What is the best ceiling heater? The first thing to consider is what company made a device you are going to buy. When you opt for a brand, you get guarantees that the product is quality and reliable. As for technical specifications, you need to consider the volume of heat the unit can handle, versus the size of the room you are trying to heat. Since almost all ceiling heaters are electric, energy efficiency is also essential. It should have enough power level and volume to meet your needs. We believe that the Panasonic FV-11VH2 Ceiling fits these criteria best.
What Is a Ceiling Heater and How Does It Work?
This is a type of heater a lot of homeowners don’t think much about. That’s not to say they think poorly of them, they’re just not something they consider, because for most homes, they’re not ideal. These tend to be found in wide open areas, and those with relatively high and sometimes open ceilings.
You see them all the time, you really do. But you never notice them, because they’re in commercial spaces where the entire environment draws attention away from the ceiling, generally. They’re boxy-looking devices, often with a vent on their underside, and often, ductwork connected to them to distribute heat across other locations in the space.
Sometimes there are two or three of them, if you pay attention in grocery stores or the likes of WalMart, you’ll start to notice these. Sometimes, there’s one massive one, often in the back of the store, a massive box hanging from an inverted gantry, with large pipes leaving it, and branching across the ceiling like tree roots.
This is the ceiling heater, and as far as heating technology for thermogenic processes, they’re not unique. They’re usually electric, and use heating elements to produce the heat, and a blower component to move the air. They’re fairly quiet, though they make a creaking noise when they first kick on.
This is a fairly straightforward way to industrially heat something without drilling or cutting into floors and walls, and having to route from an obtuse location. While I don’t recommend installing this yourself (we’ll get into that), they’re fairly straightforward.
This makes them fairly inexpensive to install, easy to access and maintain, and in many cases, very efficient in actuality.
They’re, as I said, not ideal for residential spaces usually, but there are exceptions to this, but we’ll get into that in a few minutes.
When you’re looking for one of these, you want to factor in some of the same things you do with any other kind of heater. The difference is that almost all ceiling heaters are electric, so you’re not likely to worry about concerns regarding incendiary fuels, exhaust or the like.
You do need to consider the volume of heat it can handle, versus the size of the room you’re trying to heat. You need to consider whether or not you want to run just one of these heaters, or use a few in parallel. You need to consider the control interfacing that it’ll require, because these will need thermostats and switches to turn them on and off, and to regulate the temperatures or how hard they run.
Energy efficiency is a big one too, because the one disadvantage that these have is hot air rising. This means, to keep the heat from hugging the ceiling, you have to work harder to push it downward, which uses up more electrical energy on top of generating the previously-mentioned heat. It also has to work to push this hot air through ducts and diffusers in many cases.
You need to consider all of these things, because replacing these, or building onto them to amplify power – this can all become a tangled mess you don’t want to have to contend with. You do not want your HVAC system to become complicated and unbalanced, it will cost you dearly to fix this, and in the meantime, your energy bills will skyrocket as you’re overworking some of your devices, and your heat is uneven, causing you to constantly have to pump more hot air into the space.
It’ll become a maintenance nightmare too. So, pick the right power level and volume for your needs right out of the gate. You’ll thank me later.
TOP Best Ceiling Heaters
Below, you will find a review of the best ceiling heaters at a price ranging from $60 to $260. The first one is meant for a single small to medium-sized room, sheds and bathrooms. The second model can be used to heat a small garage, shop or a small storefront. Unlike the Broan model, the ceiling heater made by Panasonic comes with duct connections and is much more powerful.
Broan Model 157 Low-Profile Ceiling Heater
This is actually a bit different from most ceiling heaters, including the ones I’ve mostly described, and I figured, well, why not show off how diverse these can be. This one, though, isn’t really ideal for most of the applications that most ceiling heaters are used for.
This saucer-shaped thing looks like an alien spacecraft, but it’s actually a small-scale heater/blower that mounts similar to domed light fixtures and the like. These are meant for a single small to medium-sized room, and thus you see them often in use in the likes of sheds, sometimes bathrooms where you want a little more heat than the ambient house temperature, or efficiency apartments.
- Power – 1250w, 120v.
- Forced air – Yes.
- Circuit requirement – 15A circuit minimal.
- Weight – 1lbs.
- Form factor – Domed light fixture style.
- Duct connections – No.
- Thermostat Interface – Sort of.
This will heat something like a shed, a single room, or an efficiency apartment quite readily, so they’re fine for that. Broan is a reputable manufacturer of HVAC equipment, so you know you’re getting something durable and powerful for the most part. Paired with a ceiling fan in push mode, and it’s pretty quick and effective.
I don’t recommend these for most situations where you need a ceiling heater, though, as these are something of a niche implementation if we’re being perfectly honest with ourselves.
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Broan: Check the current price
Panasonic FV-11VH2 Whisper Warm 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan with Heat | Best Bathroom Ceiling Heater
I know, right? Panasonic made a heater? I was surprised too, but the truth is, Panasonic has their fingers in a lot, and I mean a lot of electrical devices across a whole, vast range of industries and applications, including some HVAC stuff.
Unlike their TVs and VCRs in the 1990s, these heaters are very long-lasting, ruggedly-built, powerful and very high-quality stuff. This is your typical small-scale ceiling heater, meaning if you want to heat a large space, the scope may be a little on the small side, but it works just fine.
You can heat a small garage, a small shop, a small storefront etc. with this kind of heater just fine.
- Power – 220v
- Forced air – Yes.
- Circuit requirement – .25A circuit minimal.
- Weight – 22.7lbs.
- Form factor – Box style ceiling heater.
- Duct connections – Yes.
- Thermostat Interface – Yes.
Panasonic’s actually made a pretty decent heater here. Is it the crème of the crop? No, but it’s pretty powerful for its size. It’s very efficient, putting out 110 cubic feet of heat per minute, with a very low noise threshold.
The problem is, it’s a smaller one, so if you want to heat a large area, you may need multiple instances of these. Grocery stores, warehouses and the like generally need a bigger unit than this.
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Panasonic: Check the current price
10 Best-Selling Ceiling Heaters Comparative Table
How to Install a Ceiling Heater
Alright, I’m going to start with saying this – don’t. This is something a professional should do, and I’ll explain why. I’m also going to give you a brief overview of what’s involved, which should better help you appreciate why a professional should really be the one doing this.
This requires some competent structural work, first of all. With most of these, you have to install a support gantry, and while it’s not the most complex thing ever, it is something you have to make sure you do completely properly, lest the heater fall off and potentially injure someone. Vibrations can shake this loose as well, so you really better be handy with this.
Next, it has to be wired up, which requires running high-voltage wire to it from your main box, often installing a separate box for it as well. Obviously, this isn’t immediately dangerous (aside from branching the main line), because you’re not stupid enough to play with live wire. But this wiring is kind of complex, and interfacing a thermostat more so. None of this stuff is as standardized as it could be, to be perfectly honest.
Lastly, you have to run ductwork and air piping for these as well. This is the simpler of the tasks, but it’s something that, if not done right, can result in your system not working very well. You really do need to have a professional do this, unless you actually possess commercial-level skills in these things yourself. DIY is great and can save you a lot of money, but sometimes, it’s just better to have a professional handle something like this. After all, this is why professionals are sought out – they can make sure this is done right, done to code, and also that it doesn’t look awful.
Pros & Cons of Ceiling Heaters
Ceiling heaters are ideal for specific environments, but there are times when they’re not ideal. They also aren’t perfect, and with any decision regarding your heating system, you’re always going to make some sort of compromises, guaranteed. So, let’s talk first about when these are best suited for your environment, because if you’re not heating the types of environments which I describe next, you don’t want one of these. Heating is diverse, allowing for specialism in different conditions, after all.
- Lofts – Loft-style residential spaces where the area’s mostly open with a high ceiling, can often benefit from a ceiling heater, because it can fairly efficiently heat this kind of space, and make for easy maintenance and overall usage.
- High-Ceiling Garages and Workshops – If my garage/workshop were bigger, and I needed more intense heat in the winter than I do, I’d probably have one of these in there. Similar to lofts and studio apartments, the high ceilings and open areas are what these are the most ideal for.
- Retail Spaces – They don’t have to be an open ceiling plan, but drop ceilings will probably be required. However, like I said, they are used heavily in these environments, and for a reason.
- Industrial Spaces – These are also ideal for large, high-ceiling industrial places as well.
- Easy to access, fairly centralized, and very efficient for the most part.
- Simple to install for a professional.
- Easy to maintain, thanks to accessibility and relative simplicity in their design.
- They have to work hard to force that air downward, because hot air rises. Many heating solutions use the ground to disperse the heat. Diffusers help, but it does burn some energy.
- They need voluminous spaces with high ceilings.
Table of Content
- What is a ceiling heater and how does it work?
- Important characteristics of ceiling heaters
- Pros & Cons of ceiling heaters
- TOP best ceiling heaters