Small and powerful, the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini is a great PTC fan heater that’s ideal for smaller rooms. With two heat modes, smart control and a built-in thermostat, it has all the controls you need and the ability to save money by producing heat only when it’s required. The only minor issues are that its bright lights can’t be turned off and that it switches to the fan-only mode rather than powering off when the target temperature has been reached.
- Neat smart features
- Doesn’t turn off when it hits temperature
- TypeThis is a PTC fan heater with smart controls.
- Power consumptionAt current prices of 34p per kW/h, this fan would cost 66p per hour to run on high heat; dropping down to low heat, it costs 37p per hour to run.
Fan heaters are a great way to quickly warm up a space, but they can be bulky and tricky to use. These are two pitfalls that the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini tries to avoid: it’s a tiny device, and it’s smart.
Decent performance, neat integrations and a useful app make it a great choice for smaller rooms, but I’d like the option for this fan heater to turn off whe n it hits the target temperature.
Design and Features
- Small and compact
- Smart control via app and voice
- Integrated thermostat
At just 260x170x170mm, the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini is a tiny fan heater that can sit on a desk or on the floor. That gives it a lot of flexibility, as it’s easy to move this heater around where you need it. I’d use it in smaller rooms of up to 15m² or closer up as a personal heater.
On top, you’ll find a set of touch controls that give full access to all of its features. Once the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini has been turned on using the power button, the rest of the controls become available.
There’s a button to cycle through the three modes: high heat, low heat, and cool. In the heat modes, the up and down arrows help select the target temperature. That’s a good feature to have, as the fan will save power by not pumping out heat when it’s no longer needed.
The light ring on top lights up to show the current mode: blue for cool, green for low heat and red for high heat. It’s a shame that the lights can’t be turned off.
Pressing and holding the mode button activates the timer feature, which can be set in one-hour intervals between one and nine hours.
The way the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini works is a little strange. Once the target temperature has been reached, the PTC heating element is turned off, but the fan continues to blow air. Usually, heaters, such as the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde, will turn off when the target has been reached.
There’s overheating protection to stop the fan from getting too hot, while a tip-over safeguard turns the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini off as soon as it tilts even slightly. A physical power switch at the rear can cut the power completely.
Finally, there’s a button to toggle the oscillation mode, which is useful for distributing hot air more evenly.
As with TCP’s other products, such as the TCP Smart Wifi Portable Bladeless Ceramic Heater & Cooling Fan, this heater is a smart one. It can be connected to the TCP or the Smart Life app. I prefer the latter, as it lets me put devices from different manufacturers in one place.
The app apes all of the controls on the front, but it also has a scheduling feature, so the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini can be used more like a smart thermostat. Regardless of whether you want to schedule the heater, the app’s a useful tool.
Adding the app also opens up voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant. Using Skills, I could turn the heater on and off and set the target temperature, but I couldn’t change the mode or toggle oscillation.
- Heats quickly and effectively
- Not too loud
I put the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini to work in my garden office (around 8m²). Coming out on a cold day, I found that the temperature inside was registering at a frosty 15°C. After setting the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini to 19°C, it took about 30mins to bring my office up to temperature.
The placement of the fan does make a difference in the readings. Stood on a sideboard, I found that the temperature sensor read around 3°C hotter than when placing it on the floor; using a secondary temperature sensor verified this. As such, I’d consider this when using the fan, adjusting it up or down depending on how the room felt.
On high heat, the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini drew 1929W, although it peaked at 2500W when it first warmed up the heater. At the current price of 34p per kWh, this fan would cost 66p per hour to run.
Dropping down to low heat, power consumption fell to 1089W, which works out at 37p per hour to run.
Given that the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini is likely to be on for short bursts, it’s not overly expensive to run.
Although the cool mode is advertised as being useful for hot weather, the single fan speed’s not particularly effective. I measured the airspeed at 1m/s from 15cm, which is a little more than a gentle breeze.
When running, I measured the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini at 49.9dB from a 15cm distance. That’s loud enough to hear, but I could have a telephone conversation over the noise easily enough.
Should you buy it?
If you want a small and capable smart fan heater, then this is a powerful choice.
If you want something for a larger space or a device that’s more useful all year round, you’ll need a different model.
If you’d like something small that can pump out a generous amount of heat and cut off when a target temperature has been reached, the TCP Smart Heating Fan Heater Mini is a great choice. It’s simple to use, small enough to fit almost anywhere, and its smart controls are genuinely useful.
I would prefer the fan to turn off when the target temperature has been reached, and I’d like to be able to switch off the bright lights, but this is a neat device – whether you use it to add a bit of extra heat to a room or for heating a small space, such as a garden office. If you want something different, check out my guide to the best electric heaters.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every heater we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main heater for the review period
We measure the fan speed (if available) using an anemometer so that we can accurately compare performance between models
We measure the heat output of the fan and its effect on our test lab
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According to our tests, the TCP Smarting Fan Heater Mini will cost 66p per hour to run. Turn it down to ‘low heat’ and you’ll be spending around 37p per hour.
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