Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Safe to hang floor length drapes with hot water baseboard heat?
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cginel
Safe to hang floor length drapes with hot water baseboard heat?

Recently moved into home with hot water baseboard. We want to use floor length drapes from our previous home.

I have two concerns:
1. Are they a fire hazard over hot water baseboard? I know they would be over electric baseboard but we are only hot water baseboard.

2. Will they cause our heating to work less efficiently - I am sure leaving them open would lead to more efficient system rather than closed.

I have been hunting on the internet and can't find any definite answers.

If I need to, I plan can shorten the drapes if fire or heating inefficiency is a problem.

Thanks for anyone's help!

NashuaTech
Re: Safe to hang floor length drapes with hot water baseboard heat?

I would strongly recommend against it, and hope you'll either alter the length of the drapes, or opt for other styles of window treatment, such as blinds, or window length treatments.

Most mfgrs recommend a 6" clearance for any drapes above the baseboard.

While there's probably not a fire hazard, the baseboard operates by drawing in cold air at the bottom (should be at least 1" clearance at the bottom), heating the air, & expelling it out the top (make sure the adjustable louver is all the way open).

Especially at the windows, the process is for cold air to be moderated by the hot air coming up from the baseboard, mix with the window cold air & circulate freely throughout the room.

Lots of heating $$$ will be wasted if anything blocks this air circulation process.

This also goes for furniture that is less than 6" away from the baseboard.

http://www.watermasteramerica.com/resources/baseboard%20Heating.pdf

Fencepost
Re: Safe to hang floor length drapes with hot water baseboard heat?

I don't think there is a fire hazard issue. There are very few substances with a flash point below the boiling point of water.

As for efficiency: your floor length drapes will trap the heat behind the drapery, forcing the heated air to run by the window where there will be quite a bit of heat loss.

Sunny H
Re: Safe to hang floor length drapes with hot water baseboard heat?

It is absolutely safe. I have had floor length drapes over mine for 25 years. Just do not keep them closed all the time or the curtains will trap the heat between themselves and the windows rather than allowing the heat to expand around the room.

MLBSF
Re: Safe to hang floor length drapes with hot water baseboard heat?

sunnyh hit the nail on the head, it is absolutely not a fire hazzard. the water going through the baseboard should never go above 180 degrees, most furnaces will shut down if the water gets hotter than that. now all the other responses are correct regarding the drapes trapping the heat between the them and the wall, very inefficient.

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