How To Turn On A Wall Heater? Step-By-Step Guide

Today, wall heaters are a very popular thing, and more and more households are using them. But the thing that sometimes can be a problem when it comes to wall heaters is how to turn them on. When it comes to electrical heaters, they do not need any instructions on how to turn them on, but for gas heaters, there are some steps that you need to follow. In this article, we’ll talk about wall heaters and how to safely turn them on. So, let’s start.

Step-by-Step How To Turn On Wall Heaters

Step 1: Locate the Pilot Light

While most wall heaters have a pilot light installed in a visible place that is usually located just behind the heater vent, some models have them placed inside the box. In that case, you’ll need to open the cover of a wall heater and follow the gas connection that is coming from the main gas supply to get to the pilot light. Inside the heater you will find the pilot light, that is placed behind a metal plate. Use a flashlight to find it.

Step 2: Ignition Process

There are two types of wall heaters:

Electric Heaters

Make sure to find the dial of your wall heater. If you have a new model, turn the dial towards ‘Pilot’ and then just press down on the ‘Ignite’ button. Keep in mind that you will need to press multiple times the pilot light until it starts from the spark.

When the pilot light starts, continue to hold the button for a minute and then release it. Now you need to turn the dial to ‘ON’. This will ignite the main burner inside the wall heater. There will be a sound of the burnet lighting up. Once you have done that, close the opening on the heater.

Gas Heaters

When it comes to old wall heaters, the ignition procedure is slightly different. After you turn the dial towards ‘Pilot’, be sure to hold down the pilot gas button (not the ignite button). Hold the button for around 30 seconds, and then release it.

Older models must be lit up manually by using a match stick or some kind of lighter. When the pilot light starts, hold the button for around a minute and then release it. To start the main burner make sure to turn the dial to ‘ON’.

Note! If the main burner doesn’t ignite, just repeat the following steps from the beginning.

Step 3: Set the Desired Temperature

Once you have turned on your wall heater, by using your electric thermostat set the desired temperature. Newer models come with a digital display with buttons, while other models come with a temperature dial. Keep in mind that the thermostat keeps the room temperature one degree above or below the set temperature. The recommended room temperature ranges from 70° to 78° Fahrenheit (21 to 25 °C).

Safety Measurements

People who have a wall heater most probably own a thermocouple too. The thermocouple works all the way from the pilot to the main gas supply. In case when the pilot is on, the thermocouple heats up and then sends electric voltage to the gas valve. By that voltage, the gas supply remains open. When the pilot light is off, then the voltage supply also stops, closing the main gas valve.

For those who want to know more about home heating systems, you can read Smart HVAC System Explained.

If you haven’t understood some part of this process, don’t worry! Here we have a great YouTube video that explains how to turn on a gas heater.

The Most Common Reasons Why Wall Heater Won’t Turn On

  1. Check the Air Filters – If you have a dirty filter, it can sometimes block the airflow. Make sure to clean or buy new HVAC filters if this is the problem. Vents in your home must be open and free.
  2. Check The Switch – The switch on your wall heater (both gas and electric) must be turned ‘ON’ in order to work. So be sure to check that.
  3. Set Your Thermostat – Your thermostat must be also turned ‘ON’. If the thermostat is set to the “auto” or “heat” mode, make sure to raise the temperature to the highest setting. This may take a few minutes.
  4. Check the Pilot Light – If you have a faulty or dirty pilot light your gas furnace won’t start. Although we advise you to consult a professional in this case, if you think you can fix this part yourself, feel free to do it. Turn off the power and natural gas of your furnace and then start.
  5. Check The Gas – Make sure to check that your unit is connected to the gas and that receives it. This can be done by checking that the gas control valve in in the “ON” position.

If you want to learn more, you can read this article, How to Calculate Total Wattage of Baseboard Heaters.

FAQ: People Also Ask

Are wall heaters safe?

Some wall heaters can reach temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315 °C) which is extremely high. They can cause a fire if they come in contact with any household items, as well as shock hazards, especially for children and pets. But in the end, they are much safer than ordinary portable heaters.

Do wall heaters use a lot of electricity?

Typically, wall heaters use around 1,500 watts which can be quite costly. This is due to the relatively high cost of electricity that is around 11 cents per kWh in the United States. It is much more economical to use natural gas, propane, or oil for residential heater operations.

Can a wall heater cause a fire?

Wall heaters can cause a fire in your home even they don’t have open flames, combustible oils, and gasses. One of the biggest threats, when you are using a wall heater, is a fire hazard. Therefore, one should always be careful when it comes to any type of heater in your home.

Final Thoughts

As we have already mentioned, wall heaters are a very popular way of heating. One of the reasons is that they are very easy to install and easy to use if you follow the right steps. There are two types of wall heaters, electric and gas heaters. Electric heaters are easy to operate, and you just simply turn them ON. On the other hand, gas wall heaters require to have pilot light turned ‘ON’ for them to operate. I hope this article has helped you, and if you have additional questions, feel free to leave a comment.

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