A baseboard heater itself can cost between $25 and $250, not including labor.
Because this is not DIY-able, you’ll need to budget $75 to $250 per hour for installation.
to purchase and install a baseboard heater, you should budget $300 to $500 each.
Your overall project cost will depend on the unit type and the number of units needed.
Colder temperatures mean things like snow days and ski trips, but you’ll want to be sure your home is nice and cozy when you return. Depending on where you live, baseboard heaters can be a budget-friendly, simple solution to keep you and your family warm and toasty throughout the winter months.
Before adding or replacing baseboard heaters, here are some things to keep in mind in terms of cost.
Average Baseboard Heater Cost
It’s about $20 to $200 per baseboard unit, although those costs decrease with each one you add. In general, you should budget $300 to $500 each to cover purchase and installation.
What Do Baseboard Heaters Cost Near You?
Baseboard heater costs can vary city-to-city based on the area’s seasonal climate, the size of your home, the cost of materials to do the project, and the individual contractor you hire. Below is a breakdown of what the price to install baseboard heaters near you might be based on a few places around the U.S.
The national average price for a new baseboard heater is $780, though specific prices vary from state to state.
The cost to install or replace baseboard heaters tends to align with the national average in most states; however, homes in southern states with warmer year-round climates are generally more suitable for baseboard heating.
Each state has its own costs and requirements for building permits and licenses, so it’s a good idea to check on your area’s requirements before starting your project.
What Does It Cost to Install New Baseboard Heaters Yourself?
Besides the cost of labor, a baseboard heater itself can cost as little as $25 or as much as $250. However, you’ll have to hire a local licensed electrician to ensure your installation is compliant with building codes (and make sure the project is safe for everyone involved).
How Much Does It Cost to Install Baseboard Heaters by Type?
If you need to replace a baseboard heater, you have two choices: electric convection heaters or hydronic heaters. Both types fit snugly against baseboards in any room and can be perfectly placed under windows or near drafty doorways. Keep in mind, however, that you should not put anything closer than 12 inches above these heaters, as it may catch fire.
Before you decide which type of baseboard heater is right for you, consider the cost of each.
Electric baseboard heater: $45–$60
Hydronic baseboard heater: $200–$250
Electric Convection Baseboard Heater Cost
Electric heaters are the cheaper of the two options up front; however, the long-term energy cost is more expensive. These heaters use heating coils, much like a toaster, to heat your room.
Once connected to your electrical system, you simply turn the heater on, and it draws in cool air from the floor, heats it, and pushes it out into the room. Downsides to electric baseboard heaters include less efficient energy transfer than hydronic options and quick dispersion of heat when you turn them off.
Hydronic Baseboard Heater Cost
Hydronic baseboard heat is a more energy-efficient alternative to electric baseboard heat. Hydronic or oil-filled heaters have a sealed pipe of either water or oil inside their casings, which is warmed via heating coils. Once the water or oil is hot enough, it begins to heat the surrounding air.
Electricity-to-heat ratios are excellent with this type of heater, and they stay warmer much longer after being turned off. However, expect longer initial heating times as the sealed fluid warms up.
What Factors Influence Baseboard Heater Costs?
Several factors can increase the cost of your baseboard heater installation. If you want to pair it with a programmable thermostat, for example, you'll pay more than average. Typical baseboard heater costs depend on who you hire, the location in the room, and what model you choose.
The cost of labor to install a baseboard heater is around $75 to $250 per hour.
If you choose to wait until fall or winter to get your baseboard heater replaced or to get a new baseboard heater installed, that may increase the cost of hiring a contractor. This increase is because of the uptick in demand for their services as the chilly winter weather approaches and more homeowners are making sure they’re ready to heat their homes.
Size of the Room(s)
The number of baseboard heating units needed to properly heat the room will fluctuate based on the size of your room. That means you may need to factor in the cost of multiple heaters into your budget. Generally, you should plan to pay $300 to $500 per baseboard heater you buy with labor factored into that cost.
If your room has a lot of cabinets or furniture, that limits where you can install the baseboard heaters and may require additional time and effort to complete. The more time a contractor puts into the project, the more they’ll charge for the cost of labor. For safety reasons, you’ll need to install the baseboard heaters away from furniture or curtains and close to the floor.
What Baseboard Heater Model You Choose
Baseboard heaters that warm up small spaces can cost as little as $40, while larger models for heating bigger spaces like a living room or garage can be as much as $350. Including a programmable thermostat with your baseboard heating system costs between $30 to $70, excluding labor.
FAQs about Baseboard Heating Costs
Is baseboard heat expensive?
Electric baseboard heat cost per month is generally around $400 for a 1,200-square-foot house. However, that cost may fluctuate depending on the climate and weather conditions.
How energy-efficient is electric baseboard heat?
Sadly, electric convection baseboard heaters are less energy efficient as they cool down fairly quickly. However, electric baseboard heaters can last 20+ years, so you’ll likely not have to replace them for a long time.
The cost and general reliability tend to be the driving factors for homeowners who choose electric vs. hydronic.
What are the pros and cons of baseboard heaters?
When considering the pros and cons of baseboard heaters, price is actually one of the top reasons why baseboard heating continues to remain popular. A single room usually costs between $100 and $150 for materials and installation, whereas forced-air furnace systems can easily reach $5,000 for a moderately sized house.
Baseboard options give you room-by-room control, rather than using a "universal" setting. Many of these heaters are also 100% efficient, meaning all electricity used is converted directly to heat.
On the other hand, homes with forced-air furnaces sell more competitively because they can be easily adapted to include add-on systems, such as whole-house dehumidifiers or central air conditioning. And while your upfront costs are low, baseboard heating is the most expensive option month-over-month, so you’ll want to consider your climate to determine overall worth.
How do you know if baseboard heaters need to be replaced?
Replacing electric baseboard heaters can save you money as newer units will require less frequent maintenance. You'll also need to replace your old heaters if the elements inside become corroded or damaged. The first sign will be a lack of heat, or a convection system that takes far too long to warm a room.
It's also worth considering a replacement to improve safety because newer models come with temperature-limit switches that automatically shut off the heater if too-high temperatures are detected.