Should we remove the baseboard heaters?

MilavfMarch 11, 2013

Hi there,

I'm new here as far as posting but have read here for several years.
We just purchased a small bungalow that has both an electric forced air furnace and electric baseboard heaters throughout. I find it really odd, unless the furnace was added later. We are about to move in and start renos and the first thing I wanted to do was to rip the baseboards all out. However my electrical contractor thought I should leave them, but I never really got an explanation as to why other than back up heat if the furnace dies. I really hate the look of them, we have pets and kids so I don't find them all that safe either, plus previous owners painted them all to match the walls and they are just ugly. Is there any good reason to leave them? We might in the basement but we aren't renovating that part just yet, only the upstairs.

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It seems the baseboard heating is redundant. I would first verify the furnace works and the duct work is adequate to heat the house before tearing out the baseboard.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:29AM
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You will have to weigh "ugly" against "backup".
It's your call.
I would vote for "backup" every time.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:40AM
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It may well be much more energy efficient to have the flexibility to only heat selected rooms rather than the whole house at one time.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Besides being ugly, it's...
...painting around them every time you paint
...vacuuming around them every time you vacuum them when they get dusty
...they still look dated even when clean
...bumping the furniture up to them every time you try to put it flush to the wall
...working around them in every room for every renovation you do
...wasting space in your breaker box (in my area I can't tandem so breaker space is precious)

If your furnace were to go out, would you leave your furnace inop and just live off the wall heaters then? If not then dealing w these for the rest of your life for the 1 or 2 days you use them, when you could also just use a spaceheater instead, is pointless.

Every time you renovate a room, working around the heater there will bug you. So why keep anything you don't like if you are renovating it to be like you want it just cuz your electrician says to? Once he's done w the job he'll never see these again - but they will haunt you for the rest of your life. Don't build this awesome vision you're thinking of but leave the outdated eyesores that annoy you.

To some a classic old stove is a treasure... to others it's junk. If these are junk to you then out w them and in w what you like. :-)

(of course follow the advice above, make sure the furnace is fully operational, sized to the house, etc)


    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Have you confirmed that the capacity of the large electric forced air heat meets the design day heating load for your home?

What I mean is, if your location, on the coldest day of the year is -5 degrees, will the heat given by only the forced air heat be enough heat to get the indoor temperature to 70 degrees? If not, then on those cold days you might need to operate both baseboard and the forced air to have a comfortable indoor temperature.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Thank you all for your replies - the house is 25 years old, and the furnace and duct work were added after the fact I believe for the a/c. There's a propane fireplace in the basement to use as back up, so I think we will go ahead and take them out but leave the basement ones for now...see how cool it is down there...we aren't renovating down there quite yet.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Do you have zones? I'd have to defer to the pros....but why heat the whole house at night when you can just heat the rooms you are using? Put the main furnace on a programmable thermostat to start up at wake up time.

Before you know it your kids will be grown and you will wonder why you are heating the whole house when only your bedroom needs it.

I grew up with them and never found them to be that much trouble.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 5:51PM
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