How to Refurbish an Old Baseboard Heater

What You'll Need
Small brush
Clean cloth
Needle-nosed pliers
Working gloves
Screwdriver or a pair of pliers

Refurbishing a baseboard heater is beneficial as it saves on cost by preventing lost heat and having it repaired correctly can restore its appearance. Common problems associated with the appliance are that they do not produce enough heat or they do not give any heat at all. These types of heaters work by convection where cold air enters the bottom of the appliance and it is supplied into the room as warm air. Its main components are copper tubing and aluminum fins.

Step 1 – Check the Condition of the Thermostat

Locate where the thermostat is positioned in the heating device. Find out if it is working correctly. Check if it is damaged or worn out. Replace it with a new thermostat to start the appliance working again.

Step 2 – Confirm Electrical System is in Good Condition

Find out whether electrical system is being supplied correctly to the heating appliance. Check whether the fuse or circuit breaker is operating properly. If the problem is caused by poor wiring, correct this as well. Make sure that the operating buttons are working effectively as well.

Step 3 – Clean Fins

If the heater does not work even after making changes to the electrical system, open it up to unclog it from dust, dirt or debris. Unplug the device from power supply. Never make repairs when a baseboard heater is connected to a power source. Carefully remove the upper casing that covers the heating components.

Dismount the heating elements from the device using a screw driver or a pair of pliers. Be careful not to damage the wires. Use a small brush to clean and dust the inner part and outer surface of the heating components. This removes loose dirt and debris.

Step 4 – Repair Metal Fins

Use dry clean clothe to wipe away fine dust. Take care of sensitive wires on the heating device. Use needle-nosed pliers to straighten out folded, twisted or crooked metal fins. Be gently no to break the wires or cause any kind of damage. Make sure they are all straight and that no wire is touching on another.

Step 5 – Testing

Place back the material that covers the heating appliance and secure all the components in place. Turn on power supply and test the refurbished device. It should be working in good condition.

Cause of Damages on Baseboard Heaters

Baseboard heaters stop working properly when there is a blockage of airflow through the appliance. When air is restricted from flowing through the heater, it reduces its heating potential and it does not operate as required. Watch out for blockages which can come about due to accumulation of dust and dirt on the copper tubing and aluminum fins. This automatically diminishes its heating capability.


  • Do not place curtains, drapes, seats or interior décor items close to electric heaters
  • Place electric heaters in a spacious area, it makes it easy for warm air to distribute evenly in the room
  • Do not place electric baseboard heaters near electrical outlets