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Old 02-04-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I am planning to retrofit electric baseboards in 3 bedrooms and was wondering if anyone had recommendations. I understand the new ones are much more energy efficient than the old ones. Currently I have electric heat built into the ceilings--the ceilings actually heat up. It probably worked great in 1980 but not so much now.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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ALL electric resistance heat is the same efficiency. Watts is a direct conversion to BTUs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoisjongalt View Post
I understand the new ones are much more energy efficient than the old ones.
As Harry said they are all the same whether it's a oil filled heater, electric baseboard, a hair dryer, an overpriced eden pure or even an incandescent bulb.

How these units differ is how the heat is distributed. For example an oil filled heater will give you a more comfortable heat. It takes longer to heat up but vice versa it will continue to provide heat once it's off instead of the standard on/off type heat you'll get from electric baseboard.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:09 AM
 
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Frankly I would be curious as to what the electric baseboard is replacing.

If you are unhappy with the ceiling mounted radiant panels I think most people would agree that baseboards are not much better.

Odds are that your total annual heating costs will Remain the same, maybe even increase with electric baseboard heat compared to ANY other source. I would give serious consideration to something like the space-pack style distributed heat pumps that are popular from firm's like Mitsubishi. A little higher cost upfront but very rapid payback with modest energy usage... Also integrated air conditioning with per-room control.

If you have ability to get hydronic heat that is the way to go as natural gas fired boiler with modern low profile radiators or underfloor PEX is far and away the most comfortable.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoisjongalt View Post
I understand the new ones are much more energy efficient than the old ones.
NOT TRUE- as harry said.
If you truly want more efficiency, start doing your homework- look at every type of heat source and compare fuel costs (if you have that option). If electric is your only fuel option...
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Frankly I would be curious as to what the electric baseboard is replacing.

If you are unhappy with the ceiling mounted radiant panels I think most people would agree that baseboards are not much better.

Odds are that your total annual heating costs will Remain the same, maybe even increase with electric baseboard heat compared to ANY other source. I would give serious consideration to something like the space-pack style distributed heat pumps that are popular from firm's like Mitsubishi. A little higher cost upfront but very rapid payback with modest energy usage... Also integrated air conditioning with per-room control.

If you have ability to get hydronic heat that is the way to go as natural gas fired boiler with modern low profile radiators or underfloor PEX is far and away the most comfortable.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out. The current system is not really ceiling "mounted". It is heat coils actually built into the ceiling plaster. The ceilings radiate heat. The problem is that they are only working at about 30% because they are 33 years old. They can't really be replaced without tearing out all of the ceilings in the house.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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"The problem is that they are only working at about 30% because they are 33 years old. They can't really be replaced without tearing out all of the ceilings in the house."

I think I understand what you are trying to say, but I'll try to clarify. When heaters go "open circuit" and do not put out as much heat, they (because of those wonderful laws of physics) also have to use less power in equal amounts. They are therefore just as "efficient" but do not heat as well. The idea of heaters in a ceiling has never been one that I would consider unless the building floods to within a foot of the ceiling. There are fewer convection currents, the floors can be cold, etc.. Using baseboard or panel heat is reasonable, or as another poster commented, split units can be MUCH more cost efficient over the long run.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Thanks. It sounds like you're saying that, if they are working at 30% efficiency they are using 30% of the electricity. Is that right? If so, I guess the efficiency issue is more one of requiring more electricity to heat the space because it is in the ceiling and heat rises.

I've also been told that the new baseboards that use oil and work better because they retain heat longer.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Yes, that is what I was driving at. We have a portable oil filled space heater for one bathroom. Whereas the ceramic heater before it was faster, and heated the air quite adequately, the radiant heat from the oil filled heater seems to make the walls of the room less chilled and gives a nicer "smoother" feel to the heat. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoisjongalt View Post
I've also been told that the new baseboards that use oil and work better because they retain heat longer.
They work better in the sense you don't have that on/off type heat. This is why people like hydronic baseboard. As far as the cost it's going to be the same to maintain the same average temperature.
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