I bought this gadget to keep in my living room during the day. Since central heating spends a lot of gas, i always thought that just having a small gadget like this one would be enough to warm up our living room.
Me and my girlfriend spend most of the time in the living room when we are at home, and from our experience, from the moment you turn this heater on, it takes aprox. 1 - 1.5 hours to get the room warm. However, when it gets warm, it is capable of keeping it warm for as long as it is on. This is amazing, because you can leave it 10 hours straight turned on if you want, you won't spend that much energy, so you will definitely save a lot of money compared to having the central heating ON in your place.
The only room that does not have central heating in our house is the conservatory and while in the height of winter it is not a room we use at all much there are times of the year when it is in use but needs some heat and this is why we purchasd this halogen heater from Kingavon. It cost £14.99 to purchase and it has proven an effective heater for a small space such as our conservatory, it produces enough heat to take the edge off the chill in the room and leaves it feeling comfortable to sit in and enjoy the winter sun.
It is a 1200 watt heater and there are three setting howevere I have found the lowest setting to be barely noticeable and so tend to use it on level 2 or 3 all of the time. It does throw out a decent amount of heat once it has warmed up, it is also pretty light with a couple of handles on the top so it is easy enough to move around. However the downside to this lightness is the fact that it does not feel particularly robsutly made, then again I guess for £15 you cannot expect too much from it. In particular the mesh grills appear a little frail and ours already has a small dent in it when it got knocked while moving it around. This will ceratinly not cope with any major incidents. I also find the cable to be a bit small, only about 5 feet in all so it does need to be near a power source otherwise you need an extension cable.
So far it has lasted through one winter and summer without any failings and while it does not exactly get a lot of use it has been reliable when called upon. It produces enough heat to provide warmth to a medium size room and one that has no real insulation other than double glazing. It is easy to operate and all of the controls are on the top on the unit. It does pivot around the base as well to distribute the heat.
If you are looking for a cheap supplementary heat source that is cheap to purchase then this one is an option worth considering however it does have its limitations.
I've been using Micromark-Kingavon heaters (1,200watt) for a few years now. Our house is quite cold and often needs an extra blast of heat in very cold weather and this heater can usually be found for a reasonable price (we paid £20 for our last one, that was on offer from a catalogue, I have seen them around the £15 mark in various places). I don't like fan heaters as they are quite noisy, and we had an experience I never want to repeat with our last floor 'mounted' fan heater. Our dog is not the best behaved and peed on the heater, we weren't aware of this initially we could smell the hint of rebellion in the air but not find the 'stink bomb'. When we turned on the fan heater we realised what had happened as a fine heated but dry mist of pee was blown out in a puff acting as a sort of reverse air freshener. I realise this won't be a problem for most of you but it kind of acted as aversion therapy for me regarding fan heaters. So to get back to the crux of the matter a heater with radiating elements is what we wanted.
This heater has an oscillating function which is easily accessed by one of the clear and easy to use buttons on the top. One red for on and off, one for twisty turny-ness three to switch different bars on and off to adjust the heat ouput, giving 400, 800 or the full 1,200 watts. We rarely use the oscillating function as the heater is just left on to warm up the whole room, but should you want to use this feature it is very quiet in use, and slow and smooth in operation.
Where the heater connects to the base is where the oscillating function operates from, and I feel this is a weak spot as we have had one heater break at this junction, leaning like some tipsy old school Doctor Who life form, strangely the heating elements still worked, whereas when subsequent heaters have been treated with kid gloves the heating elements have proved a bit ''delicate'.
The heat given out by this item is excellent and one bar is often enough to take the chill off a cold room, when a real cold spell hits this is perfect in one of the upstairs bedrooms which doesn't have a functioning radiator at the moment, on full blast the room is often the hottest in the house.
Although the front double mesh panel of the heater doesn't get dangerously hot, it can't be left too near anything flammable of course, which could be a problem in quite a small room as it is quite a large heater both in base circumference width and height. We've never had a problem with size as our rooms are of average size, but my sister in law found it difficult to keep it far enough away from flammable things in her tiny bedroom, like any heater it needs some free space around it. Being slim and tall(ish) it doesn't look very cumbersome and it is very lightweight and easy to move (there is a handle at the back which make it easy to lift, but not a terribly good grip if you are carrying it any distance, such as up or down stairs.
There is quite a bright glare from this heater, so I wouldn't recommend having it facing you if you are sitting down for a prolonged period, such as in an office or just vegging out on the sofa, and wouldn't be too good if you were trying to sleep either, though although I wouldn't have thought it's sensible to leave a moveable heat source such as this on all night while you are asleep anyway.
Being lightweight is great for mobility but it's not so good for safety as we've found that despite the decent width base it can be knocked over by an exuberant dog, or in any of the ways you might give it a shove, so not a good idea to leave it unsupervised if you have young uns, pets, or an unruly wife.
We find the good level of instant heat this heater gives to be superb, we even like the warm glow given out by the bars (when not in our face). However this isn't a long lasting heater, the elements have blown on us several times, we have had a few of these because they just don't last that long, we went through two in one winter. However we keep buying them because we like the adjustability of the heat settings, and although we could probably buy a longer lasting heater for the price we've paid for several of these we couldn't have afforded a more sturdy and expensive one in one payment, and we like the level of heat this gives out.
The Kingavon Heater despite its faults is highly recommended and although I wish the were more sturdy we will buy again if our current one gives up the ghost.
Our house if quite old, from the outside it looks like a standard rural end terrace house, but it's over 200 years old and was originally a detached single story thatched cottage. It's been altered and built up against over the years so looks not nearly as picturesque now, this means that the walls are not easily insulated as they seem to be made of some kind of rubble. This means that not only is it damn difficult to get a nail into the walls but the house is also very cold. This is great in the summer as we never get overheated, but it doesn't seem to work the same way in the winter it doesn't keep the heat in, it seems to suck the cold and damp in.
When our fire stopped working in the lounge two years ago (we've only just been able to get it fixed and now the bleeping central heating/hot water has gone) we nearly froze, we do have a radiator in that room but it's quite a big room with open stairs in so doesn't heat up easily. So out we went on the hunt for a reasonably priced electric heater. We chose the Micromark - Kingavon 1,200watt as it has 4 bars and is the type of heater I wanted, I've used fan heaters before and they are noisy, and not as effective in my opinion. Also it was cheap and available in our local odds and sods shop. Our several heaters cost us between £10 and £15, though I think they have gone up somewhat over the last year. Cashing in on the cold spells I expect.
This heater has an oscilating function, when you depress the button on the furthest left, the heater then swivels on its base, I suppose the theory is that it radiates heat to all areas, for me this function isn't particularly useful as I want the whole room to heat up, and not direct it at any particular areas. There are three settings, and I like the fact that you can have it on at full blast or turn it down to just one bar once a decent temperature is reached. There is a red on and off button on the top where the other controls are placed too.
There are several pros and cons to this heater.
The pros in my opinion are:
That it gives out a great level of heat, more than enough to heat our lounge.
It is adjustable as mentioned above, so you can control the level of heat and where in the room it is directed.
It is quite light weight if you need to move it from room to room, and it has a little hand grip moulded into the back plastic at the top (this isn't as well defined or as deep and angled as I'd like)
It gives out a gorgeous warm looking orangy glow, which warms you up just basking in the light.
The components of the fire remain cool to the touch, including the mesh front, the mesh becomes warm but wouldn't burn you if you brushed against it or touched it. So not dangerous to children or pets from that perspective.
The mesh frontage is very fine and nothing would be able to get through it to touch the element, except liquid and perhaps an errant blade of straw if you happened to have one handy and wanted to see if it would fit.
The cons I feel are:
It's a bit flimsy in more than one way.
The first way is at the junction where the heater swivels, this makes the structure prone to damage at this point especially if you move the heater around a lot.
The wider spaced inner mesh at the front of the heater can become dented, though there is a finer mesh over it so nothing should be able to get into the heating elements themselves.
The cable is quite short, about 4 or 5 feet, so it limits where in the room you can position the heater, unless you have an extension lead.
It gives out a great warm glow, this in both pros and cons because if you have somewhere to place the heater that isn't directly in your line of sight that is great, but if you have to have it right in front of you, or want it there to suck up more heat then it's quite a bright glare, which I find hurts my eyes a bit (I am a bit light sensitive though, I think it's liked with the migraines). This light is also rather bright if you are using the heater in a bedroom. In the dark this is as bright as having a fairly decent wattage bulb on. Personally this doesn't bother me as I'm a scardy cat and have never slept without some light in the bedroom, so for me it's ideal. A fan heater would drive me nuts in the bedroom because of the noise.
The heater could be fairly easily knocked over by pets or young children, or tipsy husbands. The base while wide is quite light weight so wouldn't stand up to a shove.
They can break down fairly quickly if used a lot (there my be mitigating circumstances which I mention later)
The pros and cons have been built up through no less than 5 of these heaters. The radiator in my eldest daughter's bedroom hasn't worked for years, so the first heater I bought was for her. We then bought one for our lounge when the cold weather really started to bite. However by the time we got our heater the first one was broken. My daughter is very gentle and doesn't bash things around so we presume this was due to the element blowing because of heavy usage. She took the lounge heater, and after a few months when we eventually had a tenner that wasn't earmarked for something else we bought another one for the lounge. Only a few weeks later the daughter's one packed up again, so we were left without a lounge heater. Anyway this has happened every time we have tried to get two heaters at the same time, so the upshot is we still have no lounge heater. Though the last time my daughters broke it was down to the dog peeing on it so not the fault of the heater. The current one is still going strong in my daughter's room.
I have to add that although I do think the heaters should have been able to stand up to prolonged use better, I think due to the damp in my house that the wiring isn't a good as it should be (even though it was rewired a few years ago it was done by a cowboy) and I have problems with light bulbs and fairly lights blowing too. So the knackering of the heaters could well be down to my dodgy electrics rather than a fault in the heaters themselves, in fact I'm rather inclined to think that is the case.
Of course as with any free standing heat source it should be kept a good distance away from anything flammable such as curtains etc and not be left unattended, oh and try not to let your pets wee on it if possible.
In my flat I have central heating. However nowhere in my large, old and almost see-front flat do I have a fire or anything that gives off the real feeling of heat. By that I mean sure I can get warm with the central heating on but to me, to see heat is a glow and it warms you up fast!
My flat can stay warm enough though without heating on, apart from in my bedroom which led me the purchase of this heater in a local shop and set me back £12.75. I'd been looking for one with a large heated area all day when I spotted this and couldn't believe its cheap price when I did!
The halogen heater comes in a large box as it's a large heater! On the front and on the back of it we are shown a photograph of the heater and told that it is Kingavon 1200w Oscillating Halogen Heater and that it gives off instant heat, has a 50Hz frequency, has an on/off oscillating facility, has 3 heating levels (400/88/1200w), a safety cut-off feature, is 230 voltage and that of course 1200 watts is its maximum heat output. Inside the box there is a leaflet, again telling you all about the features this has and contact details for Kingavon are listed on there.
Well the heater is rather large and two tone grey with curved edges (to sort of give it a flattish egg shape) with the heater panel being large on the front of it and a handle for easily moving of it to the top of it and under that you get 4 buttons. The buttons consist (working from far left to right) of an orange one with is the on/off switch and turn the heat onto 400 watts fully, the one next to it is a 400watt extra heat setting and on the one next that gives 400 watts but only light up half of the heater and then you have the push button oscillating feature. You can use the three heat settings one at a time, 2 at a time or all 3 and that gives the 400/800 or 1200w heat.
The oscillating feature is really quiet and makes no noise at all. I expected even a slight click but you don't get one, it goes from side to side with no problems at all. If the unit gets too hot for whatever reason it safely switches itself off and if it gets knocked or tapped it waits to get back into a safe position before going back on.
It easily transportable because its so light weight and best off all it really does give out a good heat, even though it is a little dry....just stick a bowl of water somewhere if you feel the need to.
All in all I love my heater. I like the lightness of it, the warmth it gives, the light feature being a bright orange gives me a warm feeling and the quietness of it....plus it being not ugly helps!
Google if interested or check in shops such as T.J Hughes.