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When we moved into our new house, we noticed that our third bedroom was much colder than the rest of the house. This room is above the integral garage and we intended to add insulation here in time but, as my son was sleeping in that room whilst we decorated his, we needed a quick fix to warm this room up. Typically, our move coincided with some of the coldest weather we had had so we decided to purchase an electric heater for the mean time to ensure that he was kept warm. Knowing that it was to be just a temporary fix, we didn't want to spend a fortune and headed to Homebase to see what was on offer. We came across this heater from Homebase's own range, priced at £25.99 and opted for that. The heater is an electric convector heater. It is freestanding but can also be wall mounted. It's dimensions are 62.5cm (H) x 14cm (W) x 44cm (D). The wire attached to the heater is not very long, so it has to stand near to the wall socket rather than further into the room as we had intended. There is a temperature setting dial on the side and a flick switch to operate it. It is really easy to use and worked instantly - so no long set up etc. On first use, it does smell a little as it warms up but I expect that this is true for all heaters and it has certainly not been an issue since. It heats up very quickly - you can feel the hot air being omitted almost instantly and is really quiet whilst running - perfect for us as it was to be used at bed time to ensure the room is warm, so any noise would have disturbed my son. The room we use this is a fair size - not massive but not small either - and you can really feel the difference after having this on for about ten minutes. Therefore, it is good for using in short bursts. It also has a thermostatic control, so switches on to standby when the room heats to the desired temperature and comes on again when it cools. This is a fantastic feature as it helps to maintain a room at the temperature that you want it. The heater is made of metal and does get very hot when on. Therefore, from a safety aspect, this is not a long term solution for us as little inquisitive hands would easily get burned and we do not use this during the day. It is also quite bulky and not easy to tuck away in a cupboard so does take up floor space even when not in use. For our intended use, this was perfect and it certainly did a good job at warming up the room whilst we awaited long term solutions. In turn, the rest of the house felt warmer as less cold air was floating around. It did feel like it really dried the air out though and it is not something that I would want to use for long periods. For the price paid, it is a good heater. It warms up quickly and is easy to operate so I can't really fault it.
This Homebase 2kw convection heater is my main source of warmth at work over the cold months as our 'central heating' system is not exactly efficient or suitable for coping with Scottish winters! Luckily this year so far (fingers crossed) has been quite a mild one and as such I haven't had to have it on too often for which I am sure my employer will thank me for when the next electricity bill comes in. The Look The heater is very inoffensive looking, being an overall matt white colour with black enforced plastic feet and edging to the top of the heater. The main unit is steel and hollow inside, the top of the heater has a grill to let the heat escape and you can see the inside elements through this. The heaters dimensions are 62.5cm height, 14cm width and 44cm depth. It does not feel or look the most sturdy piece of equipment but for the money it is great (£24.99 at the time of writing at Homebase). This heater can be either free-standing or fixed/mounted to a wall and so is quite versatile. It is very lightweight and so easily portable to different rooms or areas in the house with built in carry handles in the sides. To Use The heater is very simple to assemble and run and is plugged into a standard power supply. There are three heat setting options, being 750w, 1250w and a maximum of 2000w which is easy enough to set via switches on one side of the heater which light up when set. There is also a thermostatic control which you turn from minimum to maximum temperature, working in a large draughty office I leave this on high. When first turned on the heater gives off a slight smell of burning, but this soon subsides and it heats up almost automatically so great when you want a quick burst of heat in a room. The warmth off this heater is really good, on the highest setting you can really feel the benefit, though I find the heat tends to simply travel up through the vents and keep travelling up and with large rooms and high ceilings you don't get a huge amount of intense heat coming back to you. The Heat output is stated to be 7000 BTUs per hour. The heater unit gets very hot and so you must avoid touching the steel on it and likewise not cover the heat vents or risk a potential fire. There is no noise from this heater during use. Overall This is a great little convection heater for the price (£24.99) and I couldn't cope without it by my desk at work. It is extremely simple to use and effective hence four out of five stars.
Today I put away our portable convector heater, so it must be Spring! I suspect sales of portable heaters have gone very well over the winter. We opted to use this, plus a portable oil-filled radiator instead of our oil central heating when it made sense to do so. The price of oil is ridiculous even now, so we will be keeping our Delonghi oil-filled radiator in use for those chilly evenings when the central heating would otherwise only be required for short periods or when it isn't worth lighting the multi-fuel burner. We bought this heater from our local Homebase in early December and it has seen good use since - primarily in the snug where we have the computer and a little telly. Although it has quite a high ceiling, it heats up really quickly with this heater which circulates the heat well. You don't have to sit near the heater to get full benefit and once the room is warm you can turn it down to a lower heat setting or turn it off for a while. It looks pretty cheap and was indeed quite cheap at £19.99. Assembly was easy. It makes a bit of a noise after initial switch on as do most heaters of this type but it is relatively quiet in operation and you certainly don't notice it after it has heated up. Being the basic model it has little in the way of additional features. With hindsight it might have been useful to have a timer as we do on the oil-filled radiator, but we settle quite happily for the on/off button for both a timer and thermostat! It sits quite stably on its little feet. It is important not to block the vents in any way and my wife occasionally needs reminding that if she stays too close to the heater, the rest of the room doesn't get warm. (She's always cold, it seems - too late to return her as a faulty item but a trade-in for a newer model is an option, I guess) It does get quite hot in use, so if you have any small persons in the house, you would need to take appropriate precautions. Don't site it too close to furniture for obvious reasons. This was cheap, does the job and of course we got some Nectar points too! I'll give it 5 out of 5, but for any intending purchasers, I would consider a model up with a timer.
This is the second winter we've had the benefit of this inexpensive electric heater, so a review seems timely. Still available for under £20, the Homebase 2kW Convector has proved to be a valuable backup to our main heating. It was a good choice for us. This heater is a basic, compact, portable appliance that provides a useful amount of extra warmth with the minimum of fuss. It's quick and easy to install, simple to use, silent in operation, and can be quite economical in practice, using its sensible lower power settings and adjusting the thermostat appropriately. We currently have it in our conservatory but it's easily moved from room to room as necessary, being lightweight with conveniently inset carrying handles. I prefer it to heavy oil-filled radiators and noisy fan heaters that we used to have. But I must stress that these are basic appliances with no sophisticated timer or fan assistance etc. They are certainly no substitute for efficient central heating/radiator systems but might be cost-effective for just heating individual rooms or areas. ~~ Functionality and Performance ~~ The unit has three power settings - a fairly economical 750 watts, 1250 watts or a full 2kW - and it is thermostatically controlled. 'Hotter than July' (not) The heater is lightweight and easily moved around to provide useful warmth wherever it might be needed. We've mainly used it in our small conservatory where there is no central heating radiator at present. It manages to keep frost out and protect tender plants during the coldest months, only resorting to the higher power setting in the most 'arctic' conditions. In spring and autumn it quickly creates and maintains comfortable temperatures even on cooler days. In what-passes-for-a-summer in these parts (July?), of course it's not needed at all and the thermostat does its job even if I forget to unplug it! According to the Homebase website, 'heat output [is]: 7000 BTUs per hour'. (See links below) The only issue with performance might be the lack of a 'turbo' fan to provide a quick boost as the unit warms up. On the plus side, though, this does use a bit less power and generates less noise. ~~ Installation ~~ We picked this up at our local Homebase during a particularly cold spell in December 2009, having found and reserved it online. The box was surprisingly light and went easily into the boot of a small hatchback ... There were very few additional parts in the package and the 8 page instruction manual is clearly written and illustrated, covering assembly, operation and maintenance. I had no difficulty following the instructions and the heater was up and running in next to no time. Our unit is freestanding; I just needed to attach the two feet with the four screws provided for each and plug it into the mains. Does this one 'stink'? Brackets are also supplied for wall mounting, along with wall plugs and suitable screws. This would inevitably require a bit more effort, but everything is quite clearly explained in the manual, even the usual odour when a heating appliance is first switched on! ~~ Ease of use ~~ This heater is extremely easy to use with just two illuminated rocker switches for the power settings and a thermostat knob that rotates from minimum to maximum. The switches light up when they are in the 'on' position and the unit is heating up. Just turn the thermostat to maximum and then slowly back until it clicks off at the required temperature. This level is automatically maintained. Nothing complicated! As you might expect from the price, it is quite a basic device, with no timer or fan assistance. But it does the job for us. ~~ Build quality and durability ~~ It is a fairly lightweight construction of steel and plastic, but it seems fairly sturdy and stable. So far, ours has stood the test of time... It certainly is light compared to our old oil-filled Dimplex that had served us well for many years but was starting to rust and for which the controls were becoming quite sticky. ~~ Availability ~~ At the time of writing (January 2011) this heater is available instore from Homebase at £19.99 instore or, it seems, for an additional £5.95 delivery charge. But note that it is a seasonal product. 'Any colour, as long as it's white' As far as I can tell, this is pure 'white goods' - only available in white! ~~ Disclaimers ~~ For technical information, dimensions etc., best check official documentation - please refer to Homebase website for relevant data. (See links below) ~~ Environment and efficiency ~~ This may not necessarily be the most economical appliance - but it's cheap enough to buy, easily transported, installed and reasonably adjustable. ~~ Safety ~~ According to the Homebase website (see below), this product features a 'Tip-over switch, indicator and thermal fuse.' [Not tested!] ~~ Disadvantages ~ * No frost setting - but not designed specifically for frost protection. Specialised conservatory or greenhouse heaters can cost considerably more * No turbo fan * No timer - and not recommended for used with one ~~ Verdict ~~ This is a useful portable heater for occasional or backup use; it's good value, with reasonable build quality, easy to install and use, and reasonably economical to run. Perhaps every home should have one? ~~ Related links ~~ * Homebase website: http://www.homebase.co.uk * Electric heater v radiator help - from MoneySavingExpert: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=609067 [© SteveS001 2011, 2012 . A version of this original review may appear on other review sites under the same name]