We moved to a 2-bedroom apartment that has baseboard heating devices installed. Our first electricity bill was huge (around $400) and we only used 3 of them and not all day long.

Here is a pic of the baseboard heaters we have installed:

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We would like to buy some plug-in radiator that are good for heating a 1070 sq feet apartment but as cost/energy efficient as possible. What are the recommended solutions?

1 Answer 1


Electrical baseboard heaters and plug-in resistance heaters are already 100% efficient, in that 100% of the electrical energy that goes into them is turned into heat. Whether it's a ceramic heater, oil-filled radiator, or radiant heater, they all are 100% efficient.

However, as you found out, even at 100% efficiency, electrical resistance heating is expensive.

This is why many people that need to use electrical heating will use a heat pump, which can actually be more than 100% efficient because instead of creating heat directly from the electricity, they pump heat from outside the house to inside the house. But this is not a simple retrofit, so you can't simply replace your baseboard heaters with a central heat pump system (though if you live in a relatively mild climate, you can find window unit heatpumps that might be more efficient than a baseboard heater)

One thing that might help would be to turn down the baseboard heaters, and use radiant heaters in places where you want targeted warmth. For example, if when you're in the livingroom you spend most of the time on the couch, you could turn down the thermostat in that room and use a radiant heater in front of the couch (but a safe distance away) to keep you warm even if the rest of the room is not comfortably warm.

  • Thanks! What about oil radiators? Arent they a better solution than baseboard?
    – samyb8
    Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 17:02
  • Oil radiators are no better, unless your baseboard heaters are located directly under windows or on walls that leak heat like a sieve. Look into insulation. Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 18:47

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