What is a Fan Heater?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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A fan heater is a home heating option that consists of a fan that blows air through a heating element, circulating warm air throughout the area in which it is installed. There are many different forms of fan heaters. Some are designed to be portable so that they can be moved from one room to another, while others are designed to be installed in the wall or ceiling of a room. An installed fan heater may include lights, exhaust fans, or even electric outlets to improve their versatility.

The most common type of fan heater resembles a mobile fan that is used for circulating air. The main difference is that the fan blows the air across a heating element, producing warm air to be circulated. Many models come with thermostats and controls, much as a larger heating unit would, and can be adjusted to keep the area within a desired temperature range. Since these small, portable units can be placed in any area, they can be used to supplement the heat of larger rooms, or even in buildings that surround the property, such as garages or workshops.


Bathroom and bedroom fan heaters are also used in many locations throughout the world. This type of fan heater is usually installed into the wall or ceiling of the room, and can either be controlled by a thermostat control knob, or by flipping a switch on the wall. The thermostat controlled models can be set at any temperature, while the switch activated models can either be turned on or off, with no adjustments for temperature. Many small bathrooms are installed with light switch activation because heat is only needed when the bathroom is in use. The wall installed units are usually adjustable because during the cooler seasons, the room will need constant heat circulated through it.

A basic fan heater will contain a heating element and a fan that blows air across it. More advanced units will have built in thermostats and controls to increase the comfort levels of the area in which they are installed. Some units, such as bathroom fan heaters, will also contain lights and an exhaust fan, saving room on the ceiling by combining all of the necessary items into one compact unit. Some wall units may be built with electrical outlets so other components can be plugged into the same area, however these are not considered to be a safe alternative to having separate outlets installed.


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