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RCrosby257 07-05-2011 09:51 AM

Cleaning Baseboard Hotwater Fins
Looking for a good way to clean the aluminum fins on my baseboard heating pipes. I have an air compressor which I'm sure would do a great job of blasting out all the dust and cat hair, but that would end up depositing it all over the rooms. I've vacuumed in the past, but it's hard to really get between those fins.
Thinking to combine the vac with the air compressor and trying to blow stuff free and into the vacuum nossle path.
Good idea? Other suggestions?

Thurman 07-05-2011 04:15 PM

We certainly don't have those here in S.W. GA. but I'm familiar with what they are as my daughter lives in Alaska. I would think that air pressure, albeit low air pressure, would blow out the fins to clean them and then a good vacuum to clean up the blow-out stuff and finish off the fins. Or you could do as we do our A/C units outside here: Just use a water hose to "blow" out that coils on our units from the inside out. :thumbup:

RCrosby257 07-05-2011 04:42 PM

Cleaning Hot Water Heat Fins
Thanks for your thoughts. Right now the temp in Maine is in the low '90's and it feels like it could be SW GA! Operative word on the AC solution is "outside". Don't think my wife would go for hosing things down inside!:no:
I'll likely start with low pressure and the vacuum hose nearby and we'll see how it goes. I'll let you know.
Alaska, eh? Southeast was my home for about 20 years. Have to get back some day for a visit. They tell me things have changed; at least until you get outside of town.

user1007 07-06-2011 06:23 AM

They make brushes to get at those fins after which you should have no trouble following behind with a shop vac. You may have to check with an HVAC supplier though. Or shop online.

FlyingHammer 07-06-2011 08:40 AM

Just don't use oven cleaner. It's caustic, and will damage the aluminum. (made that mistake once upon a time)

Makoman16 07-18-2011 01:43 PM


Originally Posted by RCrosby257
Thinking to combine the vac with the air compressor and trying to blow stuff free and into the vacuum nossle

In my experience, combining the two seems to yield the best result. Using the vac only doesn't get all the junk out; using the compressor makes a huge mess. Combining the two gets all the junk and it doesn't blow all over the room. I even take the time to straighten the bent fins with a screwdriver and/or needlenose pliers to achieve maximum efficiency.

RCrosby257 07-18-2011 04:05 PM

Cleaning Baseboard Fins
Thanks all, for the advice. Local vac shop has a brush with long thin bristle and I'll try that along with the air compressor. Good idea, too, to straighten fins as I go. So obvious that I likely wouldn't have thought of it!
I'll let y'all know how it goes, but don't hold your breath. It may be a fall project!

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