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Best Heater: Wick Heaters VS Fan Assist Heaters

A parody image of Street fighter 2 where the characters have been replaced by Fan Assist Heaters and Wick Heaters.

Are you looking to find out what’s the best heater – a Wick Heaters or Fan-Assisted Heater? Which is going to warm the cockles of your heart as much as it warms the base of your feet this Winter? Well, strap in, you freezin’ beauty – We’re about to find out. Let’s start with a factor than most people base their decision on:

Initial Cost of heater

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Fan-Assist Heaters are more expensive at the checkout. Our most affordable Fan-Assist heater, the Inverter Heater comes just under the €300 mark. The Wick Heater with the most similar power output to the Inverter, the Tosai Wick Heater comes in at about €220. There’s a pretty obvious winner in this respect. I mean just think of how many Freddo Bars you could buy with that saving, for a start. Sure, these heaters don’t have the same features, but in general, Wick-Heaters are cheaper at the checkout. We’ll look at the long term cost after we look at some other things first, such as how they’re powered – For now, though, we have a winner.

Initial Cost Winner: Wick Heaters

 

Power Source

A plug main power and a large blue battery floating in the sky. They are clearly about to fight to the death, or something to that end. It is a battle to see what's better in a heater - mains power or battery power

The Fan Assist Heaters require mains power (i.e. a plug) to operate. They really only need it to get started and for their digital display, but they do require a mains power connection at all times to operate at all. The good news is that their electricity usage is minuscule. Fan-Assist heaters can pump out hot air that bit quicker, but they are limited to a place where there is a plug socket nearby.

Your Wick heaters won’t require a plug, as they’re battery operated (Either C or D type batteries, depending on the model). That means they’re super portable and can even be taken camping etc (just keep an eye on them in the rain!). The downside is that it does mean that their ever-so-slightly slower to heat up and that you’re reliant on having batteries to hand throughout the Winter months.

It’s swings-and-roundabouts here, folks.

Power Source Winner: Draw.

Portability

Blanka carrying a wick heater

It should come as no surprise to learn then that Wick Heaters are considerably more portable. We even have a camping stove Wick Heater (check it out here) that can be taken when you’re out on the moors or fishing in January, for god knows what reason.

While Fan Assist heaters aren’t heavy, they’re going no further than the nearest plug will allow.

Portability Winner: Wick Heaters

 

Power

We’ve included this because people often ask ‘which is more powerful’? The power is denoted by the KW output. It’s as simple as that.
In the same power-output bracket, you’ll usually find that the Wicks are cheaper – but as you’ll soon discover, that’s more to do with the extra features than anything else.

Power Winner: Draw

Heaters’ Features

All our heaters are CE approved and have anti-topple sensors for safety (excluding the camping stove, which cannot be used indoors because of this). That’s where the similarities end.

Fan Assist Heaters are jam-packed with features. They’ve more features than a new Amusement Park. They’ve Carbon Monoxide Alarms, a 24-hour programmable mode and child safety locks. They’re a great, safe heating option and the programmable timer function means you can wake up warm too. That in itself is worth the extra few quid during the Winter months, I reckon. These are all nice additions, but ones which are all reflected in the higher price of the unit.

Wick heaters have none of these function. They function perfectly well as heaters, but they’re a far simpler option overall.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: Fan Assist Heaters

 

Fuel Usage

an oil spill design with the words 'which heater uses the more fuel' written on top of it. The oil is rainbow coloured.

It wouldn’t be silly to think that two similarly powered heaters would use the same fuel, but one of the features we didn’t mention above, moves the goalposts.

Our Fan Assist Heaters have an Eco Mode button. This not only saves you fuel, but it means you don’t have to get up to adjust the power. I know, it’s like having Captain Planet sitting on the couch beside you, there.

In a nutshell, when pressed, the Eco Mode makes the heater use its internal thermostat to regulate the temperature and save on fuel. Say for example you like the room at 22 degrees. You dial this into the fan assist heater and when the heater reaches this, the internal thermostat sends a message to the fan to stop pushing out hot air. The fuel is put on hold and it’s only used when the heater senses the temperature is dropping below your desired temperature of 22°. It’s fantastic. It saves you about 10-20% of fuel on average, too.

Wick Heaters don’t have this option. As a result, unless you’re monitoring it yourself, the heater won’t turn off of its own accord and you might end up with an overly hot room.

Winner: Fan Assist Heaters

 

Long-Term Cost

You’d be a right auld eejit if you thought that the price at the till is the only cost of any importance. Paraffin Heaters are considerably cheaper to run than the alternatives. However, they still have an on-going fuel cost, much like a car would.

As noted above, the Eco Mode is going to save you fuel in the long run. So overall, if you have a Fan Assist heater, like the K4600, the amount of fuel used to maintain a room’s temperature will be considerably less. There are other costs that need to be considered too.

Wick Heaters, unsurprisingly, need a wick to heat. You will need to replace these wicks on average, every 2 years. Replacement wicks are only €25, so they’re not going to break the bank. But if you don’t look after your wick correctly (i.e. not letting it steep long enough on the first insertion before lighting, etc.), you might be looking at replacing them a lot sooner.

The Inverter doesn’t require a wick, but it does require mains power (i.e. a plug), but as stated already it uses minimal electricity. Overall, the eco-mode is the only major difference here.

Winner: Fan Assist Heaters (but only just)

 

Ease of Use

Wick Heaters are exceptionally easy to use. Press a switch and that’ll get the wick burning. Changing the Wick is probably as hard as it gets, but even then there are a load of YouTube videos on how to do this. If you need something simple, you’ll do well to find something easier than the Wick Heater.

Fan Assist Heaters are a bit more technical. They’re by no means difficult to use, but you might need to read the manual to set the child-safety mode. Dialling in the 24-hour programmable mode option might need a bit of research too.

You refill the fuel on these heaters in the same manner. It’s simple and the pumps make this a doddle.

Winners: Wick Heaters

 

Result

an inverter fan assist heater facing off against a wick heater in street fighter 2's Ryu stage
A real score-draw. There is no better heater, really – it’s horses for courses. I know, what an anticlimax.

If you want a high-tech, intelligent heater with a fan to heat a room nice and quickly, the Fan Assist Heaters are for you.
If you you want something inexpensive, simple and that doesn’t need mains power, you can’t get better than a Wick Heater.
And regardless of what heater you choose, remember one thing – don’t put bleedin’ kerosene in them

Do you want to see some dandy heaters? Well then, you can check out our range here.
Have you read this lovely blog and still feel lost?  You can call us at 018644247, if so. You can message us on Facebook or visit us at our Finglas Showroom too.

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