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I recently replaced some wood panelling with drywall, leaving my hydronic baseboard heaters free standing with no brackets or metal surrounding them. I was thinking that instead of putting a metal cover over them, I could build a slotted wooden enclosure that I would paint white to blend in with the baseboard trim.

Would I lose any energy efficiency by doing this? Is there a reason they are always made of metal?

  • Metal is a conductor, and transfers the heat from the heater to the room well. Wood would not transfer the heat as well. – Tester101 Aug 13 '14 at 16:16
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Metal is used because it is a LOT cheaper than a wood cover.

You can use wood covers, but you have to leave the top open to allow heat to escape (or have a grill). Also, you probably should make the opening at the top somewhat wider than with a metal cover. I would probably put a strip of metal on the inside of the baseboard to protect the wood from heat. The design is kind of like this:

hydronic heater with wood cover

If I did this I would also drill a lot of holes in the bottom of the outboard part of the heating frame or leave a good-size vent at the bottom somehow. You want to maximize the airflow. Cold air entering bottom, gets heated, exits through top grille.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'll probably just leave the bottom open for maximum air flow. – Jordan Bentley Aug 14 '14 at 14:19

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