If your home is drafty or you need additional heat during the cold months of winter, baseboard heat can be a viable solution. This heating involves installing additional heaters along the bottom trim, or baseboards, of your floors. You can choose to install a baseboard heater in one room or in several depending on your needs. Thanks to this flexibility, many homeowners choose to supplement their current heating system with baseboard heat. Read on to discover more about the cost to install baseboard heat in your home as well as the various types available and what factors play a role in your total cost.
|What you can expect
|Range per heater:
|Range for this type of project:
Baseboard Heater Cost
Cost of residential-grade, 7' electric wall-mounted 2500-watt baseboard heater. 240V electrical connection required at installation site; thermostat sold separately.
Baseboard Heater Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete installation. Baseboard heating unit will be laid out, secured, and connected to existing electrical circuit. Optimal operation will be verified. Rate is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of installation site, and meticulous cleanup.
Baseboard Heater Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including fittings, fasteners, and mounting hardware.
|cost to install a baseboard heater
|National Avg. Materials Cost per heater
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 1 heater
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 1 heater
|$290.88 - $500.62
You can expect a baseboard heating unit to cost between $350 to $1,200, with an average price of around $800. Baseboards that provide electrical heat will be on the high end of that average and may include the need to install additional wiring and circuit breakers. If you have electrical needs for your new baseboard, expect additional costs between $500 to $800, which covers a licensed electrician to finish the work. Your cost will depend on the heating power and type, which is explored below. Each electric baseboard heat unit is priced separately, so you may see different costs depending on the room requirements for the baseboard.
Baseboard heaters are great for heating specific rooms in the home but aren’t intended to replace central heating systems. Baseboard heaters are typically sold in either a 120-volt or 240-volt format. The 240-volt unit uses less amperage to operate, which makes it the more energy-efficient model. Your price may change depending on the brand name, or if the unit has any special features. For a 120-volt baseboard heater, you might pay between $50 to $120 per unit, while a 240-volt unit typically costs between $100 to $300. It may be worth asking your local HVAC company if they offer baseboard heating units at a discount.
Your cost to install baseboard heaters is heavily dependent on how it heats the room (i.e. gas, oil, or electric). It’s usually best practice to stick to the same type of heat your home already uses. If your home uses natural gas to heat, your baseboards could work off the same system without setting up a new heating system.
An electric baseboard heater costs between $275 to $675. If you’re trying to heat 100 square feet or less, a 240-volt heater costs $600 on average. If you have a larger room, or an open floor plan, you’ll need additional heaters. Electric baseboards use cables to warm the air. As the air pushes out of the unit, it sucks air in from the bottom of the unit, which it then heats.
Oil-filled baseboard heaters are not as common as other heaters. As the oil is heated, it’s pushed through the baseboard and warms the air. As the oil is cooled, it falls back to the reserve to be heated again. When considering oil, ensure you even have oil before installing baseboard heaters. The heaters need to connect to your main heating source, which should also be oil. These baseboards cost between $200 to $250 on average.
Hot water baseboard heaters work similarly to oil ones. They keep rooms warmer for longer, as the hot water pipes radiate the provided warmth for a period after the heat is turned off. It doesn’t heat as fast as an electric heater, which can be a drawback if you live in a cold climate. Hot water baseboards cost between $3 to $7 per square foot.
Whatever type of baseboard heater you choose, other factors also play a part in determining the cost.
Demand for heating increases in the winter, which means you could pay more for labor. Consider installing your new baseboard heat during the late warmer months for a better rate.
It’ll cost between $50 to $100 per hour for labor to install baseboard heat. If installing an electrical baseboard, you’ll want a licensed electrician. New electrical lines or a circuit breaker can increase the cost. No matter the type of heater you choose, installing each unit takes roughly five hours.
Your operating cost depends solely on your heater’s fuel source. Gas tends to cost less than electric overall. Oil can be expensive, especially if you need to keep it running over a longer period of time.
When replacing a baseboard heater, you’re better off staying with the same type of heater as you had before. If you do change types, you’ll need to update each connection to match the new fuel source. Check with your professional to make sure it can be done before you make a purchase. Replacing a baseboard is a similar cost to installing one outright. If you need your original baseboard removed and disposed of, expect to be charged for it.
If you choose to repair the baseboard heater instead, the cost is anywhere from $140 to $400. A broken heater should only take a few hours to repair, as most issues are simple replacements of parts. If your limiter switch is the issue, you may need to replace the baseboard. If you find you’re repairing your baseboard often, it will likely save you time and money, in the long run, to simply replace it.
Baseboard heaters are not simple DIY projects. Unless you really know your way around electrical projects, it’s recommended to avoid installing baseboard heaters yourself and hire a licensed electrician. If you need new wiring or even a new circuit board, you’ll need one regardless. Be sure to check with your local state before attempting the job yourself so you’re aware of what you’re allowed and not allowed to do. Baseboard heaters are safe, but installing them improperly will create a fire hazard. While it is possible to do it yourself, the best advice is to let a professional handle it.