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I'll Huff and I'll Puff and I'll Warm Your House Up
Beldray Fan Heater
Member Name: miwa
Beldray Fan Heater
Date: 12/02/13, updated on 28/06/13 (269 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, small, effective, safety features included.
Disadvantages: Smelly, noisy, not the quickest way to warm up.
There are several types of space heaters: oscillating and stationary, coils and gas types. There is just as much variation in price, too, usually between £10 and £50. I have to say that price had more weight in my decision to purchase the Beldray Fan Heater than anything else.
I had never heard of the brand Beldray before. After some research, I can tell you that The Beldray Company Limited make all sorts of home appliances, such as steam mops, ironing boards, and sewing machines, and are based in the West Midlands.
In appearance, the Beldray Fan Heater is 27 cm in height, 23 cm in width and freestanding. A fan sucks in air from behind, heats it through convection with coils heated by electricity from the mains, and blows the heated air around the room.
The packaging the box comes in is widely recycleable, as it is just cardboard with a picture of the heater on the front and polystyrene to protect the heater, but the fan heater itself is not recyclable, and has to be taken to a designated tip if it breaks or you want rid of it. And if it does break, that's where you'll be taking it - there is no warranty included or available for this device.
The heater itself is encased in white plastic, with a carry-handle included within it, and has a curved style which is pleasing to look at but won't win any art awards. There are slits at the front and back to allow air to pass through it. Two dials are directly at the bottom of the base, which offer a thermostat and a heat setting. With these, you can choose between two heat settings (1000 w and 2000 w) or a cold setting - effectively making this fan three times as useful, for both heating a space, REALLY heating a space and cooling it down.
The heater sits on rubber feet, and there is a red light that comes on to indicate the appliance is on. I think everyone (except Sting) can agree this is a good idea.
I have heard many horror stories about fires started by heaters, so I am pleased to report that this heater comes with safety features as standard. There is a tilt-switch, which means if the heater falls on its side or whatever the heater is placed on slips or falls, the heater will automatically turn off, and as well as that, an overheat function automatically cuts power to the device if it exceeds a certain temperature and becomes potentially dangerous.
Of course no appliance is ever completely safe, and it's important not to become complacent. Ensure that nothing ever covers the heater, never leave it unattended, and make sure that it isn't around any children or pets. Even though the heater is set to shut off after reaching a preset temperature, I would strongly advise going to sleep with it on. It's also not a great idea to pull the device around by the cable - use the integrated hand-grip instead. And of course keep it away from anything flammable or that may melt or warp or explode due to high temperatures, such as plastics, fabrics or aerosols.
As for performance, this heater takes around 30-40 minutes to heat my bedroom, which is quite small, so I would say perhaps an hour to heat a reasonably sized room such as a living room or master bedroom. There is also the problem of the smell. There is a definite "new" plasticky smell that I personally dislike and find cloying. After several uses I have found it doesn't really go away, and it's almost enough to make me want to open a window, defying the whole reason for buying a heater in the first place. The heater is also quite noisy because of the fan - it's audible quite a few rooms away. I don't know the exact comparisons, but it's very likely using this heater has added a few pounds to our electricity bill, which is something else to consider, if, for example, you bought this trying to save money by not having the heating on.
Maintenance-wise, I didn't keep the box, but after use I allow it to cool unplugged for a few hours before storing it in a wardrobe. I haven't found that it has gotten dirty or shows signs of wear in any way, but if it got dusty a wipe with a dry duster is all I imagine it would take. I try not to store it with the cable wrapped around the circumference of the heater, as I try to avoid any pulling or distortions in the cord for safety. Ideally the heater would have some kind of hook to wrap the wires around, but I use velcro ties to keep the wire together, such as the ones that come with laptop chargers.
At under £15 the price is hard to argue with, and this heater is great value for money. However, I do think there are better heaters on the market that are more effective, less noisy, less smelly and quicker at heating a room. I bought this heater at Wilkinson's, which offers it at £13.00 + online delivery at £6.30, or alternatively free delivery via click and collect services. I have also seen the same item for sale at Robert Dyas, Tesco, Asda, and Amazon, though Amazon's price is signficantly more (£20).
I think this is a great device for elderly people, or useful for any cold spots in the house or general heating/boiler emergencies. Simple to use, small enough to store away when you're not using it, and with useful safety functions, it's a cheap and effective enough way to warm up this winter.
Summary: A compact and effective electric coil fan heater from The Beldray Company.