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Electric Baseboard Vs Hydronic Electric Baseboards
I just purchased a new (to me) home and I need to replace the existing (4) 72" electric baseboards upstairs for 2 reasons:
1. The previous owner smoked heavily and due to the smell and safety concerns with nicotine and my small children, they need to go.
2. The current regular electric heaters are wired for 120 volt and I have adequate wiring and room in the breaker box to upgrade them to 240 volt.
I also want to control the new heaters with a wireless thermostat such as Honeywell's Econnect system.
Here's the question: Should I upgrade to hyrdonic electric baseboards or stay with the less expensive normal electric baseboards?
Just to be clear, switching to a different heating system isn't feasible due to the layout of the house and the cost to open up the walls/ceiling, etc to plumb a completely different system.
My research shows that the hydronic baseboards are safer for kids, don't smell bad when they turn on for the first time after warm weather and may be slightly more efficient because they produce radiant heat verse convection heat.
The downside is that they cost 4 times as much and in my case, they aren't directly compatible with the Honeywell control system. To make it work, I'd have to either add a junction box in the wall or buy an accessory control section to match the baseboard to house the Equipment Interface Module (EMI).
Right now the cost looks like $300 for the hydronic baseboard and $50 for the accessory control section in comparison to $50 for a standard baseboard that can hold the EMI.
What are your thoughts?