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Old 09-25-2008, 09:46 AM
 
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Is it safe to hang drapes or place furniture directly in front of a hot water baseboard heater or is it a potential fire hazard? Thanks!!
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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It will destroy whatever fabric is there.....most likely drying it out to the point that it becomes less than desirable if you don't like the "burnt" look.

Also anything you put in front of them will effect the performance. They work by the natural flow of heat rising.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Default Naw not much of a hazard

New England is loaded with hydronic basboard heating. Lots of my former neighbors had it. No real special considerations from a safety point of view. Lots of houses have long curtains that hang down in the baseboard area.

The water is not that hot. Somewhere in the 145 F range, varies depending what any homeowner sets it too.

Same with the old cast iron radiators. The only hazard being you do not want small childern / babies touching it directly, probably not enough to give a burn but it can be a bit painful. Never sit on the radiators it can result in jock itch.

The sun will do more damage to curtains than the heating system. In general you do not want to block the baseboard areas with furniture but that is because it makes the heating sytems less effective. Especially the areas right over the carpet, cooler air flows from below, thru the sheet metal covers of the baseboard heaters, exit air is not even high enough temp to cause any damage, in general you usually can not touch the heating fins. In extreme cases it can cause wood to dry out, but the temperatures are not high enough to reach the ignition temp of most household materials.

Very safe method of heating.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
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If it is hydronic (hot water) there is not danger. We put newspapers ont eh radiators and our cat sleeps on top of one. WE have the old fashoined ratiators not baseboard (they are more effeicient) but the principals ar ethe same. If you have electroni baseboard heat there can be a fire risk. SOme of those heat up water elctronically and work the same as hydronic baseboard heaters. Others have partially exposed heating elements in the baseboard. You do nto want curtais touching these.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
If it is hydronic (hot water) there is not danger. We put newspapers ont eh radiators and our cat sleeps on top of one. WE have the old fashoined ratiators not baseboard (they are more effeicient) but the principals ar ethe same. If you have electroni baseboard heat there can be a fire risk. SOme of those heat up water elctronically and work the same as hydronic baseboard heaters. Others have partially exposed heating elements in the baseboard. You do nto want curtais touching these.
How do I know if I have electronic baseboard heat?
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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How long does it take to heat up?
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
How long does it take to heat up?
The baseboard heat seems to get warm right away.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
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Originally Posted by monkeygorilla View Post
How do I know if I have electronic baseboard heat?

Are your heaters connected by water pipes or by wires?

Look inside. Do you see red when the heater is on full blast?

You can smell the difference too, but if you do not know the smell, this will not help you.

Ask anyone who knows the difference when they are visiting you.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Are your heaters connected by water pipes or by wires?

Look inside. Do you see red when the heater is on full blast?

You can smell the difference too, but if you do not know the smell, this will not help you.

Ask anyone who knows the difference when they are visiting you.
There are definitely pipes connecting the heaters...I don't see any wires. And it doesn't glow red when the heater is on. I'm guessing its not electric but luckily my brother is coming for a visit in a few weeks & he knows this stuff. Thanks so much for your help!!
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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Electric heat would heat up almost instantly.

It would take a minute or so for hot water based heat maybe longer depending on where your standing in the loop.

In the winter time conditions are already dry by nature.

Adding heat to that air will bring the air immediately around the base boards to become extremely dry. It's not good for cloth materials from my experience. But I'm also in NC and don't deal much with base board heating especially hot water so you may want to take what I say with a grain of salt.
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