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As I am sure everyone's noticed, the temperature has really started to plummet of late. I have my heating on twice a day, once in the morning and once of an evening. But sadly in-between these times you can really feel a chill in my house. I can't afford to keep my heating on constantly, with the energy prices increasing again; I'm not sure how anyone would manage to do that. So this is why I decided to purchase a portable heater.
Pricing and Availability
I purchased this Connect-it heater around 2 months ago for just under £12.00 on the play.com website. Normally I do shop around but I saw this and thought it was relatively cheap anyway. After purchasing this I saw it on Amazon for under £10, only 2 pounds difference but every little helps as they say. This heater is readily available online; I haven't however seen it in any shops or outlets that I've been in. So if you would like to purchase one, looking online would be your best bet.
The heater is relatively small, and very light to hold. This is perfectly portable with a handle which is integrated into the top. It is white in colour but you get an orange glow when the heater is turned on. It isn't anything special to look at by no means but as long as it did the job in hand I really wasn't too fussed.
There are 2 halogen tubes in the middle covered by a safety grille; this heater is also available in a bigger size with 4 halogen tubes I believe. This heater has 2 heat settings (low and high); there is a round turn switch on the bottom of the heater to control this. Also this comes equipped with the tip over cut out feature; I don't know the actual term for this but basically if knocked over the heater will automatically cut out. This was essential for me as many of times the children would knock these heaters over when running and playing around. I dread to think what could have happened had we been without this safety feature.
When I received the heater it was packaged very well and arrived quickly. Upon first use it gave out a lot of heat and heated certain areas very quickly. It was very energy efficient so wasn't costing me and arm and a leg just to use and we didn't need to have it on for long periods of time. So first impressions I have to say were great.
I tried to move this upstairs, which is carpeted; the heater didn't sit on this very well at all and would constantly keep falling over. As this is quite hot I was constantly worried about it leaving markings on my carpet, so I was unable to use this upstairs. It sits great on my laminate but carpet was just a no go for me.
We eat dinner as a family in the kitchen so around that time I would move the heater in there to take the chill out of the air before everyone was seated. I found it was very efficient at doing this as my kitchen isn't the biggest of rooms but found that my lounge- which is marginally larger- was not getting warm throughout. So I would say this is great for smaller rooms but not always effective in bigger rooms. This could purely be my fault though, as I could have purchased a larger heater.
My biggest negative however with this heater is that after around a month of usage one of the bars stopped working, I could still use this but it was not giving out half the heat, which you would obviously expect if one of the two bars had broken. So to even try and use in my large lounge seemed pointless, and was not even worth doing. I still use this but just for quickly warming up smaller rooms in the house. I was very disappointed with this happening as like I mentioned I only had it for a month, and didn't use it constantly. So I can't understand why this would happen. The product did come with a year's guarantee, so I could replace this if I wanted, which is lucky I guess. I have read many other reviews with people having the same problem with this heater, so I'm deciding whether it's worth the hassle of replacing.
Would I Recommend?
My recommendation would purely come down to the person and their living accommodation. For people with large house/ rooms I would say that this isn't the one for you. However if your some one that owns a one bed flat for example this could be perfect, if you're willing to take the risk of the bars breaking which seems to be a common occurrence. I am only going to give this 2 out of the possible 5 stars. On first impressions this seems great, but after a couple of uses the faults seem to appear. Maybe that is why this is so cheap, wouldn't purchase again.
In the days when we were at university Mrs b used to live in a house where putting the heating on was a huge deal, her house mates would limit the heating to something really small like 30 minutes a day. Mrs B's bedroom was at the back of the house with 3 external walls and so her room always felt about 10 degrees colder than elsewhere in the house. Her Grandad bought her one of these heaters to help her to warm the room up with and it was great, it really helped but eventually (as in years later) it stopped working. We recently decided to buy a new one to give us instant warmth when we want it instead of firing up the whole of the heating system and so we chose a very similar product which was this.
How it works
There are lots of different heaters that you can buy and we wouldn't have known where to start and what the differences were had we not had some experience already. We have owned blow heaters, portable radiators and these hallogen heaters and find they all have different purposes. A blow heater tends to warm up a whole room quite fast by blowing air around but we found that it often sucks up dust off the carpet too and will blow that around so it wasn't good for my asthma plus it had a bit of a funny smell. The little radiators tend to take a long time to heat up a room so it's a bit pointless for us but these heaters will give you instant heat but in a specific area- they are not great at heating a large space. Because we only want it to be focussed on us in the evenings when we're watching the television and don't need to put the heating on this kind of heater is best for us. The hallogen bars light up and create warmth which warms up the air around it.
It's settings and features
This heater came in a nice slim box and the heater itself is nice and slim. It's dimensions are WxDxH: 320 x215 x 490mm so as you can see it doesn't take up too much room and it won't intrude in a room making it cluttered or be the focus of attention. It has three different heat settings which mean you can use as much heat as you like. You can choose whether to light up 1 bar, 2 bars or 3 bars. The more you light up the warmer it is and the more energy it uses. This is good because sometimes you do only need a little bit of heat just to take the edge off the cold or perhaps you want it on full heat and then after 20 minutes turn it down a little. Another feature it has is it oscillates- turns around. This is a slow motion so the heat slowly is dispersed. You don't have to have this option though, you can have it angled towards you without it moving. We find that when it moves it doesn't seem to stay as warm and the heat is just lost. It has a safety feature where if it tilts it will automatically shut off, this is in case it falls over so it won't keep going and cause a fire. This is really good feature and is very important.
Warm us up please!
It is now getting to that time of year where the Mrs moans about the fact that it's getting colder and that we should have the heating on. It is, however, also that same time of year where the energy companies announce an increase in their services and so we are trying to be more cost-effective this year. We realise when we turn the heating on it uses both gas and electric and there are three radiators in our house which are always on, there is no dial on it to turn them off or down so if we are sitting in the lounge and are cold and just want the lounge radiator on we can't. We decided that it would be cost effective to just use a little heater like this for in the evening so that the warmth is directed at us and we will get it instantly instead of waiting for the radiators to warm up. It seemed to make sense. This we only use in the evenings when the little people are in bed as we are very worried about the safety aspect of it- we would hate for them to be curious and attempt to touch the grate on the front, it would cause huge damage to them so once the little people are in bed and The Mrs begins to moan about having cold toes or something I get this heater out and plug it in. We position it in front of the settee so it is directly in front of us about usually put 2 bars on. The heat is instant, there is no waiting around for it to warm but it is right away. It is a nice glowing heat and it soon takes the chill away. If we move out of it's line though we notice the cold immediately so it's best to be focussed on where you are. It is not great at heating a whole room it is as though the heat is lost once it goes into the air. When you turn it off you notice the difference immediately too, it suddenly seems very cold so it does make you realise what a difference this machine makes!
Storing it safely
One important thing regarding this machine is keeping it safe. With having little people around we always make sure that we keep it well away from where they will be. I just know that if we left it plugged in but turned off they would soon be scrambling to turn it on to see what it does so we always make sure we put it away. It does take a little while to cool down as you can imagine the metal grate on the front of it does get rather hot so we always leave it a while before putting it away. It is easy to store because it's only slim, it doesn't take up lots of space and that is why we really like it so much, because with other heaters they can be really bulky or heavy but this is easy enough for me or Mrs B to put away.
Is it pretty?
Mrs B really disliked one of the old heaters we had because it was a chunky, boxy like machine which she said looked awful. This particular heater is a little more pretty, you can't really fall out with it. It is white plastic but there was a choice to choose one with a grey panel on the front. The Mrs didn't like the look of that one and said this was less 'in your face'. The buttons on the top are in a row and are red but only small and the base of it is an oval. It certainly isn't the most beautiful looking thing but it is also not offensive looking either, it's really quite simple so that keeps the Mrs from moaning which is always a good thing!
What it is good for?
I have gone into shops before where these kind of heaters are in use and they don't seem to make a blind bit of difference so I wouldn't recommend it for heating a large space like that. The blow heaters or a radiator type thing would be better as this is not a good heater for warming a lot of space. This is best to be used for warming up a small area and so it is ideal for elderly people who may just want warmth directly on them, the Mrs' Grandad has one and it's perfect for him as when he is sitting in his chair he can get instant heat without any effort. It is great for that, just warming one place or very small area which is why we chose it as it works well for what we require it to do. If you are looking at heating up a large space though this won't be very good at doing so, even after about an hour it doesn't warm a large space much.
What we think
I'm really glad that ten years ago The Mrs' Grandad bought her one of these heaters as now we have upgraded to this particular model I can see that it will really help us save on the bills over these next few months which are bound to be cold. Usually we will have the heating on yes but sometimes when it's just the two of us still up and the rest of the house is fast asleep it seems a waste turning the heating on so this is the answer! It is also silent too so it won't get in the way of television viewing unlike the blow heaters which can make quite a bit of noise. I know that this will use electricity but it is an energy efficient machine so it is a good one to buy and at least that energy that it is using is directed onto us instead of heating a whole room or house and the heat is also instant too so we don't need to use it for as long and we can feel the difference immediately. It is a great machine and i do like that you can choose how many bars you want to heat up. The safety features of it is good as it is always a worry with a machine like this that it could cause a fire so the fact it will shut off if it tips past a certain point is great but you still have to be careful if something falls onto it. The oscillating feature isn't all that good really so we just have it directed at us. We bought it for £13 which is a bargain as if it's anything like the last machine we had it will last us a long time and it will also save us loads on the heating bill- or so I hope anyway!
I recommend this if you're hoping to find a way to keep warm without putting the heating on. I don't recommend this if it's to heat a large space or to have in use when children are about. For us it gets four stars, I am removing one because as soon as you turn it off the heat instantly goes, it would be nice to feel the heat afterwards too but I guess with this kind of machine you don't get that. But yeah 4 stars because it's going to help us save money- hopefully- and keep warm.
This heater has saved my bacon on a number of occasions. I've owned mine for 7 years and it's still going strong. In my student house, where the heating was on for 20 minutes a day (woe betide you if you left your towel covering your radiator during this precious period) it was a godsend. I had a large room but it soon warmed up with this heater running at full pelt. In my current flat which only has single glazing, it gets plenty of use during the winter and makes the cold months liveable.
The Connect-It Halogen heater is a simple white upright design. Three heating bars elements provide the power and the user has the option of controlling the output level by switching them on or off. Brilliantly, the heater has a tilt switch so that it automatically shuts off if tipped over. Granted, this mechanism is slightly over-sensitive, meaning that the heater needs to sit on an even, hard surface, but this does mean peace of mind and above all, safety. Its other main advantage is that unlike fan heaters it makes no noise and unlike other convection heaters it doesn't create a musty burning smell in the room.
It's weird owning a heater that people actually want to congregate around. The halogen bars give off a pleasing orange light that remind me of an open fire. This also makes it useful as a supplementary light source. I'm still not convinced it gives the quick heating power of a very good fan heater. Heatrunner has a model that is a few pounds cheaper and goes up to 2000 watts, with the added advantage of a carry handle. However, if you want a heater to be enjoyed rather than one to be hidden away then this is a great option. There are also smaller versions available that inflict a little less damage on your electricity bill. Connect-It also have an 800 watt version that's more suitable for smaller rooms and take up a lot less space.
We bought this halogen heater a few years back, just as a back up for in the kitchen. Having large patio windows at one end and two large sets of windows either side we seem to lose a lot of heat through the glass. We are double glazed, but it can still get cold even with the heating on. The main reason we bought this heater was because they were selling them off for a fiver ( it must have been in the summertime when we got this one!). I now wish we had got a couple more, now that I know how good they can be.
When it came for the first time to use this heater I was so embarrassed, as I thought the neighbours would think that our kitchen had been light up by the Blackpool lights. The brightness that this heater gives off when switched on is so bright that at first you feel like you need sunglasses on to shield your eyes from the glowing bulbs.
Coming in a clean white colour this heater takes up little space, so can easily fit in any small space. Being tall and slim it is quite a neat little heater. The measurements are; H51cmxD24.5cmxW36cm with the weight being just 2.54kg. Having 3 heat settings it can easily be turned down instantly. There are 4 red buttons on the top of this heater. One being the on/off button with 400w halogen light, with the other 2 being individual 400w halogen lights, so this can go from 400-800-1200w at your command. The 4th button is the ocillation button which slowly turns back and forth. I don't really use this as I prefer to keep it facing forward incase anybody leaves their coat or jacket on the back of a kitchen stool, as it could catch fire ( I'm a terrible safety freak when it comes to candles and heaters!).
This little heater throws out hell of a lot of heat when all three lights are on and you can't sit to close otherwise your legs will burn. I don't know if I would use this heater if I had small children running about as it does get hot. The good thing about this heater is that it has a tilt safety cut out button so if this gets knocked slightly it will turn off. My cat loves this heater and you can always find him laying in front of this most mornings, he doesn't seem to feel the heat that this throws out.
I am now used to the light that this heater throws out and to be honest quite grateful for it on a dark miserable morning, it is quite pleasing and inviting to sit in front of with the first cup of coffee of the morning while tapping out my Dooyoo'sand ratings!
You can still buy this heater from Wilkinsons and it will cost you £15.00, we need to replace this one now as one of the lights has refused to come on for the last couple of months. So we will be waiting until they decide to knock them out for a fiver again in the spring/summertime!
5 Dooyoo stars for a instant hot glow!
After it gets cold and you suddenly realize there is a cold spot in your room you start looking around for something portable and cheap to give some supplementary heating.
There seem to be a number of variations of this type of heater around these days from different makers.
They also seem to quote different wattage figures although apart from some which come in grey they all look virtually identical. This model quotes 1200 watts so I assume each of the 3 heating bars will give 400 watts of output.
The heater is light, easy to carry around (although it lacks a carrying handle) so is ideal for positioning exactly where you need some heating. Something you could easily use in the garage or garden shed.
Heat is instant and the halogen bulbs do add lighting to where you put the heater, although the lighting is more of the yellowy type you get from street lights. The middle heating bar of the 3 will come on when you turn the heater on; then you can have either or both of the upper or lower bars on with together with it by pressing the appropriate rocker switch on the top. The heater itself can also be set to oscillate with the fourth switch.
It is something which is best used close-up this is definitely not something to heat the whole room. As a rough guide I would say that if you place the heater at one end of a 3 person settee you should use one bar if you are the only person wanting heat and you are at that end of the settee, then put on the second and third bar according to there being one or two others with you on the seat wanting heat.
Despite the heat being very effective I have actually touched the protective grille immediately in front of the heater bars while the heater is on and found you will not burn yourself (Our cat has done the same with his nose and hasn't got any bar-b-que marks either !!!).
As the whole thing is not very heavy I have maybe a few qualms about leaving the heater in a room with unsupervised boisterous children or animals. The base is a hollow plastic oval, I have brushed against the heater and not knocked it over but just have a few doubts about stability in some possible situations.
There is a safety cut out though if the heater is not pressing down on the floor.
I have never seen anything about replacement spare heating bulbs for these heaters so do not know if they can be replaced should one break. There are screws on the back of this model but I have not taken it apart to investigate. I suspect though that given the relative cheap cost of the heater it would in any case probably be just as expensive to buy spares as buy a new heater.
Wish they had had these heaters around for some of the draftier and badly air-conditioned offices I have worked in as I would have definitely taken it in to use in those (might be an idea for caring employers to consider having some of these handy for staff who might need them).