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How do I Install Baseboard Heating?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

Baseboard heating is very common in North American homes. These units are an unobtrusive and cost-effective way to maintain comfortable room temperature. There are two types of baseboard heating: permanent and mobile. Each method has strengths and weaknesses that affect your decision to purchase baseboard heaters.

Permanent baseboard heating systems are installed as individual room units. When converting an older home for modern use, it is very common to install baseboard heaters in every room. This method is preferable to installing central heating, which can be quite expensive in an older home, due to the limitations in space.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

To install a baseboard heating system, measure the size of the room and then purchase a heater that is capable of heating a room of that size. Select a location that has easy access to a power outlet and make sure that it is on the same side as the plug. Follow the instructions in the package to secure the baseboard heater to the wall or the floor.

If you are installing a number of baseboard heaters in a home, remove the baseboard molding that is often attached to the wall. This will allow the heater to sit flush with the wall and take up less space. Make sure to cover the outlet for any heater located in the bathroom to reduce the exposure to water.

Each unit has a temperature setting and thermostat to maintain a comfortable room temperature. Many people build vented enclosures for the heater and paint it to match the room decor. Baseboard heaters require less work to install than a central heating unit. It is important with this type of heating system to keep the doors closed so that the unit is heating the appropriately sized space. Purchase units with a built in thermostat, so that you can set the desired temperature in advance.

Mobile baseboard heating systems are electric units on wheels. They are typically carton shaped and are designed for easy transportation between locations. This type of heater is quite powerful and can quickly heat a room. In an open concept space without central heating, these types of units can be the most cost effective way to heat the space.

Mobile heating units require a significant amount of power. Check the electricity load for the circuit before plugging in the heater. The most common cause of electrical fires in homes is an overloaded circuit caused by a plugged in electric heater. The electricity rating for the heater is printed on the plug itself.

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Discussion Comments


When I moved into my house, there was a room in the house that they called as breezeway and of course with no heat (size: 15 x 25). I decided to install a wood stove. Now this room is the hottest room in my house.


My office is the coldest room in the house and this is where I spend the most time. In the winter I would just freeze when I sat down to work, so looked at some heating options.

I went with some electric baseboard heating that has worked out well. I will turn this on a few minutes before I start work in the morning and keep the door closed.

Once I sit down at the computer, the room is already warm and I will turn the heater off and keep the door closed. This helps keep the heat in and it stays warm longer.

I know they take up a lot of electricity, so I try not to keep it on very long. I figure it is not as expensive as turning up the heat in my house just to heat one room.

I think I am actually saving some money by using an electric heater and I know I work better when I am not as cold.


We have a three season sun room that we installed radiant baseboard heating in. Before we did this, we could only enjoy this room a few months out of the year.

Now I can use it all year long. Because it is not a very large room, it doesn't take long for it to heat up. It also has windows on every side except the north and skylights, so when the sun shines in it is really warm.

This was easy to install, and my husband had it done in a weekend. I wish I had done it much sooner.

I have a table in chairs in this room, and when we have big family gatherings in the winter, this gives me more room for company to sit at a table.

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