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# Can I change the covers of my hot water baseboard convectors?

Member Posts: 21
I am planning on replacing a door along as well as two adjoining full length windows in my home. The windows have baseboard hot water convectors in front of them. I'd like to increase the glass area on the windows by reducing the height of the convectors. Presently they are 10" tall, but the fin tube inside is only about 4 1/2" tall. Can I replace the cover without having to replace the fin tubes as well? Can someone point me to a resource on how to determine what would be in minimum size cover that would work? I was thinking maybe of having a cabinet maker make something out of wood that would be more attractive than the standard convector cover.

Ed

• Member Posts: 22,952
The covers -- and louver geometry at the top -- are there to get adequate convection over the finned element to deliver the rated heat output.

Yes, you can construct a custom cover for them; you might even be able to find a pre-built one. In any event, be sure to allow at least as much airflow area at the inlet (on the bottom) and the outlet (at the top) as there is now, and even then expect some reduction in heat output.
Br. Jamie, osb
Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
• Member Posts: 3,952
Changing doors and windows will effect the heatloss of the room. If you're doing that much work, why not calculate how much heat you will need and install a convector that will keep the room comfortable.

8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
• Member Posts: 33
You may find this product useful. It is not much shorter in height but should put out more heat (Btuh) than what you currently have and maybe allow you to use a shorter linear length.
Hope it helps.
• Member Posts: 812
That baseboard casing height looks like it was meant to be for a double run of fin-tube inside, thereby it could actually become "high output" baseboard.
• Member Posts: 9,469
edited July 2020

Changing doors and windows will effect the heatloss of the room. If you're doing that much work, why not calculate how much heat you will need and install a convector that will keep the room comfortable.

that is my thought, if you have access underneath you could move the piping to that wall space to the right of the windows and put a tall, skinny radiator there that can handle the load, either a european style radiator or a runtal.

There are also commercial fin tube configurations that mount to the floor a few inches away from the wall instead of to the wall.
• Member Posts: 5
yes... you can buy "blanks" ... slant fin and others sell the reg. standard size blank baseboards, at least here in new england, I know you can get them at any plumbing supply store or HD, lowes ect...

can tell you from doing multiple times, fitting blanks to an exisiting, inplace fintube can be a real p.i.t.a unless there's plenty of space between wall and plenty of vertical play in fintube,

the real issue I see from your pics is, it looks like fintube is really close the the wall, too close
all the bb covers i've dealt with are a metal backplate attached to wall, fintube support brackets attach to backplate and front cover attaches to the brackets ... doesn't look like there's anywhere close to enough room between wall and fintube for a standard bb cover and brackets

short of making a custom cover, looks like you'd need to remove fintube and replace it further from wall to accommodate standard baseboard...
if you don't go the custom made route, just buy regular baseboard with the fintube since the blank units cost nearly as much and you'll need to remove/reposition anyhow