Why does baseboard heat make noise?


Baseboard heating systems have become a popular choice for homeowners due to their cost-effective and energy-efficient heating mechanism. However, one common issue that users face is the noise produced by the system. The noise can range from simple ticking to loud banging, which can be a nuisance. In this article, we will discuss the reasons behind the noise and how to minimize it.

What is baseboard heat?

Baseboard heating is a heating system that uses convection to circulate warm air. Baseboard heaters are installed on the wall, near the floor, and are usually long, narrow, and rectangular in shape. The heating element is usually made of metal or ceramic and is enclosed in a metal housing that has fins to increase the surface area for heat transfer. The system is controlled using a thermostat, which monitors the temperature and turns the heating element on and off as needed.

How does baseboard heat work?

Baseboard heaters work by using convection to circulate warm air. The heating element is heated by electricity or hot water, which then heats the air around it. The warm air rises and circulates around the room, while the cooler air is drawn in from the bottom of the heater. This creates a convection current that heats the room.

Types of baseboard heaters

There are two main types of baseboard heaters: electric and hydronic. Electric baseboard heaters use electricity to heat the heating element, while hydronic baseboard heaters use hot water or steam to heat the heating element.

Common sources of baseboard heat noise

Baseboard heating systems can make noise due to various reasons. Some of the common sources of noise include expansion and contraction of the heating element, air bubbles in the heating element or pipes, and loose or damaged parts.

Airflow and baseboard heating

Airflow is crucial in baseboard heating systems as it helps to circulate the warm air around the room. However, if the airflow is restricted, it can cause noise. Restricted airflow can be caused by dirty filters, blocked vents, or obstructed heating elements. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent this issue.

Water movement and baseboard heating

Hydronic baseboard heating systems can make noise due to water movement. Air bubbles in the water can cause a ticking or gurgling noise, while water hammer can cause loud banging. Regular maintenance and bleeding the system can help prevent these issues.

Maintenance and troubleshooting

Regular maintenance is crucial in preventing baseboard heating noise. This includes cleaning the heating elements, checking for loose parts, and ensuring proper airflow. If the noise persists, it may be necessary to call a professional for troubleshooting.

When to call a professional

If the noise is loud or seems to be getting worse, it may be necessary to call a professional. A professional can diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action. This may include replacing damaged parts, bleeding the system, or installing noise-reducing insulation.


Baseboard heating systems can make noise due to various reasons, but regular maintenance and troubleshooting can help minimize the issue. By understanding how the system works and the common sources of noise, homeowners can take steps to prevent and resolve the issue. If the noise persists, it may be necessary to call a professional for assistance.

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