* Prices may differ from that shown
With the winter drawing in I decided to buy one of these heaters to save myself some money over the escalating gas prices by not using central heating. For about £25 one can choose between a mid-range fan heater, a low-range convection heater, or a very-very-low-range oil filled heater. So I choose the Delonghi HS20/2 - a convection heater and I am not disappointed. I will be analysing the advantages and disadvantages of each of the above later on.
== BASICS ==
The HS20/2 is a convection heater. This means that it works by having a coil in the centre which heats up. As the air is heated it gets less weight and rises, sucking in colder air from below. This results in a convection flow (if you remember your GCSCE physics!). The theoretical advantages are that these heaters starts warming up very quickly, and they will be very quiet as no fan is involved. A fan heater, on the other hand, has a heating coil too but relies on a fan to circulate the hot air around. This means it will be noisy and the room tends to be very dry. An oil filled heater is another alternative but those can be very expensive, the cheap ones are usually not powerful enough.
The HS20/2 has a rated 2kW power, which means that it outputs 2000W. Based on the current electricity prices (where I live) of around 20p/kWh this equates to £0.40/hour of use, or around 6.7p/minute of use - more expensive than national rate telephone! There is a thermostat on the side of the heater and that's about it - the only control of the heater. It has a dial with the numbers 1 - 6 on it with a frost icon for "switch off".
== PERFORMANCE ==
I expect convection heaters to be quick starting and I was not proved wrong. Once the heater is switched on the heater comes on immediately - even though there is a bit of a burning smell which is acceptable. The thermostat works well but for most everyday uses one will keep it on 1 or 2 or between 1 and 2. Keeping it above 2 means it is on virtually all day and below 1 means it doesn't switch on at all. Bear in mind that it will cost 40p/hour to operate and there is no option to switch to a lower power (unlike its more expensive siblings).
The heater warms up a moderately sized room in about 3-5 minutes, and if the user is cold they can of course stand over the heater and receive an instant stream of warm air.
For a similar fan heater I would expect it to warm quickly too, but I would also worry about my lips cracking within 20 minutes. It would also be unbearably noisy and I just don't want that. Equally annoyingly an oil filled heater will take some time to heat up, even though it will be quiet.
== EASE OF USE ==
Since there is only 1 dial on the heater it is very easy to use. Taking off the plug when not in use is optional as the "frost" icon means it is switched off. I find that the thermostat is a bit scary - it produces a spark when it switched off / on - so don't look down the grille!
== NOISE ==
As stated above there is virtually no noise apart from a very unnoticeable hum when the thermostat is on - absolutely inaudible unless one is centimetres away from the heater. No problems here.
== SAFETY ==
As for many heaters safety is definitely one of the most important aspects. Convection heaters are probably one of the safest heaters there are, especially since this one has an overheat automatic override meaning if it does overheat it will stop. The case of the heater does get hot though, so one shouldn't put this around children who may bump into it. Similarly an oil filled heater and a fan heater will also get hot on the outside.
As for tilting the device - since it is tall there is a risk of tipping it over. Again convection heaters are the safest since the air intake is at the bottom protected by 2 stands, and the overheating safe trap means the devices switches itself off if it is too hot. A fan heater tilted over may overheat easily since the air vents may be blocked while a oil filled heater may lead to a spillage.
== VALUE FOR MONEY ==
At £25 one cannot expect anything more than a heater that works. So far I am very satisfied with it. The build quality is good and the heater delivers instant heat - that's what matters.
== DURABILITY ==
I cannot comment on that at the moment since I have only had it for 3 weeks!
== CONCLUSION ==
The Delonghi HS20/2 is a good convection heater. It makes a slight smell on start but I can't fault it otherwise. At a relatively cheap price it does what is expected to a good standard. I would recommend it to other people who wants to save a few pennies during this winter - provided you only want 1 room heated!
2kW heat output Thermostat with frost guard setting Silent operation Widespan curved feet for improved stability Carrying handles for easy movement Wall mountable (brackets included) Overheat safety cut-out