When to Replace Your Baseboard Heater Covers

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Jan 01, 2011 | Sirena Rubinoff
baseboard heater cover
Photo credit: BaseboardHeaterCovers.com

Hydronic baseboard heaters are a great way to heat a home, using hot water (or another liquid) to warm the air. Their elements are protected by covers, which help control the flow of the heated air. If these heaters become damaged or rusty, besides being a real eyesore, they won't do their job efficiently. Read on to learn when to replace your baseboard heater covers and how to do so.

Replacing Your Baseboard Heater Covers

Replacing old baseboard heater covers is an easy DIY project that can give heated rooms in your home an easy and long-lasting facelift. You should replace your baseboard heater covers if they are cracked or otherwise structurally damaged. You also might want to replace your baseboard heater covers if they are rusted, chipped, scratched or faded. (Avoid future rust by purchasing any new baseboard heater cover that has a galvanized or powder-coated finishing.) Baseboard heater covers look great on all types of flooring, including wood, tile and carpet.

Replacement Options for Your Baseboard Heater Covers

The easiest replacement option is to seek out new slip-on covers that don’t require tools or a professional installer. These kinds of covers only require that you remove the non-permanent parts of the existing heater cover and leave the back cover nailed to the wall as it is. 

You may also choose to replace the entire cover, including the back plate of the baseboard heater. Or if you’re uncomfortable messing with your heating units, you can find a licensed handyman near you to take care of the job.

How to Install New Baseboard Heater Covers

If you're inclined to DIY, we recommend sticking with the slip-on baseboard heater covers, since they are the easiest to install. The first thing you need to do is take measurements so you know what size replacement cover to buy. To start, you’ll need to remove the end caps and front cover of your old baseboard heater cover. Measure the distance between the bottom of the hydronic heater and the top of the baseboard. A measurement of 5" to 6 4/5" should fit a standard replacement cover.

Then check the distance from the back panel to the front of the hydronic heating tube. Standard measurements are 3 inches or less. Last, you’ll need to measure the distance from the floor to the top of the baseboard. This measurement will usually be 7 inches or more. Once you have your measurements, you can choose an appropriate replacement cover. To install, snap it into place along with the end caps. The whole process should not take more than 15 minutes.

Baseboard covers are an easy and low-cost home improvement project that can make a big aesthetic difference in your home. So don’t let your old or damaged baseboard heater covers stay an eyesore. Get out there and update your home today!

Updated March 4, 2018.

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