baseboard heaters cost

Average Cost of Electric Baseboard Heater Installation

Most homeowners pay between $395 and $975 for a 1,000 to 2,500 watt electric baseboard heater installed by a licensed electrician on a dedicated 208/240 volt circuit. Most of the cost is in installation labor. If the heater doesn’t have an internal thermostat, and you want to install one to control it, your cost will be on the upper end of the price range.

On the low end of baseboard heater installation cost, it’s assumed you already have the wiring in place and simply need to replace the heating unit itself. On the high end, new wiring and/or a thermostat would be included in the installation along with a breaker in the electric panel.

Average Do It Yourself cost

$80 – $600 per Unit

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$395 – $975

Typical Cost Average

$535 – $750

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Overview of Electric Baseboard Heater

An electric baseboard heater is a popular choice for heating a small addition that the main heat source, such as a gas furnace, doesn’t serve or for use as supplemental heat in cool areas of your home. Electric baseboard heater cost is slightly lower than the cost of an electric fireplace, and while they don’t have the same visual appeal, their compact size makes them a better option where space or budget is limited.  You might want to compare this type of heater with our cost guide to an electric bathroom heater.

This guide to electric baseboard heater prices covers professionally installed cost, retail cost for DIY installation and prices from other reliable estimating sites such as Home Advisor with that gives a little broader range than we do at $397 to $1,192 while Fixr estimates $375 to $1,000 with most homeowners paying between $525 and $675.

There are homeowner-submitted prices too. If you’d consider bookmarking this page of Business Finance News and returning to provide your installed cost, other readers will benefit from the information.

Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

Electric Baseboard Radiator Cost Factors

Your cost to install an electric baseboard heater will depend on these issues related to the equipment and installation factors.

  • Heater Quality – Very cheap standard heaters start below $50. Midrange heaters cost $100 – $275, and the best units are priced from $300 to $600.
  • Brand – Brands like Reznor and QMark offer affordable and midrange electric baseboard heaters while Cadet and Runtal are among the higher-cost brands. The premium brands typically have warranties of 5-10 years vs. 1-3 years for cheaper models.
  • Heater Type –  Standard electric heaters cost less than hydronic heaters containing oil or water.
  • Watts – Heaters start at 120 volts and 500 watts and can be as large as 240 volts and 2,000 watts. The most popular heaters are 750, 1,000 and 1,500 watts. In each series, the larger the capacity, the more the unit costs.
  • Built-in Thermostat – Heaters with a thermostat cost more than those without them, all else being equal.
  • How Many Units are Installed – Cost goes down by $25 to $50 per unit when two or more are installed. However, due to the high cost of electric heat, these heaters are not recommended for heating an entire home – just for supplemental heat or heating room or zone up to about 250 square feet.
  • DIY vs Pro Installation – As noted, much of the cost is in paying an electrician to install circuit, the wiring from the electrical panel to the location, mounting the baseboard heater and connecting the wiring. If DIY is a safe option for you, there’s money to be saved. See the DIY section below for more details.
  • Where you Live – As you can see from the factor above, electricians have a wide range of fees. According to the Homewyse electric baseboard heater estimate, electricians in rural OK average about $80 per hour. Those in Dallas/Ft. Worth pay an average of about $95, and in Boston, you can expect an average of more than $115 per hour.
  • Where the Heater is Installed – Installations on upper floors cost 10% to 25% more than lower floor and basement installation due to increased time and materials required.
  • Permit Cost – In most cases, a dedicated circuit must be installed, and that requires an electrical permit. See prices below.

Retail Electric Baseboard Heater Cost

Here are costs you’ll find as you shop online or at big box stores near you.

Standard electric baseboard heaters warm up very quickly – and cool down just as quickly. Hydronic baseboard heaters, those containing oil or water, heat up more slowly but retain the heat longer. Some homeowners consider them more efficient. A quick-heating standard unit is better for the bathroom; a hydronic unit you can turn on 30-60 minutes ahead of going to bed might be a better fit for a bedroom.

  • $35 – $180 | Standard Baseboard Heater – Up to 500 Watts
  • $40 – $215 | Standard Baseboard Heater – 750 Watts
  • $55 – $300 | Standard Baseboard Heater – 1,000 Watts
  • $70 – $415 | Standard Baseboard Heater – 1,500 Watts
  • $95 – $475 | Standard Baseboard Heater – 2,000 Watts
  • $125 – $600 | Standard Baseboard Heater – 2,500 Watts
  • $125 – $250 | Hydronic Baseboard Heater – Up to 500 Watts
  • $160 – $295 | Hydronic Baseboard Heater – 700 Watts
  • $200 – $325 | Hydronic Baseboard Heater – 1,000 Watts
  • $240 – $380 | Hydronic Baseboard Heater – 1,500 Watts
  • $30 – $60 | Programmable Baseboard Heater Thermostat

BTU/h to Watts: If you’re shopping for electric baseboard heaters and you see one listed by the number of BTU/hour that it produces, you can determine the number of watts by dividing by 3.4. Conversely, if you know the watts but are aiming for a certain BTU output, multiply watts by 3.4.

  • 500 watts = 1700 BTU/h
  • 750 watts = 2560 BTU/h
  • 1000 watts = 3400 BTU/h
  • 1,500 watts = 5120 BTU/h
  • 2000 watts = 6800 BTU/h
  • 2500 watts = 8530 BTU/h

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 – $50 | If you buy a 120 volt heater and can install it on an existing line, a permit might not be required. Anytime a new circuit is added, whether 120 or 240 volts, most communities require a permit that includes an inspection to ensure proper and safe installation.

Related Costs and Installation Time

As we’ve noted early, here are average costs to hire an electrician based on where you live.

  • $70 – $130 per Hour | Cost to hire an electrician to install your electric baseboard heater.

How long does it take to install an electric baseboard heater?

  • 2-3 Hours | Time to wire, mount and connect an electric baseboard heater.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

There are three main steps to installing a baseboard heater:

  1. Install the dedicated circuit, which is always necessary with a 240V heater but might not be required with a 120V model.
  2. Mount the heater to the floor and/or wall.
  3. Run wiring from the electrical box (new circuit) or from the nearest junction box if existing wiring is used to the mounted heater and connecting it.

Installing the circuit represents the most difficulty and, obviously, the danger is you fail to turn off power or improperly install the circuit.

Your DIY options are handling the complete installation, hiring all the work done or a middle ground. You might be able to mount the unit and connect the wiring to it and back to the electrical panel, being sure to leave plenty of excess at the box. Clear instructions should come with the unit, such as these for this Marley QMark heater. And then hire an electrician to install the circuit and connect the wiring, a job that reduces time from 2-3 hours to less than an hour.

Having given those options, our recommendation is to hire a licensed electrician for all or part of the work to make sure the job is completed safely and that and your household can use the baseboard heater with peace of mind.

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