Despite its size, an electric wall heater is a great way to provide your home with extra heat—whether you’re in a multifamily house or a tiny apartment. What’s more? Electric wall heaters are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and safer than most portable heaters.
If you’re interested in learning more about how a wall-mounted heater could help keep you and your family warm and toasty throughout the winter months, here’s an in-depth buyer’s guide that covers everything from the type of heater to the installation process. We’ve also included eight of our top picks to make your search for the best electric wall heater a bit easier.
- BEST OVERALL: Heat Storm HS-1000-WX-WIFI WiFi Infrared Wall Heater
- BEST BUDGET: Cadet Com-Pak Electric Wall Heater with Thermostat
- UPGRADE PICK: PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace
- BEST MOUNTED: De’Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater
- BEST ENERGY-SAVING: De’Longhi Convection Panel Heater, Full Room Quiet
- BEST HIGH-CAPACITY: Broan-NuTone, White 198 High Capacity Wall Heater
- BEST MULTI-WATTAGE: KING PAW2422-W PAW Electric Wall Heater
- BEST ELECTRIC FIREPLACE: PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Wall Heater
While you’re browsing for an electric wall heater, there are a few things you should keep in mind. To ensure your heater can do what you need it to (i.e., keep you comfy and cozy on cold, wintry nights), here are a few shopping considerations to factor in before making a purchase.
There are several types of heaters out there. When it comes to space heaters, you can choose between convection heaters, ceramic fan-forced heaters, radiant and infrared heaters, and mica thermic space heaters. Unlike portable heaters, electric wall heaters are recessed inside a wall—which means they’re hardwired into an electrical branch circuit.
Electric heaters come in a variety of styles, including wall heaters, toe-kick heaters, baseboard heaters, and cove or panel heaters. Wall heaters, sometimes referred to as “forced fan heaters,” combine a fan (as the name suggests) and a heating element to circulate heated air throughout the room. If you’re worried about noise, infrared electric wall heaters use radiant heater panels instead of fans.
Electric wall heaters are designed to heat small spaces and shouldn’t be used as a primary heating source for large rooms or spaces. Electric wall heaters can work as a supplement to a larger unit. For example, the Broan-NuTone, White 198 High Capacity Wall Heater is packed with 4,000 watts of power but was designed to heat up to 400 square feet max. Heating an entire home with electric wall heaters would most likely mean you’d need one heater per room, which could make for an outrageously expensive utility bill.
The heat settings of a standard electric wall heater can range from 750 watts, which is usually the minimum, to 4,000 watts. (Though there are high-wattage heaters built to heat larger areas.) Wall heaters can be powered by 120V or 240V electricity and usually include a built-in thermostat. Some wall-mounted heaters, however, come with a detached thermostat that allows the user to control the temperature of one or more heaters at a time.
Many 1,500-watt heaters offer a 750-watt option. This allows users to turn the heat down whenever they’re not in the room (or if they’re warm and comfortable with the heater set to a lower setting). This is just one of the ways electric heaters can be energy efficient.
Some electric heaters come with an automatic shut-off switch (auto shut-off switches are often found with wall-mounted fireplaces, too). The use of LED lights for fireplaces, as well as energy-saving options that drop the heat with a programmable thermostat or a timer, are all good options to keep the electric bills low.
Choosing an electric wall heater depends on function and aesthetics. When shopping, think about your home’s decor and your personal style. The best electric wall-mounted heater will offer a balance of looks and utility. Some might choose an electric wall heater that looks like a traditional grate, thus lending a vintage air. Others may prefer a sleek, flat heater that blends into the room or fits well with modern décor.
The choice for a heater in the living room might look entirely different from the garage heater. Fortunately, electric wall heaters are available in a variety of designs and styles, so finding one that suits a particular home shouldn’t be a difficult task.
When it comes to heating the home, safety is always paramount. Look for features such as a timer or an overheat shut-off function, which will cut the power if the heater becomes too hot. An automatic shut-off function, in which the electric heater shuts down after a certain period of time, might be helpful for those who need it for only a small space and aren’t worried about preventing pipes from freezing or other cold-weather catastrophes. A cool-to-touch casing is also a good idea, especially in a home with small children, as well as on-off buttons or switches that are hard for kids to reach.
For those who are worried about noise, a radiant heater may be the way to go, as fan-forced heaters can be noisy. Though most modern heaters have a noise level that is acceptable for even a bedroom. If there’s any question about a fan being too loud, it’s important to go with radiant heat for a very quiet experience.
Electric wall-mounted heaters are designed to be recessed into the wall, which requires careful cutting of drywall to insert the “can” or box that the heater uses for safe installation. Even so, once the hole is prepared, installation is a matter of a few screws. Those who aren’t very handy with household tools should hire a contractor to handle the installation of a recessed heater.
Our Top Picks
Choosing the best electric wall heater requires a bit of research. To help you make an informed purchasing decision, we’ve listed a few top-notch options (that are easy to install, have low noise levels, and have safety features) below. Here are our top picks for the best electric wall heater.
The radiant electric wall heater from Heat Storm offers 3,400 BTUs controlled by a Wi-Fi–enabled mobile app. This wall-mounted unit offers a child lock, overheat protection, a safe-touch grill, and an operating schedule that can be adjusted via the app.
The easy-mount design makes for a quick installation. This heater works on 1,000 watts of power and can heat up to 200 square feet as the primary heat source and can be a supplemental heat source for up to 500 square feet. The proprietary heat-management system offers dual wall technology, which leads to better energy efficiency.
The fast-heating coil element of this electric wall heater from Cadet can heat up to 200 square feet quickly with a centrifugal fan, which quietly spreads the air around the room. At only 9 by 12 inches high, this heater can recess back into the wall. The heater measures 4 inches deep and comes with a wall can for recessing, a grille for safety, and a thermostat for hardwired installation.
Durable metal surfaces and a white powder-coated paint job make this 1,500-watt heater safe and reliable while offering a vintage look. The recessed nature of this electric wall heater makes it a bit more difficult to install than other brands. Those who aren’t handy might require the help of a contractor.
This recessed fireplace from PuraFlame offers a 50-inch length, which is suitable for installation on 2-by-6 studs in the wall. Flush mounted and with 1,500 watts of power, this fireplace has a dancing flame created by LED lights and several options for whatever look suits the home—the ember bed can be a log set or crystal stones.
The flame can be adjusted to include four blends of yellow and blue colors. The flame can be operated without heat, making this a year-round feature of the home. A countdown timer sets the flame from 30 minutes to nine hours. Keep in mind that though this can heat up a room, it should not be used as a primary heat source.
With a powerful 1,500 watts of heating power (5,120 BTUs), this versatile electric wall heater from De’Longhi uses mica thermic technology to heat up a room. The sleek, stylish black heater can act as a freestanding heater (hoisted by four rolling legs) or can be easily mounted to the wall with the included mounting kit.
Multiple heat settings help to ensure users are warm during chilly days. It’s a lightweight, compact unit that’s easy to carry from room to room or mount onto the wall. Safety features include thermal cutoff protection, an internal tip-over switch, and an antifreeze function to prevent frozen pipes. It’s silent, with no fan to make a sound, and warms a room of up to 300 square feet.
This very quiet electric wall heater from De’Longhi uses convection panel heating, releasing up to 1,500 watts of power with a two-fan system. At only 3 inches in depth, this heater sits flush against the wall and blends in with different decors, from traditional to modern. Hardware is included, making installation a breeze.
This heater also has an adjustable thermostat, timer, multiple heat settings, and an LED display. The thermal cutoff prevents overheating, and the tip-over protection is good for those who choose to use this as a freestanding option. It’s designed to heat 300 square feet.
Those looking for a powerful heating option can go with the 2,000/4,000-watt high-capacity wall heater from Broan-NuTone. This heater is designed to be recessed into the wall and hardwired for maximum heating; it can also be attached to the wall and used at half-power through connection to a 120-volt outlet. This white traditional grate-style heater includes an adjustable, front-mounted thermostat control and an 18-gauge steel grille for gentle release of heat.
A high-efficiency blower wheel, permanently lubricated motor, thermal overload protection, UL listing, and heavy-duty sheathed element help ensure safety and solid operation for years. This can serve as the primary heating source for an area between 285 and 400 square feet.
With a variety of wattage options and the company’s original “Pic-A-Watt” element, this wall heater from KING allows tailoring to a room’s specific requirements, heating up a maximum of 400 square feet. At 13.5 by 7.5 inches and designed to recess into the wall with simple tools, the whisper-quiet “squirrel cage” blower is quiet enough for bedrooms.
To choose the wattage, simply unplug the appropriate wires during installation using the color-coded instructions. Use it with a built-in or wall-mounted thermostat. The Patented Smart Limit Protection will shut off the heat to avoid a thermal event and must be turned on manually to reset the heater.
Designed with metal and tempered glass, this black vent-free electric fireplace insert by PuraFlame can fit into many traditional fireplaces and recreate the look of a roaring fire without the worry about flame and ash. The fireplace offers 750 or 1,500 watts of heating power.
The remote allows for a quick-and-easy mood, including three flame effects and six unique crackling sounds for a more realistic experience. The LED technology provides vivid colors for the realistic log and grate. The fireplace can heat up to 400 square feet but is not designed to be a primary heat source.
FAQs About Your New Electric Wall Heater
Though you’ve already got plenty of information on electric wall heaters, you might still have questions about which one is the best for you. Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best electric wall heater.
Q. How large of an area can an electric wall heater handle?
A typical rule of thumb is that every 500 watts heats up to 100 square feet of space. Therefore, a 1,000-watt heater can handle up to 200 square feet while a 1,500-watt heater can heat up to 300 square feet. Keep in mind this is if the heater is the dedicated heat source. As a supplemental heater, it can cover more square footage.
Q. Are electric wall heaters noisy?
Some electric wall heaters have a fan that forces heated air into the room. This fan makes some noise. Other wall heaters use radiant heating, which is silent.
Q. Is it safe to use an electric wall heater?
As long as you follow all the safety instructions that come along with the manual, an electric wall heater can be just as safe as any other heater. In fact, it might be safer than a space heater, as there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning associated with electric heaters.
Q. Are electric wall heaters cheaper to use than gas heaters?
Though the electric wall heater might cost less for the initial purchase and installation, the cost of electricity is often higher than that of gas, meaning the electric option will cost more in monthly costs.