One of the biggest advantages of electric baseboard heat is its low cost of installation in existing homes. In addition to the cost of each unit (which is approximately $25-$200), there is an installation cost of around $125-$300. Compare that with the cost of adding the complicated ductwork of a new central heating system, which can run over $10,000; even in homes with existing ductwork, if a furnace needs to be replaced, this will cost thousands of dollars.
The downside to baseboard heating, however, is the cost of running it. Many people think of baseboard heating as being an expensive way to heat your home, best used to supplement existing central air. But while you'll have high electrical costs if you simply turn all your thermostats to 72 degrees, there are a number of ways that you can reduce the cost of baseboard heating.
Seal Exterior Windows
The first thing you want to do to keep your home warmer is to reduce the amount of heat that's lost, and windows are a prime spot for heat to leak out of your house. Most home improvement stores will sell kits that you can use to seal your windows with plastic; the layer of air that is trapped between the plastic and the window acts as a form of insulation similar to that in double-glazed windows.
Use Curtains To Block Heat Loss
In addition to plastic window seals, curtains can be very effective for reducing heat loss through windows. Thermal curtains are best, but if you don't have any, use the heaviest curtains you have. In addition, keep your curtains closed as much as possible unless the sun is shining directly in the window. If this is the case, opening the curtain can let the sun contribute some warmth to your room – but be sure to close the curtain once the sun's position has shifted.
Set Thermostats Independently
Apart from the installation cost, baseboard heating has another big advantage: separate thermostats for separate rooms. This means that you can turn up the heat in the room that you're in, turn down the heat in the rest of the house, and close your door to create a barrier. Only heating one or two rooms at a time can save a lot of energy and money.
It's important to note that you shouldn't turn the heat completely off in other rooms unless you almost never use them; instead, keep the thermostat around 40-50 degrees. If you allow rooms to get too cold, it will take a lot of energy to heat them back up to a comfortable temperature when you turn the thermostat back up. If you're renting your apartment or home, you may even have a minimum temperature requirement in your lease, so be sure you don't turn your thermostat lower than this requirement.
For more information, contact Feldman Brothers Electrical Supply Co or a similar company.