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I have a finned oil heater and a tower fan. I need to heat my bedroom quickly, during the winter, as this bedroom has no central heating.

The finned oil heater has 7 fins about 4cm apart. The tower fan is the same height at the oil heater, and the outlet is about 4cm wide.

The heater gets very hot (burning to touch), but there isn't much airflow in this room. It takes about 1:30 to heat on its own. The room is about 10 x 10 ft.

How can I use the fan to heat the room fast?

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It takes a long time to heat your room because the heat from the static heater moves to the ceiling so that you don't feel it at the beginning. As you wait, there is more air being heated, and the height above which there is hot air becomes smaller.

Therefore, I do not totally agree with Hobbes' answer. Here is what I would do:

  1. Place the heater in the middle of the room.

  2. Place the fan such that it blows air on the heater. Set it to maximum.

The maximum setting won't add more heat in the room (except from the fan's motor, but that is negligible). However, it will create turbulent mixing of the air. Therefore, instead of having hot air at the ceiling of your room and still cold air at your height, you would obtain air at a medium temperature, fairly uniform in the whole room.

Perhaps putting the fan such that it blows from the bottom to the top of the room (or reverse) would be another option to prevent the formation of cold and hot air layers.

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  1. Place the heater in the middle of the room.
  2. Place the fan near the heater, aim the air stream at the heater and away from the coldest point in the room (e.g. windows).
  3. Run the fan at its lowest setting. You don't need much airflow.

If the hallway to your room is heated, place the fan in the door opening to transfer some of the warm air from the hallway to the room.

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We use a box fan behind the electric "finned radiator" type heaters. Run at low, it makes for a fairly quick heat-up.

Of course, where we live electric heat isn't real economical, but if you have no other choice, this works pretty well for us in the Midwest US.

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