Fan heaters are an efficient and cost-effective way to add warmth to your rooms. They can run on either gas or electricity and are primarily characterized by a fan or blower system that helps draw cold air into the heater and push out warm air out of the heater. This process ensures thorough heating of air within the room.
A common downside, however, is the noise. All fan heaters produce a degree of noise – thanks to the fanning/blowing process. The level of noise varies depending on the type and size of the heater. It may also be worsened by factors such as age and dirt or breakages inside the heater.
If you’re interested in this type of heater, this guide aims at highlighting some of the top, quietest fan heaters to help you with the selection process. We later also discuss a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a fan heater.
What’s a Fan Heater?
A fan heater, also known as a blower heater, is a heater type that uses a fan to pass cold air over a heat source, such as a heating element in an electric heater.
As the air passes over the heating element, it absorbs some of the heat. The now-warm air is then blown out of the heating chamber and dispersed throughout the intended room. The blower/fan system plays a starring role in these two processes too.
The majority of fan heaters are electrically powered. You plug it into the standard 110-120V electrical outlet, and you’re ready to go. They can supply several kilowatts of electricity, usually enough for a small room.
However, fan heaters can also be powered by other energy sources, including hot water, gas, kerosene, and sometimes fuels such as engine oil.
The heaters are typically affordable because of the simple construction. They are also extremely efficient. The extra energy used to operate the fan is also converted to additional heat, which helps drive down operating costs. As such, some models are 99% efficient or higher.
You also don’t need to worry about overheating. The fan carries excess heat away from the device, which can be made smaller without overheating. This way, the body of the heater doesn’t need to operate as a heat sink.
Most modern fan heaters have power settings that allow users to select the desired level of heat output. Many models also feature a thermostat, which helps the heater achieve and maintain the set heating temperature.
Benefits of Fan Heaters
Fan heaters are some of the most popular heating solutions, especially where a degree of noise isn’t a problem. Some of their advantages include;
- Affordability: Heaters that use fans are some of the most affordable. You can buy one for under $20. They are also cost-effective to operate. The heating unit heats up quickly and doesn’t need much electricity to run.
- Very safe for use: What makes fan heaters safer than other heater types is that the heating element doesn’t get very hot. There are two reasons why. First, as we’ve seen, the fan continually blows heat away, leaving the heating element relatively cool. Secondly, most models have built-in mechanisms that reduce electricity flow when the heating element reaches 380 degrees.
- Portability: If you’re looking for a portable heater, you couldn’t do much better than fan heaters. These units are compact, thus can be carried from one location to the next with ease. You can even bring one with you to the RV or on vacation if you wish.
- They are very effective: A heater’s job is to generate enough heat to warm the intended area. Fan heaters are perhaps the best at doing this job. You’ll get more than enough heat even if you’re using them as your primary heater.
- Fan-only operation: Many fan heaters feature a fan-only mode that lets you use the fan without engaging the heater. This makes the appliance a versatile all-season unit that you can use to cool down the room in the warmer months.
- Valuable for zonal heating: Finally, you probably already know the benefits of zonal heating. It’s a simple yet very effective way to minimize heating costs in the home. Fan heaters a valuable tool in the zonal heating arsenal.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Fan Heater
Type of Heater
There are three main options when shopping for fan heaters – convective, radiant, and mica thermic. Convective fan heaters are some of the best at distributing heat throughout a room.
However, they are also the least efficient of the three options. Radiant models are best suited to smaller spaces but are both cost-effective and very efficient.
The heating capacity of a fan heater is measured in kilowatts (for electric models) and BTU) for gas and oil models. Ideally, you need 10 watts for every square foot.
Therefore, for a 200 square-foot room, you need about 2,000 watts or two 1000-watt heaters. The required wattage will also depend on your location and the room’s insulation quality.
The best fan heaters are very energy efficient. They draw very little energy from the electric supply and convert nearly all that electric current into valuable heat. Therefore, consider models that are listed as 98% efficient or higher. Also, look out for Energy Star ratings.
As already mentioned, fan heaters make a bit of noise thanks to the blowing action. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to find the quietest model. We recommend units rated at 40 decibels or lower.
Finally, you also want to pick out the safety fan heater possible. Some safety features to focus on include safe-to-touch housing and overheating protection. For instance, some fan heaters shut off automatically if the unit’s temperature exceeds a specified point.
- Are Fan Heaters Bad for your Health? No. Fan heaters aren’t bad for your health. However, a bit of caution is needed when dealing with oil and gas heaters.
- Do Fan Heaters Use Much Electricity? Not at all. On the contrary, fan heaters are some of the most energy-efficient electric heaters. Some are 99% efficient or higher.
- Can You Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Fan Heaters? No, unless you’re using a gas or oil-powered model. The good news is that more than 90% of fan heaters are electric heaters.
- Is It Okay to Sleep with the Fan Heater On? Yes, you can sleep with the fan heater ON. However, extra care is advised in such circumstances. For one, make sure that the heater is located a safe distance away. Also, make sure it has overheating shutoff protection.
Quietest Fan Heater
1. Dyson 61874-01 Hot + Cool Jet Focus AM09 Fan Heater
When buying a fan-forced space heater, the first thing most people look for is portability. The model 61874-01 heater from Dyson is one of the most portable space heaters you can find. Indeed, it’s so portable you can bring it with you to the office and even on trips.
Two things stand out about the heater. First, it features a revolutionary air multiplier technology that delivers a focused or diffused heat projection depending on your needs. Remember also that it’s a hot + cold air diffuser that works as a fan whenever heating isn’t needed.
An intelligent thermostat ensures precise, energy-efficient power use while safety is guaranteed thanks to automatic tip-over cutoff. It features a timer for programmable heating and comes in an elegant gloss white finish.
- Year-round heating + cooling use
- Intelligent thermostat control
- Convenient remote control
- Patented air multiplier technology
- Priced at a mind-boggling $350+
- No Wi-Fi compatibility
2. DeLonghi HVY1030 Portable 1500-Watt Fan Heater with Two Settings
If the Dyson is beyond your budget, a way more affordable option is this low-priced unit from DeLonghi priced at under $40.
It’s a 1500-watt heater that’s known for instant heat output. You don’t need to wait several minutes to feel the warmth. An overheating switch and anti-tip-over protection function protect you from any burn risks.
The unit has two heat settings, though, the 1,500 watts in HIGH mode and a 750-watt setting (LOW mode). An adjustable thermostat allows you to select between the heat settings with ease.
A broad, stable base ensures stability, while a power indicator light lets you know when the heater is running. You’ll also love the convenient carry handle.
This heater is available in three color options, has a programmable timer, and features a unique technology to prevent frozen pipes in the basement. It’s recommended for areas up to 150 square feet.
- Take the warmth with you
- Ergonomic carry handles
- Fan-only setting
- Anti-freeze setting
- 1-year warranty
- No immersion protection
- No remote control
3. Optimus H-1322 Portable 2-Speed Fan Heater with Thermostat
Almost similar to DeLonghi’s above model (even in the design style), the Model H-1322 from Optimus is another excellent fan-forced heater when shopping for a portable supplemental heat source.
For one, it features two heat settings – HIGH = 1,500 watts and LOW = 750 watts. An adjustable thermostat allows you to switch between the heat settings with ease.
Secondly, it’s an all-year climate control appliance that can also function as an air conditioner in the fan-only mode. An LED power indicator light tells you whether the unit is ON or OFF.
You’ll also appreciate the thermal cutoff switch, tip-over protection, and in-built overheating protection.
It’s a compact, lightweight unit that you can easily set on the table or any other raised surface. It’s also very quiet and features a handle at the top for easy mobility.
- Features easy-carry handle
- Available in multiple colors
- Fan-only mode available
- Multiple safety features
- Low-priced at under $25
- No remote control
- No timer function
4. Mini Space Heater & Air Circulator 2-in-1 Portable Electric Fan & Heater
Another very powerful portable heater on the list, this Model QN03 unit from BRISON, is a little bulkier than the options we’ve looked at thus far.
However, at 2.99 pounds, it’s still lightweight enough for convenient portability. You may also want to note that it’s a ceramic heater. Ceramic heaters are some of the most efficient space heaters.
The unit starts up in just one second and uses the in-built fan to distribute heat throughout the room evenly. It’s also impressively silent at 40-45 decibels. Tip-over protection, overheating shutoff, and the fireproof ABS V0 materials ensure complete safety during use.
The unit works as a cooler (fan-only mode) during the hot season and has the additional benefit of being an air purifier that filters indoor-bound air.
- Powerful 1500-watt heater
- Fan-only mode available
- Functions as an air purifier
- Elegant retro design
- Low-priced at under $40
- Short 30-day warranty
- It’s not a very durable build
5. Electric Fan Heater Leafless, Hot & Cool Tower Fan with Remote Control
Finally, this gorgeous product from Sunrection is the go-to option for people looking to add both heating/cooling as style to their living spaces.
It’s a long-range heater that features two operating modes – focused and wide projection. In focused mode, the unit channels and directs a powerful jet of hot/cool air, while in wide projection mode, the air is diffused to reach a wider area.
As with all great fan-forced heaters, it’s a PTC ceramic heater, thus very efficient. But, what truly sets it apart from the rest is the automatic swing adjustment function. It swings 180 degrees up and down and 90 degrees left to right to ensure that every part of the room is warmed up.
The remote control makes it easy to change heating and cooling settings, while the low noise output guarantees uninterrupted cooling/heating. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Focused and wide air projection
- Auto-swing adjustment
- Convenient remote control
- Low-noise output
- 1-year warranty
- Pricey at over $250
With the reviews done, let’s now shift focus to the buying process. What are fan heaters, why are they noisy, and what should you consider when shopping for a quiet fan heater?
Fan heaters are a cost-effective way to add supplemental heat to your home. They are simple to install and easy to operate. They are also extremely energy-efficient, with the majority converting 99%+ of the energy they draw into useful heat.
As long as you pick the right size with the right features, you’re guaranteed high returns on your investment.