Heaters: Ceramic?...or, Halogen?

I’ve never used anything better than convector heaters, to heat those room in which I’m going to spend an appreciative time. Recently, I had two recommendations made to me, about (1) Halogen Heaters, and (2) Ceramic Heaters.

In your experience/s, which one is better/worse?..and, why?

Personally I use a fan heater, to heat my rooms I have a very old one with a wire element but my newer one is a PTC type which I presume is the ceramic type you refer too.

The PTC one is fine and you don’t get the glowing element as with the older one and the power consumption is far less than the older one. With the latter I can blow the fuse if I turn on a kettle on the same circuit. Never happens with the PTC one, it draws a lot less current

Whether it is efficient enough for heating a UK home I don’t know but you probably have better home insulation than me

I had to look up what PTC meant = Positive temperature coefficient

Both have their place in home heating, but speaking from experience, those halogen tube heaters are too bright for low positioned heaters. If I had to choose, then ceramic would be my choice; they also last longer before failing.

Fortunately or unfortunately life was never meant to be simple & same goes for heaters and heater type NAMES.,

There are so called halogen typeS with e.g. 2200C 900C and 300C being common
There are Quartz tube types
There are Ceranic plate and ceramic rod types both with & without fans.
There are Infrared types both wit & without filters
And the list rolls on…

I had a Quartz tube ( IR ) type for years until it expired of old age about 9 months ago.
I loved it but finding a direct replacement during Covid and a period of extended cold weather was impossible.

I reluctantly bought a ceramic fan heater which annoyed me for two reason - the bloody fan noise and the type of heat they emit which heats the air but not your actual skin and body unlike the Quartz or Infrared types.

Only recently after suffering the fan heater ( it’s not loud but it is alway THERE ) in this otherwise peaceful room.

Then suddenly I was reminded of a medical Infrared lamp I’d once had.
But WHERE to get one ?
Bottom line is a mix of solutions.

I found that although the old Infrared ‘bulbs’ are not easy to find as medical - the same is available readily through hardware supermarkets in their bathroom departments as the same is used often in sets of four for overhead bathroom heating.

So right here & now I have this LOVELY warmth that penetrates my legs and body rather than just blowing a hot wind at me.
It’s simply mounted underneath my desk towards the rear & facing down towards my legs and feet, It’s GREAT !!!

The plus side is that it also only uses around 250w ie, roughly 1/4 of what the fan heater uses even when on MINIMUM setting.

And if the overall room becomes a little cool I simply tweak the thermostat on the fan heater some distance away from me.

I could easily run 4 Infrared bulbs/lamps & still only use the same electricity as the fan on munimum setting but have found that to be totally unnecessary.


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I don’t know much about stuff really so I could well be wrong :rofl:

But I thought the difference between halogen and ceramic heaters was that halogen give out a radiant heat that heats up what it bounces off, but not the air, and ceramic ones with a fan heat up the air?

We had a halogen heater for mum as well as her central heating because she liked to sit and toast her legs by it and found it cosy

But it was expensive to run, really, and I found the heat in the room patchy, when it wasn’t pointed at you it was cold, so if you move around a lot, not so good. It’s out in the garage now, OK to point at you when you’re working

Last winter when the fuel prices shot up, we kept the central heating as low as possible and used one of these ceramic heaters when we went in rooms we don’t use much and to give the sitting room a boost

We found it did the job well, warms up the space quickly and all over. I don’t think it would be good as your only form of heating, though and it is quite noisy

It’s up in my husbands office now because he doesn’t have the radiator on in there and it’s good for a quick warm up

The thing with all portable heaters, though, is to be careful, din’t leave them unattended, don’t fall asleep with them on because they are a major cause of house fires if they get knocked over etc

Ceramic radiators because they keep giving stored heat for quite a long time after the thermostat has cut the electric off. This can make them less expensive to run. It could be argued that they take a while to warm up, during which time they don’t give out a lot of heat …but they do warm up more quickly than a central heating (water) radiators running off a gas boiler.

Wow, okay! A mine of helpful information, there. I think I’m gonna save myself some money when I get these. As for “unattended”…I’m a paranoid about that type of thing - it either goes with me, or it’s turned off. Thanks, guys!

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Hi there Bruce,

“The PTC ceramic materials are doped using barium titanate in a laboratory to create the precise temperature threshold required. The heater can be designed for a specific application and temperature.”

You may find that if you turn on that jug at the same time as you turn on your PTC heater that you may still “blow the fuse” or perhaps you meant trigger the circuit breaker.

The reason if so, is because the PTC heater will at switch on, draw a heavy current to rapidly heat the ceramic until such time as an appropriate temperature has been reached.

At that point the PTC effect kicks in, the resistive characteristics change and the current drawn is throttled back markedly but enough to maintain the required tempertature. ( and hence no bye bye to jug heating )

Incidentally those PTC elements are also used in ATMs, car heaters, air conditioners & a whole range of other devices.

We’ve come a long way from that coiled resistance wire on a rod or cone heater, eh ?


I haven’t a clue.

I’d have to be in two places at once to do that.

I’m not impressed with either. Ceramic seem to remove all humidity from the air. Hallogen blinding. Convector work best if you need heat in a hurry. Or just an electric blanket/throw is the most cost effective.

Bruce originally said…
"With the latter I can blow the fuse if I turn on a kettle on the same circuit. "

Bruce responded…
" I’d have to be in two places at once to do that."

OK, :slightly_smiling_face: let me rephrase that … I simply meant if you turned on that kettle on the same circuit at near the same time as the heater then what I suggested might still happen.
i.e. during the initial high current period of your PTC heater.

It literally lasts for seconds, I have measured and observed it with a power meter when I was comparing the two fan heaters ages ago