How to Protect Curtains from Baseboard Heaters

Our team independently selects, reviews, and identifies the best products. We may earn affiliate commissions on purchases made from links on this page. Read about our links here.

Although all legit baseboard heaters come with a user manual containing instructions and safety precautions, many homeowners overlook safety. As a result, many cases of baseboard heater accidents are reported, especially during winter.

Surprisingly, most fire accidents are caused by window curtains within the room. To avoid such incidents, this article will guide you on how to protect curtains from baseboard heaters.

If curtains are too close, electrical cables loosely hanging around, or flammable substances are left near the baseboard heaters; this is like begging fire to burn down your house.

Today, this article will focus on how to hang curtains over the heater. Many homeowners seem to have less knowledge about the risks these devices can pose.

So, how far away should curtains be from the baseboard heaters? To honestly answer you, I’ll consider most manufacturers’ safety precautions. I’ll state the general heater installation and safety rules.

How to Protect Curtains from Baseboard Heaters

How to Protect Curtains from Baseboard Heaters
Curtains

Rules of Setting up and Protecting Other Items Around Baseboard Heaters

  • You should install a baseboard heater at the bottom of the room wall. In simple, its base can sit on the floor.
  • Baseboard heaters should be 2 inches above the floor carpet. Else, you should trim the carpet to create space for the heater.
  • All objects in the front should be at least 12 inches from the baseboard heaters.
  • All furniture or other household items on the side should be 6 inches away from the baseboard heater.
  • Items above the baseboard heater should be at least 12 inches away from its top edge.

With this information, you can determine the length of your window curtain for safety.

Why Curtains are Dangerous Around Baseboard Heaters

First, you need to understand how baseboard heaters work to know why that simple curtain may cost you whole household items.

Baseboard heaters warm cold air from the outside by elements. Cold air enters the room and gets into the baseboard heater through air vents at the base.

Once the air is heated, it’s pushed by the cold air from outside to move up into the room’s ceiling. Additionally, when air is heated, it becomes less dense hence easier to float.

This working mechanism indicates why baseboard heaters are installed around the windows. When cool air enters the window, it’s dense. For that reason, it sinks and enters the baseboard heater.

On the other hand, window curtains are usually made of fabric. Unfortunately, fire will eventually break out if it hangs lower and comes into contact with the baseboard heater element.

The second fire danger may occur if the curtains are too heavy, preventing air from entering the room. To understand clearly, when air enters the baseboard heater, it absorbs most heat.

When there is less air, the device will overheat, and fire may break out if curtains come into contact with it.

Read: Are kerosene heaters safe to breathe?

How to Protect Curtains from Baseboard Heaters
Curtains

Methods How to Protect Curtains from Baseboard Heaters

The only trick to save the curtain from the baseboard heater is to ensure they don’t contact each other. Have a look at the methods you may use;

a) Find Curtains that Fits Your Windows

Most curtain stores have a variety of curtains measuring different lengths.

Step 1: Use a tape measure to take the readings from the curtain rod brackets on the top to the windowsill.

Step 2: Record your readings and visit the nearest curtain store to shop for your curtain.

Step 3: Ensure the measurements match your readings. If the available curtain is longer, ask them to trim it for you. Most stores have all the necessary equipment to carry out the process.

Read: Water heater descaler vs vinegar

b) Trim the Curtain by Yourself

Trimming the curtain by yourself may be challenging if you don’t have the skills or necessary equipment. However, if you have a sewing machine and an iron box at home, it’s just a do-it-yourself task.

Step 1: Use your tape measure and take the readings from the curtain rod brackets to the windowsill. You can measure from the brackets and leave at least 12 inches from the baseboard heater top cover if you want to extend.

Step 2: Spread your curtain on a surface and measure the length from the top downwards. Mark the curtain with a fabric chalk marker when you reach your desired length.

Step 3: Take your fabric scissors and cut the curtain carefully, following the chalk marker line up to the end.

Step 4: Fold the bottom edge at least 1 inch from the opposite side. Fold it the second time and use pins to hook.

Step 5: Position your folded edge on the sewing machine foot and move it slowly along the sewing path as you remove the hooking pins.

Step 6: Iron your curtain and install. Confirm it’s 12 inches from the baseboard heater.

Read: Can baseboard heaters cause a fire?

How to Protect Curtains from Baseboard Heaters
curtains

c) Roll Your Curtain on the Curtain Rod.

Step 1: Measure the length from the curtain rod brackets to the window sill or 12 inches from the baseboard heater.

Step 2: Spread your curtain on a flat surface and measure your recorded readings from the bottom to the top.

Step 3: Use a fabric chalk marker to mark the curtain length from the bottom.

Step 4: Hook the curtain to the rod and roll it up to the marked line.

Step 5: Use pins to hook the hanging curtain fabric with the rolled part to endure it doesn’t unroll when installed.

Step 6: Install your curtain and confirm the height.

d) Use a Baseboard Curtain Protector

The curtain protector prevents the curtains from coming into contact with the hot element. Secondly, it helps circulate the heat, and finally, it prevents the heater from discoloration.

FAQs about Baseboard Heaters

Do Curtains Over Radiators Block Heat?

Floor-length curtains may look appealing in your room. However, installing them over the radiators may hinder generated heat from spreading into the house.

Why are Radiators White?

A white radiator surface reflects heat more quickly than the black one or other colors. As that’s the case, heat is effectively moved from the element to the outer environment.

How Long Should Curtains be With Radiator?

If you want your curtains to last longer, choose sheer or light texture material for your windows around baseboard heaters. Secondly, to protect curtains from baseboard heaters, shorten them at least 12 inches from the device’s top cover. 

Read: 120v baseboard heater wiring diagram