The most common wall heater is the electric wall heater. Other alternative types of wall heaters include both the propane and the natural gas wall heater. Wall heaters are commonly installed in dens, basements, attics, garages, bathrooms and offices, or any room that is not reached by central heating.
There are two separate types of wall heaters. One is the heater that is attached to the wall via brackets or other fasteners, and then hooked up to an energy source. Then you have the in-wall heaters, which are actually inset into a wall.
The in-wall heater is generally installed after the wall is finished, and not while the room is being built. Most come with a built in thermostat, which is important in regulating the temperature in rooms with single heating units. In-wall fan heaters are not cheap, and a good 2000 watt unit will end up costing you somewhere around $100 or slightly less. If you are going to buy an in-wall electric heater, make sure that it comes with a good warrantee. Usually you should get ten years on the element and at least one year on all other components. A 1,500 to 2,000 watt unit should be able to adequately heat up to a 150 square foot room without any difficulty.
The so called blue flame wall heater is usually fired by either propane or natural gas. There are actually quite a few dual fuelled heaters on the market too, these days, which can use either energy source. When checking out these type of heaters, it’s good to make sure that there is a blower included, as often these end up being sold separately meaning you pay more for the heater than you originally planned.
The great thing with wall heaters is that they can be used to heat an entire house, if you like, or they can be installed and used to heat ‘add-on’ rooms, or workspace. They can also be added to a room or area that needs additional heat to what is already installed.
Gas wall heaters are generally more environmentally friendly and they are actually more efficient at heating their surroundings. However, in spite of this, many people still choose electric over gas. Why? Well, it goes without saying that electric heaters are generally much easier to install than gas or propane heaters, and they can usually be used wherever there is electricity available. Electric heaters also often end up being less costly than installing and running a gas heater. Think about it. Electric heaters simply plug into a power socket, but gas heaters require access to a gas run which is very expensive to install as an extra.
When all is said and done, the single unit electric wall heater is the most common wall heater currently in use in homes. It is simple to install and fairly cheap to run.
Gas Wall Heaters
Gas wall heaters are commonly convection heaters, meaning that unlike radiant heaters which heat up objects in the room, gas heaters actually heat up the air in the room and make the entire room warm and great to walk into from outside, during winter! It is possible to find radiant gas heaters, which work by heating up ceramic coils inside the heater, though the convection gas wall heaters are more popular.
The majority of gas wall heaters these days are vented, meaning that there is a pipe leading outside from the heater which brings fresh air from outside in to the heater so that the gas has oxygen and can burn, and also expels fumes from the burning gas back outside into the open air. You can find ventless heaters as well though these are more uncommon mainly because of safety reasons. These days, ventless wall heaters come with an oxygen depletion sensor that can tell if the oxygen level in the room drops dangerously. If using a ventless gas wall heater, it is also imperative to have a well ventilated room.
Gas wall heaters heat the entire room, including the air and this heat is usually disseminated around the room by use of a fan attached to the gas wall heater. They are popular heaters for rooms that are used often during winter months, such as living rooms and they can also be great to have in a bedroom too. Great for areas that are on city gas, they are also a real boon for those times when the electricity shuts off as most gas heaters can operate without needing electricity.
If, by chance, the pilot light does go off you will need to relight it, via a utility (or long handled) lighter and not a butane or normal lighter. You should also turn the gas to your heater off at first and then turn it back on again just as you go to re-light the heater. Of course, some heaters start the pilot light via the use of electricity. All heaters should automatically shut off the gas if the pilot light goes out for any reason.
Gas wall heaters come in different sizes, calculated on the amount of air they will need to heat up or the size of the room. They are generally safe to leave on while you step out for a few hours, providing they have safety features built in, though you should probably turn them down to a low heat so as not to waste gas and energy.
It goes without saying that if you plan on installing a gas wall heater, unless you really know what you are doing you should have someone who is qualified to do the job come in to install the heater rather than doing it yourself. In fact, in some places it is required that you have gas heaters installed by an authorized technician.