If a home lacks central air, the options for heating can be a bit limited. For decades, one of the more popular options has been the wall furnace – a miniaturized gas furnace installed directly into a wall. They are still for sale today, although they’re becoming increasingly rare. Is this still a good choice for home heating in 2021, or will you need to replace your wall heater?
What You Should Know About Wall Furnaces
Wall heaters work precisely like standard central furnaces, only smaller. Each is a unit that’s only a couple of feet across, installed directly into the wall of a room. It runs off natural gas, like a furnace, and requires a dedicated duct to take exhaust out of the house. However, if a home lacks central ductwork, this is still significantly cheaper than having ducts installed throughout the home.
Wall furnaces are most helpful in heating small rooms or tiny apartments. They do not have the heat output to heat more than a single enclosed area, so that they won’t work well with larger houses.
However, there are a few issues with wall furnaces that make them a questionable choice these days.
1 – They’re gas-powered
While natural gas is commonplace in homes, it remains a dangerous gas and can be deadly if a leak happens. This is bad enough in a kitchen or basement, but it’s particularly worrisome when talking about people’s bedrooms. Many homeowners aren’t going to feel secure knowing there’s a natural gas source just a few feet from where they sleep.
Carbon monoxide leaks are also possible. You need a carbon monoxide detector nearby if you’re using a wall furnace.
2 – They need a lot of space
Since wall heaters pump out radiant heat, they are extremely hot close-ups. That means you can’t have anything near them which could be affected by heat, especially anything flammable. It’s generally considered best to have at least three feet of clearance around a wall furnace.
3 – They require maintenance
Like water heaters, wall furnaces run off a pilot light which may blow out. They also need to be dusted and cleaned regularly; otherwise, debris buildup could become a fire hazard.
For Wall Heater Replacement, Choose Mt. Hood for Ductless Heating Systems
For a better alternative to wall furnaces, consider ductless heat pumps. These systems work on a room-by-room basis, like wall furnaces, but without the dangers of natural gas and open flames. For a better cost-efficient option in Clackamas home heating, call Mt. Hood Ductless!