electric baseboard heat problems

Old 12-31-04, 01:45 PM
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Question electric baseboard heat problems

My house is over 44 years old and within the past few years I noticed that black marks are appearing (and staying) on the walls over my electric baseboard heaters. When you wipe a paper towel over the marks some of that residue does come off but it is starting to stain the walls.

I had one electrician look at this and he automatically stated I need to replace all the baseboard heaters. Is this necessary or is there another way to fix this problem?

Thanks for any ideas!
Old 12-31-04, 02:26 PM
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Let me go out on a limb and guess that you frequently burn candles in the house? If so, soot from the burning process is circulating through the baseboard and depositing on the wall above them. This soot has an oil base so an ammonia product (windex...) will usually do the best job of cleaning, but it can stain paint and may need a good priming to paint over it. Clean everything up and stop burning candles for a while to see if the stains stay gone. Had you said that the stains were brown I would have guessed that you are smokers. If my candle guess is wrong, it's probably accumulated dust on the heating fins that's vaporizing when the units run. You might take the fronts off and see if you can clean the fins.

Doug M.
Old 12-31-04, 05:29 PM
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Im like with dougm here on all of it. Dont know if its candles or not.
If you look around at big buildings that have hot water heat. On the wall above the R/D and baseboard they get like a black wall up from them its just dirt...
Its like when people say the air filter on the furnace is so dirty. That same dirt and dust is in your home also. So when your electric baseboard turns on and gets hot the warm air goes up the wall. Now when you walk across the room you kick up dust that is in the cool air that is going over to the baseboard heater to replace that hot air that went up the wall. Have had it so the lint on the bottom would like stop the air from going up and it would feel like there was no heat. id clean it all first before I ran out and got new ones forsure.


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