Three best wall heaters

Karen Roth Ridder

A wall heater can help keep a drafty area of your home warm without you having to re-work your entire home heating system— a definite money-saver.

A wall heater is a kind of permanent space heater for your home. These heaters are self-contained and hard-wired into your wall. They often require professional installation. Many are recessed, requiring you to cut a large hole into your wall for the housing of the heater. The wall heater will circulate air through your space, both sucking in and blowing out air. It can be a good option for offices, bathrooms, entryways of homes, and mud rooms. If you have an area in your home that feels a little cold on a regular basis, a wall heater can be an ideal way to save floor space and make your space warmer.

Considerations when choosing wall heaters

Before you buy a new wall heater, consider where you need the extra heat and how large of a space you want to warm. Once installed, wall heaters will need adequate distance from the floor and from other objects in order to circulate warm air effectively. Recessed units are sized to fit between standard wall studs in most homes. Those that surface mount will still need to meet minimum distance requirements from the ceiling or floor.

For ease of use, particularly in a highly trafficked area, you may want to select a wall heater with a temperature gauge. These units are designed to turn on and off automatically to help keep your home at a set temperature. If you are looking for a unit for your bathroom or another space in which you won't need heat all the time, you might be happy with a wall heater that has an on/off switch you control manually.

Wall heater prices

A recessed wall heater for a small area with a basic on/off switch will likely cost between $50 and $90. These units should be cool to the touch and able to heat a small space quickly. For $100 to $150, you should be able to find a heater with a thermostat that turns the unit on and off automatically to keep your space at a constant temperature. Over $150, you will find wall heaters with higher-end features, such as a stainless steel finish or a very quiet operation mode. These pricier units may also help you heat a larger space.


Q. Can I replace other heaters in my home with wall heaters?

A. Wall heaters are designed to have a limited reach. Usually, they can only heat between 100 to 200 square feet effectively. However, if you have a larger space, you can install more than one heater and get decent combined results. Wall heaters are best considered as supplemental heating sources.

Q. What is the fire risk of a wall heater?

A. Wall heaters are generally considered to be safer than traditional space heaters. However, you should still use them with caution. Do not place furniture, curtains, or other flammable items within three feet of a wall heater to reduce fire risk and to help keep air circulating effectively.

Wall heaters we recommend

Best of the best: Stiebel Eltron 

Our take: This attractive heater blends in with home decor better than some other models. It moves the air well and is fairly easy to install.

What we like: Simple wall mounting. Heater fan is quiet. Modern design. Includes a thermostat control.

What we dislike: The power cord comes out of the top of the heater, where it is quite visible.

Best bang for your buck: Broan Wall Heater 

Our take: For a small-area recessed heater, this model provides a good amount of heat at a decent cost.

What we like: Heats quickly. Efficient way to heat a smaller space, such as a mudroom or bathroom, for a short period of time. On/off switch. Can be surface mounted if needed.

What we dislike: The upper-temperature range on this model kicks in an automatic shut-off feature which may leave you still wanting a little more heat.

Choice 3: King Electric 

Our take: This powerful wall heater makes a nice replacement for baseboard heaters.

What we like: Offers variable wattage selection. Looks like a regular HVAC vent cover.

What we dislike: These heaters are not the quietest available. Sometimes, there are quality control issues on the welds.

Karen Roth Ridder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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