Product Type: Challenge heaters
Newest Review: ... this box and some polystyrene holding it in place for during transit. This is one of the cheaper heaters that Argos sells and retails... more
This powerful little box is hot stuff!!
Challenge 3kW Flat Fan Heater
Member Name: Randal
Challenge 3kW Flat Fan Heater
Advantages: Cheap, basic and with a high efficient heat output.
Disadvantages: Fan noise may be distracting for some.
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.
Summary: For the price, this is a great fan heater for any room.