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Electric heat or stick with Baseboard Hot Water

johnri Member Posts: 10
For a new house I'm building I'm having installed hot water baseboard heat. The walk out basement is on a zone, the 1st floor and the 2nd floors are on their own zones (3 zones). There's what was to be an unheated attic space over the kitchen (2nd floor). Turns out this space would make for a nice media room. I'll need to heat this room. Most of the 2nd floor will hardly get used, except for this attic space/media room (just me and wife with 1st floor bedroom). The plumber wanted, what seems like a lot of dough, to put hot water heat in this attic space, connecting it into the 1st floor zone. So.... my question is, I'm wondering if installing electric baseboard heat in this one room (14' x 17') would be a good alternative. Electric costs where we are are on the high side... the boiler uses nat gas. Any insights would be helpful... just trying to get some other opinions. Thanks


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,513
    Stay with hot-water

    and consider making the media room its own zone if its usage will differ at all from the first floor.

    You're facing the classic question of first cost vs. operating cost. With fuel prices generally going up, up, up, operating cost is most important. Unless you're in an area with lots of cheap hydro, gas beats electricity hands down.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • EricAune
    EricAune Member Posts: 432
    Why add another system?

    The cost of heating the space with hydronics should be lower than electric.  As long as the current boiler is sized for the additional load (probably is) then adding this as an additional load would be preferred over adding an additional system.

    I would look into controlling this room separate from the 1st floor zone.  Its likely (not having knowledge of your layout) you will have residual heat from the lower level and adjoining zones, decreasing the load for the area.  This would also allow for separation from the 2nd floor zone. 
    "If you don't like change, your going to like irrelevance even less"
  • johnri
    johnri Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the follow ups

    The original intention was to stick with hot water including this one room and put it on a separate zone.... I was just a bit taken aback by how much the charge was going to be. So I then asked to tie it into the first floor zone.... still pricey. Thus my inquiry into other heating methods (eg. electric). After reviewing all.... maybe it does pay to just bite the bullet and put that one room on a separate zone. Thanks for the help.
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