We understand the need to make everything as convenient as possible, including installing outlets that are easily accessible. However, you may be concerned about the safety of installing an outlet above your baseboard heater.
Allow us to answer some of your questions before you begin the installation process.
It is not recommended to install an outlet above your baseboard heater for safety reasons. A baseboard heater, as the name implies, generates heat that, when hot, can pose a fire hazard.
Electrical outlets are also made of plastic, which can melt if exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.
Furthermore, newer hot water baseboard heater models generate heat faster than older models, potentially posing an electrical hazard.
However, do not let these disadvantages prevent you from fully utilizing the capabilities of your baseboard heater. Heaters are essential during the winter because they provide the necessary warmth, preventing serious complications such as hypothermia.
We created this article with the help of experts in the field to help you find other places where you can install an electrical outlet for your baseboard heater.
Locations Where An Electrical Outlet Can Be Installed Safely
Although electrical codes do not typically prohibit the installation of baseboard heaters above and beneath wall outlets, heater manufacturers will usually tell you otherwise. A cord plugged into an outlet could potentially fall onto the heater.
A home must have a wall outlet every twelve feet along the walls, according to the National Electrical Code [NEC], so it’s best to follow the national standard when installing your baseboard heater. With that clearance requirement, having an outlet near the heater unit is already out of the question.
How Much Room Is Required Above A Baseboard Heater?
When installing your baseboard heater, leave a gap of up to twelve inches between it and anything else. If you put the heater near a door, make sure it won’t get in the way when the door opens or closes.
If you’re unsure, you can use the NEC standard mentioned above to determine the location of your baseboard heater.
Are Baseboard Heaters Dangerously Hot?
Yes, baseboard heaters can produce extremely hot conditions, ranging from 60 to 80°F, but they can also reach temperatures as high as 195°F. Check your heater’s thermostat on a regular basis to avoid it becoming a fire hazard.
Furthermore, leave your thermostat setting alone and avoid fiddling with it, particularly setting it to a higher temperature, as this can also lead to overheating.
If your baseboard heater overheats, you might notice a burning odor. When this happens, you can perform some troubleshooting that won’t take too much time.
- Using a compatible screwdriver, open the circuit breaker panel box. Using a volt ohmmeter, check the output from the panel to the heater. If you discover a problem, have the breaker replaced.
- If your breaker does not require replacement, you can begin checking the thermostat for any problems.
- If there are no problems with the thermostat, proceed to inspect the resistance and feed wires.
- Check that the meter is reading 220 volts. If the meter reading is less than 110 volts, the feed wires must be replaced. Return through the wires or replace them to locate a break.
However, these are only precautions; if you notice anything unusual about the performance or appearance of your heater, it’s best to contact a professional.
To ensure consistent performance, vacuum your baseboard heater on a regular basis to remove dust, debris, or grime build-up that could eventually cause problems.
Is Baseboard Heating Energy-Efficient?
Electric baseboard heaters frequently use more electricity than electric heat pumps. Higher electric bills are the result, particularly during the harshest winter months when they are forced to work harder to keep your home warm and cozy.
Running a 1000W electric-based baseboard heater for up to six hours during the warmer seasons is estimated to use up to 900 kWh of electricity per year, which can be costly.
However, there have been reports of people saving more money after upgrading their thermostats, though this can be difficult to do.
You can save even more money by having your home insulated from the walls to the floors to provide heat resistance and lower your electricity costs.
How To Improve The Thermostat On Your Heater
Have your tools ready for an easy upgrade of your thermostat. A circuit or continuity tester, a screwdriver, a one-line voltage thermostat, and a few wire nuts are required.
- Turn off the power and begin by removing the existing thermostat from your heater. Make sure you don’t touch the wires.
- Check for voltages by passing your circuit or continuity tester through the ground wires.
- Once you’ve confirmed that every wire is voltage-free, label them so you don’t get them mixed up as you go through the process.
- To ensure that your new thermostat is working properly, run it through the continuity tester.
- If there are no problems with your thermostat, begin connecting the wires accordingly.
- After that, secure the thermostat to the box and close the covers. If everything is in working order, you may now use your heater.
Is It Okay To Put Curtains Over Baseboard Heaters?
No, hanging curtains above the baseboard heater is not safe. Because curtains are made of highly flammable materials, any overheating could result in serious consequences.
However, you can still install a curtain that is extremely short and only hangs above the windowsill, not reaching any part of the heater.
When Turned Off, Do Baseboard Heaters Use Electricity?
If you have a hydronic baseboard heater, it will continue to heat even after you turn it off until the liquid cools. Unlike electric heaters, once turned off, the unit will stop consuming electricity because it no longer has a power source.
You can save money by running your heater continuously throughout the day [at lower temperature settings to avoid overheating], as the constant switching from on to off can be costly.
To answer your question directly, it is not recommended to have an outlet above a baseboard heater unless the outlet is at least 12 inches away from the heater unit.
It’s also a good idea to keep any obstructions away from the unit, such as doors, cabinets, furniture, and other items that could cause a blockage of airflow and result in poor performance.
It’s also important to keep an eye on the heater’s temperature; you don’t want it to get too hot because it could overheat or, worse, start a fire. That is something we do not want, especially on a cold or windy day.