Fan heater INDOLA FS-7, around 1970

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 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek

This fan heater looks like it could also have been used by aliens to land on earth. Once activated, the heating coils can be seen glowing red behind the vent.

Electricity was soon also used for generating heat. Mobile electrical heaters, mostly consisting of heating coils inside a ceramic casing, were already affordable for many household from the 1920s onwards. After World War II, the so-called fan heaters asserted themselves. Apart from the heating coils, they also contain a ventilator which disperses the warmed up air.

After the first manned space flights at the end of the 1960s, space flight enthusiasm reached its peak. This was reflected in the fashion, design as well as architecture. The fan heater, which looks like an UFO, dates from this period. Even the power plug of the device has a futuristic design.

The heater from the collection of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) was made by INDOLA, a Dutch manufacturer of ventilators. Its type plate offers information about output and consumption: 2,000 Watt, 220 Volt, 50 Hertz. There are two switches for the heat output and one for the fan, which can also be used for cooling purposes. Apart from the conspicuous yet clear design, its method of heat dispersion is another distinctive feature: in contrast to most commercially available appliances, the warmed up air is dispersed in all directions. In order, therefore, to ensure the best possible distribution, the appliance should be positioned in the centre of the room.

The main advantage of fan heaters is their simple and readily available heat output. This makes them particularly suitable for transition periods and as an additional heating module.



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