Closeup on an eco panel heater a wall in a home

The humble home heater has evolved many times over the past century. While many modern heaters still use gas and oil, new versions rely solely on electricity to produce heat. The eco panel heater is one of these new developments.

If you have recently purchased this device, you may be wondering how to install an eco panel heater in your home. This guide will explain each of the steps involved with installing your eco panel heater and operating it safely.

However, before we get to the steps for installing your eco panel heater, it is worth discussing what this item is and why it is becoming so popular worldwide. 

What is an Eco Panel Heater?

An eco panel heater is a type of infrared heater. Such heaters convert electricity to heat and transmit it around the room. So how do such heaters differ from traditional oil radiator heaters? 

Conventional radiators heat a room using convection. The device first heats the air surrounding the heater. This air then moves around the room and brings the general temperature up.

Infrared (eco panel) heaters don’t rely on convection. Instead, they radiate heat in a similar manner to sunlight. They emit infrared radiation from the panel’s front and any object that comes into contact with this radiation begins to warm up. 

This radiation heating route tends to be faster than the convection method that oil radiators use and has made infrared panel heaters popular in many countries.

Eco Panel Heater Design

Eco panel heaters have a very different design from traditional oil radiators.

Radiators typically consist of vertical metal columns containing cavities. These cavities contain oil that flows around and transfers heat produced by a heating element through the radiator’s metal wall.

Eco panel heaters look very different from traditional oil radiators. They have a simple flat design in a square or rectangular shape, making them more compact than radiators and easy to mount onto walls.

An eco panel heater mounted low on the wall of a home
Courtesy of Modernize

How to Install an Eco Panel Heater

Here are the basics for installing an eco panel heater:

Choose the Proper Location

The first step of the heater installation process is selecting the heater’s location.

Eco panel heaters are designed to heat a single room. You may have already chosen the room where you would like to install it. However, selecting the optimal space within this room is vital to ensure the heater does its job effectively.

Some great wall spots include:

  • Open entrances that lead into different rooms
  • By stairways
  • Next to exterior doorways
  • Near areas containing windows
  • Placing multiple heaters in corners of a large room
  • Places with inadequate insulation

Some places to avoid mounting your heater include:

  • In front of electric wall outlets
  • Bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas where the electric heater may come into contact with water
  • Near combustible items such as furniture, drapes, bedding, or paper

Unpack Your Heater

Next, you should unpack the heater carefully.

Start by opening the top of the box and then inverting the packaging so that the open end is against the ground. Then, you should carefully lift the package and allow the heater to slip out.

Make sure to prevent the heater from tipping over as you remove the box. It may help to have a second person around to help you with this task.

You should then review your heater’s instruction guide and see if all the right parts and accessories are included. These parts usually consists of a cable, mounting template, screws and brackets, a heat guard, and a reflector sheet.

Some eco panel heaters may also come with a separate thermostat and a wall-mount mechanism.

Once you have verified that your eco panel heater has come with all the right parts and accessories, you can move on to the next step.

Select a Position on the Wall

Next, you can select a position on the wall to mount your heater. For safety reasons, you should ensure the heater has mounted a minimum of 30 cm away from wall and floor junctions—it should never be placed where the wall meets the floor or against corners. 

You can then set the template provided against the wall and mark the outline using a pencil or marker. Once this is complete, assess if the outline is level with the horizontal plane.

Drill the Holes

Next, you should mark the holes you will be drilling in each corner using a pen or pencil. The template provided should already have holes, so you can simply mark the positions by placing it against the wall again.

A homeowner drilling holes in the wall to mount an eco panel heater

Once this vital process has been completed, you can use the appropriate drill bit to drill each hole 1/4 inches deep. When holding the drill, make sure you are not drilling through any wires in the walls. You can tell if the drill bit has come into contact with a wire if you smell something burning.

Install the Heat Reflector

If your eco panel heater comes with a heat reflector sheet, you can peel off the back layer to expose the adhesive layer.

Next, you can stick it onto the wall so that its corners fit within the square or rectangle defined by each of the four screw holes. You can then use a cloth or a tool to flatten out the heat reflector’s surface and smoothen out wrinkles.

Don’t worry if some minor wrinkles are left by the end of this step; they should not affect the heater’s overall performance.

Add the Screws

Next, you can insert the plastic rail fittings that came with the heater into the drilled holes. You can then lift the panel leader and fit the rail fittings through each hole in the device.

Once the heater is stable, you can insert a screw into each rail fitting and tighten it using a screwdriver. Ensure the screws are tight but avoid over-tightening them as it will strip the hole you just drilled.

Install the Heat Guard

If your eco panel heater came with a heat guard, you could add a heat guard bracket onto each screw bolt head.

Start by placing a bracket over the screw on the bottom left. Ensure it is oriented to facilitate the bottom left corner of the heater panel. Then, you can turn the screw cap on the bracket and tighten it in place.

Next, add the bracket over the screw on the bottom right. This bracket should be oriented to fit the bottom right corner of the heater panel.

You can then mount the heat guard bracket on the bottom two brackets. Again, ensure the guard is firmly in place before fitting the top-left and top-right brackets.

Plug-In the Heater

The final step is to plug the heater’s cable into the nearest available socket.

It is best to plug the cable directly into a wall outlet rather than a power strip for safety reasons. You should also ensure the heater’s power switch is set to the “OFF” position before plugging it in. 

Then, once the heater is plugged in, you can flip the switch to its “ON” position.

Safety Mechanisms

Most eco panel heaters have two built-in safety mechanisms, including:

Resettable Thermal Link

The resettable thermal link automatically disconnects the heater’s power once it reaches a specific temperature. If the device ever reaches this temperature, it indicates it has overheated.

Users do not have to manually reset the device once the resettable thermal link kicks in. Instead, the device will automatically reset once it has cooled down.

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is the second safety mechanism that disconnects the device’s power if it overheats. This fuse does not automatically reset. 

If this safety mechanism kicks in, you will need to unplug the heater and disassemble it to access the thermal fuse.

You will then need to replace the existing thermal fuse with a brand new one before reassembling the heater, remounting it, and turning it back on. 

Maintaining Your Eco Panel Heater

Eco panel heater owners must maintain their device to ensure it continues functioning at its best. This maintenance includes cleaning it once a month.

The steps for cleaning eco panel heaters safely are:

  1. Turn the heater’s switch to the ‘OFF’ position.
  2. Unplug the heater from the wall outlet.
  3. Wait for the panel heater to cool down to room temperature.
  4. Clear dust from the heater’s vents using a vacuum cleaner.
  5. Wipe the device’s exterior using a damp cloth. Never use cleaning solutions such as thinners, polishing agents, or petrol to clean the heater.
  6. Wait for the heater to dry completely before plugging it back in.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, installing an eco panel heater is a relatively straightforward process. However, if you have purchased this device recently, read the safety and operating instructions before installing the heater and turning it on.

An eco panel heater can last for many years when used and maintained correctly. So consider following the above guide to ensure the installation process is completed correctly.

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