How Much Does an Electric Baseboard or Wall Heater Cost?

Kathryn Pomroy
Written by Kathryn Pomroy
Updated January 17, 2022
warm feet on a tile floor by a baseboard heater
Photo: Maridav / Adobe Stock

The average cost to install electric baseboard heaters is $780

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The typical cost to install electric baseboard heaters is $390 to $1,190, with an average cost of $780. If you don’t include labor, you can expect to pay between $25 and $200 for a baseboard heater and between $60 and $120 for an electric wall heater. What you pay depends on the price of materials, the kind of electric heater—wall or baseboard—and just how cozy and warm you want your home to be.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Heater per Unit?

The national average price for labor to install an electric baseboard or wall heater is between $75 and $250 per hour. What you pay may be higher or lower depending on several factors. 

Here’s a look at what affects baseboard heating costs:

  • Type and model may affect your baseboard heater installation cost

  • Features, like Hydronics (an electric heater that heats up hot water) or programmable thermostats, are pricier than less complex systems 

  • Number of baseboard or wall units you’re installing

  • Heater costs in your area

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Heater Near You?

The price to install an electric heater in your area varies. For example, the estimate to install three baseboard heaters that cover 1,500 to 25,000 square feet in up to five rooms is as follows:

  • Seattle, WA: $320 – $1,090

  • Minneapolis, MN: $675 – $1,540

  • New York, NY: $460 – $1,175 

  • Phoenix, AZ: $390 – $1,190 

  • San Francisco, CA: $420 – $1,080

  • Boston, MA: $375 – $1,100

How Many Electric Baseboard Heaters Can I Get Installed on My Budget?

Because electric heaters require no ductwork, they’re a more cost-efficient heating option than some other heating sources. Most baseboard heaters range from about 3 to 10 feet long and about 3 to 4 inches wide. 

Heaters can be mounted over carpeting and other flooring and are relatively inexpensive to operate. Many homeowners use them as supplemental heat or to heat a room addition. 

If you have cold feet or live in a freezing climate, you may want to put an electric heater in every room. But, on average, most homes have six electric baseboard heaters. 

The average cost to have a licensed electrician install an electric baseboard heater is between $390 to $1,190. The average cost of an electric baseboard heater is anywhere from $25 to $200

If you take an average cost of $900.00 (heater and labor included), your budget options may include:

  • $3,500 = Almost four units (3.9) installed

  • $5,000 = 5.5 units installed

  • $7,500 = 8.3 units installed

  • $10,000 = 11 units installed

  • $12,500 = 14 units installed

If you need more units than your budget allows, you may have to choose a less expensive electric heater model. However, if the total number of units ends up being less than you thought, you may want to splurge and choose units with more features.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Heater Yourself?

The cost of baseboard heating is relatively affordable. Baseboard and wall heaters are an efficient yet powerful heat source. They run silently, and only sacrifice a small amount of floor or wall space. While you could complete the installation yourself, especially if you’re pretty handy running electrical wires, you may want to take an extra measure of safety and hire a pro. 

Set on DIY? Keep the following things in mind when installing baseboard or wall heating:

  • You’ll need to know how to calculate the size and wattage of your rooms.

  • You’ll need to hardwire your baseboard heaters into your home’s current electrical system. 

  • This will require running new wires within the floors or walls and installing a new circuit in your electrical panel.

  • You’ll need to make holes in the floor for the baseboard units. Many manufacturers state requirements on the units for placement. 

  • You should install a thermostat system to work with the baseboard heaters to automatically control the temperature in your home.

Safety Concerns

Baseboard heaters are relatively safe. They lack moving parts, which means a lot less maintenance and fewer repairs. 

However, it is important to keep these safety measures in mind when installing baseboard or wall heaters:

  • Clear a space of at least 12 inches in front of the heater and at least 6 inches on either side. 

  • Make sure drapes and furniture don’t block your heater unit to avoid a fire. 

  • Open doors shouldn’t block heaters.

  • Do not use extension cords to lessen the chance of electrocution and fire. 

  • Make sure the electrical baseboard heater you choose has an automatic shut-off feature.

  • To avoid burns, keep children and pets away from hot heaters. 

  • The best baseboard heaters are UL certified and tested for safety.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install a Baseboard Heater?

There are several factors that go into installing a baseboard heater. With proper installation, you’ll enjoy years of toasty warm heat on cold winter nights.

Replace Baseboard Heaters

If you are replacing your baseboard electric heating units, it’s recommended you have them removed by a professional, like an HVAC technician or licensed electrician

Save on Labor Costs

If you install electric baseboard heaters in a new home, you can run the wires before adding floors or sheetrock—saving on labor costs.

Hardwire Into Your Electrical System

If you are replacing another heat source, you will need to hardwire into your current electrical system and likely add a new circuit on your electrical panel.

Drill Some Holes

You or a hired professional will also drill holes in the floor to install your baseboard heaters. For that reason, you may be out the added cost to replace your current flooring. 

a wall-mounted electric heater in a white room
Photo: JRJfin / Adobe Stock

FAQs About Installing Electric Baseboard Heaters

Can furniture be put in front of an electric baseboard heater?

Most manufacturers recommend that you have at least 12 inches of clearance in front of your baseboard heater. You can put furniture in front of the heater, but it must be 1 foot away. Anything less is a fire hazard.

Can I replace an electric baseboard heater?

You can replace an electric baseboard heater by turning off all the power to the heater at your fuse box. Remove the old unit, which can be a bit tricky depending on the original installation. Set the baseboard heater on the floor in front of where you want it installed. Wire the new unit the same way the old unit was wired and then mount it to the wall. To save you a few headaches and ensure all safety precautions are taken, you may want to hire a professional to install your new unit(s). 

Can electric baseboard heaters save on energy costs?

Yes. Electric baseboard heaters can save on your energy costs. Some systems, like forced air systems, are less expensive than electric baseboard heat. A 2000-watt baseboard heater can warm 200-square feet of space in about 15 minutes. 

As an example, the current electric heat cost in the mid-Atlantic area (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware) is about 15 cents per kWh. So, for a 2,200-square-foot house, electric baseboard heat will cost $2,485 a year.

Do electric baseboard heaters require regular maintenance?

Baseboard heaters have no moving parts and require less maintenance than some other heating systems. But it would be best if you periodically cleaned your units to boost your electric baseboard heater's efficiency. Remove the front panel cover and vacuum dirt and dust from the metal fins. Or, you can use a bristle brush or damp rag. Make sure the unit is off to prevent burns before you clean your heaters.

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