I have worked for a good few years in a prefabricated set of labs which were built in the 1960s and should have reached the end of their lifespan in 1995. Due to the heating system being as old as the building and not very efficient I got sick of having to light a few Bunsen burners to warm the rooms up. I decided to invest in a small electric heater which I could take from room to room with me just, if anything, to take the edge off the cold. This heater was on sale at my local Homebase for £19.99 at the time so I invested in it and took it to work the next day.
Ok it won't win any design awards but I hardly bought it to look at. The heater is finished in white plastic with a black metal grill at the front. The air intake is on the top so ample room needs to be left above it foe it to work correctly and not over heat. When placed onto a flat surface the grill is tilted upwards at a slight angle - but this is normal for this type of heater.
The grill at the front is fairly large for this type of heater and it has two controls on the top along with a red LED light. These control the heat and speed of the air that is blown out of the front of the heater and the thermostat which turns it off and on again at specific intervals. The heat/speed control can be used on a simple fan setting which will then act as an electric fan and blow air at ambient temperature out of the front.
When set on the 'high' temperature setting the air blown out of the front it surprisingly hot for such a small heater. When left for a few minutes it made a reasonable job of reheating my cup of coffee I had put down on my desk about 15 cm in front of it. (I know a liquid that close to an electric heater - what was I thinking).
On the first use of it there was a faint burning plasticy smell but this is common to all heaters on first use so did not concern me too much. There is an obvious noise to the heater with the fan running but after a while in the same room as it you don't tend to notice it anymore. However, when you come into the room whilst it is running it is obvious it is on. On the 'low' setting the fan is slower so quieter and it is about 1/2 to 2/3 of the heat of 'high'.
The thermostat took a bit of trial and error to get right and I found that sometimes, especially if you have the thermostat set quite high, when the heater goes off it takes a long time for it to switch its self back on. It is probably best to start it off on a low setting so you can override the auto -off by simply turning the thermostat up until the fan kicks in again.
The plastic body of the heater does get quite warm during use, well it is a heater, although the handle stays fairly cool. The big danger is that the metal grill at the front gets very hot. Being metal it stays hot for some time after. I found by switching the heater to just the 'fan' mode it did help to cool it down quicker. The heating element is also very close to the grill this has naturally been done to make the heater as small as possible but to still leave room for the fan. However, just by making it a cm or too larger the element could have been moved back a bit and this may have speeded up the grill cooling down as well.
The big thing was that it did help to take the edge off the cold labs until the inefficient main heating system had had chance to warm the building up. Whilst it would not be much good at heating the whole lab by its self it did keep me warm in my little area of it and this would be ideal for smaller rooms, caravans etc.
This item also carried a BEAB Intertek safety approval.
Power 2 KW
Width - 24.6 cm
Depth - 24.3 cm
Height - 11.6 cm (at its high point)
Weight 1.2 kg
Length of flex - aprox 1.7 meters.
Well it isn't the nicest looking heater in the world but it did do the job I had bought it for. It helped me keep warmer at work over the colder part of the winter.