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Old 10-05-2008, 12:00 AM
 
1 posts, read 24,012 times
Reputation: 10

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I am renovating my basement & house in NJ and was planning on installing electric hard-wired baseboard heaters in the basement and keeping the existing hot-water baseboard heating on the main floor. The basement will have a bathroom, one family area (approx 500 sq ft), and two bedrooms (approx 12x10).

Recently, someone mentioned to me that it would be less expensive to cut into the existing hot-water heating system than to buy separate electric baseboard heaters & thermostats and have them hard-wired in each room. He believed that although, we have only one hot water heater, that it could be routed so that there would be separate lines for the basement and main floor of house (similar to two zone heat w/ two separate thermostats). He also indicated that it is a relatively easy installation using PEX piping.

I am not sure which way to go with this? Is hot water or electric heat cheaper to install? Are there other pros or cons that I should consider before installing? House has solar panels and I may be able to connect some of the heating units to the panels so it may be more cost efficient over time to go with the electric but am concerned about the up-front costs and comfort for using the basement in winter months. Any comments will be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:08 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,494,629 times
Reputation: 3535
I would extend your existing hydronic system if it has extra capacity.
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:53 AM
 
3,020 posts, read 23,068,533 times
Reputation: 2686
Default What rate are you going to pay for the electricity????

Most homes with electric heating have a different rate for the power, if you are going to pay full rate, it can get very expensive even with just a few heaters.

You are better off connecting into the existing system with another heating zone if possible. It is not just the installation costs, must think about the operating costs. Electric heat is typically some of the most expensive you can get, especially if you don't have a far lower rate. Many electric homes have a separate meter and pay different rates for heat than normal household power.

I would design the solar to produce hot water from the panels with heating coils in a tank, could get some heating benefit that way for the entire house. Usually not very cost efficient with photovoltaic cells, need a ton of panels but could be done if you have excess power.
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
5,988 posts, read 9,972,402 times
Reputation: 36679
Basement radiators can be installed with a bypass that would allow thermostat control on each radiator. That would give you the same temp control as electric with cost advantages pointed out by others.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:18 AM
 
1 posts, read 15,025 times
Reputation: 11
Does electric heat run my electric bill up?
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:37 PM
 
1 posts, read 12,683 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Basement heating

Hi, I have been researching basement heating aslo and am thinking about a gas or electric fireplace. They seem to heat up the largest area and are less expensive than radiant heat or other methods. Would you happen to know if it is a requirement to have an egree window in a basement bedroom in NJ?? Thanks
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:31 PM
 
1,325 posts, read 2,705,142 times
Reputation: 1968
We live in Pennsylvania and finished our basement last year. We installed a gas fireplace - suitable for a large area - and find it heats the area perfectly for us. The cost compared to installing baseboard heat of any kind was minimal and since it is used as a family room constant heat would be a waste. The area is divided into 2 areas. The back houses our boiler as well as our washer and dryer which keep that area comfortable. The front is a large room that the fireplace heats up nicely.
As for the egress question, I believe it varies by location so you have to research that for your specific area.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,166 posts, read 27,421,913 times
Reputation: 11834
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjklov View Post
I am renovating my basement & house in NJ and was planning on installing electric hard-wired baseboard heaters in the basement and keeping the existing hot-water baseboard heating on the main floor. The basement will have a bathroom, one family area (approx 500 sq ft), and two bedrooms (approx 12x10).

Recently, someone mentioned to me that it would be less expensive to cut into the existing hot-water heating system than to buy separate electric baseboard heaters & thermostats and have them hard-wired in each room. He believed that although, we have only one hot water heater, that it could be routed so that there would be separate lines for the basement and main floor of house (similar to two zone heat w/ two separate thermostats). He also indicated that it is a relatively easy installation using PEX piping.

I am not sure which way to go with this? Is hot water or electric heat cheaper to install? Are there other pros or cons that I should consider before installing? House has solar panels and I may be able to connect some of the heating units to the panels so it may be more cost efficient over time to go with the electric but am concerned about the up-front costs and comfort for using the basement in winter months. Any comments will be much appreciated. Thanks.
I would agree with the person who told you to extend the heating system you already have. You will have to add another zone valve at the boiler or water heater, and a thermostat in the basement. You could use PEX piping, or 3/4" copper pipes, and run Slant-Fin heaters along the floor/wall.

I would go with water baseboard heaters for the following reason: more economical in the long run, since the water boiler technology has and continues improving each day. For example, eventually you may want to use a compact direct-vent water boiler/heater that runs on natural gas or whichever fuel is cheaper in your area. These units are quite small and can provide heat, and hot water for all your needs. Home boilers aren't as efficient, and are quite large (take a loot of room). Boilers are being phased out with the new breed of compact boilers that are very efficient.

Some day all you will have to do is to remove the old boiler, and replace it with one of the new ones. The heaters and pipes are left alone.
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