* Prices may differ from that shown
Two years ago when our central heating system went down just before Christmas, it was my job to ensure my parents wouldn't go without heat. Out came the old 30-year-old convector heaters including a 1940 Morphy Richards, my own modern Delonghi convector heaters and a trusty old Philips heater that decided to give up the ghost upon switching it on. With two rooms down I went out to my local town centre to find convector heaters in a hurry but was disappointed to find that there were no larger sized convector heaters available due to a somewhat resurgence in demand in winter time! This is where Glen convector heaters entered my life and against a few online reviewers who have slated the company for this dodgy model G2S, I was relieved when I found them in my local electrical Scottish Hydro shop for £19-95 each. Tesco also sell the Glen at £19-97. Both the heaters come with a 3-year guarantee each and at £20 each, they didn't look as if they would be up to the job of heating a room, never mind a walk in cupboard!
The Glen company are rather Scottish-sounding which may point to why they seem to be popular in a lot of Scottish homes I've seen. From kettles to heaters, they are a subsidiary company under Dimplex who have been going since the 1950's in basic if not functional electrical goods. The G2S heaters are also sold under the Dimplex brand if you think you may well have seen this kind of heater before and the G2S comes with a total output of 2000 watts/2kw with a selectable choice of 1kw or 2kw heat levels.
Measuring approximately 32cm height by 61cm width and 12cm diameter, the G2S convector heater is quite a compact heater by its own size. It also weighs 1.5 kg and is thankfully very lightweight helped a bit by its permanently attached plastic grab handles at the sides of the heater at the top. Though not completely heat proof, the handles are only slightly warm to the touch when the heater has been left on for a couple of hours, so it is relatively easy to transport. A vented grill as shown on here which is pretty much curved at the top ensures good heat distribution - but the whole model is nothing but short of basic looking even if the G2S has fancy curves at the front embossed in the white metal and unlike the photo on here, our Glen G2S heaters comes with light grey handles and light grey plastic feet. Out of the box you'll receive hanging mounts if you want to mount the heater to a wall, two lightweight made curved plastic feet, which have to be screwed to the base of the heater, corresponding crosshead screws and a simple paper manual. A small amount of cable, less than a metre in size and length completes the product.
Assembly only takes a matter of minutes to screw each of the feet to the base of the heater before it can be switched on and if you find that there is a slight chemical/gasoline scent coming off the element, this is perfectly all right as it only indicates the first time that the element is heating up. Keep the box handy though as it is relatively slim line just like the heater and handy to keep incase anything goes wrong or if putting the heaters away just before Summer comes along.
Now for the two-year duration where the heaters are concerned, we have had no problems but the Glen G2S and similarly looking G2T models seem to have received a lot of criticism for not working properly and I will try with my best experience to level out my own findings. The problem with the G2S model is that most buyers will assume that just because it has a total output of 2000 watts, this kind of heater can be relied upon for fully heating up a room and stay on for 24 hours. This is not the case with this heater, nor with many convector heaters that are similarly sized and unlike fan heaters though, convector heaters don't dry out the air or your throat with induced coughs! Dependent solely on its compact size, the heater has an overheat protection built in which cuts the heater out once the heater has reached its maximum heat and the G2S gives out a wonderfully rich wall of heat depending on the selection of power you've chosen.
When we used the G2S heater first of all, both heaters did well but cut out after a couple of hours, but after initial activation, the heater itself only takes a couple of minutes to heat up, with the second setting of 2kw/2000 watts giving well insulated rooms a good cloud of warmth that can easily be detected if the heater is placed away from sitting areas. Leave the Glen switched on for 24 hours and you'll find that the heater will cut out after 3-4 hours of continual power and switch itself on thereafter after the room has cooled down thanks to its overheat protection built in / thermal cut out. I quite like this feature as the Glen G2S seems to belie its size with the amount of heat it gives off and at the same time gives me peace of mind that the heater will not catch fire. The product is BEAB approved anyway which adds more peace of mind. The Glen G2S gives off a fair amount of heat from its setting 1 even if 1kw isn't very much, the heater can give off so much heat in its highest setting, the low setting acts as a comforting and continuing band of heat rather than roasting. Now to most buyers, finding out a convector heater at this price may be disappointed to find that the Glen G2S switches itself off, but we find the heater is perfectly acceptable and does the job it is supposed to do, filling rooms with welcomed heat that is continuous in its approach and can be felt - albeit in short hourly bursts.
Secondly, the heat dispersal from the top of the convector heater isn't as uniform as I'd like with most heat being felt at the middle of the top of the heater rather than right across to where the vent design points to. This isn't much of an issue if you're the kind of buyer who just lets a heater get on with it. However being convector in design with a vent at the top means you must never put anything on top such as clothing either or for that matter, damp clothing near the vents of the heater with the hope that the hot air will dry clothing. There are well marked stickers on the body that warn you not to cover up the vents and this isn't the kind of heater that is suitable to warm up a room with damp clothing on airers placed away from the heater either as the water in the air can actually affect the element at the bottom of the heater.
There are a couple of downsides with this heater however. Firstly the quality of build is a bit disappointing (though nothing has ever fallen off) and this comes right down to the plastic feet when attaching to the base of the heater. Made of supposedly thick PVC, they don't feel well made and if you can't be bothered to lift the heater to move it and try to shift it along a carpet, the feet can snap off leaving the heater inoperable. Logic should tell you straight away when fitting the feet to the base of the heater out of the box, as the feet are rather flexible in feel. The feet however are designed to let the Glen G2S sit on a level surface and the G2S never feels unstable as a result. Other design disappointments are the fact that there is a single old fashioned rocker switch to the right hand side of the heater that allows you to choose the heat settings but sadly no LED light to show that the heater is switched on. Whenever the switch is pushed, it reverberates right through the thin metal of the heater too which can be annoying to say the least, reminding you that you've bought the cheapest heater that Glen sell! The body of the convector heater is also not heat insulated so at any time, if you need to hold or move the heater you must do it via the plastic lukewarm handles at the sides of the heater. One good aspect of the heater is that the actual electrical cord is well made and sheathed in white rubber.
If there is one maintenance job that has to be done with any convector heater, it is ensuring that the base of the heater is kept clean of dust. Element bars such as the ones in convector heaters are usually permanently sealed and can't be accessed. This is not any different with the Glen G2S convector heater but at least the base has a good-sized grid holes in which a vacuum cleaner hose and dusting brush can be used (or crevice pipe) to loosen accumulated dust. If you ignore this aspect then the heater will continually put out an old smell of burnt dust - and this isn't any different with the Glen G2S. Over the two year ownership period with the heaters being used occasionally, dust build up hasn't been apparent - but it very much depends on the kind of home you have at the time where these kinds of heaters are located - and what is floating about in the air!
Now, where running costs are concerned, convector heaters are famous for burning up the electricity and can prove pricey if you rely on convector heaters alone outwith your own central heating. If the intention is to use the Glen G2S solely for heat, you may need more than one heater because of its size. In the period we had very little heating because of our boiler problems, our quarterly electricity bill fell a little in terms of charges, falling from £95 to £74 where the central heating proves to be far more expensive - but then we were switching the power down continually if rooms felt as if they were getting too hot. If used continually without central heating though, the Glen G2S isn't up to the job and in my own flat I've found that convector heaters with 2kw and 3kw heat selections can cost up to twice as much when used every day in lieu of the storage heater idea.
All in all I really can't fault the Glen G2S convector heater. It is small, compact and fairly efficient at what it is supposed to do and from our ownership period continues to give additional heating if our radiators/central heating goes down. General maintenance of vacuuming the base of the heater will keep the G2S functioning to its optimum performance and treating it with kind hands instead of being abusive with it, will additionally allow you to get the best out of it. Largely noise free and fairly conventional, it has proved to be a reliable heater with a good guarantee behind it and a largely cheap to buy price. It can heat small to average sized rooms but ask anything else of it to heat a hall way, dry damp washing or continual 24 hours usage and you may find that it will break or your electricity usage will dramatically rise too. For the fact that both ours have lasted two years and continue to do so, its a four star effort - - but only just! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010