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How much does baseboard heat installation cost?

December 13, 2023
How much does baseboard heat installation cost

As winter approaches, homeowners often explore baseboard heating as a means to achieve a well-heated home. Installing this system in your home goes beyond just ensuring warmth; it’s a practical step to create a comfortable and efficient living space.

The cost for baseboard heating installation ranges between $200 to $1,200, mostly depending on what type of system you’re going to install and the labor needed to complete the job.

For a better understanding of the potential expenses that come with baseboard heater installation, let’s get into the details of the factors influencing the cost and additional expenses you might have to pay.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Baseboard Heat Installation

Type

Baseboard Heater TypeUnit Price with Installation
Electric Baseboard Heater$200 to $1,100
Hydronic Baseboard Heater$430 to $1,200

The type and model of baseboard heater you choose significantly impact the installation cost. These types come with varying price points that reflect their unique features and capabilities.

Electric Baseboard Heater

Electric Baseboard Heater

Installing an electric baseboard heater typically ranges from $200 to $1,100, including both the unit and the installation service. The price for purchasing the unit alone can fall between $25 and $200.

Electric baseboard heaters are the most common type in America and are often more straightforward to install since they require no ductwork or plumbing. They’re also easy to turn on and off with a switch.

These units offer consistent warmth and are deemed safe since they don’t produce carbon monoxide or fire hazards if correctly installed. However, they’re not the most energy-efficient option.

These heaters use electric coils to draw in cool air, heat it, and then circulate it in the room. They warm up quickly but when you turn them off, they also cool down just as fast since the heat is only distributed when there’s electricity.

Be sure to keep it clean and have annual technician checks to maintain its performance. 

Hydronic Baseboard Heater

Hydronic Baseboard Heater

Installing an electric hydronic heater usually falls between $430 and $1,200, including both the unit and the installation service. For the unit alone, the price can fall between $180 and $320.

Instead of relying on electricity, their casings are filled with sealed pipes of water or oil that is heated in the boiler, which then heats the air. Although they may take longer to initially heat up, they maintain warmth for an extended period after being turned off.

While the initial cost might be higher, the long-term operational savings make hydronic heaters a cost-effective choice.

Room Size & Number of Units

Room Size & Number of Units

When it comes to installing baseboard heating in your home, tailoring the number of units to your room’s size is an important consideration. A general rule of thumb is to allocate between $300 and $500 for each baseboard heater you’re going to install.

The complexity of the job also depends on the layout of your room, especially if it has lots of cabinets or furniture. This not only limits installation options but may also extend the time and effort required for the project. 

It’s also worth noting that increased project intricacy often leads to higher labor charges.

Heater Quality

Heater Quality

Opting for higher-quality baseboard heaters might mean a higher initial investment, but it often pays off in terms of efficiency, durability, and long-term energy savings. Be sure to consider the quality of the heater when evaluating installation costs.

Basic units start at $50 while premium heaters equipped with smart controls and enhanced safety features are priced at $250 and above.

Watts

Watts

The electric heating capacity of the baseboard heater is quantified in watts, and a higher wattage makes a unit more expensive.

Understanding the ideal wattage of your baseboard heater is essential for accurate cost estimation and long-term financial planning. The wattage directly influences energy consumption which can affect your utility bills. 

To get a better estimate, here are some examples of electric baseboard heater wattage requirements per room size:

Room SizeWatts Required
64 square feet500 W
80 square feet640 W
100 square feet900 W
150 square feet1.350 W
300 square feet2,700 W
400 square feet3,600 W
500 square feet4500 W

Labor

Labor

Professional installation of a baseboard heater comes with labor charges that cost around $75 to $250 per hour

However, this is just an estimate, and several factors can influence the labor cost like the complexity of installation or confined spaces. 

The installation takes around four hours per unit, but the intricacies of installation often demand more time and expertise which translates to higher hourly rates.

Additionally, opting to install a new baseboard heater during the fall or winter months may lead to an uptick in expenses. This surge is attributed to the high demand for contractor services as homeowners gear up for the approaching chilly weather. 

As more people seek to ensure their homes are winter-ready, the demand for skilled professionals rises which can increase the cost of hiring a contractor.

New Flooring

New Flooring

The installation process involves drilling holes for wiring or plumbing, which is why you will have to replace your old flooring. Depending on which type, new flooring costs within the range of $5 to $20 per square foot.

Permits

Permits

Usually, securing a permit is required when installing a new electric baseboard heater because of the potential fire risk associated with improperly connected appliances. 

Usually, contractors include permit costs in their estimate, but they can vary, ranging from $50 to $350

The final cost depends on factors such as the number of circuits, amps, and heater units being added to the home as well as the specific regulations of the area. 

Thermostat

Thermostat

The thermostat is an important piece of equipment since it regulates the temperature. If it detects nearby cold spots, it will work even harder to maintain the desired room temperature.

Some baseboard heaters come with built-in thermostats, but others require a separate unit. The price of this equipment can range from $20 to $500, and installation can take another two hours at an additional labor cost of $100 to $200.

Here are your thermostat options:

TypePrice
Two-Pole Thermostat$20 to $100
Mid-Range Thermostat$50 and $250
Smart Thermostats$100 and $500
  • Two-Pole Thermostat: This type of thermostat operates with a switch that has two wires or poles and can completely turn off the baseboard heater. Its cost including labor ranges from $20 to $100.
  • Mid-Range Thermostat: A mid-range thermostat is a type of thermostat that has additional features aside from basic temperature control. This type of thermostat costs between $50 and $250, including installation. 

You’ll have simple daily programming options such as temperature schedules for different times of the day on the lower end of this range, while more customization options throughout the week for the high-end ones.

  • Smart Thermostats: For those seeking advanced features, smart or Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats are priced between $100 and $500. They offer remote control options, more advanced features, and energy-saving capabilities. 

While they can be pricey at first, investing in these thermostats is a wise financial decision that can be cost-effective in the long run.

Additional Costs That May Be Incurred

Safety Covers

Safety Covers

Ensuring the safety of your family is important when installing a baseboard heating system. Using safety covers is a proactive measure that can act as a barrier, reducing the risk of children putting their hands inside the equipment and hurting themselves.

Since some baseboard heaters don’t have safety covers, you can buy them at a price ranging from $50 to $170.

Brackets

Brackets

The necessity for wall brackets arises when the distance from the floor to the top of the baseboard heater measures less than 7 1/2 inches. They help with securing the unit to the wall for reliable installation and are priced between $6 and $10 per bracket.

Outlet Receptacles

Outlet Receptacles

When placing your baseboard heater near a power outlet, the heat generated by the baseboard heater can melt the plastic components of the outlet over time. 

This not only poses a safety hazard but can also lead to costly repairs and disruptions to your electrical system. Fortunately, there’s a solution called heater-specific outlet receptacles, and they are available at a price ranging from $20 to $30.

How much does DIY baseboard heat installation cost?

How much does DIY baseboard heat installation cost

You might be tempted to save on labor costs by doing it yourself. However, DIY installation can be risky, especially if you’re not experienced with electrical wires. 

While it could save you money upfront, a faulty installation might cost you more in the long run. 

If you’re handy and know your way around electrical work, the overall cost of the heater, wiring materials, and electrical permit ranges from $200 to $500. 

Always remember that hiring a pro ensures a safe and well-done installation. Even though it might cost a bit more, the expertise they bring could save you headaches and keep your heating system running smoothly.

Cost-Saving Tips

Cost-Saving Tips

If you’re looking to minimize the expenses of your baseboard heat installation? Consider these cost-saving tips:

  • Compare quotes: Before committing to a contractor, gather quotes from multiple sources. 

This not only gives you a comprehensive understanding of the market rates for equipment and installation but also allows you to negotiate for a competitive price. 

Comparing quotes ensures you make an informed decision that aligns with your budget.

  • Bundle services: If you have additional home improvement projects, consider bundling services. Combining multiple tasks into one project can be an opportunity to negotiate a better overall deal with your contractor. 

This approach not only saves you money but also streamlines the overall improvement process of your home.

  • Purchase offseason: You can also time your baseboard heater purchases strategically to trim costs on your baseboard heat installation. 

Purchasing heaters when demand is lower, like summertime, allows you to capitalize on potential discounts and promotions offered by manufacturers or retailers. 

Contractors may also be more flexible with their schedules during the offseason which can lead to lower installation fees. 

Planning your baseboard heat installation during a period of reduced demand can be a savvy financial move for overall savings.

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