Dirty Heat Waves on wall above baseboard heaters

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  #1  
Old 06-30-03, 11:26 AM
cspann
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Dirty Heat Waves on wall above baseboard heaters

We have hot water heat with covered baseboard heater coils on the walls. The walls get dirty heat "waves" from the baseboard heat. These are very hard to remove as the dirt seems to get embedded in the paint. So we usually end up painting every 2 years when it gets too unsightly. Others who have same type of heating system say they do not get them. Is there anything we can do? I do not know how old this system is since we purchased the home 5 yrs ago & it was here, but am guessing @ least 10-15 yrs old by repair & inspection stickers on it. The emblem on the boiler says "NRC." We have 2-zone heating & it is equally bad in both zones. Thank you.
 
  #2  
Old 06-30-03, 02:07 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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Dirt

Ill hear it about this for sure. Im sorry to say hot water heat is very good to keep you warm in the cold winter .But it is the dirtiest heat there is.Had no heat calls on hot water and all that was wrong was lint was on the bottom of all the baseboards fins and no heat could get out. The warm air just has to go up the wall and the dirt with it. This is all the dirt that you here about here thats in the air filter and on the AC coils. This wont help you for the dirt, BUT I fine that the more people clean their home and use a vacuum in it the more dirt I will find in the air filter or for you on the walls .You could try and vacuum under the fins more in the baseboard is all I can think of. ED
 
  #3  
Old 07-02-03, 05:42 AM
lynn comstock
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Are the walls insulated?

The dirt will stick to cold walls (or grilles). The greater the temperature difference, the worse the problem.

HISTORY LESSON: I grew up in an era of uninsulated homes. SPRING HOUSECLEANING was to wash clean every wall in the house. The dirt pattern showed the lathe behind the plaster. The spaces between the lathes were much dirtier. Picture horizontal stripes on all of the outside walls, floor to ceiling.

Insulation made heat cheaper and eliminated the spring housecleaning of the walls.
 
  #4  
Old 07-02-03, 07:01 AM
cspann
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Yes, they are insulated

The walls are well insulated. The house is 25 years old, and the walls are not cold in the winter. I would even go for the installation of force-air heat if it were not the multi-level construction of the house. The only way to do it would be to put all the duct work in the attic and air would be through the ceiling. Since heat rises, it doesn't sound very economical or warm to me.
 
  #5  
Old 07-02-03, 10:14 AM
bigjohn
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If you switch to forced air from what you have now, you probably won't like it. Perhaps you could paint witha high gloss paint that would make cleaning easier?
 
  #6  
Old 07-02-03, 10:25 AM
cspann
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High gloss paint

When we bought the house, it was all painted in a, I'd say, semi-gloss. There were the heat streaks on the walls then, and I tried to clean them off, but to no avail. To go to a high gloss, I just don't think I would like it on all the walls. Guess I'll get a Porter Power Painter and get to work. Or, better yet, hand it to my husband. I appreciate the suggestions.
 
  #7  
Old 07-02-03, 12:15 PM
lynn comstock
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Is the dirt marking uniform above every heater or is it spotty and irregular with or without some sort of pattern? Insulation is often installed carelessly (by low bidders.) I'm not too quick to give up on this idea. Turn off the heat (when it is cold) and see what the walls feel like after a few hours. Next winter of course.
 
  #8  
Old 07-02-03, 02:32 PM
cspann
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Walls were not cold.....

last winter. We already had tried that. The heat waves are uniform on the walls and reach about halfway up on every wall on which there is a baseboard heater. In the living room, two walls have the baseboard heaters. One wall is about half inside the house, sharing a common wall with the foyer. It is as marked with heat waves as the rest that are outside walls. Perhaps I should have mentioned in the original post the house is totally brick. Would that make a difference?
 
  #9  
Old 07-03-03, 12:42 AM
lynn comstock
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I give up on the wall insulation.

Wash, paint or put up a sacrificial decorative panel such as cloth or paper to catch the dirt.
 
 

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