electricians . You could go on the uptilog web site for a list of contractors in your area. let me know if this helps

Re: Electric baseboard heat vs forced air

New baseboard heaters will require new wiring, which may require upgrading the electrical panel, which may require upgrading the meter box, and may require even a new service feed from the pole- and that ain't going to be cheap, even if the existing panel is adequate now. I'd suggest repairing or upgrading the unit you have now leaving the forced-air ducting in place.

If you want additional heat in a room the small 'box' type plug-in heaters are great for this job- just be sure the wiring and receptacles are up to the job. I always put in a new heavy-duty receptacle where these are used since that is the most common point of overheating and failure with loads like this plugged in, and one of the worst places for something to go wrong.


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