Top 6 Electric Wall Heater Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

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Electric Wall Heater Reviews

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Heat-Storm-HS-1500-PHX-WIFI

Heat Storm Phoenix

  • Voltage: 120v
  • Wattage: 1500/500
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: Yes
  • Hardwired: No
  • Warranty: 1 year
Stiebel-Eltron-230345

Sitebel Eltron CKT 15E

  • Voltage: 120v
  • Wattage: 1500
  • Thermostat: Adjustable
  • Timer: No
  • Hardwired: Yes
  • Warranty: 3 years
Cadet-CEC163TW

Cadet CEC163TW

  • Voltage: 120/240v
  • Wattage: 1600
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: No
  • Hardwired: Yes
  • Warranty: 5 years
Broan-NuTone-198

Broan-NuTone 198

  • Voltage: 120/240v
  • Wattage: 4000/2000
  • Thermostat: Adjustable
  • Timer: No
  • Hardwired: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
DeLonghi-HMP1500

DeLonghi HMP1500

  • Voltage: 120v
  • Wattage: 1500/750
  • Thermostat: Adjustable
  • Timer: No
  • Hardwired: No
  • Warranty: 1 year
Ontel-Handy-Heater

Ontel Handy Heater

  • Voltage: 120v
  • Wattage: 350
  • Thermostat: Digital
  • Timer: Yes
  • Hardwired: Plug-in
  • Warranty: NA

#1 Heat Storm Phoenix Deluxe Wall Mounted Electric Heater

The Best All-Around Electric Wall Heater

Heat-Storm-HS-1500-PHX-WIFI

The Heat Storm brand is the infrared product line from EnergyWise. There’s also a heater company that you’ll have no trouble finding locally or online. The best electric wall heater from the Heat Storm also happens to be the smartest heater on our list.

The Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-WIFI is a wall-mounted electric heater that uses infrared technology to heat rooms up to 400 square feet. The two-tone design will look good in any room, and the grill stays cool to the touch. That’s ideal if you have children in your home, and homeowners appreciate the child lock feature as well.

You’ll only need a standard 120-volt outlet to use this heater, and the cord can be tucked away inside the unit when installed over a plug. It has two heat settings at 1,500 or 500 watts with a digital thermostat and touch-based controls on the display. As a bonus, this heater can be calibrated to work alongside your HVAC system.

The other draw of the Heat Storm Phoenix is Wi-Fi connectivity. When connected to your home network, you can set timers and control the temperature through the Smart Life mobile app. If you want to leave your phone in your pocket, you can also control the heater with your voice through Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

There’s really no drawback to this smart little system if you need an energy efficient wall heater that’s suitable for any room, including the garage. Homeowners found the system incredibly easy to use, and there are a few variants that include removable feet as well. The Phoenix is backed by a 1-year warranty from Heat Storm.

Pros

  • Smart heater with a design that’s easy on the eyes
  • Digital thermostat, timer, and voice control through Wi-Fi
  • A great range of features for the price

Cons

  • Nothing significant

#2 Stiebel Eltron CKT 15E Wall Mounted Electric Fan Heater

A Stylish Wall Heater from Stiebel Eltron

Stiebel-Eltron-230345

Surface mount in wall heaters have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years, even if they’ve been a staple in Europe for quite some time. While there are a variety of options to choose from, one of our favorites is the Stiebel Eltron CKT 15E.

The CKT 15E is a downdraft heater that pulls in cool air from the top and ejects warm air from the bottom. It’s rated at 1,500 watts like most residential units and is listed at 120 volts, although it needs to be hardwired. The low-profile design of this heater speaks for itself, as does the build quality, and it’s quiet at only 49dBA.

While you won’t find digital controls or an LED display on this heater, the two side-mounted dials are a breeze to use. One allows you to adjust the temperature range, while the other acts as a “boost timer.” This unique feature allows you to heat up an area quickly for a maximum of 60 minutes, after which time the unit will idle down to your preferred thermostat setting.

This European engineered heater won’t take up much space on a wall and has more features than similar systems of this nature.  The Boost Timer is a nice feature to have on colder days, and it’s hard to argue with the price, even if it needs to be hardwired. The Stiebel Eltron CK Trend is a variant with similar specifications and a lower price, but it lacks Boost Mode and has a different design.

Pros

  •  Efficient in wall heater with a streamlined design and adjustable thermostat
  • Frost protection
  • 60-minute Boost Timer
  • A solid 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a cord
  • Needs to be hardwired

#3 Cadet Energy Plus Wall Heater CEC163TW

The Best Low-Profile Electric Wall Heater 

Stiebel-Eltron-230345

Some of the companies on our list make a range of products, including fans, AC units, or air purifiers. Well, Cadet only produces systems that can warm up your home, and they have a range of electric wall heaters like the fan-favorite CEC163TW.

When you want to keep the space a wall heater takes up to a minimum, a flush mount unit or in wall heater is the best way to go. The rough-in size of this heater is only 10”H x 8”W, so it leaves a small footprint behind. It’s also very easy to install and designed with a smart sensor that automatically adjusts the voltage from 120, 208, or 240 volts to match your power supply.

This heater has doesn’t have a wealth of settings, but you can set the temperature through a digital thermostat on the front. There is a fan-only mode for the warmer months to go along with Night Mode. Despite the name, this mode doesn’t adjust the speed or dim the display but allows you to set a temperature you can access with the touch of a button.

While one of the simpler systems on our list, this electric wall heater with thermostat has a reasonable price tag and plenty of power at 1600 watts. The Cadet CEC163TW has everything you need to get started out of the box with the heat box, thermostat, grill, and wall can. It’s also listed as Made in the USA and comes with a 5-year guarantee.

Pros

  • Easy to use and well-built with a 5-year warranty
  • Large digital thermostat and a smart sensor that helps make installation a breeze

Cons

  • Can be a bit slow to heat up a room compared to similar systems

#4 Broan-NuTone 198 Wall Heater

The Best High-Capacity Electric Wall Heater

Broan-NuTone-198

Broan may not be a name familiar to the average consumers, but they’ve been producing ventilation products for over 80 years. They make a range of electric wall heaters under their NuTone brand, and while there are several excellent options to choose from, the 198 is ideal for a number of situations.

In-wall heaters can be used in a variety of locations, as long as you have enough depth to mount the wall can. The Broan-NuTone 198 may seem a little bland from a design standpoint, but it’s built with heavy-duty 18-gauge steel. That means it’s suitable for use in a residential setting or in other buildings on your property like a garage or workshop.

There aren’t many features to speak of on the 198, although it has a dial-based thermostat located beneath the louvers. There is a security cover for that knob as well, which ensures the temperature stays where you set it. This heater is rated at 4,000 watts at 240 volts or 2,000 watts at 120 volts and has a permanently lubricated motor as well.

The Broan-NuTone 198 has a classic wall mounted electric heater design that’s in-line with units from King, Cadet, and other top manufacturers. With that in mind, it’s the best choice for areas that need a heavy-duty wall heater for areas up to 400 square feet. If you want a bit more control over this unit, it’s compatible with the 86w line voltage wall thermostat as well.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty wall mounted heater with an 18-gauge steel grill
  • Easy to use and install with a rating for light-duty commercial usage

Cons

  • Only has a 1-year warranty

#5 DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Thermic Panel Heater

The Best Panel Heater for Walls

DeLonghi-HMP1500

DeLonghi is a European brand that’s well-known overseas but recognized more for their appliances than heaters here in the U.S. In our DeLonghi heater review, we touched on their space heaters, including the ultra-thin DeLonghi MHP1500.

This heater is considered a dual-mount system as it can be used directly on the floor with feet or mounted on the wall. In either position, it won’t take up much space considering it measures 21”H x 27”W x 0.94”D. The DeLonghi MHP1500 is the thinnest heater on our list and one of the simpler systems to use as well.

As a fanless flat panel radiant heater, the MHP1500 is extremely quiet on low or high. It’s rated at 1500 watts at maximum power with a heating range of around 300 square feet. Other features to note on this heater include an anti-freeze setting, an adjustable thermostat, and a tip-over alarm in case you decide to use it in floor mode.

When you’re looking for a system that can heat up any room in your home without drying out the air or taking up much space, the DeLonghi MHP1500 is well worth a look. It may not be the most stylish heater on our list, but it will not let you down when the cold weather arrives in your area. This heater comes with an installation kit and is backed by a 1-year guarantee from DeLonghi.

Pros

  • Slim wall heater that’s easy to use and maintain
  •  It has an adjustable thermostat and can provide heat quickly and quietly

Cons

  • The design isn’t going to be for everyone

#6 Ontel Handy Heater

A Budget-Friendly Personal Wall Heater

Ontel-Handy-Heater

Unlike natural gas heaters, electric wall heaters can come in a wide variety of sizes, from units well over 30” in length to systems that are a bit more compact. The Ontel Handy Heater falls into the latter category, and while it’s not built for large areas, it’s an interesting alternative to a traditional wall heater.

Measuring around 7.5” high and around 4.5” deep, the Ontel Handy Heater is the smallest electric wall heater on our list. Despite its diminutive nature, it can still put out enough heat to warm up areas up to 250 square feet in size. While that’s impressive, the company also managed to squeeze a small digital display onto this model as well.

There are only a handful of buttons on Handy Heater, which make it simple to use. The main controls are located on the top around the display, while a toggle switch for the power is on the side. Placement can be a little tricky depending on the outlets in your home, although the plug on the back of the heater rotates 180 degrees.

This is a product we definitely have some experience with. If you read our Handy Heater review, you already know it lives up to the hype, even if it’s not built for long term use. It’s certainly not a heater you’ll want to have around kids or pets for a number of reasons, but it gets the job done in smaller rooms, workshops, and RVs.

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap, but highly effective heater for small spaces
  • Portable design with a 12-hour timer and two speeds

Cons

  • Grill gets extremely hot. Not suitable for use around children or pets

How to find the Best Electric Wall Heater

Electric wall heaters outnumber their gas-powered counterparts by a wide margin, and you can find budget-friendly systems alongside heaters that will set you back hundreds of dollars. In other words, finding the best electric wall heater can be a chore and something you won’t want to deal with when the temperature drops. In this guide, we’re going to cover some tips that can help you find the perfect energy efficient wall heater for your home.

How an Electric Wall Heater Works

The term electric wall heater can be somewhat misleading to consumers unless they are knowledgeable in the HVAC world. While some homeowners believe it means a heater that simply plugs into a wall, it actually describes any type of heater that is mounted on the wall and powered by electricity. Some manufacturers also classify these systems as panel heaters or ceramic wall heater, making matters all the more confusing.

Simply put, as current passes through the heating element inside an electric wall heater, it transforms energy into heat. Any type of electric wall heater will have a heating element inside, but it can be a fan-forced system, use infrared technology or radiant heat. That will have an impact on how heat is dispersed throughout a room. Wall heaters can be hardwired or plugged into an outlet as well, although flush mount models may require a professional installation.   

Where will you use the heater?

Before we talk about voltage, panel heaters, or installing a wall heater in your home, it’s important to think about where you’ll use the heater. As many of these systems aren’t portable, placement is critical, and so is the overall design.

While you may not want a sleek electric heater with plastic housing in the garage, a heater with a modern design can blend in with any room in your home. Alternatively, there are industrial style heaters made for areas like workshops and simple systems for rooms that need heat but don’t see much foot traffic.

This is also where you’ll want to think about power, but not the heater’s BTU rating. Wall heaters are built to work with both 120-volt and 240-volt outlets, something every home in America should have. You shouldn’t have an issue finding a place to plug in a 120-volt system but may require a professional for a hardwired unit or in wall heater.

Pros and Cons of Electric Wall Heaters

Electric wall heaters are the simplest type of wall heater, and there are more advantages than disadvantages to purchasing one of these systems. We’re going to briefly discuss the perks of an electric wall heater and also highlight a few negatives you should be aware of.

Electric Wall Heater Pros 

One of the biggest reasons to purchase an electric wall heater is the fact they take up a minimal amount of space. You don’t have to worry about tripping over power cords, and there are dozens of flush-mount heaters that look like an ordinary air register in your home. Their compact nature is a bonus, and so is the fact you can find digital systems alongside basic models.

There is a lot of variety with electric wall heaters, and they are cheaper to purchase than similarly sized systems that use natural gas or propane. While the type of heating element used will impact the price, they are cheaper to purchase upfront and can last a decade or more if well-built and properly maintained.

Safety is another reason many homeowners turn to wall heaters instead of tower heaters or models that use natural gas. There’s no cause for concern with a heater tipping over when it’s mounted to the wall. You’ll also never need to worry about leaks in a gas line or combustion from natural gas or propane.

Electric Wall Heater Cons

The biggest issue most homeowners have with an electric wall heater is its range. Unless you buy a high-powered industrial model, most residential units are rated between 200 to 400 square feet. While great for zone heating, they aren’t ideal for larger rooms and can be expensive to run for long periods of time.

Unless you purchase a plug-in electric wall heater, installation can be a potential problem as well. Some systems are installed in the wall with a flush mount or recessed. Others may need to be hardwired, which raises the initial cost if you have to hire an electrician or general contractor.

Types of Electric Wall Heaters

An electric wall heater may come in many forms, but most heat the air using one of the three methods we’ve listed below.

Fan-Forced – Any wall heater that has a fan inside can technically be classified as a fan-forced system. These heaters use the fan to push air throughout a room and typically have two to three speeds to go along with a fan-only mode for the warmer months.

Radiant – A radiant wall heater doesn’t have the warming range of a fan-forced heater, but they are perfect for warming areas and objects in a room. As these heaters use a form of direct heating, they can heat up an area more quickly than other electric systems.

Convection – When you need sustained heat, a convection heater is an excellent choice. These systems radiate heat like a radiant heater but heat the air in a room instead of the objects in it. They work more slowly, and many modern systems have a fan to help circulate the heated air in a room.

The Cost to Run an Electric Wall Heater

Calculating the cost to run a heater is simple, but you also need to consider how much time you’ll spend in the area where the heater is. Is a room that needs continual heat or just warmed up when someone in your home is in the area?

There are three main factors that go into the cost to run an electric heater. How often you use it, how much electricity is in your area, and the type of heater it is. A system with an efficient heating element can keep the running costs low, but not if it runs for long periods of time.

To figure out how much a wall mounted electric heater will cost to run, you need to know how much the power company in your area charges per kilowatt-hour. You then need to multiply the wattage of the heater you are interested in by how many hours a day you think it may be used. Divide that figure by 1000 and then multiply that total by the kilowatt per hour rate to find the running cost.

While anyone can do this with a calculator and their utility bill, you have to take the square footage of a room into account as well.

How big of an electric wall heater do I need?

Electric wall heaters are generally rated at around 1500 watts, although that doesn’t do you much good when you’re trying to figure out how large of a heater you need for a room. This is where you’ll want to know the square footage of the area you need to heat. To do this, simply multiply the length and width of one side of the room.

Most manufacturers will give a square footage rating for their heater, even if it’s not found on their official site. It’s an important number to keep in mind, but one that can be affected by various other factors, including open doors and drafty windows.

Electric Wall Heater Features

There aren’t quite as many features with electric wall heaters as you’ll find on other types of heaters, although it largely depends on the style. A wall-mounted electric heater with thermostat isn’t hard to find, even if most are dial-based. Many have the ability to work with an external thermostat as well, and a few can even sync up to your smartphone.

With settings, there are only a handful of heaters with special modes or a medium heat setting – most simply offer high and low. Overheat protection or thermal shutoff is a standard feature, and many fan-forced heaters have a fan-only mode, which comes in handy in the warmer months. Timers are somewhat rare but available on several premium wall heaters.

Warranties

In our experience, most heater manufacturers provide a warranty from 1-3 years on electric wall heaters. Some companies go beyond that mark with 5-year guarantees, but those are often tied to a brand or a specific collection. While it can be disappointing to pay several hundred dollars for a system with a short warranty, things are much better when it comes to replacement parts.

While this can also depend on the brand, we were able to find a variety of replacement parts for electric wall heaters. That includes parts that could become lost or cracked over time, like a dial along with internal components and grills. You’ll find more replacement parts with industrial-style heaters, and we recommend looking into extended warranty plans as well.

Electric Wall Heater Installation

You will want to consider the installation of any wall heater beforehand, even if it’s a small electric plug-in heater. If you plan on running an electric heater that uses a standard 120-volt plug, you’ll have several of those in any room of your home. For corded heaters, think about the cord length and placement along with the clearance required between the floor and base of the system.

If you purchase a portable plug-in heater, the back of the heater can cause issues with certain outlets in your home, but it all comes down to placement. With either of these systems, the cost of the electric heater ends when you take it home as they don’t require a professional installation. Homeowners considering an in-wall electric heater could be looking at a significant additional cost.

Assuming you don’t already have a hole in the wall from a previous in wall heater, you’re going to need some tools you may not have around your home. That includes wire strippers, a voltage meter, and a stud finder along with something to remove a small section of the wall. With new construction or in an unfinished room, you can mount to the studs; otherwise, you’ll need to remove drywall to install the wall can.

If you plan on buying an electric wall heater that needs to be hardwired, you are usually better off paying for a professional installation. While roughing in a heater and removing a little sheetrock is relatively simple, wiring a heater in is a completely different matter.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you don’t need to have a degree to find the best electric wall heater if you follow some simple tips. Whether you prefer something small and portable you can plug-in or a more permanent solution for your home, there is a heater and price range for everyone. If propane is a better choice for your home, be sure to check out our list of the top propane wall heaters.

Electric Wall Heater FAQ

Q: What’s the best type of electric wall heater for people with allergies?

A: A radiant system. If you have allergies, any heater with a fan can circulate dust around a room along with the warm air.

Q: How large of an area can an electric wall heater handle?

A: While manufacturers have engineered their systems for maximum efficiency, even the best electric wall heater can usually only handle areas around 400-500 square feet.

Q: Are electric wall heaters noisy?

A: It all depends on the type of heater and how well its made. Fan-based heaters will always be a bit louder, although none should be loud enough to keep you awake.

Q: Is it safe to use an electric wall heater?

A: Yes, although it’s not a good idea to leave any plug-in models unattended. Systems with thermostats are a bit safer, but children and pets are typically the biggest concern with any type of wall heater that doesn’t stay cool to the touch.

Q: Are electric wall heaters cheaper to use than gas heaters?

A: It depends on how often you use your heater and the price of gas or propane in your area. Natural gas prices tend to go up in the winter but are typically to operate in many parts of the United States.

Q: Is it safe to use an extension cord with a 120-volt electric wall heater that plugs into the wall?

A: While you can consult your user manual, most manufacturers do not recommend using any heater with an extension cord or power strip.

Q: Are electric wall heaters easy to repair?

A: For the average homeowner, no. Repairing anything that uses electricity can be dangerous, although industrial wall heaters and simple systems are easier to work on than digital heaters.

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