Baseboard heating is one of the least expensive ways to heat our homes. As such, it’s widely used even by medium-class families because the baseboard heaters are cheap to purchase and maintain.
However, one of the most reported cases is the baseboard heater not getting hot.
Like other electronic devices, baseboard heaters can be troublesome. The worst happens when you learn your baseboard heater not working in one room.
In other cases, you may experience slow heating due to the baseboard heater low heat output.
Why Are Baseboard Heaters Loved Despite Malfunctions?
The baseboard heater can serve for many years without any fault if well maintained. The failure cases are a result of irregular maintenance or improper use.
The devices are good because you can turn them on or off depending on your occupation room within the house. Secondly, they are low profile, thin, and broad enough.
This feature makes them good for limited space and large heating surfaces. Finally, they are easily mounted on the wall causing zero obstructions within the room.
With that said, this article will concentrate on ways to fix cold heating baseboards. Although the problems may sound complex, some don’t require an HVAC specialist to fix them. You can do it yourself with little skills.
Baseboard Heater Not Getting Hot: Analyzing the Causes
There are several reasons your baseboard heater may not be getting hot. In this article, you’ll learn of the causes and how to fix them.
Additionally, you’ll learn how to get more heat from the baseboard if your only issue is settings. Let’s dive in;
1. Improper Heat Amount Settings
Usually, a room needs around 10 warts per square meter during winter.
If you’ve turned on your baseboard heater and still the room remains cold, consider calculating your room space and adjust the settings accordingly.
Many baseboard heater temperatures are set on the automatic thermostat. Check your heater user manual to determine how you’d adjust the temperature.
Read: How to bleed baseboard heat
2. Low Power Supply Voltage
Read on the label to determine the required amperage load on your circuit breaker. If your power supply voltage has issues, your heater may not turn hot. In another case, it may heat the house too slow.
3. Shortened Circuit
You’ll need to troubleshoot your power circuit for any shortened wires. If your circuit breaker trips, it’s a clear indication the circuit is shortened. Inspect the system for any blown fuse and fix it.
4. Improper Baseboard Heater Installation
A baseboard heater is designed to heat cool air. Typically, when cold air is heated, it expands and becomes light. As a result, it floats over cold air.
If you have mounted your baseboard heater on a higher height, it may only heat the air above, and the cold air is left sunk on the floor.
Install your baseboard heater on the wall at least 2 inches from the floor for better performance.
Read: What type of paint to use on radiators
5. Blocked vents
If you’ve placed furniture near the baseboard heater, or a thick carpet, they may block the vents. When vents are blocked, no air circulation will take place. As a result, your house remains cold.
Create a good space for the air to flow in and leave the baseboard heater freely for better performance. Additionally, good air circulation cools the device for longer life.
6. Dirty Element and Fins
The main problem may be dust and grime build-up in the element and the fins. If these parts are clogged, they will not fully transfer heat to the surrounding air.
Open the baseboard heater cover and vacuum the internal components.
On fins, you can wipe dust using a paintbrush. Afterward, inspect if there are broken or bent fins. If some fins are bent, use needle-nose pliers to straighten them carefully.
Note if fins are damaged beyond repair, you’ll need to replace the whole unit.
Read: How to clean old baseboard heaters
7. Faulty Thermostat
A faulty thermostat may record inappropriate temperature readings and switch off the baseboard heater before reaching the set temperature.
Troubleshoot the thermostat to determine if it’s correctly working.
Secondly, consider installing one automatic thermostat to control several baseboard heaters within the room. Having one automatic thermostat will have a uniform temperature within the house.
8. Leaking or Clogged Pipe System
Your hydronic baseboard heater pipe system may be leaking or clogged. As a result, hot water will not circulate to heat the fins and transfer heat to the surrounding air.
Inspect the pipe system and fix any leaking joints. Secondly, flush the water and clean the system.
9. Hydronic Air Lock
Hydronic air lock happens when air from the heated water forms large bubbles within the system. As a result, pressure builds up and blocks the hot water from circulating.
If water is blocked from circulating, the fins receive less heat to transfer to the surrounding air. The room remains cold even after turning on the baseboard heater.
Bleed the baseboard heater at the start of every heating session. To bleed, locate the bleeder valve within the pipe system.
Turn it counterclockwise using a screwdriver for the air to leave the system. You’ll hear the hissing sound once the valve is open.
10. Boiler or Element Not Working
There may be a possibility of a faulty boiler or element if your baseboard heater doesn’t turn hot after switching it on.
Replace your element or check if the boiler is in good condition.
How Do I Know if My Baseboard heater is Broken?
To know if your baseboard heater is faulty, carry out the following procedure;
Step 1: Turn off the thermostat.
Step 2: Have someone turn on the thermostat as you watch the circuit breaker. If it trips, there is a short within the circuit.
Step 3: Use a multimeter to determine where the circuit is faulty.
FAQs on Baseboard Heater Problems
Do Electric Baseboard Heaters Wear Out?
Electric baseboard heaters wear out, and they may need replacement with time. However, since they don’t have moving parts, they may last longer.
How Long Do Baseboard Heaters Last?
Most baseboard heaters last up to 20 years if well maintained. However, a 20-year-old baseboard heater not getting hot needs replacement because most components may be worn out.