Question

I just moved into a house that has electric baseboard heat and the first month we had an almost $700 electric bill.

Asked by Teresa M Dobias
Ionia, MI

Every room has its own thermostat. Most of the thermostats are very hard to read because of their age and they do not give degrees they read low- high or have numbers from one to five.. We keep 4 of the 9 of them between low and medium. Are there programmable thermostats for our type of heating and if so are there any brands that are better than others? There is no way we can continue to pay this much for heat!

Answer

Lucas Johnson

Answered by Lucas Johnson

Seattle, WA

Cascadia Consulting Group

March 25, 2013

Electric baseboards are one of the least efficient heating options possible. Unfortunately, there isn't likely to be a cheap and easy solution.

However, the good news is that with bills like that, it may be very cost-effective to make some larger upgrades. I would recommend investing in a BPI Building Analyst energy audit, which would include someone inspecting your house in great detail for opportunities to reduce your bills.

Your ideal solution will most likely involve air sealing and insulating your home.

  • Invest in upgrading your attic first, crawl/basement (if existing) second, and then walls third.
  • Don't do anything with the windows unless you have a large budget and want to replace the windows for other reasons as well (comfort, sound management, aesthetic, etc.).
  • Then I'd recommend installing a ductless heat pump, which is the most efficient form of space conditioning. It also has the nice bonus of being able to provide air conditioning.

 

For more information:

The Find A Pro directory on GreenHomeGuide lists approximately 2,500 energy auditors and raters across the U.S. Click here to find one near you.

Tagged In: energy efficient heating system

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.