How often do you clean your heating appliances? A clean heater doesn’t just look nice it also works more efficiently. And if it works more efficiently it’s using less fuel.
But how do you clean a radiator or baseboard? It’s easy…
Tips for Cleaning Your Radiator
- Put newspaper on the floor beneath the radiator and against the wall behind it – this will protect those surfaces while you’re cleaning.
- If you have an air compressor (perhaps for inflating your car tires or air bed) you can use it to blow out the dust from hard-to-reach corners. If you don’t have a compressor, try using a hair-dryer, or ‘compressed air in a can’ from any office supply store.
- Once the dust has been loosened, vaccuum it out using a narrow nozzle or radiator brush.
- If necessary, clean the radiator (and the wall and floor) with warm soapy water. Don’t use an abrasive cleaner as you may damage the radiator’s surface finish.
- Turn the radiator back on.
Tips for Cleaning Your Baseboard Heater
- Turn your thermostat down to its lowest setting or ‘off.’
- Remove the front cover of the baseboard.
- Make sure you have good air flow beneath the fin tubing – is it free of carpet edging, kids’ toys, etc?
- Using a brush nozzle vaccuum the fin tubing along its entire length and on all sides.
- Inspect the fin tubing. If any of it is damaged it won’t be working properly. But you don’t have replace it – just gently straighten out the damaged aluminum fins with a putty knife or similar flat tool. The aim is to re-establish uniform spacing between the fins.
- Re-attach the front cover making sure the louver vents on the top of the baseboard are open.
- Reset the thermostat.
For maximum efficiency both radiators and baseboards should be cleaned at least once at the beginning of the season and then again mid season, more often if you have dogs or cats.