They might look like fans, but they are actually electric heaters. They do not blow warm air. They are convection heaters. The silver parabola is meant to reflect the heat generated by a heating coil in the center of the heater. I own two of these types of heaters, a large one and a small one. The small one I mostly use in my bathroom when I take a shower. The large one I use in my bedroom.
My apartment has been without heat for a few days now. Like last winter, there has been frequent problems with the heating system. The heat in my apartment building comes from a central boiler facility in my neighborhood. At the boiler facility, coal is used to boil water. The boiling water is then sent through a network of pipes that run underground and lead to all of the buildings in the area. One boiler facility may serve dozens or even hundreds of buildings. So the heating system in my apartment consists of a few bare metal pipes carrying nearly hot water. Given the distance the water has to travel from the boiler facility, it looses a lot of its heat. It’s very inefficient. Yet, this is the heating system many people have in central and northern China.
So how cold is it in my apartment? Last night when I was taking a leak, clouds of steam were rising form the toilet. To keep warm, maybe I should buy a couple of hot water bottles and fill them with my own piss.