Wall heaters are relatively small, wall-mounted electric resistance heating units.
Typically, wall heaters heat small areas called zones.
Thermostats on wall heaters can either be mounted on a wall or directly built into
the unit. Some wall heaters are equipped with fans that come in a variety of sizes
and sound levels.
Heat is generated by running electricity through high resistance wires called heating
elements. The heating elements generate heat and distribute the heat via natural
convection or by using a fan. The heater is controlled by a thermostat which turns
the unit on or off according to the set temperature.
Wall heaters are both safe and easy to use. You control the unit by setting the
thermostat at your desired temperature. In the winter, EWEB recommends a temperature
of 68 degree when you are home. You can save energy by setting back the thermostat
5-10 degrees at night when you go to bed.
Each wall heater usually has its own thermostat, which allows you to heat different
rooms to your desired temperature. Bedrooms and rooms where you are active are usually
kept cooler than rooms where you sit and talk or watch TV.
It is advisable not to keep a room below 60 degrees during the winter or a mildew
problem may develop. Keep furniture, curtains and other materials away from wall
heaters to ensure free air circulation and prevent the possibility of a fire. Placing
large pieces of furniture in front of the heater prevents the free circulation of
air and the unit will not operate at its maximum efficiency.
In order to keep a wall heater as efficient as possible, you need to clean the housing
unit and periodically vacuum the heater grill to remove dirt and dust. This allows
heat to freely escape the heater and move throughout the room by natural convection.
Establishing a "set point"on the heater's thermostat can provide a more
consistent room temperature and help you save money. Centrally place a thermometer
in the room. Decide upon the lowest temperature setting you are comfortable with
and then adjust the thermostat only high enough to maintain this temperature. Marking
this temperature setting on the thermostat makes it easy to reset the heater during
use. Remember, the lower the room temperature, the lower your energy costs. Thermostats
may fail after a number of years and will need to be replaced.
The heater should be sized to fit the zone it is required to heat. Wall heaters
come with a variety of heating capacities. Common sizes include 1000 watt, 1500
watt, and 2000 watt. The higher the wattage on your heater, the more it will cost
to run for a specified amount of time.
Programmable thermostats are available that can be set to automatically turn your
heating system off after you go to bed and back on in the morning.
Some wall heaters come equipped with fans. Different fans move different amounts
of air and make varying levels of sound. You may want to check the noise level of
the fan before you buy. Fan capacity is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm)
and noise level is measured in sones.
To determine the cost of operating a wall heater, multiply its wattage by hours of operation, and divide by 1,000.
This will provide energy consumption in kilowatt hours which can be multiplied by your current electric rate. A
typical wall heater will generally use 1,500 watts. This 1,500 watt heater running for 5 hours a day during a 30-day
month will cost $22.50 at a rate of $0.10 per kilowatt hour. Check your local rates to determine actual cost per kilowatt hour.
If your heater fails to work, check the thermostat to make sure the system is on.
If the heater still fails to come on, check the breaker box to see if the breaker
has tripped. If the breaker has tripped you will need to reset it. If the system
is all right in both these cases you will need to call a repair service.