How to Turn On a Wall Heater (New Step-By-Step Guide)

If you own a wall-mounted heater, you should know how to turn it on. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal in turning on a heater in a house? Electric heaters are easy to start, but for gas heaters, you will have to follow more steps.

This article will give you a step by step guide to safely turn on the heater in your apartment.

how to turn on a wall heater

Step 1: Locate the Pilot Light

In some heaters, it is easy to locate the pilot light, as it is just behind the heater vent. For others, you will have to open the cover of the burner area or remove it altogether, then follow the gas connection from the main gas supply to the pilot light.

The pilot light is inside the heater, behind a metal plate. You may need a torch to find it.

Read also: Best Non-Electric Space Heaters for Indoors

Step 2: Ignition Process

Electric Heaters

Now, locate the dial on your heater. For new wall heaters, turn the dial towards ‘Pilot’ and press down on the ‘Ignite’ button. You will have to press the button, again and again, until the pilot light starts from the spark.

When the pilot light starts, continue holding the button for about a minute. Then, release it.

After that, turn the dial to ‘ON’, which should ignite the main burner. You will hear the sound of the burnet lighting up. Finally, re-cover the opening of the heater.

Read more: Top 5 Best Bathroom Heaters in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide and Review

Gas Heaters

For old wall heaters, after turning the dial towards ‘Pilot’, hold down on the pilot gas button, instead of the ignite button. After about 30 seconds, release the button.

Then, press the button again to light up the pilot. The new wall heaters ignite the pilot light with a spark. However, the old wall furnaces need to be lit up manually by a match stick or a long-reach lighter. After the pilot light starts, keep the button pressed for about a minute. Then, release it. Now, turn the dial to ‘ON’ to start the main burner.

Note: In case the main burner doesn’t ignite, repeat the steps from the beginning.

Step 3: Set the temperature

Once your heater is turned on, set the heater to your desired temperature using the electric thermostat. Some heaters have a temperature dial, while others have digital displays with buttons to set the temperature.

The thermostat usually keeps the temperature one degree above or below your set temperature. It is recommended to keep the temperature in the range of 70° to 78° Fahrenheit.

See our review of the Honeywell T6 Pro Programmable Thermostat

Safety precaution

If you own a wall heater, you probably own a thermocouple too. It is a device that works with the pilot light to keep it lit.

The thermocouple runs from the pilot to the main gas supply. When the pilot is on, the end of the thermocouple near the pilot heats up and sends electric voltage to the main gas valve. This voltage keeps the gas supply open. In case the pilot light goes out, the voltage supply stops, closing the main gas valve.

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See also: Different Types of Space Heaters And How Do They Work


1. Do wall heaters turn on and off?

Yes, a wall heater does turn on and off at least three to eight times every hour. But if it is turning on more than eight times, then it is important to check the ambient temperature.

If the outside temperature is below freezing, the wall heater will have more cycles than normal. 

2. How long does it take for a wall heater to heat up?

Typically wall mounted heaters would heat up in one to two minutes depending on the wattage, make, model, and other specifications. If you have a 1500 Watt heater, it can usually heat an entire bedroom within five minutes.

3. Is it safe to leave a wall heater on all night?

You should not leave the heater unattended throughout the night as it may cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Switch it off and unplug it from the wall after each use.

If you feel signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea, make sure to open all the windows and close the heater quickly.

Final thoughts

The wall-mounted heaters are becoming increasingly popular in houses as a better heating solution. These heaters are easy to install. Plus, it is fairly simple to turn on a heater if you follow the steps in the correct order.