How to Clean Your Heaters

Winter’s just around the corner and there’s a lot to do in preparation. We all think of the big things – hanging the storm windows, ordering the wood for the fire, setting up the fuel account so the oil doesn’t run out, but what about the little things? For instance when did you last change the batteries in the thermostats and how about cleaning the heaters – the baseboards and the radiators – they won’t just look better, they’ll work better.

Whether you have radiators or baseboards, cleaning them is easy, requires no specialist knowledge, and certainly doesn’t need any high-tech equipment.

For both types of heat, there are a few simple things that you’ll need, but they’re all things you probably already have:
• Old newspaper to protect the floor and wall while you’re working
• Hair-dryer or other tool for blowing dust out of hard-to-reach corners
• Feather duster
• Vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle and brush attachment
• Warm soapy water and rag.

To clean a radiator
1) Turn the radiator off at the valve.
2) Arrange the protective paper on the floor and up the wall behind the radiator.
3) Blow the dust and fluff off the radiator onto the paper.
4) Get into all the nooks and crannies with a feather duster.
5) Vacuum the loosened dust off the floor and off the radiator.
6) If necessary wipe the radiator with the warm soapy water.
7) Throw away the protective paper.
8) Sit back and enjoy the heat!

To clean baseboard heaters
1) Turn off the heat at the thermostat.
2) Remove the baseboard’s front cover.
3) Remove any foreign objects from beneath the fin tubing – kids’ toys love getting stuck under baseboard heaters!
4) Using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner nozzle, go all the entire length of the fin tubing cleaning the dust off all its faces.
5) Gently straighten any kinked fins so that you have uniform spacing throughout – a putty knife or small cake slicer works well for this.
6) Replace the front cover.
7) Turn the heat back on.