Heating a room that’s not over the foundation can be a challenge. We struggled with a cold bathroom for years until I finally found out how to easily add heat with a convection panel heater. Read more to find out if a panel heater is right for your bathroom.
Like many homes in Philadelphia, our house in Roxborough has a bump-out on the back of the first floor which has been converted into a bathroom and laundry room. The room is built outside of the foundation so cold air from the outside circulates underneath. Some of these rooms have enough air flowing from the basement to keep them somewhat warm, but most don’t. So, what are the options to add heat?
Options for Heating a Cold Bathroom
The best option is to have a heat source that’s part of the whole house heating system. For example, a vent or a radiator. Sometimes, especially if it’s a forced air vent, it’s just not strong enough to make a difference. In our case, we have a vent but it’s just not enough. We tried traditional space heaters but never felt comfortable with that option especially with a dog and kids. I considered hard-wiring an electric baseboard heater but then I’d have to replace our electrical panel in order to accommodate it. Then, I finally found a radiant panel heater and figured we’d give it a shot.
The Panel Heater
A panel heater is a slim radiant heater that attaches to the wall and plugs into an outlet. There are no moving parts, it draws a very small amount of energy, and it works like a dream. It’s easy to install and the temperature can be regulated with a plug in thermostat.
The unit heats up to 185 degrees so it’s hot to the touch but not so hot that you wouldn’t move away before getting burned (though I imagine you’d get a burn if you just held your skin to it for a few seconds). You can also get a cover for the unit to help protect against burns.
I haven’t done anything to ours yet to make it blend into the wall, but it can be painted. So, if you don’t want it to stand out then this is an option.
The heater that we got for our bathroom cost about $100 including the plug in thermostat. I also ended up buying another one for our unit that has a built-in smart thermostat so we can adjust it with our smart phones. That one cost about $150 since it’s built to heat a bigger room and has the smart phone compatibility.
Does it Work?
We’ve had our panel heater in for about two weeks now and I love it. When I wake up in the morning I come to the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker and then I head to this bathroom. In the winter it’s always been as cold as an outhouse. Now, it’s no different than the rest of the house. The tile floor is cold, as tile always is, but it’s bearable now. I’m so happy with the panel heater that I decided to get the second one for our bedroom where we have a bay window style bump out that also gets really cold.
Where to Buy a Panel Heater
I bought our panel heater and thermostat through Amazon. The heater that I got for our bathroom is the Amaze Heat Mini 250 watt. There are also 400 and 600 watt versions for larger rooms. Our unit is about 18″x24″x2″. The Amaze Heat thermostat wasn’t available at the time so I got the Econohome Adjustable Universal Thermostat instead and it works perfectly. You can also find convection panel heaters at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
How to Install a Convection Panel Heater
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