If you have hot water baseboard heaters that are over 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing them with newer, more efficient models. Upgrading outdated and inefficient baseboard heaters in your home can help reduce your heating costs and provide more comfortable warmth throughout the colder months.
We’ll also discuss what to consider when selecting new heaters, costs, the installation process, and how to maintain your new system. Equipped with this information, you’ll be able to determine if replacing those old heaters is the right move for your home heating needs and budget.
Reasons to Replace Old Hot Water Baseboard Heaters
One of the biggest reasons to upgrade old baseboard heaters is to gain energy efficiency. Heating technology has come a long way, even in just the past 5-10 years. The latest baseboard heaters feature improved internal components and engineering that transfer heat much more efficiently.
Many homeowners are surprised to find that new heaters use up to 30% less energy compared to older models to produce the same heating output. This improved efficiency means you can lower your energy bills while still keeping your home just as comfortable.
Higher efficiency translates directly into lower heating costs. With new heaters, you’ll enjoy lower energy consumption while getting more usable heat from every bit of fuel or electricity. The savings can add up to hundreds of dollars per year, depending on the size of your home.
Improved Heat Distribution
Old baseboard heaters tend to develop cold spots and uneven heat distribution over years of use. New models are engineered to distribute warmth much more evenly across rooms. The improved radiant and convective heat transfer means you won’t have those frigid corners or temperature fluctuations.
Having consistent and comfortable warmth wherever you want it makes a big difference in comfort. No more freezing feet or the need to huddle by the heater. Newer baseboard heaters truly heat spaces efficiently.
Another major upgrade with new baseboard heaters is the integrated control systems. Many feature programmable thermostats that allow you to set customized heating schedules. You can program them to lower temperatures at night or when away from home to save energy.
Modern baseboard heaters also incorporate WiFi connectivity. This allows you to control them remotely using your smartphone or voice commands. With easy control at your fingertips, you can precisely regulate the temperature in each room.
Over time, old baseboard heaters are prone to leaks, corrosion, sediment buildup, and other issues that require repairs. New models are built to have a longer service life and require less maintenance. They’re constructed from durable materials that resist leaks and corrosion.
Fewer repairs means saving on maintenance costs and hassles over the years you own the heater. You’ll avoid the water damage, mold risks, and system failures caused by deferred maintenance on old heaters.
How to Select the Right New Hot Water Baseboard Heater
To select replacement baseboard heaters for your home, there are several important factors to consider:
- Carefully measure the dimensions of existing heaters and space. Choose a similar size or adjust heating capacity for room size changes.
- Determine the appropriate BTU output rating you need for each room’s square footage.
- Look for durable, corrosion-resistant cabinet materials like powder-coated steel.
- Consider programmable controls or WiFi capability for convenience and efficiency.
- Select a trusted brand with a good warranty and reputation.
Consulting with a heating specialist can help ensure you get the properly sized and featured units for your home. They can assess your current system and provide recommendations.
Costs of Replacing Hot Water Baseboard Heaters
Here are the typical costs involved with replacing old baseboard heating units:
- Equipment Costs – The new heaters themselves range from $100 to $300 each depending on features.
- Labor – Hiring a technician to install the new heaters costs $50 to $100 per hour.
- Permits – Building permits for heater replacement average $50 to $150.
- Misc Material – New piping, valves, insulation etc can add $200 to $500.
In total, you may spend around $2,000 to $4,000 to replace a full baseboard heating system in a typical single family home. The investment pays back over time through energy savings of 15% to 30% or more per year.
Many utilities and municipalities offer rebates of up to $500 when you replace old, inefficient heaters. There are also federal tax credits that cover 30% of the total project cost. Take advantage of these incentives to offset the upfront costs.
Step-by-Step Installation Process
Once you purchase the new replacement heaters, here is the basic process for removing the old units and installing the new system:
- Turn off power and water supply to existing baseboard heaters.
- Drain any residual water from the old heater piping.
- Disconnect and remove the old heaters from their mounting brackets.
- Prepare new mounting locations as needed and install brackets.
- Place the new heaters and secure them to the mounting brackets.
- Connect the piping, valves, and control wiring to the new heaters.
- Refill the system and check for leaks.
- Bleed the air from the piping to prevent trapped air.
- Turn on power and test the new heaters.
- Add decorative covers if desired for aesthetics.
This process mainly involves disconnecting the old heaters, swapping in the new ones, and reconnecting the pipes and power. In most cases, no major modifications are needed unless you are reconfiguring the entire system.
Always have licensed professionals do this work. They have the skills, tools, and experience to safely remove old heaters and install the replacements for optimal performance.
Maintaining New Hot Water Baseboard Heaters
To keep those new heaters operating efficiently for years to come, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. This typically involves tasks like:
- Regularly inspecting the heater pipes and connections for any leaks or corrosion.
- Flushing the system annually to clear sediment that can build up internally.
- Cleaning the external surfaces of dust and debris over time.
- Checking for mineral deposits or corrosion inside the heat exchanger.
- Replacing the air filters if your units have them.
- Servicing internal components like pumps, valves, and thermostats.
establishing a maintenance routine will extend the life of your new hot water baseboard heating system and ensure it continues operating safely and efficiently for over 15 years.
Upgrading to new, energy efficient hot water baseboard heaters is one of the best investments you can make for lowering heating costs and increasing home comfort. The advanced designs heat rooms far more evenly and efficiently than old, outdated models.
Carefully select replacement heaters suited for each room’s size and layout. Take advantage of available rebates and tax credits to offset costs. And maintaining the new system properly will maximize performance and savings for years to come.
If your hot water baseboard heaters are over 10 years old, now may be the ideal time to replace them and start benefiting from improved efficiency and comfort. The project can pay for itself in just a few years through lower energy bills.