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Tips for a New Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heater

Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

Hydronic electric baseboard heaters are like standard electric baseboard heaters, but the heating element is a little bit more energy efficient. The heating element is immersed in a silicone heat-transfer fluid, permanently sealed inside a copper tube. Silicone is a harmless, safe fluid that will never freeze – doesn’t boil or overheat. It will ever need refilling or replacing and requires no maintenance or service.

BUYERS’ GUIDE When shopping for an electric baseboard heater for a new construction job (not replacing an old heater) there are several things to consider:

  1. Heater sizing by wattage
  2. Voltage – basic guidelines
  3. Single or multiplied units
  4. Thermostat
  5. Heater location
  6. FYI Notes
  7. Heater Sizing - How big is the room that you want to heat?

    The first and most important step is "how big is the room you want to heat”. The heater has to be sized so it can heat the room on the coldest night of the year. The quick rule of thumb is for a house build in the last 20 years, or older houses that have been renovated with more insulation, new doors and windows is 10 watts per sq ft for ceiling heights of 8’ or 1.25 watts per cubic foot for ceilings higher then 9’.


    Example small room:
    Square footage = 10’W x 15’L = 150 (standard 7 to 8 foot ceiling)
    Watts per Sq Ft = 10 to 12 watts (new construction, few windows use 10 watts)
    150 sq ft x 10 watts = 1,500 watt heater (select a 1,500 to 2,000 watt heater)
    Example larger room:
    Square footage = 25’W x 15’L = 375 (standard 7 to 8 foot ceiling)
    Watts per Sq Ft = 10 to 12 watts (new construction, few windows use 10 watts)
    375 sq ft x 10 watts = 3,750 watt heater (select a 4,000 watt heater)
    Always give yourself a safety factor by averaging up.
    Cubic Foot Rule of Thumb,
    Room size 10’ H x 15’w W 12’L = 1800 cubic ft
    1800 cubic Ft x 1.25(your constant) = 2250
    This room will need a minimum of 2250 watts of heat.
    Please visit our size chart page for more info. If you would like a true "heat load” look for software called "Manual J” online or consult an architect or mechanical engineer.

    Voltage Basic Guidelines
    With Hydronic electric baseboard heaters, it is Very, Very important to have the right voltage. We have been selling the Qmark HBB series for over 7 years and I have had this happening twice. If you buy and install a 120 volt HBB, and you have a 240 power you will over heat the pipe and the silicone will leak. Once again, it has happened twice in 7+ years and both times was because the wrong voltage was installed so please make sure you verify you have the right voltage before you purchase an HBB baseboard heater.
    Knowing your heater size needed and having the correct voltage are two of the most important things to know and understand before you purchase an electric wall heater. Electric wall heaters come in 120 and 240 volts. Some electric heaters only come in 120 volts, and some only come in 240.

    Most homes in the United States have both 120v and 240v. If you have an electric stove, range, dryer or water heater in your home those are all running on 240 voltage. However, you must know which voltage is available WHERE you want to place your new heater.

    A standard 120 volt wall heater comes in 500 to 1,500 watts which can heat a room between (50 to 150 sq ft room) if you have a room bigger then 150 sq ft you have to have a 240 volt heater.

    A standard 240 volt wall heater comes in 1000 to 4,800 watts which can heat a room from (100 to 480 sq ft room).
    A common oversight is buying and or installing a wall heater with the wrong voltage. If you install a heater to the wrong voltage bad things can happen.
    120v to a 240v heater will give you ¼ of the wattage
    240v to a 120v heater will burnout the heater and void the warranty
    If you are not sure on your voltage you will want to consult a licensed electrician. We stock almost every heater you see on line and ship the same day if in stock so we can get it to you pretty fast.


    ( FYI Notes )
    110 volts, 115 volts, 120 volts, 125 volts
    (All four voltages will work with the same heater)
    220 volts, 230 volts, 240 volts, 250 volts
    (All four voltages will work with the same heater)
    208 volts is NOT the same as 240 volts - it’s a total different


    Multiple Baseboard Heater Units
    If you are planning on buying and installing more then one baseboard heater for one room, or multiple rooms please consult your electrician to verify you have the proper voltage, amperage and space in the circuit breaker panel before you make your purchase. Typically, multiple units will run on 240 voltage, but that is not always the case. I don’t want you to lose time and money by buying the wrong voltage. A quick consult can save a lot of head aches.

    Baseboard Heater Thermostat
    Controlling a baseboard heater can be done with a built-in or wall thermostat.
    The built-in thermostat is the knob that is mounted on the outside of the heater. It works just like a wall mounted heater by turning it clockwise you turn the power on and you set the desired room temperature. Turn it counterclockwise to lower to the desired temperature wanted and if you turn it all the way to the left it will turn the unit off.
    A wall mounted thermostat is usually mounted on the other side of the room. A 120v or 240 volt power line is pulled behind the sheet rock to the wall heater. To set the temperature of the heater, once again turn the knob clockwise to you desired room temperature.

    When using a wall thermostat with this heater be sure to place it on an internal wall, ideally across from the windows. Avoid drafty areas, direct sunlight, and other heaters & electronics devices that can put out heat like computers or TV’s. Make sure you don’t place it behind a shelf or too close to pictures what will affect airflow around the thermostat's sensors.


    Heater Location In Your Room
    It is best if you can install you baseboard heater on an outside wall. Make sure you avoid any obstructions like a chair or couch, or hanging items like drapes. The idea is to heat your cold wall first and the rest of the room will fall in line.

    FYI electric baseboard heater notes:
    Baseboard heaters must be mounted horizontally, and near or at floor level only. They can not be recessed as this could cause excessive heat to be concentrated in the wall area causing a potential fire hazard. Baseboard heaters can not be installed under an electrical receptacle even if you do not use the receptacle. Baseboard heaters can be mounted on the floor; however, do not allow carpet to block lower air intake located 1inch from the bottom. Baseboard heaters can be mounted against sheet rock, wallpaper, and wood products such as paneling, particleboard, chipboard, and tongue and groove. Do not install on paperboard, low-density fiberboard surfaces or against vinyl wallpaper. Do not install vinyl drapes or vinyl blinds above heater. The installation must comply with applicable local, and National Electrical Code and utility requirements. Do not remove or by-pass thermal cutout. To reduce the risk of fire, do not store or use gasoline or other flammable vapors and liquids in the vicinity of the heater. Personal injury or death could result from electric shock. Disconnect all power to heater at main panel before attempting to install or service this heater. Supply voltage must be the same as heater voltage. Check heater nameplate and supply voltage before energizing.
    Click Here to learn about our Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

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