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Add an Electric Ceiling Heater for Toasty Warmth Inside or Out

As winter approaches, you might find that parts of your home are not as warm as you’d like, or you want to spend time in a space that’s not heated. In either case, an electric ceiling heater can efficiently keep you feeling toasty warm.

Electric Ceiling Heater

These heaters are useful on a porch or covered patio to stay warm as the temperatures drop. They can also heat up a garage, she shed or workshop, allowing you to use the space in comfort throughout the seasons. As usual, not all types are created equal and you’ll want to do some research on types of electric ceiling heaters before you go out to buy one. 

Generally, there are three types of electric heaters:

Fan/Forced Air

These types of electric ceiling heaters use a fan to push hot air from around the heating element out into the room to raise the temperature. It can take a while to heat up and then make the environment warmer, s0 they are more suited to a small space and for those who don’t mind waiting to warm up.

Infrared or Radiant

For immediate warmth, nothing beats an infrared or radiant heater. Turn it on and the reflector immediately starts directing the heat rays outward and you’ll feel the warmth. The main difference radiant heat has over other types is that it does not warm the air. Instead, the infrared waves warm the objects they come into contact with — animate or inanimate.

This means that you’ll feel warm when standing in the path of the heat waves, but if you move to another area of the space you won’t. Also, as soon as you turn off the heater, the warmth stops. That said, an infrared or radiant heater provides intense and targeted heat which can be great for sitting outdoors in cold weather. Also, according to DIY enthusiasts, these types of heaters are great for workshops and craft spaces because there’s no forced air to blow any items or particle about the room.


These work on the same principle as the fan/forced air types of heaters mentioned above, but they have a ceramic heating element instead of a metal one. You might wonder what the big difference is and that comes in the heater’s effectiveness. They are better at heating the air in a space — especially a larger area — so if you want to warm up most of a covered patio or garage workshop, this is a good option. Just like the forced air heaters, the ceramic models also take some time to heat up before they’ll start making you warm.

Related: Scoff at Chilly Weather and Party Outdoors with a Commercial Patio Heater

Is Electric Better Than Gas?

Unless you’re looking for a portable tower heater that you can roll out to the middle of the yard on a whim, an electric heater may serve you better. In general, they are more efficient, cost-effective and easy to operate. Most of them can be used indoors or outdoors, unlike gas models that are limited to the outdoors. Gas heaters also need a propane tank or need to be hooked to a gas line to run and they also make noise, while electric heaters run silently. The biggest difference is that electric heaters are much easier to use. Just flip the switch. And, if you have a larger space to keep warm, it’s easy to install multiple units.

Ready to buy?  Here are some of the best electric ceiling heaters.

1. Infratech 6000W Dual Element Electric Infrared Patio Heater

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

Get a longer season of enjoyment from your patio or porch with the Infratech 6000W Dual Element Electric Infrared Patio Heater. You’ll have the benefits of immediate heat warming your seats and your guests and you won’t waste energy heating the air that will just blow away. This 304-grade stainless steel heater has a sleek style and can be used outdoors as well as indoors, mounted to the ceiling, a wall or a pole. With 6000 watts of power, it will warm a space about 11 feet by 11 feet and all WD-Series patio heaters have dual heating elements that concentrate heat in large areas. 

This infrared heater emits a warm glow and no glaring light. All the company’s units come with brackets that allow for the minimal clearance necessary from combustibles for safety. The quartz electric elements provide up to 5000 hours of use and the unit can be installed with a duplex switch so that it can run at half-power as an option. Made in the USA, this infrared heater is crafted from recyclable materials, making it eco-friendly too. Infratech covers its electric heater with a three-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Buyers should note that installation must be done by a professional electrician. 

2. Bromic Heating Tungsten Smart-Heat 56-Inch 6000W Dual Element

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

Black housing and mesh across the glowing heating element make this one of the most attractive infrared electric ceiling heaters. Bromic’s Tungsten Smart-Heat patio heater features a spectral reflector that helps spread the 6,000 watts heat evenly across an area as large as 160 square feet. This radiant heater has the option of being installed on the ceiling or on a wall and best of all, it can be wired into a smart system for custom control of your getting preferences. In fact, these heaters turn almost all the energy they use directly into heat. Inside, the tubes holding the heating element are frosted so that there’s no harsh glare, just a lovely warm glow.

This weather-resistant heater is protected by a high-temperature coating that resists corrosion as well as an enclosure around the wiring that keeps it tamper-proof. The mounting bracket can be adjusted to change the heat coverage and direction. Like most all infrared heaters, this Bromic Tungsten Smart model must be installed and hard-wired by a licensed electrician.  Mounting brackets of the proper size and length come with the Bromic heater, and a variety of accessories are available for the heater so that you can customize your installation. Bi-directional poles of varying lengths let you control the position of the heater and if you need to install a recessed heater, there are kits for that too. Bromic Heating covers its heaters with a one-year warranty against defects or faults in materials or workmanship. The tungsten electric element is covered against defects or faults in materials and/or workmanship for its intended lifetime.

3. Infratech Slimline Series 29 1/2-Inch 1600W Single Element Electric Infrared Patio Heater

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

Efficient infrared heating in a slim and sleek style will keep your family and friends toasty warm in any outdoor space. The look of the Infratech Slimline Series Electric Infrared Patio Heater is modern, thanks to the structural housing made from anodized aluminum with a brushed stainless steel facing. At just 4 3/4-inches wide, this heater is unobtrusive, can be mounted on the ceiling or the wall, and will only make a statement with the heat that it puts out. With 1600 watts of heating power, it will warm an area about five feet by five feet and is also UL listed for indoor use. Even better, the heaters work with smart hubs like Alexa for easy custom control.

Crafted from eco-friendly recyclable materials, these infrared heaters produce no greenhouse gas emissions, UV light or bad smells. Moreover, the heating element uses medium wave heat so that it doesn’t create glare or an unpleasant light. Like all US-made Infratech heaters, the Slimline Series Patio Heater comes with mounting brackets of the proper size and length for safety and optimum operation. Infratech covers this electric heater with a three-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship and the quartz electric elements are designed for up to 5000 hours of use.  Buyers should note that installation must be done by a professional electrician. 

4. Solaira Alpha Series Electric Patio Heater – 6000 Watts

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

Those who have an open-air deck or patio that is uncovered have options for an electric patio heater now too. The Solaira Alpha Series Electric 47 1/4-Inch Patio Heater is built for all kinds of weather conditions and sports a modern look. The manufacturer has created them to meet standards for water spray, so you can stay toasty in areas that aren’t protected, as well as those that are. Rust and weather-proof, this heater is made with a powder-coated aluminum body and stainless steel mounting accessories.

The great warmth this heater generates is made using Solaira Alpha Series heaters use infrared technology based on a short wavelength. This mode of heating warms people and things, so it’s not a problem if the wind kicks up. mount it on the wall or ceiling and just flip the switch to start feeling the heat right away. The Solaira Alpha Series was designed to be mounted on the ceiling or a wall. A three-year warranty protects the heater against defects in workmanship and materials while the emitter bulb covered for 1 year or 6,000 hours, whichever comes first. Buyers should note that the heater must be installed by a professional electrician and might need a dedicated circuit.

5. TPI Corporation HF686TC Fan Forced Portable Heater

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

If you’d rather warm the entire area instead of just the people in it, a forced fan heater like the TPI Corporation HF686TC is a great option. This heater throws odd heat for 10 feet and is ideal for smaller, protected spaces like sunrooms, workshops, basements and she-sheds. Best of all, this is a plug-in and go type of heater that does not require professional installation. It has a compact size and swivel base; mount it to a wall or ceiling,  or keep it portable and take it wherever you need.

Durable and reliable, it is shock-proof and moisture-proof, resists corrosion and is certified for indoor use. Inside the heater, a tubular steel heating element discharges the heat and the fan moves air at a rate of 262 cubic feet per minute. A temperature control thermostat lets you set the most comfortable heating level for the situation, from 35 to 85 degrees. For safety, the TPI Corporation HF686TC has a thermal cutout switch and a power light indicator. A six-foot power cord has a molded plug and it is UL compliant for the US and Canada. Buyers should be aware that although it’s a plug-in model, any heater’s voltage and wiring should appropriate for the electrical circuit where it will be used. In some cases it needs a stepped up outlet and breaker. Reviewers say that it had no problems heating a 25′ x 15′ glassed-in porch from a temperature of the 50s outside to 70s inside.

6. Patio Heater – Outdoor Heater

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

For an infrared ceiling heater that has the look of a stylish lighting fixture, the TRUSTECH Electric Heater is your pick. This technology warms people and objects and not the air, meaning that it’s super efficient. This lightweight model uses an adapted halogen tube as heating element and only needs three seconds before it’s sending out its warming rays, without the noise and draft of a fan. Developed for indoor as well as outdoor use, it’s 1,500 watts of power are environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. 

This ceiling heater needs minimal assembly — just attach the pull. Hang its 8-inch chain on a ceiling hook, plug it in and start enjoying the warmth. Happy buyers say that it gives off good heat and provides enough light that you won’t need a secondary source of illumination. Others note that it does not work as well in a space that is not enclosed. TRUSTECH covers this electric ceiling heater with two-year quality assurance and support for its lifetime of 6,000 hours.

7. Broan-NuTone 157 Low-Profile Fan-Forced Ceiling Heater

Broan NuTone 157 Low Profile Fan Forced Ceiling Heater

A low-profile electric ceiling heater can be a godsend, whether it’s for a garage workshop or just a bathroom that tends to always feel too chilly. The Broan-NuTone 157 Low-Profile Fan-Forced Ceiling Heater is a versatile model that easily installs onto any standard ceiling electrical box, providing a cost-effective way to get some extra heat where you need it. The low profile housing, which extends a mere 2.75 inches from the ceiling, means it can fit just about anywhere and the durable aluminum grille over the heating element has a satin finish that looks great. 

UL listed for safety and reliability, the Broan-NuTone 157 has a permanently lubricated motor, automatic overheat protection and an automatic shut-off. Its enclosed, metal-sheathed heating element delivers 1250-watts of warmth with no waiting period. Optional wall controls are available that include a thermostat or a 15-minute timer. Happy buyers say that this is perfect for a bathroom and note that the look is definitely on the industrial side.

It’s important to consider the size of space you want to heat and how you use that space before you buy any electric ceiling heater top make sure you get the right kind for your particular situation. The bottom line is that there’s no need to feel chilly whether you’re dining out on the patio or getting ready in the bathroom because there are electric ceiling heaters that can keep you toasty both indoors and outdoors.