Are Wall Heaters Safe? How Do They Work?

Wall heaters constitute a convenient and effective way of providing secondary heat in your home. However, there are many concerns about their level of safety. You may have read stories of accidents caused by wall heaters in homes and other premises.

In this article, we will examine the safety level of wall heaters. We will address common safety concerns of wall heaters. We will also answer all the common questions related to whether you can safely use wall heaters to provide secondary heating in your home or office without worrying about the risk of accidents. 

Are Wall Heaters Safe?

Many manufacturers say that you can leave your wall-mounted heater on an entire night. Therefore, you do not face any severe form of danger if you leave your well-functioning wall heater on for the entire night.

However, you may end up paying a lot for electricity bills if you make it a habit to leave your wall heater on an entire night. Therefore, it is advisable to leave either the oil or infrared wall heater on for the entire night.

These types of heaters are safe enough for you to leave them running the entire night to provide additional heat in your premises. The only danger that you should watch out for when you decide to leave your wall heater on is the risk of fire.

This is because the surfaces of wall heaters can reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature level is high enough to trigger a fire accident if the conditions are right. 

How does a Wall Heater Work?

Wall heaters work by converting electric or energy into heat energy. Some wall heaters run on gas to provide the heat. These devices provide supplemental heating in small indoor spaces, including living rooms, offices, and bedrooms.

They are usually installed within the wall and connected to the existing electric lines. This means that you do not have to plug in your wall heater, as is the case for space heaters.

The wall heaters have thermostats for regulating when they start to warm the room. When the temperature falls below the indicated level, the wall heater automatically switches on.

It will continue to warm the air in the room and maintain the temperature within the indicated range. When the air in the room becomes too hot according to the thermostat settings, the heater automatically switches off. 

Are Wall Heaters Safe? 

Wall heaters, just like space heaters, provide an excellent source of supplemental heating for small indoor spaces. However, many people repeatedly raise concerns about the safety of wall heaters.

You can assess the safety risks and features of wall heaters by comparing them with the most effective alternative, which is space heaters. 

Here are some of the most common safety risks associated with running a wall heater on your premises. 

  • Electrical faults. If there is a problem with the wiring system in your home, this may expose you to fires from the wall heater. Problems may be in the form of exposed wires, blown fuses, or many others. Such problems can cause sparks when you switch your wall heater on. The sparks may grow into a fire. 
  • Combustible materials. If you leave combustible materials near your wall heater, you will be running a high risk of fire. This is because the heat from the heater can build up and ignite combustible materials. Some of the most common combustible materials that should never be left very near a wall heater include fabrics, paper, and chemicals such as paints. 
  • Furniture. The way you place your furniture relative to the wall heater determines the level of risk that you run when using the heater. If the furniture is very close to the heater, it will cause a buildup of heat over time. The buildup of heat occurs because the furniture blocks heated air around the area near the heater. If this goes on for a long time, it may cause a fire. The fire may occur directly from the heated furniture if it comes into contact with a spark. 

Wall heaters are generally safer than space heaters if you consider the risk of getting tipped over. Space heaters also come with long cables that may present a safety risk if one trips on them.

However, you can use your wall heater safely despite the risks associated with running these devices.

Here are a few tips to help you maximize your safety when using a wall heater on your premises. 

  • Keep combustible materials away from the heater. Matches, fabrics, and other materials that can easily catch fire should be as far away from your wall heater as possible. This will minimize the risk of fires in your home. 
  • Maintain your wall heater. Wall heaters require standard maintenance procedures. Ensure that you adhere to the instructions of the manufacturer to keep your wall heater in excellent shape. 
  • Keep the wiring safe. Regularly check your wiring to ensure that there are no wires that are exposed. For example, exposed wires can quickly short-circuit and cause a fire if you switch on your wall heater. 
  • Purchase heaters that are certified for safety. Check your wall heater for industry safety certifications. Such heaters have the right features that maximize your safety when they are in use. 

Are Gas Wall Heaters Safe? 

Gas wall heaters are generally safe, just as electric wall heaters. However, gas wall heaters come with the added risk of causing carbon monoxide poisoning because they produce heat by converting chemical energy stored in gas fuel into heat energy.

Because the gas wall heaters burn the gas fuel to produce heat, they also produce a small amount of carbon monoxide. This means that gas wall heaters can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if they are not used properly.

Furthermore, gas wall heaters present similar risks to electric wall heaters. Some of the most common ones include the risk of fire if they contact highly combustible materials. Thus, you can enhance the safety level of your gas wall heater by observing the tips to use an electric wall heater safely. 

Are Old Wall Heaters Safe?

Old wall heaters are generally safe; however, there are several risk factors that you should watch out for when using an old wall heater. First, if it is an old electric wall heater, you should be wary of damaged components inside the heater.

Such damaged components may pose a high risk of fire if they are not repaired properly. Therefore, remember to check the heater regularly to ensure that it does not develop a severe fault. 

Old gas wall heaters may pose the risk of emitting high amounts of unwanted substances. Gas wall heaters have set emission standards.

This is because the heaters use air from the room to burn natural gas and then release the products of the combustion process back into the air in the premises. Thus, an old gas wall heater may emit high amounts of unwanted substances back into the air in the room. 

Is it Safe to Leave a Wall Heater on All Night?

It is generally safe to leave your wall heater on for the whole night; however, you may consider a few important things before deciding to do this.

Wall heaters are supposed to provide additional heat on your premises. They are best used when everyone is awake and moving about the house. Therefore, it may not be necessary to leave them on for the whole night. Once they have provided sufficient heat, they should be switched off. 

Wall heaters may develop a fault at night if they are left running. If this happens, one will be in danger of a fire. This is because they will not detect and respond to the fault if they are deep asleep. Therefore, it is wiser to switch off your wall heater for safety reasons before going to bed. 

Wall heaters use either electricity or natural gas to produce heat. If you leave them on for the whole night, you will end up paying a lot of money in terms of electricity bills or the purchase price for natural gas. 

Can Wall Heaters Catch Fire?

Fire hazard is the main risk of using a wall heater. A wall heater can catch fire if it develops a fault in any of its components. The fault may be in the form of burnt-out fuses or failure of any of the internal components. When this happens, and the heater is working, it may trigger a fire. 

Also, a wall heater may catch fire if there is a problem with the electrical wiring system. For example, problems in the wiring system may occur if one of the wires is exposed. The resulting short-circuiting will trigger the wall heater to catch fire. 

Are Electric Wall Heaters Expensive to Run?

Electric wall heaters are expensive to run if you factor in the cost of electricity at any given time. The cost of electricity is in the form of the rates per kilowatt-hour.

The higher the rate per kilowatt-hour, the higher the overall cost of running an electric wall heater. The lower the energy cost, the more manageable the cost of running an electric wall heater.

Furthermore, running an electric wall heater may be pretty expensive if you leave it on for a long time. Some people like to leave the electric heater running for the entire night. If you do this, you should be prepared for the high costs of electric power. 

How can I ensure that the wall heater is safe? 

Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that your wall heater is safe. 

  • Choose wall heaters with all safety features. The best wall heaters are those that have the best safety features. Installing such wall heaters reduces the risks of fires. 
  • Regularly maintain your wall heater. Ensure that you strictly follow the maintenance recommendations of the manufacturer of your wall heater. This will enhance the safety of your wall heater. 
  • Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from your heater. All combustible materials should be allowed very near your wall heater. This prevents the risk of the materials catching fire. 

Safety Features of Wall Heaters 

Wall heaters have many safety features depending on their type and design. Gas wall heaters have the pilot light feature. This feature regulates the amount of fuel that is burned in the heater to provide heat.

Excessive supply of fuel into the combustion chamber of a wall heater increases the risk of fires. Electric wall heaters have inbuilt cutouts.

The cutouts automatically switch off the heater when there is an internal fault. This safety feature minimizes the risk of the heater catching fire if it develops a severe fault in any of its internal components. 

Are Wall-Mounted Heaters Safer than Portable Heaters? 

Wall-mounted heaters are safer than portable heaters. This is because portable heaters come with long cables and extensions. The long cables pose the additional danger of causing the heaters to fall if one trips on the cables. Also, portable heaters can easily fall when knocked.

If a portable heater falls, it may cause fires when it gets into contact with combustible materials. However, modern space heaters come with additional features that automatically switch them off if they get knocked over. 

Wall heaters do not have this risk because they are embedded on the wall of the premises. This means that you do not have to think about the risk of these heaters falling when they get knocked.

Nevertheless, one loses the benefit of carrying the heater from one place to another when choosing wall-mounted heaters. 

How Effective are Wall Heater Covers? 

Wall heater covers are effective in two ways. First, they protect the heater from tiny pests and other contaminants that may interfere with the way your wall-mounted heater functions.

Specks of dust may accumulate on the surface of your heater and settle into the internal parts. This may interfere with the way your heater functions. Thus, a good heater cover can keep the dust and tiny pests away from your heater. 

Although the surface of your wall-mounted heater does not become exceptionally hot, over time, it may cause minor burns if someone accidentally touches it.

It is advisable to keep your wall-mounted heater covered to prevent passive burns from taking place when someone accidentally touches the surface of the heating device. 


Wall heaters provide a safe and effective means of generating additional heat in indoor spaces. Once they are correctly mounted on the wall and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions, these devices will help maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

You only need to watch out for some of the most common hazards of using wall-mounted heaters. The most common one is the risk of a fire outbreak. You can minimize this risk by ensuring that your wall-mounted heater is far from combustible materials, including fabric, papers, and furniture.

Also, go for wall heaters that have the best safety features and certifications to enhance the overall safety of your home when running these devices.