Design & DIY

Weekly Hack: better, cheaper baseboard heat

By stockphotofan1/Shutterstock

Baseboard heating not living up to its name?

Pretty much anything that builds up on your heater’s heating element or radiator fins—dust, dirt, pet hair, cobwebs—can block airflow and interfere with the unit’s ability to put out heat. Which is its only job. So clean it.

Remove the cover to expose the heater’s coils and fins (cut power at the breaker panel first, just to be safe) and use the brush attachment on your vacuum to get rid of any loose grime. Dislodge tough, stuck-on gunk with something thin and stiff, like a Popsicle stick. Bent fins restrict airflow too, so straighten them with pliers. Replace the cover, and you’re done.

Now your heater heats more efficiently, and you save cash while staying warm. Victory!



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