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Just moved in a new house. All heaters have a plank (same width and depth as the heater) 10cm above them. Please see the picture below:

enter image description here

I conjecture it's for preventing some of the heat to go directly up and stay a bit in the room at middle height.

Is that correct?

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Please post a picture. You say nothing about what kind of heaters, placement on the walls etc. A picture or two will solve that problem in an instant. – Michael Karas Jul 5 '13 at 16:33
It could be that the previous owner installed these "planks" simply as a shelf to put things on them. – Michael Karas Jul 5 '13 at 16:34
I edited to add a picture. – drake035 Jul 8 '13 at 12:42
As Zeke point out. You don't need them and are there just for convenience. – ppumkin Jul 8 '13 at 14:01
I'm not sure they're shelves because they are not quite horizontal. You can't put a bottle on the one on the picture, it will fall. Also, are you people positive about the fact that this thing does NOT fulfill any function related to heat conservation or something? – drake035 Jul 9 '13 at 15:53

Our old apartment had this. I asked the landlord why, and he simply stated that if it wasn't there, all the vertical space above the heater would be wasted. Now there's a shelf there. I found it handy to place hats and gloves there during the winter to dry them off faster.

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Could not be simpler answer :) We don't have any planks but allo ours under under windows to help circulate the air in the house better. But even the ones at the middle of the room don't have any planks. – ppumkin Jul 8 '13 at 14:00

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