Troubleshooting Baseboard Heaters: When To Call A Repair Person

Baseboard heaters provide an efficient way to heat your home. The heat emanates from the registers near your floor, allowing warm air to travel upward and heat the room. Sometimes, these heaters can malfunction. Knowing how to troubleshoot and diagnose any issues with your baseboard heaters can help you determine when it is time to call a repair person to fix your heating system. Here are a few things to check for as you inspect the baseboard heating elements.

System Won't Power On

Depending on how your home is wired, your baseboard heaters may overload your circuits when they attempt to cycle on. This will cause the breaker box to disengage, which prevents the heaters from powering on. To check for this issue, turn off the thermostat and check your breaker box. Make sure that the breaker dedicated to the baseboards in the room is in the "on" position. Have someone turn the thermostat on and watch the breakers. If the breaker pops back to the center position, you know that you have a wiring issue. Your heating repair specialist or electrician can dedicate a breaker to the baseboards if you have an open slot available on your breaker box panel.

Inconsistent Heating

If your baseboard heaters are producing heat but it isn't consistent, there may be dirt or debris blocking the heating elements. Turn off the power to the baseboards at the circuit breaker box. Once the units are cool, use a vacuum cleaner with an extension to remove any debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the heaters to remove any additional dust. Let the units dry completely before powering the system back on. If the heat being produced by the baseboard heaters is still inconsistent, it may be time to hire a repair technician to diagnose the issue. There may be an issue with the wiring to the heaters that the technician can repair for you.

No Heat

If there is power to your heaters and there is no dirt or debris blocking the path of the heat, you may have an issue with blocked airflow. Baseboard heaters typically have a shutoff system that prevents them from overheating if the airflow going to them is blocked. Check the area around the heaters to make sure that there is no furniture blocking the heaters. Space your furniture away from the heaters and make sure that there are no heavy curtains touching the heating elements. You may find that moving these items allows your heaters to work properly. If you still can't get the system to power on, call your repair technician for further assistance.

Much of the troubleshooting needed to diagnose baseboard heater issues can be done on your own. If there is an issue you can't figure out, don't hesitate to call an expert. Be sure to provide specific details about the problem and let your technician know which steps you've already taken to correct the issue. 

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