You may be one of the thousands of people who keep their house warm with baseboards that run on electricity. However, you might not know anything about them other than that they exist and provide heat. When you start to experience minor problems, it's not unnatural that you would be concerned; that's especially true if you start to experience these problems in the winter. Here are some of the things you might experience and what actions you can take.
Because the baseboards are powered with electricity, noticing a burning smell when you turn on the heat can be very scary. You might think there is a fire inside the wall or other problems that need to be dealt with right away. One way to avoid that fear is to have both an HVAC contractor and an electrician assess your systems to ensure that nothing is wrong with the wiring or the baseboards themselves.
Once you are confident that a fire risk is very low, look at the baseboards themselves. It's quite possible that they have a lot of dust buildup, which could very well be the reason for the burning smell. To get rid of the odor, you'll need to vacuum the boards; preferably, a hand vacuum or handheld attachment from a regular machine can be especially effective. Getting rid of all that dust will allow you to breathe in cleaner air, but it will also help the baseboards to work more efficiently.
Baseboards Don't Seem to Be Heating Well
Another problem that people with baseboards seem to experience is that they find themselves turning up the heat more and more and not getting more heat into their living spaces. When this happens, sometimes it is not a problem with the baseboards at all. The problem could in fact be that there are a lot of air drafts and gaps that are allowing hot air to escape.
To address this issue, look for air gaps under doors and in window frames; move your hands around these areas and feel for a breeze or unusual coolness. Plug those spots with rubber stripping and insulation kits. If you seal all the air gaps and drafts in the house and still find there to be a heating problem, you should talk to an expert.
When you're able to address problems like the ones above with the information provided, you should be able to fix the problem and keep the electric baseboards working properly. Speak with an HVAC contractor who has some experience with baseboards and can make any heating repairs you need so that the boards operate as they should. Contact a company like Advanced Heating & Cooling to learn more.