When choosing a heater, the two most common options are fan heaters and ceramic heaters. Both offer advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to decide which one is better. Ultimately, the choice depends on the user’s needs and preferences.
An energy-efficient electric heater can save you money on household heating bills, but many people need help choosing between a ceramic heater and a fan heater. There are differences between the two, and it is essential to know the differences so you can make an informed choice over which one to buy.
|Heat up more quickly
|Safer to use
|More energy efficient
|Cheaper to buy
|Better for larger spaces
|More precise temperature control
Ceramic or fan, what’s the difference?
The main difference between a ceramic and a fan heater is the way they heat up. A ceramic heater has built-in ceramic plates that are heated up to warm the air. You can use ceramic heaters with or without a fan. The fan assists with warm air circulation by moving air over the ceramic plates.
Electric fan heaters have built-in metal coils that heat up. The fan transfers the heat from the coils and moves it into the air in the room. This is a straightforward explanation of how these two electric heaters work, but it can help you understand the main differences.
But should it make a difference? Does it matter which type you choose as long as they work efficiently and do a good job? There are still a few aspects to consider before making your choice. Let’s take a closer look at each type and its advantages and disadvantages.
Ceramic heater overview
At first glance, ceramic heaters look just like other types of electric heaters. If you have never seen a ceramic heater before, you may create an image in your mind of a heater made from clay. However, ceramic heaters are made using different materials as well as ceramic, such as metal and plastic.
The main difference, as already mentioned above, is how ceramic heaters work. They work using the principle of resistive heating. This process is where an electric current passes through a conductor to generate heat. The conductor in a ceramic heater is its ceramic plates. The ceramic plates create resistance to the electric current, causing heat to develop.
Most commercial brands of ceramic heaters contain a fan and are referred to as convective ceramic heaters. You can buy ceramic heaters that don’t use fans, which are called radiant ceramic heaters. Each style produces heat in precisely the same way, and only the inclusion or absence of the fan differentiates them.
How ceramic heaters work
When you switch on a convective ceramic heater, an electric current will pass through metal parts such as aluminium heating fins. The heat generated from the metal fins transfers to the ceramic plates in the heater. The process includes drawing in cool air and passing it over the ceramic plates. The air is warmed by the plates and is then blown out of the heater into the room.
A radiant ceramic heater works in a slightly different way. Without the action of a fan pushing out warm air and helping to circulate it around the room, a radiant fan will instead radiate heat to warm up anything directly in its path.
If you want to buy a ceramic heater that will heat up the whole room, you should choose a convective ceramic heater that uses an in-built fan to circulate warm air around the room. However, if you are looking for a heater to keep you warm while you work in your home office or while relaxing, reading a book, or watching the television, a radiant ceramic heater will do the job perfectly.
Radiant ceramic heaters are not the best choice if you want to heat a whole room. However, if you are working or relaxing in a particularly large room on your own with no one else sharing the space, it can be wasteful to heat the whole room.
What are the Benefits of Ceramic Heaters?
Ceramic heaters come with many benefits compared to standard electric heaters. Firstly, they heat up more quickly than traditional electric heaters. You can adjust the thermostat to your preferred room temperature and let it do its thing.
Many people worry that portable electric heaters pose a fire risk. While some makes and models of older-style electric heaters can overheat if left running and not appropriately managed, generally speaking, you won’t have this worry with a ceramic heater.
Most models of ceramic heaters have built-in safety features, such as self-regulating elements that will switch off should the system suffer an air blockage. This will eliminate the risk of the device overheating and causing a fire.
Many brands of ceramic heaters also contain other safety features, such as tip-over safety switches that shut off the power if the heater gets knocked over, overheating protection that will switch off the device should the internal components reach extreme temperatures and cool-touch housing that prevents the heat being generated from affecting the outer body.
Electric fan heater overview
Standard fan heaters work in the same way as ceramic heaters in that an electric current will generate heat by being passed through internal metal coils. The heat generated by the metal coils is then blown into the room using the in-built fan. The design is simple and effective and has been in use for decades.
Electric fan heaters have always been popular due to their simplicity and portability. They are easy to operate and move from room to room. They have been a convenient choice for instant heat for years, but they do heat up slower than ceramic heaters. However, they heat up larger-sized rooms efficiently, so if you are looking for a heater to warm up an open-plan space, a fan heater is a good choice.
The main concern people have with electric fan heaters is the safety aspect. Over the years, many fan heaters have been responsible for house fires due to overheating. Luckily modern fan heaters are much safer than those from decades ago. You will have to look at each model’s safety features before buying one, as they can differ significantly.
The simplicity of electric fan heaters can be their downfall because they are often too simple. You switch them on, and they power up and generate heat. That’s it! Simple, right? The downside is that it is easy to forget to switch them off before you leave the house. When choosing a fan heater, it will help to look for a model with added safety features if you are worried about leaving the fan running for hours.
Which should I choose?
While there is little difference between a ceramic and a fan heater in functionality, if your main concerns are over safety, then ceramic heaters are generally safer than standard fan heaters. Ceramic heaters have a raft of safety features that most electric fan heaters lack, making them a more sensible choice.
Although ceramic heaters tend to come with more safety features than standard fan heaters, you should always be vigilant about their use. Position them away from flammable fabrics such as curtains, bedding and soft furnishings.
Regardless of whether you choose a ceramic heater or a fan heater, it should be plugged directly into a wall power socket.
Electric extension cords are unsuitable for electric heaters due to the current load heaters need to operate efficiently.
When it comes to health concerns, many people are concerned about electromagnetic pollution. Issues such as this may only be a concern if you sleep right next to the heater. Another concern is over carbon monoxide. Unlike gas central heating boilers, ceramic heaters don’t produce this harmful gas. Only heaters that burn fuel can potentially release carbon monoxide emissions.
If you are looking for a high-quality ceramic heater for your home, we would recommend the following model:
Pro Breeze® 2000W Ceramic Fan Heater
Pro Breeze® 2000W Ceramic Fan Heater
- 2000W and 1200W setting
This is a top-quality, energy-efficient, portable ceramic heater that, despite its compact size, packs a powerful punch with its 2000W system. This Pro Breeze model comes with plenty of valuable features, including:
- Automatic Oscillation
- 2 Heat Settings
- Tip-Over Protection
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 15.5 x 26 cm. 220-240V, 50Hz.
This is an ideal portable heater for use around the home, in your home office, study, or garage or for warming up a chilly bathroom before use.
The automatic oscillation feature will rotate from side to side to quickly and efficiently warm up a whole room, making it a comfortable environment for work, study or relaxing. This model uses advanced ceramic heating elements that deliver faster and more effective performance than traditional electric fan heaters.
It has two power settings – 2000W (High) and 1200W (Low). You can use the high-power setting to quickly warm up a room and then switch to the low-power setting to maintain a comfortable room temperature. It has built-in overheat protection and an anti-tip-over switch.