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Baseboard Heaters

What is a Baseboard Heater?

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An image of a baseboard heater.

Baseboard Heater

Timothy Thiele

Baseboard heaters can add supplemental heat to a room that is drafty or colder than other rooms. They come in different lengths to accommodate almost any room or application. These electric heaters radiate heat into a room and are placed on the outside wall of a home, usually the coldest wall. Baseboard heaters are also used in areas like bathrooms in garages where a little heat would be nice. Baseboard heaters provide a clean, safe and reliable heat source where adding more furnace registers isn't practical.

Baseboard heaters come in two different voltage connection styles. The first is a 120-volt connection that can be connected to an existing 20-amp circuit, if the circuit load allows it. You may also add a new 20-amp circuit from your electrical panel and feed the new baseboard heaters, which is the preferred method. This wire is connected to a single 20-amp breaker in your electrical panel.

The second is a 240-volt connection which also uses a 20-amp circuit to feed it. It requires a two-pole, 20-amp breaker to feed the heater. Either way, #12 wire is the minimum required to feed the baseboard heater. As with any electrical project, turn off the power to any circuit that you'll be working on, for safety sake. With a few tools, some electrical wire, a baseboard heater, a wire connector, a breaker and some wire nuts, you can install a baseboard heater in no time!

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