How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Baseboard Heater?

Typical Range:

$379 - $1,213

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 295 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated March 30, 2022

Reviewed by Salvatore Cutrona, Licensed Master Electrician.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

It typically costs $786 to install a mid-range 1,500-watt electric baseboard heater large enough to comfortably heat a 100-square-foot room. The average cost range is $379 and $1,213 including labor and materials. A budget model of 350 watts could cost you as little as $285 to install, while a premium 4,000-watt model with all the bells and whistles can cost as much as $1,400.

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National Average $786
Typical Range $379 - $1,213
Low End - High End $100 - $2,500

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 295 HomeAdvisor members.

Estimating Electric Baseboard Heater Installation Costs

Electric baseboard heater installation is a reasonably straightforward task, but still requires the services of a professional. The project fees are split reasonably evenly between materials and labor, but you should also plan for permit fees and unexpected miscellaneous costs.

Materials 

Baseboard heaters cost between $40 and $650 per unit, depending on size and wattage. But remember, if you're installing the heaters in a very large room, multiple rooms, or your whole home, you may need multiple units. For example, in a 1,500-square-foot house, you'll need between 10 and 12 1,350-watt heaters at a total cost of $4,000 to $4,800

Labor

The labor to install an electric baseboard heater costs between $200 and $400, assuming an average installation time of four hours per unit, including running new electrical lines. Electricians charge $50 to $100 per hour. Plus, you'll need to account for the cost of installing a thermostat which can take up to two hours at an additional cost of $100 to $200.

Permits

In most locations, you'll need a permit to install a new electric baseboard heater. This costs between $50 and $350, depending on how many circuits, amps, and heater units you're adding to your home.

Overage

It's a good idea to have an overage of around 10% in your budget to accommodate the cost of any unforeseen issues. While working, your local electrician could find that your current circuit breaker is faulty and needs immediate repair, for example. Or that the wiring is old, inefficient, and dangerous and needs immediate replacement.

Electric Baseboard Heater Installation Costs by Heater Size

Most commonly, for heating a whole room, you'd concentrate more on the total wattage than the size of the heater. However, if you're interested in adding supplemental heat to a particular part of a room, such as on an outside wall beneath a window that's always cold and drafty, then space may be your primary concern. Similarly, if you want to place a heater in a nook or other area with limited available space, then the footprint of the unit is an essential consideration.

Size Cost Range (Materials Only) Average Cost (Materials Only)
2 feet $40 – $70 $55
3 feet $80 – $110 $95
4 feet $120 – $150 $135
5 feet $200 – $225 $210
6 feet $250 – $275 $260
7 feet $300 – $325 $310
8 feet $350 – $380 $360
9 feet $450 – $500 $475
10 feet $575 – $650 $610
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Cost to Install an Electric Baseboard Heater by Home Size

To safely heat your whole home with baseboard heaters, you need to know its square footage. Undersizing is inefficient in terms of energy use, puts more strain on your new heaters, and is not considered safe as it increases fire risk. Therefore, you should always aim to slightly oversize the total wattage you need to heat your home, boosting safety, energy efficiency, and comfort. 

The table below is based on the typical wattage required to heat a 150-square-foot space, or 1,350 watts at 240 volts.

Home Size Cost Range (Materials Only) Average Cost (Materials Only)
800 – 1,000 sq. ft. $2,400 – $2,800 $2,600
1,200 – 1,400 sq. ft. $3,200 – $4,000 $3,600
1,500 – 1,700 sq. ft. $4,000 – $4,800 $4,400
1,800 – 2,200 sq. ft. $4,800 – $6,000 $5,400
2,300 – 3,000 sq. ft $6,400 – $8,000 $7,200

How Many Baseboard Heaters Do You Need?

How big your rooms are and how many rooms you have determine how many heaters you'll need to install. Remember, even with two houses of the same square footage, the number of units you'll need and the cost you'll pay can vary considerably if one home has five rooms and the other has 10. 

Home Size Number of Baseboard Heaters Required
800 – 1,000 sq. ft. 6 – 7
1,200 – 1,400 sq. ft. 8 – 10
1,500 – 1,700 sq. ft. 10 – 12
1,800 – 2,200 sq. ft. 12 – 15
2,300 – 3,000 sq. ft 16 – 20
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Price of Electric Baseboard Heater Installation by Room Size

Baseboard heaters aren't generally used as a whole-home heating system. Instead, you usually install them in spaces where your existing HVAC does reach, like the garage, or rooms that need a bit of a boost. Per square foot, it's less expensive to heat a single 300-square-foot room than to heat three 100-square-foot rooms. For a single room, you only need one baseboard heater. Simply choose one with enough wattage to warm the whole space. With three rooms, you'll need three separate units, hence the increased material cost. Plus, you'll pay triple labor costs, too. 

Room Area Cost Range (Materials Only) Average Cost (Materials Only)
64 sq. ft. $35 – $150 $90
80 sq. ft. $50 – $185 $120
100 sq.ft. $75 – $250 $160
150 sq. ft. $100 – $300 $200
300 sq. ft. $150 – $700 $420
400 sq. ft. $275 – $800 $540
500 sq. ft. $300 – $1,000 $650

Factors That Influence the Cost of Electric Baseboard Heater Installation

There are a number of factors that impact the cost of baseboard heater installation, including ways you can save money and ongoing running and maintenance costs. 

Purchase in the Off Season

Purchasing your baseboard heaters in spring or summer often gets you a better price than waiting until winter when you're desperate. Plus, installation may be cheaper during the off season, too, as electricians aren't as busy and may offer discounts and deals that you wouldn't get during busier periods.

Type of Thermostat

The type of thermostat you choose has a direct influence on how much you'll pay. Some baseboard heaters come with a thermostat built in, so the cost is already covered as part of your purchase. However, that's not always the case, so you'll need to check with your electrician to make sure this is accounted for in the quote. 

If you do need to have a thermostat installed, you can expect to pay around two hours of labor, at a cost of $100 to $200 plus the cost of the unit, which ranges from $20 to $500

At the budget-friendly end of the range, you've got simple two-pole dial thermostats that you control physically, turning the dial to the temperature you want. These cost between $20 and $100, plus installation. These units are simple and are not programmable, but they're affordable and functional. 

Mid-range thermostats cost between $50 and $250, plus installation. These are programmable models and are available with different functions. The most affordable let you program the unit for day and night. The more costly ones let you set more programs, such as different temperatures at different times on different days of the week. 

High-end, smart thermostats are Wi-Fi-enabled and cost between $100 and $500, plus installation. You can control smart thermostats from your phone or tablet, and many "learn" your routine to help maximize efficiency and reduce energy costs.

Maintenance Costs

With proper installation and a little TLC, maintenance costs for baseboard heaters should be minimal. To keep them operating at peak efficiency, you should keep them clean and free of dust and debris. It's also a good idea to have them inspected annually, along with the rest of your heating and cooling system. An annual HVAC inspection costs far less than the price of baseboard heater repair or replacement and ensures the units are efficient and safe.

Running Costs

Because they're so expensive to run, baseboard heaters are not recommended as a whole-house heating system. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, baseboard heaters are one of the most expensive heating systems to operate. But they are an effective option in a single room where you only need occasional heating, such as in the garage. 

Thankfully, there are ways you can save on baseboard heating costs to make them more affordable. Firstly, try to keep the thermostat at around 68 degrees and, if you're too chilly, put on a sweater. Remember, for every degree you set your thermostat above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, your running costs increase by 5%. 

Adding insulation to your home is also a smart move, as it reduces overall HVAC running costs year-round. While the cost to install new insulation may seem off-putting, the energy benefits and cost savings last for decades, so it's always a worthwhile investment. 

Another way to reduce energy costs is to only use the heater while someone's using the space. For example, you don't need to heat a bedroom during the day or a garage when nobody's working in there. 

Here are the typical running costs for baseboard heaters based on 1,350-watt units running for 10 hours per day, seven days a week, at an average price of $0.13 per kilowatt.

Number of Units Monthly Running Costs Range Average Monthly Running Costs
One unit $50 – $60 $55
Two units $100 – $120 $110
Three units $150 – $180 $165
Four units $200 – $240 $220
Five units $250 – $300 $275

FAQs About Installing an Electric Baseboard Heater

Are electric baseboard heaters safe?

Yes, baseboard heaters are safe as long as your electrician has installed them correctly. Make sure you keep baseboard heaters clean and free of dust and leave at least a 12-inch clearance for furniture and soft furnishings like drapes to reduce the risk of fire.

Is electric baseboard heat expensive?

Yes, it's expensive to run a baseboard heater. However, a good-quality model is energy-efficient, converting 100% of the electricity it uses into heat for your home. Therefore, while monthly running costs are high, they're a solid choice as a backup heating option or for installing in garages and home additions where you don't want the cost of extending your current HVAC system.

Are new electric baseboard heaters more energy efficient?

Yes, newer electric baseboard heaters are more energy-efficient than older models. Electric baseboard heaters have a long lifespan of 20 years or more if they're properly maintained, but they lose up to 7% transmission efficiency as they age. You can help to keep them in peak condition for longer by cleaning them and having them inspected and serviced regularly.

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