How to Work Around Baseboard Heaters

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Baseboard heaters use electricity to heat our homes or offices. Due to the fact they are electrical devices, we should take caution while working around them. Many people encounter home accidents or claim their heaters aren’t efficient.

Upon consistent observations, it’s clear that many people don’t understand how to maintain baseboard heaters and the necessary precautions. Today, you’ll learn how to work around baseboard heaters.

Baseboard heaters function better when installed in spacious rooms with good air circulation. Unlike the AC, baseboard heaters do not run motors or fans to take in air. Instead, they rely on air condensation and expansion mechanisms.

How to Work Around Baseboard Heaters

How to Work Around Baseboard Heaters

How Baseboard Heaters Work

There are two types of baseboard heaters; convention baseboard heaters and hydronic baseboard heaters.

Convention baseboard heaters have elements that transfer heat to the surrounding air. On the other hand, hydronic baseboard heaters heat water that runs through the radiator. The metal fins in the radiator transfer heat to the surrounding air.

Usually, cold air is condensed and occupies less space. As such, it is heavier, and this makes it settle lower. That’s why baseboard heaters are installed around the floor.

When cold air is heated, it becomes less dense. As such, it turns lighter and floats over the cold air. This mechanism allows space for more cold air to be heated.

On the other hand, when warm air cools, it settles down to be reheated, creating a cycle. For this reason, baseboard heaters need space for good air circulation.

Read: Alternative to electric baseboard heat

Working Around Baseboard Heaters

If you live in a small apartment, you need to be creative enough to arrange all your household items. We need various things like shelves, cabinets, furniture, and electronics to call it home.

In some cases, you may be left with one sidewall in the room to work in. And the side happens to have been installed the baseboard heater. You’ll need to observe your safety while working and protect your baseboard heater for best performance.

Baseboard Heaters Safety Precautions

Before carrying out various household chores, it’s better to learn safety precautions if you have a baseboard heater in the room. Take a look;

  • Check regularly on your baseboard heater to remove objects, dust, and debris. Items like toys or wood pieces may downgrade heater performance or cause a fire in the house.
  • Keep all furniture away from the baseboard heater to allow good air circulation.
  • Don’t allow electrical cables to hang around your baseboard heater loosely. An electrical cable may cause fire accidents if not well installed.

Read: How to paint rusted baseboard heaters

How to Work Around Baseboard Heaters

Working Around Baseboard Heaters Clearance Recommendations

Although spacing recommendations vary depending on various manufacturers and heater models, there are the most common you may learn. Take a look at the table below;

 AnglesDescriptionDistance Basics
1.FloorInstallation from the floor.Rest on the floor.
2.Height from the floorInstallation and working height from the floor.No maximum installation height. Working height – 12 inches
3.FrontWorking in front of the baseboard heater.12 inches or further
4.SideWorking from the side of the heater6 inches or more
  • The Floor

The baseboard heater should rest on the floor because most cool air settles at the bottom. The heaters have guards that protect air intakes from touching the surface. As such, you shouldn’t worry about laying it on the floor surface.

  • The Height

There is no specific height to install your baseboard heater from the floor. However, if you’re working above the heater, you should maintain a distance of 12 inches or more from the heater top cover.

Note baseboard heaters work best from the floor. Consider lower heights for better performance.

Read: Water heater calcium vacuum attachment

  • The Front

You should place your furniture 12 inches from your baseboard heater for better air circulation.

  • The side

All items on the side should be at least 6 inches from the baseboard heater. However, if you’re working with plastic items, consider placing them further because most materials cannot handle much heat.

Working In Different House Rooms With Baseboard Heaters

  • Sitting Room

You need to learn how to protect furniture from baseboard heaters for the sitting room.

First, ensure your door swings further than 12 inches to avoid leaning or hitting the baseboard heater when opened.

Secondly, floor carpets are more prone to fire that can spread to furniture. They should be laid far from the heater.

Third, all chairs or tables should be placed 12 inches from the baseboard heater.

However, if you’re installing your TV shelf on the wall, consider a height of 12 inches from the baseboard heater top cover. And if you fear the heat may damage electronics, consider installing them higher.

  • Bedroom

For the bedroom, you should know how to arrange your furniture around baseboard heaters because while asleep, you’ll be less active to note dangers.

You should arrange bedroom furniture at the centre of the room in a circular style. Consider more space for windows to enhance better air circulation.

  • Kitchen

You should be very careful with the kitchen because of high moisture. Ensure no water splashing from the sink. On the other hand, keep the floor dry and ensure the burners are far from the baseboard heater.

How to Work Around Baseboard Heaters

FAQs on Baseboard Heaters

Can Curtains Catch Fire from Baseboard Heat?

Most curtains are made of fabric or nylon materials that may easily catch fire if they contact the baseboard heaters. Note the heater fins are too hot while the heater is running. And although they are covered, the air is so hot by the time it leaves the heater. As such, if the curtain hangs too low, it may catch fire with time.

Is it Safe to Leave Baseboard Heaters on all the Time?

Baseboard heaters are confirmed to be safe. However, ensure you’ve carried out all the safety precautions before leaving them. On the other hand, carry out routine maintenance practices for better performance.

How High Should Baseboard Heaters be off the Floor?

Your baseboard heater should be at least 2 centimetres from the floor or above the floor carpet because air intakes are located on the lower part. If your carpet is thick, consider trimming it. It’s safe to work around baseboard heaters if you observe all the safety precautions.