# Calculating the Watts for Your Baseboard Heaters

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and go with electric baseboard heaters. In the mean time, you’re wondering just how many watts your newly purchased heaters should be.

Excellent question.

The truth is calculating the amounts of wattage needed is often overlooked by most consumers. However, inaccurate guesswork can lead to two equally undesirable outcomes. Either your baseboard heater uses too many watts and its eating up your electricity and overheating the household or it doesn’t have enough wattage and unable to make a noticeable change in room temperature.

The good thing is that figuring out a rough estimate is actually rather simple just by following a few steps. So let’s get to it.

1.          First you need to figure out the room’s square footage. Measure both the length and width and multiple the two findings. For example if the measurements of you room’s length and width come out to be 25 feet and 10 feet, then 25 x 10 = 250 square feet.

2.          The next step involves determining the insulation levels of your house. The heating requirements will be significantly different based upon this factor. If you live in an older house with little to no insulation, then you will need roughly 12.5 watts per square feet. If your walls use R-11 insulation and the ceiling uses R-19, then 10 watts would probably be enough. And if you have R-19 in the walls and R-38 within the ceiling, then you’ll maybe only need 7.5 watts for per square foot

3.          Now let’s multiply the square footage of the house by the wattage requirement per square foot we calculated in Step 2. Say for example, that your house is very well insulated and needs only 7.5 watts for every square foot. Multiply this by the 250 square feet and we get 1875 watts. Therefore you would want to purchase a baseboard heater that is preferably near 1875 watts. Another option is having two 900-watt baseboard heaters or three 600-watt ones and so on.

4.          Lastly, if you have higher than average ceilings, you will need to adjust the wattage accordingly. A rule of thumb is that for every 2 feet above the typical 8-feet ceiling, you need to increase the wattage requirement by 25 percent.

Conclusion

That wasn’t so bad, was it? I hope you find the optimal amount of heating you need with your electric baseboard heaters, no more and no less! As a note of caution, if you’re planning on heating up the garage, then a more sensible option would be electric garage heaters.

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