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Baseboard Heating

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Baseboard Heating Soot Formation

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Baseboard Heating, but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about baseboard heating soot formation.

QUESTION FROM Keith rodriguez

this is a new one for me,their seems to be soot coming from electric baseboard heaters(slant fin) Above all of the baseboard heat in the home, the walls,and window shades are covered in black soot,this is a new home,so first year using heat the only thing i can think of is oxidation of the fins? I am a service tech for a modular home company,for many years and this is a first for me. thank you,for your help


Dear Keith:

If you are seeing soot on the walls above electric baseboard heaters, it would be due the following: 1) An electric baseboard heater runs very hot, and as it heats, it draws air up from below it through its fins. So as people or pets are walking around the home, dust from the floor is kicked up, and then when this air is pulled through fins of the heater it can burn the dust particles, which appear as the soot that you are seeing accumulating on the wall above the heaters. Also, if there is dust on the wall immediately above the electric baseboards, then the heat from baseboard can actually "cook" the dust particles and cause them to form the soot there. One way to check for this is to remove the covers on the baseboards, and see if you see a heavy accumulation of dust around the fins. 2) If the homeowners are burning candles in their home, then soot from the burning process can be circulating through the baseboard and depositing on the wall above them. This kind of soot will have an oil base (from the candles), so an ammonia cleaning product such as windex can be used to clean the soot off the walls, but unfortunately, it can stain paint. 3) If the soot on the wall looks more brown than black, then this kind of sooting can occur if the homeowners are smokers. The smokey air is drawn up through the baseboard radiators, and the high heat from the radiator cooks the smoke particles, and this could be forming the soot particles that you are seeing.

Hope this is helpful.

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Baseboard Heating