Fear of gas supply freeze causes demand for fan heaters to boom in Germany
No one desires to sit in a frigid apartment during the winter. In the event of a severe gas shortage, more and more people are looking for alternative heat sources. Fan heaters and radiators are a straightforward solution.
In midsummer, the terrace must be equipped with fans, air conditioning, and radiant heaters. This year, no. Due to winter gas shortages, fan heaters, convector heaters, and oil radiators are best-sellers in hardware and electronics stores. Unlucky shoppers may find shelves empty.
German electronics shop Media Markt and Saturn reports above-average demand for electric heaters. "Our sales are up 100%," says Florian Preuss of Hornbach DIY. Recently, demand has risen.
Fear that Russia could turn off Europe's gas tap because of the Ukraine crisis is driving more and more people. Fear of a cold apartment and lower temperatures. In attempts to save gas, lowering apartment heating temperatures is also mentioned, and Vonovia has said it wants to cut nighttime temperatures in its residents' residences.
Fans, convectors, and radiators are cheap to buy. This leaves shelves unfilled. According to the DIY store, fan heaters had been delivered on Monday and sold out by Tuesday.
The market isn't empty, though. DIY retailer association BHB says supply isn't tight. Retailers can always rely on alternatives if a product or brand is out of stock.
Media Markt and Saturn said, "We stocked up early and are ready." Customers can locate suitable products in-store and online. Flexibility and patience help here.
"Dealers will try to stock up on more goods," says BVT's Steffen Kahnt. Before winter, more Far Eastern items can be brought here. He thinks suppliers can produce enough. No one needs more heaters globally. Only Europe is affected.
Some industry members see things differently. An unnamed industry expert predicts the matter will gain steam after the summer. People are on vacation during the heat wave. When autumn's first three frigid nights arrive, things get serious, he says.
Electrical heating should be a last resort. Plug in, heat comes. It's pricey, though. "That makes sense if the gas heating has fully failed and I need emergency warmth soon," said North Rhine-Westphalia energy expert Reinhard Loch. "But that's not sustainable." Electric heating is three times more expensive than gas. No signs of change.