“ Manufacturer: Connect It / Type: Radiator „
As anyone who has read my recent reviews will know, I have been extra busy this past eleven months or so, constructing and fitting out my humongous shed, which some have kindly described as a bungalow or chalet; one elderly lady seriously thought it was a sauna.. just to give you some idea of the size.
The winter months have been particularly cold of late, so when I saw, in the local Factory Shop, some oil-filled radiators, I decided it would be perfect for taking the chill out of the shed whilst I worked and so took off my gloves, reached for my purse and purchased one for £20. There were two sizes of radiator for sale, the mini 800W or the slightly bigger 1.5KW model. I chose the 800Watt chiefly because it was the cheaper option and I did not want my shed conditions to resemble that of the sauna, the neighbour thought it to be.
All I wanted was a heater to give the shed interior a comfortable working temperature on cold days. I had no plans to heat it to 'sit-about-and-do-nowt,' comfort.
The reason why I decided upon an oil-filled heater rather than a halogen, paraffin or Calor-gas fuelled heater was simply that in work places where highly inflammable sawdust is generated, or inflammable liquids are used, it is dangerous to have open flames or bare electrical elements on site. Having just built the shed, I did not want to see it go up in flames before having had the chance to finish or enjoy it.
The Connect-IT Oil-filled radiator Specifications:
Height: 36cm at one end, with an additional, 4cm, inbuilt carrying handle at the other end.
5Amp fused plug.
The cost to me was £20 but I have seen the price range from about £16 to £24, not a lot of difference really when you take into consideration the cost of postage if bought on line. There are also many similar models of varying sizes and prices on Amazon.
The radiator is a metal constructed; six-finned unit filled with special oil; on one end of the unit are the controls and enclosed heating elements. Oil tends to hold heat longer than water, which probably makes this more energy efficient.
It comes with two separate base feet, which are easily clipped into place. Other than that, it is ready to use within minutes of removing it from the carton.
The little instruction booklet gives advice on how to use the radiator, and all the safety issues involved, such as it must be kept at least a meter away from inflammable materials, such as clothing, beds, it should not be left on unattended for long periods of time and always unplugged after use. It must never be used out of doors or near swimming pools... as if.
An amusing sentence that caught my eye and made me laugh aloud, startling my dogs in the process, was, and I quote, "Do not use this heater in the immediate surroundings of a bath, a shower, swimming pool or ANY OTHER combustible materials." I wonder what fluids they use to shower, bath and swim in if they consider them combustible.
The temperature is thermostatically controlled. A dial on the front of the unit goes from minimum to maximum, to regulate the temperature suited to the user. Obviously when the thermostat is set at maximum, the room temperature will be higher than if it is set below maximum. Once the surrounding air has reached the desired temperature, the thermostat clicks off, and when the temperature drops a degree or so, it will click back on again.
A small red light situated below the thermostat control indicates when the radiator is on. There is no separate on/off switch; the thermostat control set at minimum, supposedly turns the unit off, so once plugged into the mains, switched on at the wall and the thermostat control turned up , the radiator heats up, rapidly and efficiently.
Wattage: is said to be 800W, which is equivalent to two halogen bars on halogen heaters. However, when I tested it using the energy monitor, it did register1000 Watts, when turned up to maximum temperature.
It takes a very short time - 1 minute - to heat to a temperature too hot to hold hands on it for more than a few seconds. How long it takes to warm a room will depend on the size of the room, but warmth can be felt when standing about a foot away from the unit.
It must have been one of the coldest days of the year, when I tried the heater for the first time. My shed was freezing and my fingers were already numb by the time I had reached and unlocked the door.
I have no electricity installed in the shed so trailed a sturdy, industrial extension lead from the house, plugged in the heater and waited for the temperature to raise enough for me to work.
Although the fins got very hot, very quickly, it was a while before the air temperature felt anywhere near warm enough to keep my fingers from numbing again. Normally, of course, I would not be working there in sub-zero temperatures as it was that day, so anticipate the shed will become suitably warm much more quickly in Autumnal or early spring climes, and because it is insulated, it should retain its warmth longer than un-insulated areas.
I have used the heater since in slightly milder weather and have found that within half an hour of turning on the heater, the shed temperature was ideal to work in. I would not describe it as hot, or even warm, but then it would not be comfortable to work under conditions that were too warm. Were my shed smaller then it would reach a comfortable working temperature in no time at all, but cannot expect an 18-foot by 8-foot space to warm up very quickly. Having said that, the temperature of the area that I was working in felt very comfortable, but as I moved further away from the heater, to the other end of the shed, the difference in temperature was definitely noticeable.
Although it is safe to use in my situation, I would not recommend its use where young or elderly could easily touch it and burn themselves.
This heater is maintenance free and ticks all the right boxes for me, cost-wise, economy-wise and most importantly, safe where inflammables are present.