I just read an article that with today's oil prices, it would be
cheaper to heat with electric baseboard heat, than with an oil boiler.
I have a building with electric baseboard heaters.
but if I use them, how do I keep the pipes in the basement from
Generally there's enough heat transfer through floors and so on that
basements in occupied heated dwellings don't get cold enough to freeze
pipes unless they're outside supplies or very infrequently used so water
stays stagnant in them for long periods.
I'd simply monitor the situation and then take whatever action seemed
mandatory at the time if it turned out to be a problem.
Doesn't your basement have adequate insuslation? Is standing water in
the pipes? There is such thing as electrical heat tape for pipes.
My cabin has a crawl space(not full basement) which is very well
insulated. Water is coming from a well. Never experienced frozen pipes.
Outside temp. in the dead winter can reach down to -35 deg. F.
The power company switches between coal, natural gas, and oil depending on
the current cost to fuel a fire to boil water to make steam. The steam is
used to turn generators. The power from the generators is then transmitted
over great distance through a network of wires to get to your building. Now
you want to turn that electricity back into the heat that it started as. Do
you really think that is more efficient than lighting a fire in your own
boiler and making your own heat?
Look at improving insulation and air leaks in your building. Insulate your
pipes. Get a higher efficiency boiler. Maybe have more zones added.
Switching to electric heat will not be the answer to your high heating
To answer your question, you would probably need to insulate the pipes and
add electric heat in the area of the pipes to keep them from freezing.
Depending on the piping arrangement and quantity you may be able to use heat
tape which does not consume a lot of electricity.
Not for any one generation unit, they don't switch indiscriminately, no.
It may not be as efficient overall, but it's more efficient at the end
user and may well be cheaper depending on local rates as opposed to fuel
oil costs. Ain't necessarily so, but ain't necessarily not, either...
Every area has different electric costs and most areas are going up,
you have to compare your own fuel costs and boiler efficency to see if
your area is actualy cheaper on electric. Where I am electric is still
Basements never freeze unless you have wicked air leaks. Anything below
the ground takes it's head from the earth which is around 45 to 50
degrees plus heat from above. So plug all the air leaks and keep the
Well they are electric heaters specially made for that,
rap around and they have they own Thermostat.
If you are Fred in winter pipe freezing up you can always
leave some water running (trickle) doing bad days
and that will solve you problem.
Before proceeding, I would double check those numbers. While in
some areas that could very well be true, in most areas it would not
apply. So was that article based on the same supplies you use for
electric and oil? Have you checked the cost estimates for next year
for your area? Also be sure to factor in the cost of new equipment.
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