Tips for Using Electric Baseboard Heaters

Tips for Using Electric Baseboard Heaters

Today there seems to be hundreds of heating solutions, making it nearly impossible to be aware of the many different options out there on the market. For instance, we have forced air, radiant heat, hydronic, steam radiant and geothermal, portable heaters, central heating systems, gas heat and yes, we still have electric baseboard heaters. I don’t know about you, but with that many options it is almost impossible to decide on the best option for your home—without a little help, at least.

Electric Baseboard HeatersI remember having electric baseboard heaters in my home as a teenager, but as an adult I have done my own research when it comes to using baseboard heaters, ensuring that I save money on my electric bills and get the most out of them. If these tips have worked for me, they will most definitely work for you and your family as well.


Electric baseboard heaters release heated air out of the top, while pulling cooler air into the bottom. Therefore, it is very important that they sit up a half-inch or so above the floor. If anything blocks the flow of air into the heaters, it will decrease the energy efficiency. If you use these heaters in rooms with a thick carpet, you should cut away a small area to allow air to enter the heater from beneath. Many people have told me, “electric baseboard heaters are expensive” or “I had to get rid of them, they were costing me an arm and a leg!” Well, the truth is that electric baseboard heaters are not more expensive, they are simply not installed in the best areas or not utilized with energy efficiency in mind.


You should also make sure to clean the coils of electric baseboard heaters regularly—something that a lot of people forget to do. If they aren’t cleaned properly, dirt and dust will accumulate on the coils and reduce the amount of heat they are capable of producing. This will increase energy consumption as well—hence, another reason why people assume they are more expensive. A collection of dust and dirt on the heating coils will also reduce the lifespan of the heater, which obviously means that you will need to replace it much sooner, costing you more money. These coils can be cleaned quite easily by vacuuming.

Unheated Rooms

While it might make more sense to turn off your heaters in rooms that are not in use—don’t! Water pipes under the floor could freeze if temperatures decrease too far, especially during the winter. Also, the unheated room will cause cold air to seep around the rest of the house, which will reduce the efficiency of the electric baseboard heaters. So, instead of shutting them off completely, lower their temperature to around 50 degrees—it makes a world of difference.


Electric baseboard heaters usually have line-voltage thermostats that are directly attached to them. Unfortunately, they aren’t capable of providing a consistent temperature so you will be better off using a wall-mounted thermostat with your heater. They provide much a much more accurate control.


There are two types of electric baseboard heaters. Some use strip-heat while others are liquid-filled. The strip-heat variety are less expensive, but make creaking noises whenever they turn off and on—and they only let off heat in bursts, which can be a pain. Electric baseboard heaters that are liquid-filled release heat evenly and provide better comfort.

As you can see from the tips above, there are quite a few tactics that you can take advantage of to ensure that your newly purchased electric baseboard heaters are as energy efficient as possible. If you’re working on a remodeling project and are considering baseboard heating options, you should now have somewhat of an understanding in regards to these heaters and how they can be affordable, functional and energy-efficient. If you have any questions or comments regarding electric baseboard heaters, don’t hesitate to contact our service professionals at Westside Wholesale. That’s what we are here for.