Hot water baseboards are a popular form of home heating throughout the NYC boroughs. It is a cost-efficient way to heat your home, and because it uses radiant heat, temperatures tend to remain more consistent when compared to traditional forced air furnace systems. Since winter has arrived, it is important to be aware of any potential problems with your baseboard heat.
Leaks or Standing Water
Baseboard heating works by circulating hot water through the system. Baseboard units contain the main copper pipe surrounded by small metallic fins. The copper absorbs the heat and transmits it through the fins, thereby heating the room. Water anywhere near the baseboard units or the boiler itself is a sign of leaking. Baseboard heat systems are meant to be closed – nothing in, nothing out. Puddles are an indicator that something is wrong, and could eventually cause damage to the system.
Sometimes when units heat up, the fins expand, causing a crinkling or popping sound. This is completely normal and no cause for alarm. However, if you hear rushing water either in the baseboard or the walls around the baseboard, there may be a problem. Over time, units can lose water which in turn allows air in. That rushing sound means that it is time to have your heating serviced.
Too Hot or Too Cold
Water entering a baseboard unit should be around 150 – 180 degrees, and it should leave feeling only moderately warm. If you are unsure if your baseboard heat is working properly, a quick hand check under the unit will help determine if the water is coming in hot and leaving warm. For example, if the water is not hot enough to effectively heat the room, there may be an issue with the boiler.
Proper maintenance is important with baseboard heating systems, especially if you want to avoid issues during the coming winter months. If you are unsure if your system is functioning properly, contact Kew Forest Plumbing. Our skilled technicians are available 24 hours a day, ready to assist with your home heating needs.