Electric Baseboard Heaters

In October I installed 200A service and a new electrical panel in my 1918 bungalow. I also purchased 2 2000 Watt electric baseboard heaters to install on the enclosed front porch.

The porch is enclosed, but has never been usable in the winter because it wasn’t heated. There are 12 windows that enclose the porch in a wall of glass. The winter angle of the sun is just right to beat in the windows. Sometimes on warmer winter days, the sun was enough to take the chill away, but would only heat the porch up to 60 or so at the most.

I finally had a few weeks at home and was able to work on installation of the heaters. I had planned to take pictures and make a how-to guide for installation, but I didn’t have the time. So I thought I would note a few things about the installation.

The most difficult part of the installation was installation of the thermostat and wiring into existing walls. The wall where I installed the thermostat is a unique cement/raised aggregate exterior type wall that required drilling with a hammer drill and final dimmensioning with a chisel. The stud finder could not find studs through this material, so I had to guess where they were. I got lucky. In newer contruction this would not be a big deal.

The thermostats to control these heaters are not very impressive. The heaters do not have a low voltage control line like a furnace or AC unit. They are turned on/off by the thermostat switching the line voltage/current. I wanted a programmable thermostat, but the only one I could find was a single-pole type that could not switch 4000W. I ended up having to use the old-school manual dial type. It works fine, but you do get the +-3 degree swings that these thermostats are famous for.

The heaters are working great, and the porch is now usable. The temperature in Iowa hit single digits right after installation of the heaters. They were able to keep the porch warm, so apparently I sized them properly. It has been nice to sit on the porch, drink coffee and watch it snow.

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