Fan Heaters vs. Convection Heaters

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Fan Heaters vs. Convection Heaters

Homeowners who live in colder climates must find the most efficient way to heat their homes. As one of the more important appliances, heaters can provide homeowners with affordable, abundant heat. Several heaters strategically located throughout a home can replace much of the heat produced by a furnace. The key for homeowners is to find the best heating source that warms high-traffic areas. Homeowners have several heating source options, but many times, the decision comes down to fan heaters versus convection heaters. To find out which type of heater compares favourably, research both fan descriptions and then compile a list of the pros and cons of each type of heater.

Fan Heaters

Before the mass production of air conditioners, most people tried to cool down during the summer by passing fan circulated air over blocks of ice. The same principle works with fan heaters, albeit, with a much different result. Fan heaters utilise a fan that passes air over a heating element. After the fan-circulated air encounters the heating element, warm to hot air rises in the room where the heater sits. Although the fans receive electrical power, homeowners can use several types of heat sources to fill the heating element. Portable electric heating elements plug into wall sockets, which provide users with the flexibility to move the heater into colder rooms. Hot water tubing provides another source for a heating element. Other heat sources include gas and kerosene, but those types of fuel require a large, powerful fan to distribute the heat emanating from the heating element.

Convection Heaters

Convection heaters operate on the principle of air convection currents moving through a heater and across the heating element. The heated air increases in volume until it must rise within the room. Convection heaters utilise radiant heat, which supplements the heater's power by forcing cold air into the heater. Manufacturers design convection heaters to distribute heated air evenly within rooms of varied sizes. The even distribution of heat allows the heater's exterior to remain cool to the touch. Due to its construction, the mixing chamber takes advantage of centrifugal force to ensure the perfect mixture between the gases and circulating air. The gas leaves the mixing chamber to enter the distribution centre. The symmetrically designed distribution centre permits equal amounts of gas to pass into each heating jet, which provides for consistent flame height and intensity.

Comparing Fan and Convection Heaters

Comparing fan heaters to convection heaters can mean several subjective analyses. Yet, homeowners can find enough credible physical evidence to discern which type of heater provides the best source of heat for their homes.

Fan Heater

Fan heaters present many advantages over convection heaters, starting with the fact that fans heat enclosed spaces, such as bedrooms, quicker than convection circulated hot air. Fan heaters typically cost less than convection heaters, and since they provide superior performance, homeowners do not have to purchase as many fan heaters as convection heaters to warm their homes. The small amount of electricity used to power the fan eventually converts into additional heat, which makes fan heaters the most energy-efficient heaters on the market. Externally vented, combustion-powered fan heaters displace some of the heat emanating into the outdoor air.

Most contemporary fan heaters possess power settings that predetermine power output. The controls allow homeowners to regulate their energy consumption closely, which can be an important advantage during eras of rapidly rising energy costs. Some manufacturers include thermostats on the side of fan heaters that automatically turn the heaters off when they reach a targeted temperature. The thermostats allow homeowners to integrate fan heaters into their home automation systems.

Convection Heater

Because convection heaters operate on natural ventilation, they are much quieter than fan heaters that run on what can be very noisy motors. The low noise level is an important advantage to consider for homeowners who utilise convection heaters during social events held in their homes. Another advantage of using convection heaters derives from the principle of even warmth distribution. Evenly distributed heat ensures clean, healthy air that protects the lungs and throat from incurring ailments. Not only are convection heaters safer than fan heaters, most heating experts consider convection heaters the safest heaters on the market. Homeowners do not have to worry about convection heating elements coming in contact with paper products and starting a fire.

As the following chart indicates, convection heaters present four disadvantages that fan heaters do not present.




Homeowners cannot place heaters near windows

Uneven heat distribution

Dilute hot air with cooler air


Plastic melts

Metal scalding hot to the touch

No automatic shutdown control


Objects block airflow, which cause heater to overheat

Block heat from evenly distributing within a room

Limited placement options

More energy lost

Energy Inefficient

Heat rises straight to the ceiling

Ceiling fans disperse hot air

Some air escapes through small ceiling openings

Requires perfect placement of heaters to reduce energy waste

The number of factors that can contribute to inferior performance may lead homeowners to choose fan heaters over convection heaters. Nonetheless, convection heaters provide ample heat for homeowners who want to take advantage of convection heater attributes.

Buying Fan and Convection Heaters on eBay

Whichever decision you reach, you can find affordable fan or convection heaters on eBay. You can shop for brand new fan and convection heaters, or choose to save money by purchasing a used heater. If you have not prepared for the onset of a chilly Australian winter, consider only Australian sellers to provide you with a quicker delivery. You can also review the delivery terms each heater seller presents on the product page. Sellers also list the accepted methods of payment, which should be the first factor you consider in the seller vetting process. After all, you cannot consider any other buying factor if the seller does not accept your preferred credit card.

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