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Stanalone Hydronic Electric Baseboard vs Standard Electric Baseboards

tomarnktomarnk Member Posts: 1
I have owned my condo for about 1 year now. I'm a new homeowner and am looking to invest and save on heating expenses. Here are the details of what I'm working with:



All baseboards are purely electric heat at the moment.

These baseboards are my SOLE heating source in the condo.

Hot water is provided by the HOA from a centralized location I cannot access.

Hot water pipes are not (to the best of my knowledge) run throughout the condo where all the heaters are located.

I cannot technically change plumbing without chatting with the HOA.

I have 4 rooms I need to heat. All 4 rooms have new digital thermostats that can be programmed on a schedule. All of these are connected to a single baseboard (4 thermostats, 4 baseboards)


My condo is a simple to floor rectangular floor plan. There is a front room, middle section, and back section.

Downstairs the front room is mainly storage and where I keep work clothes in a closet

The middle section is a kitchen which has an open bar into my living room, which has a sliding glass door leading outside.

Upstairs I have 2 equally sized rooms (office and bedroom) with a bathroom in the center.

Currently I have the thermostats programmed based on my weekly work schedule. Home settings are at 70F and Away settings are at 63F.


Bedroom and front room are home from 6:30 AM until 8 AM.

Front room goes up to home mode between 5:15PM and 6:30 PM

Living room and office are home mode between 6PM and 10:30 PM

Bedroom is in Home mode between 10:00 PM and 12:30 AM


Bedroom is home from 9PM until 2AM

Office is home from 10AM until 9PM

Living room is home from 11:40 AM to midnight.

Front room is away all weekend.

My question is whether buying standalone hydronic baseboard units would make sense. Would they only make sense in certain areas given usage?

I don't like being cold, and prefer to pay money to being uncomfortable. I was cold growing up and don't ever want to have that issue again. I only say this because I will use these more as needed and this behavior could be a factor.

Thanks for any help or insight you can provide. I'm admittedly VERY ignorant to how these things work.


  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Oil Heater Output:

    1,000 watts (1 KW) is equal to 3415 BTU's. No matter if you heat an oil filled radiator or an electric convector base board heater. No matter what the proclaimed efficiency.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,409
    A kilowatt is a kilowatt unless

    You use that kilowatt to drive a heat pump. A heat pump can get two to three times as much heat out of a kilowatt as a baseboard electric heater can; that means the bill for heating can go down a substantially. What have others in the building done?

    I assume you have an AC in the condo, maybe that can be replaced with a heat pump that would heat as well as cool. You would still need the electric heat for other rooms but a heat pump could handle the main area. The best heat pumps are good down to about 5 degrees but the efficiency drops off at the lower end.

    Other than that you have to fix any drafts and take a close look at the windows. Sliding glass doors can leak a lot of air.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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