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Baseboard Heating

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Baseboard Heating Winterizing System

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Baseboard Heating, but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about baseboard heating winterizing system.

QUESTION FROM april

live in PA. Will my gas baseboard heating pipes freeze in the winter months if the gas is not on and pipes not drained? I have a 2 story house with full basement and my house has a wood burning fireplace in living room on main floor. that heats the whole house pretty good.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear April:

In principle, having another heat source in your home should be sufficient to keep your baseboard heating pipes warm enough to keep from freezing.

But this is just in principle. In actuality there could be conditions which could allow water in your baseboard pipes to freeze, burst, and cause expensive damage to your home. For example, if you have baseboard pipes than run in cabinets under sinks and against outside walls, the pipes in these areas can get very cold during a Pennsylvania winter. If your wood burning fireplace were to go out, these areas could quickly get very cold and freeze the water inside of them.

If you want to not drain your baseboard system, you might want to consider adding anti-freeze to your system. You should check with the manufacturer of your heating system to find out specifically what type of anti-freeze that they recommend for your particular location and system, and what percent mix that you should target for. NEVER use automotive anti-freeze for a baseboard heating system. Your system will run fine with anti-freeze in it, however the system will not operate quite as efficiently, since the anti-freeze reduces the heat transfer properties.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard

QUESTION FROM Peggy Mara

My house is for sale and is empty. What temperature should I keep the house at with water base board heating. I have a gas furnace and live in Michigan . What temperature outside do I need to turn the heat back on?

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Peggy:

I wouldn't think that you would want to set the thermostat below around 50 degrees F. And to be sure that the water pipes do not freeze, I would recommend NOT turning off the heat (unless you completely drain the system, your water heater, toilet, etc.).

Further, since you are going to be out of the house for extended periods of time, you might want to consider adding anti-freeze to your baseboard heating system (I assume that since you may be showing the house from time to time, that you don't want to drain your system). This way if you lose electricity, that you don't have to worry about pipes freezing and bursting. You should check with the manufacturer of your heating system to find out specifically what type of anti-freeze that they recommend for your particular location and system, and what percent mix that you should target for. NEVER use automotive anti-freeze for a baseboard heating system. Your system will run fine with anti-freeze in it, however the system will not operate quite as efficiently, since the anti-freeze reduces the heat transfer properties.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Tom

I have a baseboard hot water heating system. It is in a second hpome that i cannot aford to keep warm throuout the winter in NORTHERN MAINE,, madawaska. Can I rplace the water with antifreeze and avoid burst pipes, then run the heating system without draining the antifreeze?

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Tom:

Yes, you definitely can put anti-freeze in your baseboard heating system if you are not going to be using it over the winter. In fact, even if you were going to be using it on a limited basis, say just on weekends, it would still be a good idea to put in anti-freeze to keep the pipes from bursting if there were a power failure during the week.

You should check with your local plumbing supply company to see what type of anti-freeze that they recommend for your particular location and system, and what percent mix that you should target for.

Regarding running the system with the anti-freeze in it, yes, you can, but the system will not operate quite as efficiently, since the anti-freeze reduces the heat transfer properties.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Arthur Perazzo

I go away in the winter and so I worry about the hot water baseboard heating pipes freezing if the electricity goes off for an extended period of time. Is adding antifreeze a good solution? Does doing so affect heating? Any other cons to using anitfreeze?

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Arthur:

If you are going to be away for extended periods over the winter, then yes, you are right to be concerned about the possibility of your baseboard heating pipes freezing if you lose electricity.

The safest thing to do of course is to drain the water from your hot water baseboard system completely (and also drain the water from your toilets, hot water heater, etc.). If you want to not drain your baseboard system, you might want to consider adding anti-freeze to your system. You should check with the manufacturer of your heating system to find out specifically what type of anti-freeze that they recommend for your particular location and system, and what percent mix that you should target for. NEVER use automotive anti-freeze for a baseboard heating system. Your system will run fine with anti-freeze in it, however the system will not operate quite as efficiently, since the anti-freeze reduces the heat transfer properties.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Lessa

I'm looking at homes to buy in iowa the ad says utilities shut off over winter. this has baseboard heating can anyone tell me what that does to the system? would there be pipe problems because of this?

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Leesa:

Assuming that the water from the pipes in the house's baseboard heating system was completely drained properly, then this should not be a problem.

By draining the water from the baseboard heating system during the winter, they were trying to eliminate the risk of losing power, for example, and having the pipe freeze and then potentially burst. Shutting down the baseboarding heating systems and draining the water out is actually a good idea when a home is going to be left unoccupied for a sustained period over the winter.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

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Baseboard Heating