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?

6 Answers 6


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.

  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.


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.


I put my oil heater in a corner with a small fan mounted on the wall near the ceiling. The hot air rises up along the wall toward the fan, which then draws in the hot air from the ceiling and blows it down into the center of the room.

It seems pretty efficient and the air is well mixed. I'm using one of those small floor fans you can tilt up and down, which I bought for under $15, and was very easy to mount on the wall.

Btw, we run the oil heater on 600w mode, which keeps our room warm all the time. The walls near the heater don't get hot, but I don't know how hot the walls might get at higher power modes.

In our case I have seen the walls reach 80-90° max, which is no concern. Theoretically heating near the walls wastes a little but more power compared to in the center of the room, but it would be much more difficult to align the fan and the heater in the middle of the room.


I'm late to the party but I feel there's truth in Tony's and Hobbe's answer. Hot air will rise so disturbing it to blend with the rest of the room would help.

Working with an oil heater there's only radiant and conductive great transfer occurring so a fan would help as it'll introduce convective heat transfer which is much larger than the other two noted.

A sure fire way would be to hit both measures. Add convective heat transfer and disturb the static air in the room. To do this aim the fan upwards at full speed with the heater in front of it.


I have a 5 fin oil filled radiator in a 10x12 foot room. I place the heater next to the wall in the middle and I have a desk fan on low table about 5 foot away and it blows at the heater on slow speed (fans blades are 1 foot in diameter), this circulates the air sufficiently to give a uniform heat in the room. Only drawback is the heater obviously stays on longer before it reaches temperature setting and switches off. I leave the heater on the 500 watt setting and this does the trick. This costs about 10p an hour….

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