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What is a Baseboard Thermostat?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 16, 2024
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A baseboard thermostat is an electrical component hooked up to a baseboard heater to help control the temperature in a space. A baseboard heater heats air in order to increase a room’s temperature. The baseboard thermostat is responsible for helping to monitor and control the output of the baseboard heater.

The baseboard heater generally runs around the bottom of a wall or walls near the floor. Baseboard heaters can cover different areas, but often run around multiple walls in order to provide more even heat to a room. The typical baseboard heater is a metal construction several inches high with a small lateral vent near the top.

The user can change indoor temperature by using the thermostat to turn the heat on or off, or by setting a particular temperature, at which the heating unit will automatically turn itself off. The baseboard thermostat can be mounted on the baseboard, or mounted remotely on the wall. A wall mounted baseboard thermostat is frequently more desired since the user does not have to kneel down to the floor to operate it.

Those who install baseboard thermostat devices point out that it’s important to distinguish the two main electrical connections for these devices. A baseboard thermostat will commonly use a “line connector” and a “load connector” to respectively tie into the home’s electrical wiring, and the heating elements themselves. The baseboard thermostat functions as a “gatekeeper” for heating operations to set comfortable temperature outcomes.

Another important thing to think about with a baseboard heater is the home’s energy grid. It’s important for the voltage in the residential wiring to be able to handle the power drawn by the baseboard heater. A home’s local wiring can have different voltage capacities like 120 volts or 240 volts. This may be a factor in determining how baseboard thermostats and other elements get installed.

These days, baseboard heaters are not commonly installed in many types of residential and commercial buildings. These traditional systems face a lot of competition from radiant heat systems and other efficient energy heaters. Where baseboard heaters are used, the baseboard thermostat may include a more modern design with programmable features, where the set temperature can vary automatically during the day in order to help save money at warmer times of the day, or when a room is not in use.

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