Baseboard heaters can provide comfortable heat for your home. But these heating units may still promote some hazards. Now, you’re wondering if you can safely block the heat from those appliances. We've done plenty of research to help you with this, and here's what we found!
Different methods are available to help block the heat coming from a baseboard heater. Some of the techniques you may use are:
- Close the louvers
- Remove the fins
- Shove towels into the baseboard lining
- Place a blanket on the radiator
- Take advantage of aluminum foil
- Place fireplace screens
- Use the controls
Continue reading as we discuss these techniques in greater detail. That way, you can reduce the heating system’s produced heat safely. We’ll also tackle some relevant yet essential information in this post, including how to use a baseboard heater safely. Let's dive in!
How Do You Safely Block Heat From A Baseboard Heater?
Method #1: Close The Louvers
Generally, louvers are parallel blades used to help regulate airflow, particularly from baseboard heaters. Different baseboard heating systems have louvers you can open and close manually.
Choosing the latter position should block the heat from the appliance while still allowing the system to run at optimal efficiency.
Method #2: Remove The Fins
Also called heat transfer fins, these components help extend the heat coverage produced by baseboard heaters. Removing the fins may help reduce heat flow from the machine.
But take note that applying this solution may harm your heating system permanently. So only proceed to remove the heating fins if you’re adamant about this decision.
Method #3: Shove Towels Into The Baseboard Lining
Note that baseboard heaters often throw hot air to increase the temperature of the surroundings. Blocking this airflow with towels may help reduce the outgoing thermal transfer from the heating system.
Warning: Don’t use used towels, particularly those you use to clean oil. Ensure that the towel you shove into the baseboard lining is clean and dry.
Otherwise, the material might combust or ignite, leading to a house fire.
Method #4: Place A Blanket On The Radiator
Placing a clean and dry blanket on top of the baseboard heater’s radiator may help restrict the heat produced by the system.
However, avoid using this technique if you use an electric baseboard heater. If so, the blanket might become a fire hazard if it’s close to the appliance’s electrical parts.
You can also watch the video below to gain additional insights into this method:
Method #5: Take Advantage Of Aluminum Foil
This technique might be ideal if paired with magnets. Start by unrolling an aluminum foil sheet. Then, attach a pair of magnets to the top of your baseboard heater’s radiator cover.
Next, attach the aluminum sheet to the magnets and allow it to drape.
Combining aluminum foil and magnets may help reduce the excess hot air from the baseboard heater. In particular, aluminum has high thermal conductivity, making it ideal for absorbing heat from its surroundings.
But be careful when placing magnets on top of an electric baseboard heater. If placed incorrectly, the magnets may interfere with the appliance’s control board, resulting in glitches or irreparable harm.
Method #6: Place Fireplace Screens
Fireplace screens next to electric baseboard heaters may help block these appliances' increased heat.
Take note that these screens often make great shields in protecting their surroundings from fire and heat damage from fireplaces.
So fireplace screens can produce similar results when placed in front of baseboard heater vents.
Method #7: Use The Controls
Use remote or onboard controls on your baseboard heater to reduce or stop its produced heat. These controls may come in different forms, such as buttons and knobs.
On the other hand, your house might have a central temperature control module (e.g., thermostat) that you can use to control the baseboard heater’s heat.
Is It Safe To Leave Baseboard Heaters On Overnight?
Baseboard heaters are often safe to use and have reasonably low risks of becoming fire hazards if misused. However, blocking the airflow while allowing a baseboard heater to run overnight might increase fire risks.
You can move flammable objects away from the heating unit if you plan to run the appliance for an extended period. That way, you might be able to reduce the risks of these items catching fire because of the increase in temperature.
How Do You Use Baseboard Heaters Safely?
Observing proper clearance between baseboard heaters and nearby objects can help reduce significant heat buildup. Here are some general rules to follow when placing a baseboard heater in your home:
- A 12-inch space should always exist between an object and the front of the baseboard heater.
- A 6-inch gap should always be available between objects and the sides of the baseboard heater.
- Always follow the correct orientation of your baseboard heater as recommended by the manufacturer.
How Hot Do Baseboard Heaters Get?
Baseboard heaters can produce heat as high as 195 degrees Fahrenheit. However, average operating temperatures don’t usually exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Something is amiss with these appliances if the produced temperature goes over 100 degrees Fahrenheit without human interference.
What Can I Use Instead Of Baseboard Heaters?
If you're not keen on using your baseboard heater, you can use other heating units to help bring comfortable temperatures to your home. Some alternate options are:
A heat pump can be responsible for increasing or lowering indoor temperatures. It works by absorbing outside heat and converting it into indoor with the preferred temperature based on the settings.
But don’t mistake a heat pump for a furnace. The latter appliance creates the heat to distribute in a home. Also, furnaces don’t usually have cooling functions, unlike heat pumps.
Heat pumps also have traits that make them more advantageous to use than baseboard heaters. Some of these benefits are:
- Heat pumps might be more energy efficient in heating rooms than baseboard heaters.
- Heat pumps typically have filtration systems to provide clean, breathable, and comfortable indoor air.
- Installation is often versatile, with some heat pump models being portable units.
Radiant Floor Heating
As its name implies, radiant floor heating increases the floor's temperature. This heat increase helps improve indoor temperatures, particularly during the cold season.
Unlike other systems, radiant floor heating doesn’t use heat to increase and maintain indoor temperatures. Instead, it often uses coils or wires installed under the floor.
This framework helps provide uniform heating throughout the immediate space.
Other potential benefits supplied by radiant floor heating systems are:
- Silent operations
- The coils or wires remain out of sight
- Minimal energy loss because of the absence of ducts
- No additional ductwork to install
- May provide heating for an entire home
Despite its many advantages, radiant floor heating also has some drawbacks. For instance, the installation is often more challenging than baseboard heaters or heat pumps.
It’s because you install the system underneath the floor. It also makes repairs and replacements challenging since you may need to remove parts of the floor to gain access to the offending components.
Pellet stoves typically can't generate heat without catalysts, unlike other heating systems. In particular, pellet stoves use burning wood chips or pellets to supply indoor spaces with comfortable heat.
These heating units can provide clean residential heating if installed and used correctly.
Aside from being a clean source of indoor heating, pellet stoves also promote other possible benefits:
• Some states, such as New York, may offer income-tax rebates since they don’t charge taxes on wood pellet sales. So pellet stove users can save money on pellet purchases. • You can choose from different pellet stove sizes and styles. • Although pellet stoves burn wood, they usually don’t produce excessive ash.
Our Final Thoughts
Remember, blocking heat from a baseboard heater needs proper adherence to specific techniques. Avoid haphazardly blocking the heat from the heating unit, such as placing a blanket over an electric baseboard heater. Doing so may increase fire hazards and raise the danger levels in your home.
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