How often do you clean your baseboard heating fins? If you don’t, you should! This article will focus on how to clean baseboard heater.
Hot water baseboard and electric heating systems depend on air flowing through the numerous aluminum convector fins that surround a copper pipe.
How to Clean Baseboard Radiator Heater Fins
Fin tube baseboard radiators work by convection; cool air enters the bottom, gets heated by the copper tubing and aluminum fins and then exits out the top as warm air.
Fin tube radiators, often called “Slant Fins” after the major manufacturer, operate best when air flows freely through the fins. If the air is obstructed, — either from dirt and dust buildup, or from something covering the top or bottom of the heating units, the units will not heat effectively.
Keeping the fins clean increases heating efficiency and baseboard heat radiators should be cleaned at least once a year, and more often if you have dogs or cats. Animal hair and danger can build up quickly and block the spaces between the fins, affecting efficient airflow.
Reasons for Restricted Radiator Air Flow
There are many situations where obstructions can block or restrict airflow; here are a few:
- Built up flooring
- Built up, loose, curled or poorly installed carpet – blocking lover airflow entry
- Radiator airflow is blocked by furniture, boxes, or other items
- Radiator covered by long drapes
- Toys blocking radiator airflow
- The radiator cover is closed
- Dirty or clogged fins
How To Clean Your Baseboard Heater Fins [Steps]
- Lower the thermostat
- Remove the front cover of the baseboard.
- Inspect the bottom fin area, and ensure that you have good air flow beneath the fin tubing
- Use a vacuum brush nozzle to clean the fins
- Use pipe cleaners, compressed air or a Popsicle stick to remove stuck debris between the fins. [note: if using compressed air, make sure to use it with the vacuum running to catch airborne debris.]
- Inspect the fin tubing and straighten out any damaged or bent fins. Use a putty knife and pliers to establish uniform spacing between the fins and gain efficient airflow.
- Re-attach the front cover
- Reset the thermostat.