Why Is My Baseboard Heater Making Noise?

Hydronic baseboard heating is a home heating system that uses water instead of air to distribute heat throughout a home. And while these systems offer numerous benefits, such as greater energy efficiency and longer-lasting heat, they are notorious for making a variety of noises.

As the temperature changes in a hydronic baseboard heating system, it causes materials to expand and contract, creating a variety of noises. Most noises coming from a baseboard heater aren’t cause for concern and are relatively easy to remedy.

Here are 5 of the most common reasons your baseboard heater may be making noise and what you can do to muffle or eliminate the sound.

 1. Pipes Are Too Long

It isn’t uncommon for copper pipes to fit just right at room temperature, then be crowded when the heat comes on. As a pipe expands, it can bump into the wall or floor around it causing a banging noise. In some cases, it can result in damage to the wall. You can muffle the sound by placing insulators or wax paper between the pipe and floor or wall. If the banging is severe, you may need to hire a plumber to drain, cut, and sauter the pipe to the right length.

 2. Pipes Are Too Close Together

If your system is set up so that pipes go out through the house and return in a separate pipe, the pipes may be too close together. As they expand, they can bump into each other, creating a loud clanking or banging noise. Once again, the solution to stopping the noise is to create a buffer between the pipes. In severe cases, a plumber may need to shorten the pipes.

 3. Fins Are Dirty or Bent

Baseboard heaters have a series of metal fins that expand as they heat cool air. When they become bent or crushed, they make a pinging noise. Remove the cover from your heater and carefully straighten out the fins with a set of pliers. While the cover is off, vacuum the pipes and fins to remove dust, dirt, and debris which will help air flow properly. Do this least once a year or more often if you have pets that shed.

 4. Air in the Lines

If you notice a gurgling or bubbling sound, it’s likely associated with air in the lines. This can often be resolved by bleeding small amounts of air from the system. In other cases, an aging circulator pump may no longer be able to remove the hot water from the boiler tank to circulate through the baseboard heaters as it should. Either way, contact a licensed plumber to find and address the cause of the gurgling.

 5. Too Much Pressure

If you notice a banging sound coming from the boiler, you may have a pressure problem. The zone valve on a boiler closes when the circulator is running, which causes pressure to bounce against the air in the system. If the pressure is too high, it can force the zone valve to open slightly and create a banging sound. Head down to the boiler and check the pressure gauge to make sure that it’s between 12 and 20psi, and contact a plumber is the reading is outside that range.

If your baseboard heating system is making unusual noises or is simply not performing as it once did, contact the home comfort experts at Pann Home Services & Remodeling. Our team of trained professionals has the tools and experience to make all your heating woes disappear. Contact us today or anytime for the prompt and reliable service you can depend on.