Fan versus fanless electric room heaters

Small electric space heaters may come with or without a fan, and you may wonder if that is advantageous or not…

Fan heaters advantages

The fan can help the heater to pass air over their heating elements, or to distribute the warm air, by focusing it in the direction of people (radiant heaters) or by circulating it across an entire room.

On the other hand, technically, the fan also carries heat away from the device, which is important to keep the heater smaller in size without overheating.

The small amount of electricity used to turn the fan is not a problem, from an energy-efficiency standpoint: that electricity is converted to additional heat. Fan heaters (like other electric heaters) are 100% energy-efficient, that is, they are able to turn all the electricity they use into heat.

Fan heaters disadvantages (Fanless heaters Advantages)

Fans can help to distribute warm air more evenly and more efficiently, and help manufacturers to make smaller and cheaper units, but fans make noise, and some small fan heaters can be – or become over time – noisy. And this is an advantages of fanless heaters.

Another possible disadvantage of heaters with fans is that they re-circulate dust or allergens throughout the room – a hazard for all of us, and mostly to allergy- and asthma-sufferers.

Bottom line

Both fan and fan-less portable heaters rely on electric-resistance elements, and their efficiency is broadly the same. Both technologies are so simple at their core that there is very little that can be done to improve efficiency.

They have both advantages and disadvantages, and the most important is often the quality of the heater and details involving its quietness, durability and capacity; or the type of heating they provide (radiant or convective) and your heating strategies and goals.

Choosing a fan Space heater

When shopping for a fan heater, pay attention to its features and warranty (often between one and three years).

Even if you just want a simple, cheap, small portable fan heater, prefer a model with a thermostat and at least two or three heat settings (for greater control, and energy savings), and pay attention to the type of heating (convective vs. radiant) and its capacity.

manufacturers & Prices

Portable electric fan-heater prices are often in the $20-$50 range.

Delonghi, Lasko and Holmes have very well-rated portable fan heaters; other top manufacturers: Honeywell and Pelonis.

For customer reviews at, see: Fan and fanless small Electric Heaters.
For more specific fan heaters:
Ceiling fan heaters: Ceiling Fan Heaters customer reviews
Wall-mounted fan heaters: Wall Fan Heaters customer reviews
Bathroom fan heaters: Bathroom Fan Heaters customer reviews.




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