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How to Make Baseboard Heater More Efficient?

by Jonathan Logtenberg

Winter months are not only known for those frosty and chilling conditions but also the high heating bills. And especially if you rely on baseboard heaters in your home, you can expect some seriously electric bills. Electric board heating, if not used efficiently, could make up the lion’s share of your yearly electric bill – 50 percent or even higher for some homes during those frosty winters. Setting up your home for efficiency and optimizing your baseboard heater could, therefore, go a long way in keeping those heating bills down. And here are the ways to make your baseboard heaters more efficient:

1. Turn Off the Heat to the Rooms Currently Not in Use

It’s simple logic, really, why warm up a room you are not using buddy? It’s a goddamn waste of energy. Since electric baseboard heaters are used to provide home heating solution on a room-by-room basis, it’s easy to adjust the thermostat down in the unused rooms. The other thing is to close the doors to these rooms so that they don’t “steal” heat from the occupied rooms. Baseboard heaters utilize radiation and airflow to warm up the house. Cold air enters the baseboard unit, then gets heat to the desired temperature and pushed out where it rises, simultaneously another cold air streams inside the unit. Closing off the unused rooms ensures the hot air remains to warm the occupied rooms.

2. Dial the Thermostat Up and Down Based on Activities

During certain high-adrenaline activities like exercising, the body does generate heat, and you won’t feel cold, others like falling asleep require the body to lose temperature. On that note, therefore, keeping an eye on that thermostat and adjusting it based on what you’re doing will help keep those heating costs down. For example, you can set the thermostat at 16 Celsius when sleeping, 18 Celsius during high-adrenaline exercises, housework, etc. and 21 Celsius when chilling, relaxing in front of a TV. Grab jackets, slippers, and tuck in tight to save your bills.

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

So, keeping an eye on that thermostat based on what you are up to is hard? Well, you’re not alone, life’s fast and full of activities, and we all forget to adjust the thermostat sometimes. That’s why a programmable thermostat exists; these wall-mounted thermostats are not only easy to control but also fast in responding to changes in room temperature. Manual thermostats mounted on the side of the baseboard greater are slow to respond to changes in room temperature; programmable thermostats, on the other hand, can automatically adjust the room temperature at different points during the day. And to top it all, they can be controlled by computers.

4. Get the Air Flowing

Electric baseboard heaters make use of the principles of radiation and airflow to warm up the house. If the airflow is blocked, however, expect heating problems. Baseboard heaters are always placed near the window to counteract the sinking cold air from outside. But windows too are always covered to keep cool air outside. Unfortunately, while the covering helps keep out cold air, it blocks airflow from the heaters. Keep the bottom of the window drapes at least 4-inches above the baseboard heater. Also, make sure you leave at least 2-inches separation between the heater and the back of the curtain.

5. Don’t Forget to Clean Your Baseboard Heater

It’s just about airflow! While the heating component may work well to turn electricity into heat, dirty fins can hamper the heat circulation through the room. The result? More heater running time is required to warm up the house leading to higher bills. It’s advisable to clean your baseboard heaters during the fall: wipe the surface and vacuum the fins or brush off any dust.

6. Trim Down Those Thick Carpets and Rugs

So cooler air gets into the heater from below it, then flows through the electrical element. Thick carpets and rugs near the heater can hamper this flow, so it’s advisable to install the heater at least 2cm above the carpet or flow. Thick carpets, however, are good at keeping our feet warm, so just trim them down a bit around the bottom part of the heater. Lastly, practice patience: it’s tempting to crank the thermostat up to warm up the room faster, but the long-term result is higher heating bills. Reason? Setting the thermostat, for example, 5 degrees past your sweet spot to warm the room faster, will heat your room at the usual pace and won’t stop at the sweet spot but at the new higher settings. Be patient with your baseboard heater then, won’t you?

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