The baseboards heaters listed above cover up to 50 square feet, but different baseboard heating systems can cover a range of room sizes. The square footage estimate can be affected by things such as room insulation, number of windows, and ceiling height, but for most spaces, the coverage is accurate up to the measurement displayed.
The best rule to follow for baseboard heater installation is leaving at least 12 inches of space in front of the heater and 6 inches on either side of the wall. This will ensure that air flows freely and no heat gets trapped.
To choose the right baseboard heater, you should first calculate the wattage the heater needs to have to fully cover your space. A simple equation to do this is multiplying the room’s total square footage by 10. So, if your space is 50 square feet, the baseboard heater would need to have 500 watts or more. If the ceilings are higher than 8 feet or if the walls have poor insulation, the wattage may need to be slightly higher, but the times 10 rule is a good way to set a baseline for your search.
120V and 240V baseboard heaters are different because they need to be wired to circuits with different voltages. Most households run on a 120-volt circuit, while 240-volt circuits are used more for powering large appliances like dryers, water heaters, and HVAC systems. Electricians will typically choose to wire baseboard heating systems on 240-volt circuits if possible because they have the same wire type and size as 120-volt circuits but draw twice the amount of power. Installing a baseboard heater on a 120-volt circuit is the easier method if you’re doing the installation yourself, but if you’re unsure what type of circuit(s) you have in your home, consult with an electrician.
Typically, baseboard heaters have two options for thermostats: built-in or line voltage. Built-in thermostats are either digital or dial, cost less to install since they are part of the heater itself, but can be less convenient and potentially get inaccurate temperature readings since they are so close to the floor. Line voltage thermostats are mounted on the wall, separate from the baseboard heating unit, and control the power running to the heater via cable. Wall thermostats are the more convenient option because they are more easily reachable and more accurate in their temperature readings. Check with the manufacturer or the product manual to verify a thermostat’s compatibility with your baseboard heater.
Baseboard heating has many benefits, including the following:
A 20-amp circuit can support any number of 120-volt baseboard heaters whose total combined wattage equals 2,400 watts or less. For 240-volt heaters, a 20-amp circuit can support any combination of baseboard heaters that have a total wattage of up to 4,800 watts, or double the amount of baseboard heaters as 120-volt.
A 15-amp circuit can support any number of 120-volt baseboard heaters whose total combined wattage equals 1,440 watts or less. For 240-volt heaters, a 15-amp circuit can support any combination of baseboard heaters that have a total wattage of up to 2,880 watts, or double the amount of baseboard heaters as 120-volt.