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Heating An Unvented Room

Updated on September 24, 2010

 If you own an old house that has obviously had the furnace replaced a few times, you know that the maze of ductwork is pretty difficult to decipher.  The one room upstairs that is unheated seems to make the rooms around it cold as well.  Since this is not good for overall efficiency and is certainly not helping your comfort level, it is time to install heat into the room.  This is easier than you think and will take less than a day to install. 

Electric Baseboard Heaters

Electric baseboard heaters are a great source of heat for small, individual spaces for two reasons:  They are cheap, and they are easy to control.  Installing a baseboard heater requires a 20 amp breaker on the electrical panel.  The wires must be grounded and the breaker should be an arc fault breaker as to protect the home from possible electrical fires. 

Sizing The Baseboard

The baseboard size refers to the number of watts the baseboard is rated for.  Most electricians use the formula of 8 watts per square foot.  So if you have a 10x10 foot room, you would need an 800 watt electric baseboard heater to heat the room to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  This formula is the best way to properly size your baseboard heater to keep your room warm, but not create an area that is too hot. 

The thermostat for an electric baseboard heater can either be installed on the wall or is part of the baseboard itself. This depends entirely on what kind of baseboard heater you purchase.

The addition of a baseboard heater in that straggler room will make this eyesore a space that can be utilized for all kinds of functions.  The ease of installation and the low cost make this and easy update that will provide comfort for your entire family.


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