They are all bathroom heaters
Whatever their brand name, thermo ventilators, bathroom warmers, bathroom ventilating heaters etc. are in fact all bathroom heaters. The main functions claimed are heating, ventilating, air circulation and drying clothes.
Getting to know the two main types
There are two main types of thermal ventilators - ceiling mounted and window mounted:
Window mounted models can be installed in the 20 cm (about 8 inches) wide opening of the bathroom window for the ventilator fan, while the ceiling mounted models may require the installation of a suspended ceiling to conceal the ventilation pipes. Some models can be either installed in the window, on the ceiling or mounted on the wall. However, models without waterproof designs will require a waterproof cover to be installed at additional cost.
Some thermal ventilators have a special compressor dehumidifying function which allegedly enhances the efficacy of drying clothes and the bathroom, and both window mounted and ceiling mounted models are available.
Four main selection criteria for bathroom heaters
The following video clip includes the main points of comparison between different heater models:
1. Size of the bathroom and the heater
If there is no window in the bathroom, the installation of a ceiling mounted thermal ventilator can be considered. As compared to wall mounting models, the distance for the delivery of warm air is shorter and hence more effective. On the other hand, window type models are usually smaller and can be conveniently installed in the opening for the bathroom ventilator fan.
2. Heating capacity
To find a thermal ventilator with strong heating capacity, it is most important to know its rated power as the heating function of the thermal ventilator comes mainly from a PTC (positive thermal coefficient, or thermistor) ceramic heater and a fan to blow out the warm air. The key factor affecting the production of warm air is the power of the heating element. Therefore, a 2,000 watt (W) bathroom heater can generate more heat than a 1,200W one.
It should be noted that the Consumer Council has found in tests that for most thermal ventilators with ceramic heaters, the measured input power is higher than their rated input power when operating under low temperatures. Due consideration should be given to the potential upsurge in electric current to avoid tripping the circuit breaker, especially in severely cold weather.
3. Clothes drying function
According to tests conducted by the Consumer Council, the clothes drying speed of the best and worst performing models differ by as much as 5 times! Ceiling mounted models perform generally better in drying clothes. They take less time and consume less energy. When drying clothes, ceiling type models deliver warm air from top to bottom which blows dry wet clothes hanging near the air outlet, resulting in a more even drying effect.
In addition, some thermal ventilators will exchange the moist air indoors with drier air from the outside. This ventilation operation design can also help speed up the drying of clothes. Moreover, heaters with built-in compressor dehumidifying functions can remove moisture condensation and reduce the humidity in the vicinity in order to speed up the removal of moisture from the clothes. However, there are not many choices for this type of model.
Window type models are mostly installed with a waterproof shell so that they can be mounted conveniently outside the window, and the cost of buying another waterproof cover can be saved.
Installation costs are higher for ceiling mounted models due to the need for installing a suspended ceiling. Therefore, when selecting models, it is also important to ask whether the price includes installation fees, the length of the maintenance period as well as whether additional on-site inspection fees are required.
To learn more about the Consumer Council's detailed test results for 10 bathroom heaters, please click
[ Issue 494 of the Choice Magazine “Enjoy a warm winter! 2 bathroom heaters warm air and dry clothes fast!” (Chinese version only) ]
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