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Challenge 3kW Flat Fan Heater
It is getting to that time of year again up in Scotland where the central heating is turned on and you put on your numerous layers of fleeces and jackets. In our office the heating is on in batches and during the breaks in this heating supply we sometimes have to top it up. There are only a few of us and so we only use a little Challenge 3kW Flat Fan heater that we bought from Argos.
The fan comes in a compact cardboard box with an image of the heater on the front and some basic product information. There is a basic instruction leaflet inside this box and some polystyrene holding it in place for during transit. This is one of the cheaper heaters that Argos sells and retails at £22.99. The heater has dimensions of 14 cm height 32 cm width and 24 cm depth so it is quite compact and dainty.
The fan heater is an overall white colour with a grey grill on the front where the heat comes out of. It is made of plastic and looks and feels a bit cheap in my opinion, however it does the job it is meant to and it is not in my home, rather my office so I am not offended by it! The heater stands on little plastic legs that prop it up off the surface it is resting on which is good for the old health and safety.
The heater plugs into your mains via a long cable and three pin plug. There is no complex start up to use this heater and you can simply take it out of the box and plug it straight in to get a blast of heat. The controls for this heater are very simply and are located on the top of the item under a flap open plastic piece. You simply turn these to the setting that you want, these include two heat settings and a cool setting which you simply change the dial to. Obviously you cannot control the temperature other than warm, hot and cold, but it works fine for our office.
This heater gives out 3 kw of heat and it quite powerful and warm for its size I have to admit. It blows the heat out across the room and heats us all up relatively quickly. We do not leave this on for long periods of time, however if you do feel safe that it has frost protection and a safety cut out switch to prevent it from overheating! I cannot comment on the 'cold' setting as we never seem to be too hot in our room! Once switched on the fan and air flow can be a little noisy, but this is bearable and as I say we do not keep it on for long.
Overall for £22.99 this fan heater is definitely worth investing in for smaller rooms and offices, however it would be of no use and lost in a larger setting. Good value fan heater.
In my house, it takes around 20 minutes for the oil fired central heating to come through, and with home heating oil prices rising in my area to over £350 per 500 litres, it was time to purchase a device to give me a quick fix of heat!
DESIGN AND FEATURES OF THIS HEATER
The Challenge heater is not exactly what one would call aesthetically pleasing. It is made of white plastic in a bulging rectangular shape, if that makes sense. To be honest, I thought it looked quite industrial even from the Argos catalogue, but it was priced at just £22.99 so I decided to get it. The heater measures 13x34x22 cm in dimensions, which makes it a very small and neat little heater.
At the front you have the fan output and on the rear is where the nearly two metre long chord plugs into. Personally, I have found the long lead very useful because with so many electrical devices nowadays, it can be hard to find an available socket near where you need the heat, but with this you can actually move the heater around.
When you venture to the top of the heater, you find the control knobs underneath the flap. There are two easy to operate controls on the top. One controls whether or not you would like a hot or a cold fan setting. And the second control is for varying the strength of output. For example you could choose warm or hot by moving this second dial round, using the image of a widening bar for assistance.
Because the heater is 3kW or 3000W it heats up small room fairly quickly. My bedroom can be heated fully in approximately 4 or 5 minutes. Usually I turn it off after 10 minutes, because after much longer a once cold room becomes extremely stuffy. These timings were based on the highest setting possible because I seldom use the middle or low options.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the cold setting. I could compare it to the cold blower in the car and not the cold air conditioning. To be honest, opening the window or opening the door for a draught will cool your room doing as quick, if not quicker.
There are only two problems that I could find with this device. The first being that the unit gets very warm and people often pass comment that there is a burning smell coming from it. That being the case, I would only use it for short bursts of time. You need to leave it for a few moments before moving it after switching it off, in case you make contact with the hot fan grill at the front.
The other problem, as with all electric heaters, they are quite expensive to operate. I think it costs about a pound for every two hours that you use the heater. But as I said earlier, you normally are warm enough after a few minutes anyway...you can always put on an extra layer if it gets too expensive, at least that's what I do!
I really do recommend this product. At an affordable price, and a quick heating function, it is particularly to small bedrooms and small offices as opposed to entire dining rooms for example.
It's a mighty 3kW flat fan heater that is controlled by a thermostat. The main box is white and glossy plastic and sits on 4 legs. You'll find the main dial on the top right under a little trap door. In front of this is the red LED light that indicates that the heater is on. The grill at the front is black and this is where the heat comes out of It has 2 heat settings and a cool air blow setting that I've never seen before. It's size is: H14, W32, D24cm and is finished in white.
The heater is nicely packaged and comes with instructions. It's really well designed and it sports a great little safety feature which is that it turns itself off when it reaches a certain temperature - just as well because it kicks out a lot of heat and we all nod off. It's ideal for maintaining a room temperature. It has two heat modes one of which is an economy setting which is half power at 1.5 kW and then full power at 3 kW. It's a tad on the noisy side but then I'd expect that and the cable isn't that long at 170cm.
I would certainly recommend this to anyone who wants to take the chill off of a smallish room or caravan. Although please bare in mind that heating a room with an electrical appliance can be costly - gas is cheaper. But as we use it in the caravan we don't need to worry about the electric costs.
Purchased from Argos for £18.99 3 years ago.
I've had the Challenge 3kW Flat Fan Heater for about six months. I bought it initially when I went to stay in a caravan in Devon - and it was absolutely freezing and so we invested in a heater. We didn't want to spend a lot of money on it because we actually didn't expect it to have a lot of use once we left the caravan, but in actual fact it's been used a lot more than we envisaged it would be. It only cost us £15.99, although I note at present it costs £19.99 from Argos.
Let me start with the basics. The heater is not sexy in any stretch of the imagination. It looks like it's something straight out of the 1980's and there is nothing that makes it jump out at me. However, at the end of the day, I wasn't that bothered about the fact that it didn't look very sophisticated, but instead I was really interested in whether it was efficient and effective - and that was really where my interest lies. In terms of it's looks, it was made of white plastic and has a black grill on the front, with a panel on top that is hidden by a plastic covering. It is on two little plastic stilts to lift it off of the floor.
This heater runs off of the mains, but the cord is long enough to be able to place the heater conveniently. You can have it set on hot or cold and so it works as both a heater and a cold air fan. It also has a safety overhead mechanism built in and so the fan will turn off if it gets too hot.
I have used the heating and cooling settings on the device - and both work okay - although I would say that the heater works better than the cool air. The cool air does work, but it just doesn't feel that powerful enough to make a huge significant difference if the temperature is very high. The heather however, does heat the room well and quickly, although it is worth mentioning that the outside casing of the heater does get quite hot and so with small kiddies around this needs to be taken into consideration. There have been a couple of incidents when the heater has cut out when it's got too hot - but we were able to re-start it again once the heater had cooled down.
Overall, I think the Challenge 3kW Flat Fan Heater is worth having if you want to just heat a room. I'm not sure how economical it is to run, but in terms of being effective, it does heat a room quickly and effectively.
During winter, especially if it's snowing, my home tends to get so cold that I can feel it in my bones and no amount of sweaters and socks can keep the cold at bay. To take the burden of using the gas heating all day long, my parents decided to buy a small fan heater so that we can keep ourselves warm without have to waste energy unnecessarily. To be honest, we went for this product because the price is quite reasonable and the reviews are pretty good. We got the Challenge 3kW flat fan heater for £20.00 from Argos.
As for the appearance, this fan heater doesn't have the coolest look to it. It's pretty generic and the design is more geared towards functionality rather than for aesthetics; but to be honest, I doubt any company would consider making a novelty fan heater (which I think is a shame just from a novelty collector's point of view). It's got short legs to provide stability and support as well as for directionality. I don't this its appearance is worst I've seen but I don't think it would fit well in a bedroom with a contemporary feel to it. Well for what it cost me, I think it's alright to be honest.
Despite the simple look, it does work well as a heater; my room gets nice and toasty around about 3-5 minutes after turning this heating on. There's two heat settings and you can adjust depending how cold you're feeling. Usually, I use the low setting and it's enough to keep me warm. To be frank, it gets really hot and stuffy after keeping the heater on for about 30 minutes so it's rare for me to keep this on for than 30-45 minutes. This is very economical in a sense because the 3kW power wattage can cost quite a lot if used daily for long hours. Personally, I don't really notice the electricity bill going up after buying this so I think it's a good investment in the long run, considering the UK's weather changes so quickly from sunny to gloomy and freezing.
Moreover, it also has a cold setting for summer, which is a plus point because it can be useful whether it's hot or cold. Personally, I have yet to use the cold setting in the right context (I have tried the cold setting just for 30 seconds to see if it works) but it does work relatively well. I don't think it can be a substitute for air conditioning but this might provide some relief during summer.
One drawback for this product is that it is a bit noisy, but then again, apart from Dyson brand products with 3-digit prices, most fan heaters get to product some noise. It doesn't particularly bother me because I don't leave the heater on for long periods of time but it does get annoying when I'm trying to revise. However, I rather be warm and have feelings in my limb then feeling like an ice sculpture; so I can put up with some noise. For what it's worth, it does a good job.
Thank you for reading. :) x
We have a conservatory at the back of the house, and whilst we use the room extensively during the summer months because it warms up nicely with the weather, during the winter months it often gets too cold, and hence becomes a redundant room on the house. We didn't want to go through the hassle and expense of trying to plumb another radiator in, so we decided to invest in a simple fan heater, something small and unobtrusive, which we could use to heat the room during the winter months as and when required. Looking in Argos (because we had loads of Nectar points to use) we came across this Challenge 3kW White Flat Fan Heater for £19.99. Along with this cheap price, the other thing that really drew us towards this particular model was the number of excellent reviews that it had on Argos, averaging 4.7 out of 5 for over 100 reviews. Hence, it looked like it would be ideal for our needs.
What is so special about it? A fan heater is an effective way of quickly heating up a room, and this Challenge model does just that, whilst also having a number of other good useful features that make this heater a worthwhile investment. The box itself is a white shiny plastic affair sitting on small legs, with a black front grill, which overall to look at isn't the most stylish of things to have, but it is easy clean and functional. Size wise it measures 32cm wide by 24cm deep by just 14cm high, meaning that it is a very small unobtrusive box that can be discretely hidden away in any room. The power lead is 170cm long, meaning that you have a fair length of flex to allow you to locate it in some convenient position around the room. With an output of 3kW, that puts it up towards the upper range of heat outputs for fan heaters, where most seem to sit around the 2kW mark. It has 2 heat settings with an additional cool air setting, which are all controlled and selectable via the control switch on the side of the heater.
Looking at the safety side of it, an initial good safely feature is that the temperature is thermostatically controlled, meaning that you can set it so that it will heat a room up and then automatically switch itself off once that temperature has been reached. As the temperature in the room drops, the fan will come on again to warm the room up again. So a very good feature to heat a room up and maintain the temperature at a set level, rather than just keeping the fan going and continually raising the temperature higher and higher. Another good feature is that it also has a safety cut out switch, which we have inadvertently tested on 2 occasions. The first was after one of our dogs knocked the heater round and left it pointing at the brick wall in the conservatory about an inch away. We didn't notice at first, but very quickly the safety system cut in and switched the heater off, because the heater was heating up and not able to blow air through. We left it for a few minutes to cool down again, after which the heater was again working as normal. The second occasion could have been a bit more disastrous, where a friend's coat fell off of a chair and covered the heater (something you should never do). Again, since the air could not blow through, it overheated and switched itself off.
Now let's look at how effective it is. In general, it has to be said that it is a very effective heater that will heat up a room quickly, where that 3kW of power is put to good use. Of note, electrical heating does cost a fortune to run and maintain if you intend to use it for any duration. That's why most people tend to go for a gas based heating system with radiators. Hence, we only use this heater for the odd occasions (perhaps a few times a week) when we do use the conservatory during the winter months, and that doesn't seem to create any massive surprise electrical bills. But when we do use it, it does quickly create a very pleasant warm atmosphere, and then manages to hold that temperature with the thermostatic controls. Of note, since it is not fixed or bolted to a wall anywhere and only needs a plug to operate, I've also used it in the garage to heat the space up to good effect, and once drying that back of the car out after we managed to spill a bottle of water that didn't have the top tight enough on it. So this heater is very versatile. Indeed, selecting the cool air flow option also allows it to circulate cooling air around a room, which is an especially useful feature to have, and that we often use during the summer months when the conservatory gets too hot.
Negative points? The only issue for some might be the noise of the fan turning. To us, if we have it running in the corner of the room and we are watching TV or having a conversation, we don't really notice it at all. However, when my daughter was in the conservatory quietly reading a book, she commented that the fan noise was a little distracting. So it is really down to how 'sensitive' you are to the noise and if you are happy with it. For me, and for the price, it is a fan heater and hence, you will have a sort of low whirring noise from the fan, which is fairly quiet.
In summary, this is a basic fan heater with a high heating output, and for the price of only £19.99, you just can't go wrong. Ok, the apparent fan noise may be annoying to some, but for many, I don't see this being an issue. Hence, overall, a 5 star recommendation from me.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
My house uses a conventional open vented system to provide the necessary heat to survive the arctic winters so often seen in the UK. Well, it gets a bit chilly now and again. Unfortunately I have no vent in my bedroom to filter in this welcome heat and my window frames are slowly but surely coming away from the wall so when it gets cold outside it gets really cold inside my room. So rather than giving into hypothermia I elect to use fan heaters to make my living conditions bearable. When my last (admittedly cheap) heater made an unexpectedly loud whirring/grating noise before shooting out sparks that very nearly set fire to my room I felt it may be time to purchase a new one.
Since the weather conditions were so frosty at the time rapidity was essential so my only option was to buy one on my lunch break from work so a trip to Argos, the only shop in Richmond that seemed to sell any kind of home accessories of this nature, was in order. Having learnt from my error of expecting a cheap product to have some semblance of quality I decided to splash out in an exuberant way and spent a whopping great £19.99 on the Challenge White Matt 3kW Flat Fan Heater.
Only pretty on the outside?
To be frank it is not the most attractive piece of equipment I've ever seen, but it doesn't make me feel physically ill looking at it so it passes at an acceptable aesthetically pleasing level. It does have a very plastic look to it, probably on account of being made of plastic, and does look a little....cheap seems a tad harsh...simplistic - but hey, sometimes less is more. On the technical side there is a grill covering the whole front to allow the free flow of air from the fan pushing said air over the internal element as well as a vent on the top residing over said fan in place to, I'd imagine, low the air in and prevent massive overheating.
The controls to operate the heater live to the right of this vent and are covered with a neat hinged lid to hide them from view if you find them offensive or unsightly. There are two dials, the first to select what heat setting you want: 1. Cool, 2. Warm, 3. Hot and the second to control the temperature within a range for all these settings. There is also a small orange bulb in the bottom right hand corner which glows brightly to alert you when your heater is plugged in. Dimension wise it is a fairly small and compact heater at H14cm x W32cm x D24cm including some stands of about 2cm to raise it slightly off the ground and also has a fairly long extension cord at about 174cm so it can roam a little distance around a room for prime heating location.
Does it pass the Dunce Test?
Finally a piece of equipment I don't torment myself with before reluctantly turning to the instruction manual! It is as simple as plugging it in and turning some dials to your heat preference. My only quibble is that the dials aren't labelled, so if you didn't read the instruction manual, which I'm not entirely convinced it came with, then you would have to learn by trial and error what each dial does but unless you have a phobia of operating unlabelled controls this shouldn't pose too much of a problem. I think the overall ease of use for this particular model, considering you only need to use two dials, is very high.
Does it pass the Flame Test?
This heater does a fantastic job at heating up my (small) room in a very short space of time. I find it a real struggle in the colder months...so 11 out of the 12...to get out of bed in the mornings for work and after only a few minutes of the heater being on I feel able to brave the elements. I always just use the maximum settings as I only tend to turn the heater on when it's too cold to bear so don't really have any reason to utilise the intermediate settings but at least you have the option to adjust the temperature as you wish to heat your room up to your personal preferences.
If you wish to gradually heat a room up by leaving the heater on it is thermostatically controlled so will keep switching itself on and off to maintain whatever heat setting you are using which is quite useful as well as being a good safety measure- though of course a heater should never be left unsupervised! However, if you do leave this heater on for too long the air does become very dry and a bit dizzying so not recommended!
I also find this heater brilliant for when I return home, normally from some kind of sporting event, with ice blocks for my hands and feet. It's probably terribly bad for my health but after just a few moments in front of this heater my circulation and sensation has returned to normal so this heater is very efficient at producing instant heat. This heater also offers frost protection to keep my room free from frost...not that I've particularly ever experienced any frost in my room before - once an electrical storm, but that was my fault for inviting Dr. Frankenstein over.
On the flipside for those warmer months when it is so hot outside my tiny room turns into my own personal sauna...so 1 out of the 12...then some kind of cooling device is always welcome. However, I wouldn't really recommend using the cool setting on this heater to achieve this as the cool air comes out quite slowly and is cool at best and cannot be remotely described as cold so has very little effect on stuffy, hot air.
However, due to the size of the heater and the speed the hot air comes out it is not particularly good at heating up a large room. The time it would take to heat a large room would require it to be switched on for a long time and then as I mentioned before the air would become a bit dry and unpleasant so I feel this heater is best suited for smaller rooms and to achieve instant heat.
As ever with anything electrical safety is an issue. There is a big warning on the front of this heater reminding you not to cover it which of course would create a serious risk of conflagration. This is great advice to follow unless you are looking to collect on insurance...which I would never advocate. You should also not pour water on it as past experiences have taught us that electricity and water do not mix well together so a bit of care must be taken when this heater is switched on...though this applies to all heaters I would think!
Another warning to make is that the grill at the front of the heater gets seriously hot when it's switched on and takes quite a few minutes to cool down so again great care must be taken not to touch this grill with naked flesh or flammable materials. I did have an incident where I was switching the heater off and accidentally brushed the grill with my foot momentarily. After a short outburst of expletives I was left with a couple of red lines marring my foot, but they faded away quite quickly so prolonged contact would certainly be dangerous. So don't do it!
But what about the planet?
One other downside is that this heater is a 3kW device which is quite energy inefficient. If you use this heater for long periods of time you could start racking up the energy bill not to mention all the national electricity ramifications that go with it. According to the UK national average from June 2010 (http://www.sust-it.net/heating_energy_calculator.php) the prices you may have to pay for Electric Heaters are:
This is a great, and currently at £14.99 a very cheap little heater suited for a small room. It is compact so won't take up much space in a room suffering from limited space and would be easy to store away. With a long extension cord it can also be moved around a room for the best and safest position. It is very simple to use and there is a good range of heat available with the intermediate and high settings which can both be adjusted to your preference using a second control. The only negatives are that it is not suitable for large rooms, the cool setting does not work particularly effectively and it is a little energy inefficient so could get pretty costly if used for prolonged periods of time.
Recommended for situations where instant heat is required, but use sparingly.