The cost of an individual baseboard heating unit can vary wildly. Retailers like Home Depot offer complete heating units that range in price from as low as $40 to almost $2,000, so there are options that fit every homeowner’s budget.
But the true cost of baseboard heating includes other expenses you’ll need to budget for, like installation and running costs. And while the total price you’ll pay for baseboard heating may be more than it initially seems, you can still take steps to ensure your baseboard heating is budget-friendly.
1. Select a Heater You Can Install Yourself
Depending on where you live and the complexity of the job, hiring an electrician to install the heater costs around $180. But because electricians charge by the hour based on their experience, the more complex your baseboard installation is, the more expensive it will be.
You’ll also have to pay other service fees, like a minimum service call-out fee, which is typically a $75 flat fee that electricians charge on top of their hourly rate to help cover their expenses. And these additional charges mean that relying on an electrician for your baseboard heater installation won’t be cheap.
There is a benefit to spending the money for a professional installation – wiring a new baseboard heating unit can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t have prior experience. And hiring a professional eliminates the risk of an incorrect installation or faulty wiring. But many baseboard heating units are easy to install and require minimal electrical skills, which means hiring an electrician may be an unnecessary cost.
You can set yourself up for success by looking at reviews before you buy a baseboard heater. Reading customer reviews gives you insight from real-world homeowners about their experiences with their own installations and helps you determine if you’ll be comfortable doing it yourself.
2. Install Under Windows to Maximize Energy Efficiency
Up to 25% of your home’s heat escapes through its windows. But installing a baseboard heater below a window can help combat this heat loss by warming the air before it sinks to the floor and spreads throughout the rest of your home. And since global energy costs are on the rise, maximizing the efficiency of your baseboard heater is the best way to save money.
According to The New York Times, energy and electricity costs in Europe are 10 times higher than they were just one year ago. Meanwhile, in the United States, energy costs are predicted to increase by more than 12% this year. And those rising costs will impact the energy costs for your entire home, not just the cost of baseboard heating.
It’s true that placing a heater below a window might cause it to turn on more often because the air by it will cool down much faster than the rest of your house. But it will still help you save money and lower your home’s overall energy usage by reducing drafts and helping eliminate cold spots. And since a thin window might lose too much heat and cause your heater to work overtime, you can also reduce electricity usage by taking extra steps, like weatherstripping, to improve insulation.
3. Perform Regular Maintenance to Avoid Costly Repairs
New baseboard heating units can be expensive. And the higher the quality of your heater, the more it will cost to replace. But following basic maintenance guidelines will help you reduce wear and tear and extend the life of your heater.
Your heater likely comes with instructions from the manufacturer on how to properly maintain the unit. But typically, baseboard heaters require minimal maintenance and only need to be cleaned once or twice a year. Cleaning the heaters requires just a few steps:
Turn down the temperature or turn off the heater completely to avoid burning yourself on a hot heating element.
Remove the baseboard heater’s cover.
Dust or use a bristle vacuum attachment to remove dust from the internal components of the heater.
Replace the cover and reset the temperature to match your comfort.
It’s also a good idea to dust the exterior of your heater regularly to help prevent dust from clogging the vents. This kind of regular maintenance will keep your heater running at its best for as long as possible. With the heating unit and all of its components operating at their best, you’ll avoid the most costly repairs, like replacing a broken heating element. And because a malfunctioning heater can require more energy to keep your home warm, regular maintenance can also keep your energy costs low.
4. Use a Smart Thermostat to Regulate Room Temperature
According to HomeGuide, it costs between $480 and $900 a month to warm your home with electric baseboard heat. But that will quickly increase if a faulty or poorly programmed thermostat causes your heater to turn off and on or run more often than it needs to. If you want to ensure your heater isn’t working overtime and avoid the surprise of a high energy bill, the best option is to install a smart thermostat.
Smart thermostats help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home by making it easy to heat the rooms you spend the most time in, but only by as much as needed. Generally, smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature through a mobile app, which means you won’t even have to get off the couch to change the temperature. And pairing a baseboard heater with its own smart thermostat gives you greater control over heating and cooling by allowing you to dictate the temperature of each individual room.
For instance, by using a smart thermostat with geofencing capabilities, you can automatically lower the temperature during the day while you’re at work to cut down on your energy costs. As a result, you’ll lower your energy usage. And depending on the thermostat you use, you can save anywhere from 10% to 26% on your monthly energy bill.
Lower the Running Cost of Baseboard Heating and Stay Comfortably Warm with Mysa
There are a lot of smart thermostats on the market — but Mysa is one of only a small number of options that are compatible with baseboard heating. And according to The New York Times, Mysa isn’t just one of the only options; it’s the best smart thermostat for baseboard heaters. Compared to competitors, Mysa’s smart thermostat offers the most potential for energy savings, lowering its customers’ energy bills by as much as 26%.
Take a look at our guide on how to select a smart thermostat for your baseboard heaters, or check your heater’s compatibility with Mysa!