Heating advice needed

I have a home with baseboard heating in the basement. Last year, a pipe burst, but since we didn’t use the basement much, we sealed it off rather than fix it immediately at the time.

Now, we have turned the basement into a permanent room for my oldest daughter and a playroom. It’s winter now, and there needs to be heat. A plumber quoted us a price of $600 to fix the baseboard heating system (it’s not just the burst pipes that needs replacing, but also a re-circulator). But maybe we’d be fine with a simple room heater in those rooms, but I know that using electricity for heat is very power-intensive, maybe that will eliminate any savings? On top of that, there are a bunch of different types of room heaters, I really have no idea which type would be most advisable to buy, from an energy-efficiency standpoint.

Can any experts here weigh in on the matter?

If you are going to repair it sooner or later then I would repair it sooner rather than later.

All the time you are using electricity to heat you are losing money.

If it was a long term thing then I would use a heat pump but using space heaters is a lousy way to heat a room.

On the other hand it is extremely cheap to buy a space heater and see how much power you need to heat that space. It will depend on the size and insulation but be ready to run a couple space heaters non-stop. The space heaters will cost nothing in comparison with the energy used.

You could save a lot of money repairing it yourself.

Safety concerns are an issue with electric room heaters:

Electric room heaters are all 100% efficient, so energy efficiency is not a consideration in choosing between them.

I used to live in a very small apartment (about 550 sq. ft.) in the New York City area, and the heating system sucked big time. The heater was a window unit heat pump for AC and heat. It was loud and blew out lukewarm air, which was not comfortable on a cold night. And if it got really cold, it could not keep up very well.

I finally invested in something like this. It looks like a small radiator, but it is electric. It heats some sort of oil which circulates around the thing, and it throws out a good bit of heat. I liked that it was a very consistent heat with no blowing of air. I had tried a few of the typical space heaters, and they did not do a good job.

The apartment was usually heated well with just the one electric radiator, and I didn’t notice an increase in my utility bill.

If the basement is really below ground level, then that ought to insulate it very well.

basements are earth temperature, which vary with season and depth, and the basement material and the earth are a big gigantic enormous huge heatsink.

if you want a comfortable heated basement at an affordable cost then it is best insulated.

It’s not really below ground. It’s below sidewalk level, at the bottom of our driveway, the main house has about 8 steps up from the sidewalk to get to the entrance.

Keep safety in mind.
If a heater with a fan in it tips over, gets put too close to something that can burn, or a piece of clothing gets dropped on it, there can a fire.

The oil bath heaters have a thermostat in them. If a coat is dropped on top of them the heater will not get hot enough to cause a fire. They also have a tip switch.