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Baseboard Heaters: How to Service Them After the Winter Season

Baseboard Heaters: How to Service Them After the Winter Season

A close up view of baseboard heaters in a home.

One of the best parts of winter is coming home to a nice, warm, and comfortable living space. When you don’t have that, your entire day, week, or season can easily be ruined. That’s why it’s important to keep your baseboard heaters running smoothly by paying them close attention throughout the year. Heating your home from the baseboard up does require proper, general maintenance.


How Does Hot Water Baseboard Heating Work?

Having a reliable home heating system is a necessity in New England. When used properly, baseboard heaters are excellent tools. Their simple, straightforward design allows the heaters to accommodate any room.


Hot water baseboard heaters are similar to electric baseboard heaters, except that they are connected to a home boiler. The boiling water inside the boiler generates heat. Then, that heat travels through pipes to all rooms in the home. These heaters are arguably better than electric baseboard heaters because hot water baseboard heaters are much more cost-effective. In addition, they can heat your entire home, whereas electric baseboard heaters are generally used to heat individual rooms.


Baseboard heating maintains a continual cycle of warm air rising and cool air dropping. By pulling cooler air into its low-lying unit, the heater’s fins then force hot air out and up. As warm air rises and cool air falls, it creates a delightful convection current. And without the use of blowers or fans, they do not disperse dust particles and allergens in the air.


What is Baseboard Heating Maintenance?

So, what is baseboard heating maintenance, and what does it entail?

Baseboard heaters operate best when they’re dust-free. That's why it’s important to keep them clean not only during the heavily used winter months, but also when they're not in use. Dust and debris can settle on a heater and work their way through the vents. Sometimes, foreign objects such as small food or fur can muck up the works. In addition, homes with pets or small children are especially susceptible to these damaging elements.

The basic construction of the baseboard heater’s horizontal vents works best when screwed tightly to the wall and placed low, near the floor. A close-fitting heater is less likely to attract unnatural elements when it is screwed in flush.


Maintenance is a year-round commitment, though it can take minimal effort. Vacuuming the unit at the end of the season and prior to starting the heater up again can increase a baseboard heater’s longevity. Also, covering the unit when not in use can help ensure it will attract little to no dust.


Safety Issues With Baseboard Heaters

Because its internal components can get so hot, baseboard heaters can be a safety hazard. To heat an average-sized room, the fins, and other parts, can reach up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be especially dangerous if little, curious children put their hands near or in it.


It is also important not to dangle anything in front of a baseboard heater. For instance, it’s not advisable to place a baseboard heater below a curtain. At best, the curtain or other object will stop the airflow. At worst, curtains and other flammable materials can be a fire hazard if close to a baseboard heater. Either way, it’s not a good idea.


Service Calls for Baseboard Heaters

General, year-round maintenance and cleaning can keep your baseboard heaters running smooth and warm for years. But if you are having difficulty maintaining your unit, it is important to call someone who can.


At Pilgrim Plumbing and Heating, our team of expert technicians solves all heating problems. Whether you are having issues with your baseboard heater or your water baseboard heater, we can help!


If you’re considering installing any heating system, whether full-house or partial, we can help you decide what’s best for your home. And we can install it!


Contact us today with any further questions you might have about the pros and cons of baseboard heating. We can help keep your home warm.

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