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Baseboard Heating Calculations
Baseboard heaters supply heat to rooms. These heaters are typically mounted to exterior walls and on the floor. The most efficient locations for mounting are below exterior windows. The cooler air from the windows will fall and mix with the rising heated air from the baseboard unit. A general rule of thumb for calculating the size of the baseboard heater for a room is 6 watts per square foot for a new home, and 10 watts per square foot for an older home.
Understand that the age of the home and the amount of insulation in the walls and ceiling area will dictate the amount of wattage consumed by an electrical baseboard heater. The older the home, the more power will be required.
Measure the width and length of the room using the tape measure. As an example, the room may be 15 feet wide by 20 feet long.
Multiply the width times the length to find the square footage of the room. The square footage is equal to 300 square feet.
Find the total wattage needed for an older home in the 300 square foot room. Multiply 300 square feet times 10 watts per square foot. The amount of baseboard heat required is equal to 3000 watts.
Calculate the amount of baseboard heat required for a newer home with more insulation. Multiply 300 square feet times 6 watts per square foot. The required power is then 1800 watts.
Find the length of the baseboard heaters. In general, the baseboard heater length is rated between 200 watts and 250 watts per running foot. Calculate the length of the 3000-watt unit by dividing 3000 watts by 250 watts per foot. The length will be 12 feet.
Find the length of the 1800-watt baseboard heater by dividing 1800 watts by 250 watts per foot. The length will be approximately 7 feet long.
Various makes and models may have different lengths to wattage ratings. Consult specific model ratings for the brand of baseboard heater.
Words to the Wise:
Consult your local electrical regulations and building codes. Older homes may need an electrical panel upgrade to handle the extra electrical power required for larger baseboard heaters.
Baseboard Heater Calculator