Let’s discuss how to protect furniture from baseboard heaters.
Most people use baseboard heaters because they don’t want to put in the expensive ductwork, or else there are some rooms in the house (like the garage or the attic) where you don’t need constant heating. Baseboard heaters work by heating the air inside the room through convection, unlike HVACs that blow hot air intermittently.
Baseboard heaters offer a lot of conveniences: you can fine-tune the temperature of each room individually, and you can save money by turning off the heater in a room when it is not needed.
Unfortunately, the warm air from a baseboard heater can damage your furniture. It can draw the moisture from the wood, and without moisture, the furniture starts deteriorating. So, it’s better to take some preventive measures if you have a baseboard heater in your home.
Below, I will discuss ways on how to protect furniture from baseboard heaters.
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Working Principle Of Baseboard Heaters
Baseboard heaters usually go on the bottom of an exterior wall in your home. They are usually placed half an inch above the floor and do not have any blowers, ducts, or boilers. They work by convection heat transfer – the warm air from the baseboard heater rises, and the cold air sinks.
This process makes the room heating very even, unlike HVACs that blow hot air every few minutes. However, this constant hot air can cause damage to your furniture.
How To Protect The Furniture From Baseboard Heaters?
#1. Try To Cover Your Baseboard Heater
Most furniture has a protective coating layer that keeps it safe from water and heat. But when the furniture is exposed constantly to direct hot air, it may cause the coating to melt and become ineffective.
So, it’s best to use a baseboard heater cover. A cover will prevent the direct hot air from blowing around the furniture. So your furniture will be safe.
There are different types of baseboard covers available in the market. You can install it according to your heater. Some people prefer to install a cover by matching their furniture to give a modern outlook to their house.
Baseboard heater covers have other advantages too. They can prevent the toys, paper, and other small objects from falling into the heater and causing a fire. If you have pets or kids in your house, they might touch the baseboard heater by mistake. A cover will ensure that the burn will be less severe than touching the baseboard heater directly.
#2. Maintain Your Baseboard Heater
You need to check your baseboard heater from time to time so as not to damage your furniture. The steam and air vents should work properly and should not affect the furniture near the heater, especially when they are open and operational. The fins should also remain straight and in the correct position to not point the heat directly at your furniture.
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#3.Position Your Furniture
You need to properly place your furniture if you have a baseboard heater in your house. If you are moving to your new home where the baseboard heater is pre-installed, you can make a furniture placement diagram and set your furniture accordingly.
Modern furniture has better protection towards warm air. So try to keep your modern furniture closer to the baseboard heater than your antiques and older furniture.
There should be a clearance of a few feet between the furniture and the baseboard heater. Otherwise, it may obstruct the airflow, which can decrease the efficiency of your baseboard heater. You may use a heat shield between the furniture and the heater to protect the furniture from direct exposure to warm air.
In short, try to place your furniture smartly if you have baseboard heaters in your house to increase durability.
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Can You Put A Bed Next To a Baseboard Heater?
No, it’s not good to put your bed next to a baseboard heater. Let me list out some reasons for it.
#1. The Wood Can Become Twisted, And Your Beddings May Get Damaged
The baseboard heater produces heat in the same way as a convection oven. Convection produces even heat, but it can be dangerous if you put wood or metal in your oven, and in the same way, it can be bad if you put wooden or metallic beds near a baseboard heater.
When you expose metal or wood to such a high temperature, the legs or other portions of your bed will become twisted or develop an abnormal shape, making it effectively useless. Ideally, keep all metallic and wooden objects as far away as possible from the baseboard heater.
#2. The Beddings May Catch Fire
If you put your bed too close to the baseboard heater, your mattress/beddings can catch fire because of the high temperature. Your beddings should be as far away as possible from the baseboard oven to avoid fire.
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#3. Decreases Air Flow
When you put your bed very close to the heater, it decreases the motion of hot air towards the ceiling. In other words, hot air gets trapped between the bed and the baseboard heater. So the other portions of your room will remain cold. There will not be a uniform distribution of air. So, the entire purpose of the heater is defeated.
#4. Reduces The Lifespan Of Your Heater
Your baseboard heater will last for longer if you maintain it properly. There should be at least six feet distance between your bed and baseboard heater. But if you put your bed very close to the heater, it may cause the heater to overheat. As a result, your baseboard may get damaged quickly.
Putting your bed close to the heater will also invite dust, dirt, and debris to settle down and damage the baseboard heater. Repairing a baseboard heater may cost upwards of $150. You might even have to replace it completely. Installing a new one, even a very small one, can cost you more than $225. So better not to take liberties with the one you already have.
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#5. Wastage Of Energy
When you put your bed close to the baseboard heater, a lot of heat produced by the device gets trapped between the bed and heater, which you do not utilize. So, a lot of heat energy goes to waste. But you need to pay the electricity bill for the unused heat energy. So, you may avoid it by keeping the bed a few feet away from the baseboard heater.
Can You Put Your Couch In Front Of A Baseboard Heater?
Similar arguments can be made for a couch like that for a bed. However, I understand that room space is often limited, and you might not be able to avoid putting one of the two things near your heater.
I suggest that you should place your couch at least a foot away from the heater. If your heater has fans, then you need to place your couch more than 3 feet away from the heater.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
#1. Can curtains hang over the baseboard heater?
Usually, the baseboard heaters are placed just below the windows. Avoid hanging curtains on the window because they may catch fire from the heat. The lower portion of your curtains should be at least 3-4 inches away from the baseboard heater.
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#2. What are the pros and cons of a baseboard heater?
If you want to install a hot water-based baseboard heater, then it has certain pros and cons.
- Saves money
- Quite easy to install
- It has a constant flow of heat instead of noisy bursts
- It is non-toxic, has no greenhouse gases. So completely safe.
- Energy efficient
- It needs to maintain regularly
- The location of the heater does not allow you to decorate the room with freedom.
- Cannot place the furniture near to the heater.
- It takes a long time to heat the room.
Baseboard heaters are good for homes that don’t need heating throughout the year or have rooms that don’t need constant heating.
But you need to keep furniture, curtains, and other combustible material away from these heaters because they can easily catch fire and may be dangerous for the whole house. They are dangerous for babies, kids, and pets. So always cover your baseboard heaters.
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