safest baseboard heating?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by roadk, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. roadk

    roadk New Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    New York
    safest electric baseboard heater?

    I am in the process of finishing my attic in my 1926 colonial.
    The conditioned space will be 25 foot by 12 foot. wall are insulated with R-30 and it has two windows on one gable end, one window on the other.

    the attic was parially finished and had a 6 foot electric baseboard heater installed.

    I am looking to replace it with a newer heater and wonder if there are safer alternatives to the 240 Volt Electric Baseboard Heater...

    are Hydronic heaters safer or just more efficient than the standard electric baseboard?

    thanks for any suggestions.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Hydronic may end up more comfortable, but probably isn't any more efficient (assuming you are talking about an oil-filled electric unit rather than a boiler fed unit). Watts are watts. With more mass, the hydronic would take longer to heat up and cool down, so it may cycle on and off less, but would take longer to get hot. Safety-wise, there probably is no big difference, although I suppose it's possible to start a fire with a conventional electric, you'd probably have to try. An oil-filled unit would have a lower maximum temp that probably isn't above the flash point of most materials.
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  4. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    That is an interesting question! I started thinking about what *is* safe heating, and thought about problems which could be had with each type!

    For example one type of electric heater is installed in the wall, but...

    I guess you could have "safer" heating rather than out and out safe?

    And I suppose safer would be where the electric heating element is totally enclosed by non-combustible materials and CAN'T come in contact with any combustible materials to heat them to an ignition temperature.

    Here are ignition temperatures of common materials... Temperatures.pdf

    So if there is an electric heater which transfers the hot heat to a fluid and that fluid never reaches a temperature which would cause anything to start a fire, then I would think that would be safer. And this is all installed to code and directions followed - maintenance instructions followed.

    Other than that, I can think of all sorts of problems with various heating systems... When not installed properly, directions not followed as to their use, not maintained properly, or have a product defect...
  5. roadk

    roadk New Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    New York
    thanks for the replies.
    i was leaning towards the oil filled baseboard for the reason that the oil wouldn't get hot enough to ignite anything that MAY come in contact with it accidentally....
    and billy, thanks for the
    i appreciate the help as always.
  6. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Feb 20, 2008
    In order to determine how many watts you will need so that you can figure out how many feet and locations of the baseboard, we will need to know not just what is in the walls (R30?) but what is in the ceiling and what area of the country you are in. Just county and state will do.
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