Are Electric Fan Heaters Safe For Birds? (Answered)

When it comes to using fan heaters to keep birds warm, I’m not a fan (pun intended). There are better and safer choices.

But if the right fan heater is used carefully, then it will be safe for many birds. This article runs through the advantages and disadvantages, and gives you some tips on safe use.

Advantages Of Electric Fan Heaters For Birds

Before I look at the disadvantages, I’ll run through the advantages of this type of appliance. I have several in my house and use them at different times for different purposes.

These are the main advantages:

  • even the quality brands are cheaper than alternative types of heating appliances
  • they heat the air immediately when you are worried about a cold room
  • they are light in weight and are easily moved around a room for the best position

However, there are some disadvantages that mean they must be used with care in a room with a bird.

Advantages Of Electric Fan Heaters For Birds

Disadvantages Of Fan Heaters For Keeping A Bird Warm

Fan heaters can emit a very high heat close to the unit. This would be far too high if placed near a cage and pointed in the direction of the bird.

Any adult owner would probably realize that immediately. My concern is if there are teenagers or younger children in the house who might think they were “helping” by positioning the appliance too close.

Be sure that you explain to everybody in the house that the unit must not be too close to a cage.

Is the quality of air a problem?

Fan heaters dry the air a little and move it around the room.

Some birds are made very uncomfortable with dry hot air. This becomes more problematic in a small room.

You should consult your vet about your particular little friend.

Are they too noisy?

Fan heaters are noisier than other types of appliances. The whoosh is constant.

However, few owners report that their birds are disturbed by the noise of the fan.

Use A Thermostat To Avoid Your Bird Room Overheating

close-up of timer on an oil filled heater

If you run a fan heater in a room for hours, the temperature could become uncomfortable or damaging for your bird.

Thankfully, there is a simple solution. When your appliance has a thermostat, you can regulate the temperature.

The thermostat lets you set a maximum temperature. The thermostat monitors the room temperature and shuts off the unit when your setting is reached.

When the room cools to a point below your setting, the thermostat kicks the unit on again.

Many cheaper models don’t have thermostats

I’ll warn you now that many of the cheaper fan heaters won’t have a thermostat. You’ll be paying more for a higher specification.

By the way, there’s nothing “wrong” with the cheaper models without a thermostat. But you shouldn’t use one in a room with a bird.

Can Birds Fly Into Or Perch On The Unit?

The first question to ask about a heater before you purchase it is whether your bird could fly into the heating vent when it is running.

The force of the air expelled from the vent makes that highly unlikely.

However, you wouldn’t want birds landing in front of the vent or perching on the unit.

The solution is to keep birds in their cage when the heater is unattended.

Some Makes Do Not Have Teflon

One of the big worries for bird owners is whether their household appliances have Teflon (otherwise known as PTFE).

Manufacturers of low-quality fan heaters have been known to use materials like these:

  • PTFE, also known as polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Teflon, which is a brand of PTFE
  • PFC, also known as perfluorinated chemicals

You shouldn’t use heating units with these materials in a room with a bird. I’d be cautious about using them in the house at all.

Thankfully, many quality brands no longer use Teflon and these other materials. However, you need to consider the possibility that they will introduce it into the construction of a new line of units.

The solution is to contact the manufacturer and ask specifically about the material in the appliance that you will use in a room with a bird.

Alternatives To Fan Heaters

Alternatives To Fan Heaters

Most bird owners I consulted for this article would prefer to use an oil-filled heater with a thermostat instead of a fan heater.

You still must exercise some caution, even with this alternative option. Check out our separate article on whether oil-filled heaters are safe for birds.

Dean Casey
About Dean Casey

Hi, I'm Dean Casey, the founder and chief editor of

With over 15 years of experience in the HVAC industry, my passion is helping homeowners achieve optimal comfort and energy efficiency in their living spaces. As a certified HVAC technician and consultant, I have developed a deep understanding of home heating systems, insulation, and energy-saving practices.

I started this blog to provide well-researched, practical advice to homeowners looking to improve their home's heating performance and reduce energy bills. Whether it's comprehensive guides, hands-on product reviews, or expert tips, my goal is to share valuable information with you, my readers.

I enjoy spending time with my family and exploring the great outdoors when I'm not busy writing and researching. I'm also an avid DIYer, always eager to tackle new home improvement projects and share my experiences with you.

If you have any questions or comments about home heating, please don't hesitate to reach out through the contact page on the website. I'm always happy to help!

View more posts