How to Quiet Baseboard Heaters

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Baseboard heaters are common devices you’ll never lack in many homes or offices. To avoid moisture, you’ll need to warm your room with a baseboard heater during the cold season.

However, despite the benefits that come with these devices, they can give you sleepless nights or unpleasant moments at the office due to noise. For that reason, this article will discuss how to quiet baseboard heaters.

Baseboard heaters are installed on the floor base underneath a window or near the door. They use electric elements to heat air or liquid that transfers heat to the surrounding air to warm the room.

Cool air from window glasses and doors flows to get heated and later circulates the room.

How to Quiet Baseboard Heaters
Heating element

How Air Gets in and Leaves the Baseboard Heaters

Since the baseboard heaters do not pump the air in or out, they use gas expansion and condensation mechanisms. Usually, the gases expand when heated.

When surrounding air is heated, its density decreases, making it easier to float over the cooler air. As such, heated air flows to the roof while the cool air entering the house through windows and doors is heated.

When warm air starts cooling, it drops down, allowing the newly heated air to float over. This enables the warm air to circulate within the room.

On the other hand, when the whole room is heated, the thermostat automatically switches off the heater to control the temperature.

Why Many Homeowners Choose Baseboard Heaters

Many homeowners prefer baseboard heaters over other home heating methods due to several advantages;

  • No electric motors hence energy efficient.
  • No moving parts, therefore, reduced noise.
  • Since no air is pumped in or out, no dust or pollens brown into the room.
  • They are installed on the floor base hence easier maintenance.
How to Quiet Baseboard Heaters
Solar water heater

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Are There Various Types of Baseboard Heaters?

There are two types of baseboard heaters. Luckily, the second discussed method might save you if you’re figuring out how to quiet a baseboard heater. It’s less noisy.

1. Convention Baseboard Heaters

The element is installed inside a zigzag coiled or a straight pipe. The thin metal fins transfer heat to the surrounding air when the element heats.

The fins are made of aluminum or iron metal, creating more surface area to heat the air. Afterward, the air floats in the room to allow cooler air to get into the system.

 2. Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

It has an element installed into the boiler. The boiler is connected to a pipe system that leads to a pump. The pump then connects to a pipe system that runs through the floor or the wall.

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The boiler is filled with a liquid (water or oil) heated and pumped through the pipe system. The fluid flows within the pipe, transferring heat to the surrounding air, and later returns to the boiler for reheating.

Hydronic baseboard heaters are energy efficient because the liquid in the pipe can retain heat after the thermostat switches off the heater.

Read: How to clean rusted baseboard heaters

How to Quiet Baseboard Heaters

Although baseboard heaters make noise, it doesn’t have to be extreme. Luckily, most noise problems do not require an HVAC specialist. It’s just a DIY exercise. Check on the common issues that come with noise and resolve them.

  1. Convention Baseboard Heaters Noise Causes
  2. Bent or dirty metal fins (Pinging sound)

Bent or dirty metal fins touch each other, causing some pinging noise when they expand or contract.

Solution

Take out the front cover and inspect any bent fins. Straighten them carefully using a metal or plastic blade of one-inch width.

If the fins are dirty, clean them with a paintbrush or vacuum cleaner. However, the fins may be sharp, don’t touch them with bare hands. Secondly, if they are broken, you’ll have to replace the heater.

  • Heater Stuck on the Wall (Clicking sound)

If the heater is stuck on the wall or installed too low, you may experience a clicking sound due to limited airflow.

Solution

Separate the heating system from the wall and ensure no items are jammed against the baseboard heater.

Secondly, remove the front cover and loosen the mounting screws for the metal to be free.

  • Friction (popping sound)

When metals expand, they rub against components like joints and end caps, causing some popping sound.

Solution

Apply silicone grease capable of handling high temperatures.

  • Wrong Power Voltage (buzzing sound)

If the heater is supplied with higher or lower than the recommended voltage, you’ll notice a buzzing noise.

Solution

Replace the circuit breaker with the correct device that matches your heater voltage.

  • Hydronic Baseboard Heaters Noise Causes
  •  Air Pressure Build-up (Bubbling sound)

When air pressure builds up in the radiator, it causes the liquids flowing in the system to bubble, damaging the pipe system.

Solution

Hydronic baseboard heaters have pressure release valves. As such, you only need basic knowledge on how to bleed baseboard heat.

Take out the endplate and locate the pressure valve. Use a screwdriver or a pair of pliers to tilt the valve clockwise to bleed the air.

  • Limited Expansion Room

When heated fluids flow through the pipes, they expand and bang against each other or the studs.

Solution

Make plastic pipe spacers and install them around the delivery pipes.

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Baseboard Heaters Maintenance Practices

  • Regularly wipe dust and grime off conventional baseboard heaters.
  • Bleed air out of radiator before the start of heating sessions.
  • Keep off carpets and other objects under the heaters for better air circulation.
  • Ensure curtains don’t cover your baseboard heater.
  • Ensure the automated digital thermostat is functional.

FAQs on Quiet Baseboard Heaters

Do You Bleed a Radiator When it is on or off?

A radiator may be too hot when heating is on. Turn off the heating to avoid burning your hands or hot water spilling on you.

Is it Normal to Hear Water Running in Your Radiators?

If you hear water sounds in your radiator, there is likely pressure build-up inside. This causes bubbling when water flows inside.

Do Baseboard Heaters Use a Lot of Electricity?

Conventional baseboard heaters may use more electricity than hydronic heaters because hydronic fluid may store heat for more extended periods within the pipes.

Baseboard heaters are the best house heaters if well maintained. If you carry our regular maintenance, it’s apparent you’ll never struggle to figure out how to quiet baseboard heaters. 

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