Wall furnaces are some of the best options for supplemental home heating. For one, they’re usually powerful enough to heat a single room without additional help.
Although some are smaller, the majority pack at least 8,000 BTU, which is more than enough to warm a 400 square foot room comfortably. Others, meanwhile, generate up to 40,000 BTU.
What’s better, propane wall heaters come in a wide range of styles and options, meaning that everyone will always find a model that suits their needs perfectly. Whether it’s styling, heating method (convectional or radiant), physical size, or just the aesthetics, you can rest assured that you’ll find one that’s right for you.
This guide is designed to help you identify the best wall furnace for your needs. Let’s begin with a few reviews.
Best Wall Furnace Comparison Table
What’s a Wall Furnace?
A wall furnace is a space heater that’s installed directly on the wall. The units come in a variety of sizes and designs. But, mostly, they are small, compact units that fit seamlessly into the home’s décor. Indeed, some are designed to add a touch of class to the room.
Wall heaters are typically less expensive and even less powerful than central units. Most of them are designed to provide supplemental heating to a single room.
They are also much lighter and easier to install. Depending on your needs, you can install some permanently while others semi-permanently, thus easy to uninstall and install elsewhere without too much work.
How do Propane Wall Heaters Work?
Propane wall heaters burn propane fuel to generate heat. The heat is then pumped out of the heating unit and distributed (or blown) throughout the room.
It all starts with you (the user) lighting the pilot, although modern wall heaters now ignite automatically through piezoelectric ignition. For these auto-ignition heaters, the igniter will spark automatically when the gas is turned on.
The resulting heat then travels into a heat exchanger, which heats air and sends it out into your room. Some propane wall heaters rely on natural convection to disperse the heat throughout the room while others use blowers. A few propane heaters are designed to use either propane itself or natural gas.
Is a wall furnace the right choice for you?
Yes, if you need supplemental heating in your home. A wall furnace provides the additional heat required to raise the room’s warmth to the desired level. Wall heaters also help out the central heating system that can extend the central furnace’s life.
How much does it cost to install a wall furnace?
Installation costs depend on the type of heater you choose. Some wall heaters are very easy to install. You screw the brackets onto the wall and snap the heater into the brackets. These units can even be DIY installed. Meanwhile, others require venting through the wall that may require professional input, thus pushing installation costs up.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Propane Wall Furnaces
- Provide valuable supplemental heating
- Prevent overworking of the central heater
- You don’t need new ductwork done
- Can potentially add to interior décor
- Supplemental heating comes at an additional cost
- Most wall heaters are only good for about 3-7 years
Vented vs. Vent-Free Gas Wall Heaters
Although most propane heaters are very efficient, none is 100% efficient. Even the best ones are only about 99.9% efficient. As a result, all propane wall heaters produce a few exhaust gases, some of which aren’t very safe.
Vented wall heaters use dedicated vent pipes to direct the exhaust gases outside (thus the name vented) while vent-free heaters don’t have this venting mechanism. Vented propane wall heaters can be either direct-vent or B-vent.
Considerations When Shopping for a Propane Wall Heater
Everyone will have their priorities when shopping for a space heater. The following are a few critical factors to consider when buying a wall-mounted propane heater;
- Vented or Vent-Free?: We’ve already discussed the two. Which type do you feel best resonates with your needs? Remember that vented heaters are slightly safer than vent-free models, but vent-free models burn a lot more efficiently (usually at 99.99 efficiency or higher).
- Recessed or surface mounted?: Some propane wall heaters are mounted while others are recessed. Recessed means that a portion of the heater goes into the wall. Therefore, you’ll need to bore a hole into the wall on which the heater is to be installed. Mounted models, however, are installed without boring. They hang on the wall like a picture.
- Heating capacity (BTU): The heating capacity of a propane heater is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Ideally, you need about 40 BTUs for every square foot. However, you may need more or fewer BTUs depending on the quality of insulation in your room and the degree of chilliness in your location. A poorly insulated room in a very cold climate would, for instance, require more heating power.
- Mobility/portability: While wall heaters are “supposed” to install on the wall, several are designed to be fairly portable. Many propane wall heaters, for instance, can also install on the floor. Some also come with optional wheels that can be attached whenever you feel like using the unit from the floor. It’s another factor you may want to consider.
- Features and controls: This is where propane heaters vary the most. Some useful features to consider include a thermostat (built-in or installed separately), multiple heat settings, timer (inbuilt or installed independently), digital control panel, and remote control. Some heaters also come with wall control panels.
- Style features and extras: Don’t forget to choose a unit that satisfies you stylistically. Is it the right color? What’s the shape? Does it have lights for ambiance? These are all factors that will determine how well the unit fits into your room. Extras may include warranties and whether the required installation materials are included in the package.
5 Best Wall Furnace Reviews
1. Martin Direct Vent Propane Wall Furnace Heater
- WARM, ADJUSTABLE HEAT 20,000 Btu – Keep living or work spaces heated with a direct vent wall heater with room thermostat that lets you monitor your heat dispersion. BUILT-IN THERMOSTAT (Low - High Dial)
- EXCLUSIVE GLASS CERAMIC WINDOW – A true market exclusive accessory, available on 11,000 Btu and 20,000 Btu indoor propane gas units
- STYLISH & CLEAN ENERGY – A sleek fireplace design, our direct vent gas heater produces safe, clean energy that’s economical and aesthetically pleasing.
- QUICK & EASY INSTALLATION – Connect our heater to a gas fitter and it will heat your living space effectively with low maintenance required. (The wallʼs thickness cannot be less than 4-1/2” (11.5 cm) nor can it exceed 12-5/8” (32 cm).)
- CERTIFIED QUALITY – Heavy-duty grill made with die-cast aluminum and glass ceramic window for more safety, Product is certified for use in the USA and Canada.
A blue-flame heater that generates up to 20,000 BTU/Hour at peak performance, the Martin MDV20VP is an exceptional direct vent propane heater.
It’s stylish, sleek, and produces clean energy that’s both economical and aesthetically pleasing. A glass-ceramic window on the unit through which the blue flame is visible creates incredible ambiance.
The heater itself is made from heavy-duty die-cast aluminum for style and longevity. You don’t have to worry about rusting or replacing the grill.
Also, the housing remains cool to touch which is good for you and your walls. A built-in thermostat lets you monitor and control indoor temperatures. The unit has two heat settings – High and Low.
This heater easily slips into a gas fitter (no need to recess) and doesn’t require much maintenance thanks to the corrective maintenance. It weighs just 50 pounds.
- Delivers up to 20,000 BTU
- Made from heavy-duty aluminum
- Easily connects to a gas fitter
- Features an inbuilt thermostat
- Implements corrective maintenance
- A bit expensive (at over $1,000)
2. Rinnai EX22CT Direct Vent Wall Furnace
- Rinnai EX22CTWN Direct Vent Wall Furnace - Natural Gas
- Input Range 8,200 - 21,500 BTU/hr
- Capable of heating your whole home or complementing your existing heating system (Heating area varies by geographic region and location of install within the home)
- Control panel locking feature prevents unintended operation – especially by children.
- Programmable thermostat in celsius or fahrenheit that consistently detects temperature changes of less than 1 degree
The Rinnai EX22CT is arguably one of the best propane wall heaters around. Rated at 21,500 BTU, it’s a powerful heater that performs extremely well in medium-sized spaces. It works equally well as the primary heat source or a supplemental heater.
Some of the EX22CT’s top features include a blower fan that moves warm air at an incredible 162.7 CFM (the industry standard is around 80 CFM) and an inbuilt programmable thermostat for easy temperature control.
It doesn’t have a remote control but features an intuitive touch screen for easy settings and general control. The control panel has a locking feature to prevent unintended operations, especially by children.
The EX22Ct is made from durable stainless steel and comes with two timer settings. It is backed by a five-year warranty (for parts) and two-year (for labor).
- Delivers up to 21,500 BTU/hour
- Features a programmable, adjustable thermostat
- Touch screen control panel
- Control panel locking for safety
- 5-year warranty on parts
- It’s the most expensive product on this list
- No remote control
3. Ashley Hearth 11,000 BTU DV Propane Furnace
- 11,000 BTU heat input heats up to 375 sq. ft.
- Designed for use with liquid propane gas
- Sealed burn system is perfect for bedrooms and living spaces
- Matchless Piezo lighting for quick starts
- No complicated venting to purchase or install, complete kit is included (includes heat shield, vent pipe, air intake pipe, flashing, cap and connecting rod)
- Approved for use in mobile or modular homes
For people interested in zoned heating, which is another cost-effective way to heat your home, the DVAG11L from Ashley Hearth would be an amazing acquisition.
The space-saving direct vent design means you’re completely safe from hazardous gases. The heater mounts to any exterior wall, with the vent assembly adjusting to fit walls up to 10 inches thick. Never install it on walls thinner than 4 ½ inches.
The direct vent operation means that your windows can remain closed during operation without creating the risk of CO poisoning.
This particular model is designed for spaces up to 250 square feet and comes with all the equipment necessary for installation, including a heat shield, vent pipe, air intake pipe, cap, flashing, and connecting rod.
The unit uses liquid propane only and burns silently. A safety pilot with a built-in pressure regulator completely stops the gas in case the pilot is extinguished.
- Excellent for zoned heating
- Durable 403 stainless steel burner
- Matchless piezoelectric ignition
- Complete installation kit included
- Sealed, safe burn system
- Only ideal for up to 250 square feet
4. Fahrenheat FSSWH2004 Digital Programmable LED Touchscreen Wall Heater
- Provides reliable heat for any room or entryway, even larger and odd shaped ones; perfect for dens, basements and attics, workshops, garages, offices and bathrooms
- Automatically adjusts heat output and fan speed to help reduce energy costs and provide powerful, quiet climate control
- Prolongs the life of the heating element by keeping the fan off until the element is at the proper temperature
- Built-in thermostat features a 5/2 day program so you can set different temperatures for weekday and weekend use
- LED touch screen provides easy access to settings and features, while the included remote control allows you to set temperatures from across the room
If you’re looking for a modern-looking heater with all the advanced home heating features, don’t look further than the FSSWH2004. This SmartSeries heater from Fahrenheat provides a convenient way to heat your bedroom, living rooms, basement, or any other space with the touch of a button.
An LED touch screen is the first thing you’ll notice. The touch screen contains all the controls you need to take command of heating in your rooms.
Whether it’s setting programmable heating or adjusting the thermostat, this is where all the magic happens. Better still, you can have different settings for weekdays and weekends. The remote control is included in case you don’t feel like getting off the sofa.
The FSSWH2004 automatically adjusts the heat output and fan speed to minimize energy costs. It is mounted before wiring, making it easy to handle field connections. The unit is UL listed and CSA certified for safety.
- Sleek, contemporary design
- LED touch screen control
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Remote controlled (remote included)
- UL/CSA certified
- Inexpensive (at just over $200)
- Completely reprograms whenever there’s a power failure
5. Williams 60,000 BTU/Hr Forsaire Counterflow Top-Vent Wall Furnace Propane Gas
- VERSATILE FAN: Ventilation fan helps eliminate humidity, tobacco smoke, and cooking odors. Install the compact fan between ceiling joists or wall studs - wherever it's needed most!
- EFFICIENT: Fan circulates air past replaceable activated charcoal filter to continually cycle the air in enclosed spaces
- EASY INSTALLATION: Includes fast snap-in metal housing for a quick and simple installation
- DECORATIVE: White polymeric grilles are the perfect addition to your existing decor
- FEATURES: Plug-in, removable motor with the polymeric impeller wheel for high-quality operation every time
As you’ll find out, some propane wall heaters are dual-fuel units that can burn either liquid propane or natural gas. The Williams Forsaire Counterflow heater is one such unit. Though designed as a propane heater, it can also be used with natural gas through fuel conversion.
This particular model stands out for two main reasons. First, it’s the most powerful heater on this list, rated at 60,000 BTU. This makes it ideal for large spaces, up to 1,400 square feet.
Secondly, the heater implements a unique counter-flow blowing system that ensures equalized temperature regulation at the floor and ceiling levels. This, once and for all, eliminates the common problem where warm air rises to the ceiling leaving your feet cold.
Other features of the Williams Forsaire heater include standing pilot ignition, a 24-volt wall-mounted thermostat, and automatic shutoff. The unit is CSA and ANSI certified.
- Delivers up to 60,000 BTU/hour
- Ideal for spaces up to 1,400 square feet
- Gas conversion allowed
- Automatic shutoff for safety
- Even warmth distribution
- CSA and ANSI certified
- Fuel conversion kit purchased separately
- Requires professional installation
- A bit expensive (at over $1,500)
A wall-mounted propane heater can be of great importance where supplemental heating is needed in the home. These units are moderately priced but pump lots of heat. They are also fairly easy to use and maintain. The most important thing is to get the right one for your home. Remember to read the user manual and use the heater safely.