Detailed comparison of convectors and fan heaters

We have many options available to us for heating our homes, each with advantages and disadvantages of its own. The two most popular kinds of heating equipment are fan heaters and convectors. Although they both have the same goal of warming our living areas, they function differently and have unique benefits and drawbacks. To assist you in choosing the best option for your home, we will examine the differences between convectors and fan heaters in this comprehensive comparison.

One common option for heating homes is a convector. In order for these devices to function, cool floor air must be drawn in, heated, and then released from the top. Convectors are typically connected to a central heating system and placed along the base of walls. They work well to rapidly heat a space and keep it at a steady temperature. They may, however, take a little while to react to temperature changes.

Conversely, fan heaters are a more transportable choice. They quickly heat the air that is subsequently distributed throughout the space by using an electric fan to force air over a heating element. Fan heaters are perfect for spot heating or for use in spaces without a central heating system since they react quickly. They might not be as energy-efficient as convectors, though, and they can be noisy.

The heating mechanism of convectors and fan heaters is one of their main distinctions. Fan heaters use a fan to force air over a heating element; convectors rely on the natural convection process to move air. Their performance, efficiency, and suitability for various heating needs can all be impacted by this basic difference in how they work.

A key consideration when deciding between convector and fan heaters is energy efficiency. Convectors, which distribute heat by using the natural flow of air, are renowned for their energy efficiency. On the other hand, because of how the fan operates, fan heaters might use more energy. Making an informed decision that benefits both the environment and your wallet can be facilitated by being aware of how much energy each option uses.

The upfront cost and installation of convectors as opposed to fan heaters is another factor to take into account. Convectors are typically installed as an expensive component of central heating systems. Conversely, fan heaters are usually less expensive and easier to transport from one room to another. When assessing the overall cost-effectiveness of each option, it is important to consider energy efficiency and long-term operational costs as well.

Aspect Convectors
Heating Method Convection
Speed of Heating Slow
Distribution of Heat Uniformly across the room
Noise Level Quiet
Energy Efficiency High
Initial Cost Higher
Maintenance Cost Lower
Portability Less portable
Safety Safe to touch; suitable for households with children and pets
Design Sleek and often wall-mounted
Application Ideal for regular and prolonged heating needs

Differences between convectors and fan heaters: compare by selection criteria

The principle of convector heating is natural air circulation, in which warm air rises. It takes longer for the gadgets to enter operating mode. By enhancing the room’s circulation of warm and cold streams, heat fans help to avoid the stratification effect from forming. This is merely a cursory evaluation of functionality.

How the convector and the fan heater work

Convectors are heating devices that use air circulation to transfer heat from the heating element to the heated space. The convector’s design facilitates natural convection, which is the process by which air that has already heated up from contact with a coolant or heating element rises to the top and is replaced by cold air.

Fan heaters are electric appliances that use an integrated fan to force air through the heating element. The air is forced out of the room by the revolving blades, passes through the heating element, and is then forced back into the room when it is heated. Convector and fan heaters work on similar principles. The design elements are primarily different.

The primary characteristics of the apparatus that allow for comparison are as follows:

  • time to reach the operating mode (increase of t in space);
  • type of heating element;
  • power;
  • sizes and method of installation;
  • protection systems;
  • control;
  • additional options.

It goes without saying that the functionality and features of the heating appliances directly affect their capacity. Let’s address each one of them.

Heating speed and what it depends on

When the power is properly chosen, heat fans can raise the room’s air temperature several times more quickly. This results from the previously discussed enhanced/accelerated air recirculation.

Conversely, convectors provide strong "diffused" heating. Typically, they are placed where heat loss is greatest—around windows, balcony entrances, etc. Furthermore, the appliances in question exhibit superior energy efficiency. For zone heating, heat fans are typically used when rapid warming is required.

It is advised to use these devices in tandem if you want to quickly achieve and maintain a comfortable, uniform temperature. Alternatively, you can buy more advanced, functional models that come with extra features and dependable security measures.

Permissible power

Convectors have a power range of 500–3000 W, while fan heaters have a power range of 600–2000 W (usually heat gun power). The 1000 W per 10 m² calculation yields the heating area for both devices. P (power in kW) = S (floor area m2) divided by 10 (numerical coefficient) is the formula that applies in this case. It is also advised that a 20–30% power reserve be incorporated.

For instance, the required output for a 17.7 m² space is 17.7/10 * 1.2 (20% reserve) = 2.124 kW.

Purchasing two 1000 W units instead of one 2000 W unit makes more sense if you need to heat two rooms that are each 10 m². In the second scenario, there will be strong—even excessive—heating in one room, while the other will be cool. This will also make sense if the room is small and has very high ceilings.

Type of heating element and influence on microclimate

The equipment’s properties are directly impacted by the heating element, specifically the rate at which the device enters operating mode, consumption, heat retention duration, etc.

Convector heating

  1. Needle. The heating element is made of an alloy of nickel and chromium. Nichrome needles are mounted on the body of the heater, located on both sides of the heater, providing rapid heating. Advantages – faster achievement of the optimum temperature and low cost. Not recommended for use in rooms with high humidity.
  2. Tubular electric heater (TENS). The design of this device is a hollow tube with a nichrome spiral enclosed in it. Insulating material is laid between the elements to improve heat transfer. The surface of the heating element is ribbed. This also increases the heat output. However, the time to reach operating modes is longer. The housing of the device is hermetically sealed, which allows it to be used in humid spaces.
  3. Monolithic. This heater is made of a body with a ribbed surface and a nichrome filament soldered into it. These models are considered the best, but expensive.

Convectors and fan heaters share a similar heating element design. The primary changes consist of:

  1. Metal coil. Most often, nichrome metal alloys are used for manufacturing. These devices are the cheapest. The temperature and heating speed are very high, which contributes to a rapid increase in the temperature in the room. The disadvantage of the element is combustion of particles falling on it (dust, small debris, fluff, etc.).д.).
  2. Ceramic plates. In this variant, the "filaments of incandescence" are enclosed in a cast monolithic housing. This type of equipment is characterized by safety and does not emit combustion products into the air. It takes longer to reach the operating mode. In this case, the heat transfer is higher and the heating is maintained longer.
  3. Tubular electric heater (TEN). In the production of designs, heat conductive material is used, which increases the functional resource of the heater and allows you to heat large areas. The heating temperature is high. Long continuous use is not recommended.

A common misconception is that heaters burn oxygen more fiercely. The air is dried out by all heating devices, as proven by science. The health of those who are hypersensitive (allergic, asthmatic, etc.) may be negatively impacted by this. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on the humidity level while using the equipment.

Comfort of operation

Convectors are quiet machinery. The noise produced by the cooler blades rotating is released by heat fans. The device’s operating parameters determine the background’s intensity.

Control and safety systems also contribute to comfortable surroundings. Devices from different brands may have different equipment. The most typical

  • thermostats – a universal system that protects the devices from overheating, automatically switches off when the required heating is reached and activates when the temperature decreases. It is much more often installed in convectors;
  • a button on the bottom of the case provides safety in case of falling (blocks the voltage supply in case of overturning), much more often used in convectors;
  • fuse works in a similar way to the thermostat, it is used in both convectors and fan heaters.

Current device models allow for temperature calibration with an accuracy of up to 1 °C; convectors at low cost can achieve this level of accuracy, but fan heaters require models costing four to five thousand rubles to adjust the temperature. Additionally, they have a timer that can be set for a few hours or weeks. "Smart Home" systems actively use intelligent appliances. It is possible to integrate multiple heaters into a single circuit (the procedures vary, but they are all managed by a single remote control).

There are fan heater modifications with swivel cases available. The heating is distributed more evenly with this solution.


If you intend to move the devices between rooms, you should take this parameter into consideration. Both weight and size affect mobility. When selecting equipment for small spaces, special consideration is given to size and form factor: in many cases, a larger convector cannot be installed, especially in order to comply with the regulations requiring free space around the heater.

Our comprehensive guide on selecting a fan heater Specific selection standards and the top ten models


One of the primary metrics used to assess a device’s maintainability and service life. The following factors are used to form the reliability class:

  • IP standard – dust and moisture protection;
  • service – number of centers and speed of problem solving;
  • % of factory defects;
  • cost of parts and repairs.

Convectors are frequently more stable, particularly when not using their full potential. The degree of dependability varies amongst brands. Examine official data and real owner reviews prior to purchasing. Do not disregard the operating guidelines at the same time. Whatever the category, operating under critical loads, improper handling, unprotected against voltage fluctuations, and other human factors all negatively affect systems.

Cost of the heater

Simple heat fan modifications start at 200–800 rubles, while convectors cost between 500 and 1000 rubles. A fan heater with an exceptional price-quality ratio can be acquired for approximately 1.5–2 thousand rubles, while a convector typically costs 3-5 thousand rubles.

However, everything is dependent on how the devices are modified, powered, and operated. A commodity product’s design and manufacturing materials have an impact on its price as well. Conducting a comparative study of vendors is advised. Select reputable vendors who offer warranties and sell authentic, branded goods at the same time.

The convector vs fan heater comparison is essential when looking for an efficient home heating system. Although they function differently, convectors and fan heaters have the same purpose. Convectors use convection to evenly distribute heat in a space. They are ideal for bedrooms because they are silent. In contrast, fan heaters rapidly warm a space by forcing warm air into it. They work better in smaller spaces for rapid heating. The decision between them comes down to your priorities: in a smaller space, is even, silent heat more important than quick heating? Knowing the distinctions enables you to choose the right insulation and heating system for your house.

There are a number of things to take into account when deciding between convector and fan heaters for home heating. The choice ultimately comes down to your personal requirements and preferences, as each option has advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re searching for a heating solution that distributes heat evenly and consistently throughout the space, convectors are a fantastic option. In order for them to function, cold air must be drawn over a heating element, warmed, and then released back into the space. Convectors are the best option for sustaining a comfortable temperature for an extended amount of time because they produce a gentle, continuous flow of warm air.

Fan heaters, on the other hand, are ideal for rapidly heating an area. They function by circulating air over a heating element and then expelling the heated air into the space via a fan. Fan heaters are a popular option for warming up cold rooms or adding extra warmth in particular areas of the house because of their exceptional efficacy in quickly heating small to medium-sized spaces.

Convector heaters typically have higher energy efficiency than fan heaters. Convectors can frequently heat a room more efficiently with less energy because they distribute heat more evenly and consistently. It’s important to remember, though, that the energy efficiency of fan heaters and convector heaters can differ based on a number of variables, including the house’s insulation and room size.

Convector heaters are usually quieter than fan heaters in terms of noise levels. Convectors are a great option for spaces like offices or bedrooms where noise pollution is an issue because they run quietly. Conversely, because the fan is forcing warm air into the space, fan heaters may make a little more noise. Even though some people might not find the noise level to be a big deal, it’s important to take that into account if you have hearing issues.

The decision between convectors and fan heaters ultimately boils down to your personal preferences and heating requirements. Convectors are the best option if you’re looking for reliable, even heating distribution as well as energy efficiency. Fan heaters are a great option, though, if you need to heat a room quickly or want something more portable. Convectors and fan heaters are both efficient ways to keep your house warm and cozy during the winter, depending on your preference.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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