Pros and Cons of Wall Heaters and Wall Heater Applications —

Pros and Cons of Wall Heaters and Wall Heater Applications —

Pros and Cons of Wall Heaters and Wall Heater Applications

Wall heaters service an important niche and in the right circumstances can be more economical and efficient than central heating. It should not be overlooked that there is often a useful place for wall heaters in the heating strategy of homes and buildings.

Variations of Wall Heaters Available

The majority of wall heaters are operated on electricity, natural gas or propane. They come in a variety of capacities and sizes and are essentially designed to be mounted in a wall, hung on a wall, or placed against the wall with the support of the floor.

Certain models may be hung from the ceiling or overhead supports when used in places such as garages or warehouses, and variations exist specifically to maintain adequate temperatures in pump houses to prevent damage to pumps, pipes and other equipment.

Some wall heaters may be portable, and some models have a cord that plugs into a normal electrical outlet. More elaborate versions are referred to as wall furnaces and are larger and more heavy-duty, and may supply all of the heating for a small building or apartment.

There are oil-fired wall heater models capable of burning waste food oils, used automotive oil, bio-diesel or kerosene. These are boxier units intended on being mounted near ceilings or similar areas in places such as garages and warehouses.

Electrical units come in either 240 v. or 120 v. models. They may use fan-forced air or rely on radiant heating.

Disadvantages of the Wall Heater

Pros and Cons of Wall Heaters and Wall Heater Applications —
  • Effectiveness, except with some large capacity units and the larger furnace units, is limited to small spaces. If the space is too large, heating can be uneven and demand increasingly expensive power.
  • Unless of a type installed and wired directly into the electrical service of the space being heated, electric wall heaters will use a cord that can become a hazard due to accessibility to accidental damage or tampering by pets or children.
  • 240 volt units may require electrical upgrade before installing. There are also many 120 volt units available.
  • Gas and propane versions may require installation of gas lines to the point of use.
  • Wall heaters are not ducted, so heating of remote rooms must rely on natural air movement, fans or installation of additional units in separate rooms.
  • Attempting to extend their use to areas beyond their rated capacity may result in over-stressing the unit while also driving up fuel or power costs without sufficient benefit of adequate comfort and service.

Advantages of Wall Heaters

  • Very good for independent heating of small areas.
  • An extremely useful option for heating out-buildings, garages, pump houses and other small structures too small for a furnace or too costly to provide with one.
  • Fast warm-up allows short-term heating of a space only while occupied, such as when taking showers or baths or using a workspace for a short time.
  • Independently heating a small space only when in immediate use allows maintaining a lower temperature in the rest of the building, saving on overall power or heating fuel costs.
  • No ducting is necessary. This is especially beneficial in homes or buildings never designed for central heating and when such spaces would be challenging to provide with proper ducting.
  • Gas wall heaters and furnaces are usually easily converted for propane, making them desirable for areas where there may not be access to commercially available electrical power.
  • Wall heater installation is simple and relatively inexpensive.
  • Service and replacement is similarly economical. Many more efficient newer models are designed to fit right into the same wall can (protective metal enclosure) as older units, so there will be no added carpentry, wall alterations or painting necessary.

If you are considering the installation of a wall heater unit, or need service to an existing one, contact your local heating repair service for professional advice and inspection.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Alley and Co. Heating/Air and a clickable link back to this page.


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