“ Manufacturer: Micromark / Type: Compact / Heating Levels: 2 Levels / Features: Thermostat, Carrying Handle / Fan Forced: Fan Forced / Power: 2,000 Watt „
Central heating is a wonderful thing. Storage heaters are not - in fact, they're the very opposite of a wonderful thing. They were invented by sadistic renegade mad scientists as the perfect way to ensure you're always sweating when you want to cool down and huddled shivering in a corner when you need to warm up - and just to keep things interesting, they like to break down as well. Then you die. Or buy an electric heater.
We choose the second option when our storage heater packed up in the depths of winter last year. At around £30, this model isn't going to break the bank - not until you get the electricity bill, anyway, and it does a pretty good job of keeping the frostbite at bay.
Lightweight and portable, there's enough reach on the cord that you can move the heater around with you, and enough strength in it that you don't need to be pressed right up to it to feel the benefits.
There's not much to master, control-wise; this is a pretty intuitive piece of kit. The first dial on the front of the heater controls the temperature, the second the thermostat; this works pretty well, sending the machine to sleep once the desired temperature has been reached and waking it up again to maintain this heat. As the dials are marking with arbitrary numbers rather than degrees of heat, it's not an exact science, but then it doesn't really need to be. The heater's easy to use, and does its job just fine.
In terms of safety, there's also a button on the base of the unit that needs to be depressed for the machine to work, meaning it'll power off if it falls over or is lifted up.
For the cost, you're not expecting to get anything remotely top-of-the-line. It's hot enough, but takes a while to heat a room, and tend to make little impact in larger spaces. We have a second, more effective model that makes more of a difference in less time (although probably uses the electricity quota of a small country doing so), so this heater has been relegated to substitute.
Still, it's cheap and cheerful, and given that it works, it's a whole lot better than a storage heater.
As most of us have twigged of late the natural gas market is rigged and as more and more of that gas comes online around the world and the man made global warming fails to materialise, up and up the prices still go. The government are simply using global warming hype to levy utility taxes on the public to make up the money big companies are stashing away in tax havens. I was under the distinct impression global warming meant it got warmer and we needed less gas and so demand for it would fall and so the price tumble with it. Well that's not what's happening and so Brits are scared to turn their heating on in fear of the two winter quarter bills and so resort to a quick burst on a fan heater on the tootsies when watching Eastenders for relief. This is a very serious situation and clearly killing old people who just can't afford to eat and heat in the winter. Call me a cynic but do the government really care if a few thousand pensioners freeze to death so to save on those hospital and pension bills. Is that not what cigarettes were introduced for? In fact when I go around me mums she always moans about not being able to have the heating on and how stoic she has been in the winter yet hidden away in the front room is the fan heater, far more expensive to run per hour, putting even more on the dual bill. Her comfort cupboard, on the other hand, does not go short of cakes and crisps. It seems women only save on certain items. God forbid if they have to cut down on the clothes and chocolates!
Now I need a little fan heater because my dad had diabetes and so passed on the gene of poor circulation, which means my little feet get cold very quickly in the winter, which means I have to weld them to the big copper and hot water boiler in my bedroom in the winter to keep them snug. The days of beautiful maidens massaging my tootsies to a suitable temperature have long since gone. For some reason my slippers are as cold as my feet when I put them on and so when the temperature really tanks off in the winter I need a fan heater to rescue the day. Just half-an-hour of warm air from one of these guys does the trick! If Captain Scott and co had a Micromark fan heater in the tent then who knows how history would have panned out.
The Micromark design here is the stand up clock face heater over the safer oblong floor hugging clock radio style and so you mustn't knock it forward on to its face as it may overheat, explode, and then burn your house down. It's not a new model and weighs in at about a bag of sugar so it may well topple over when nudged but it does have a standard cut off for that eventuality, which takes five or so seconds to do just that. Once it cuts out you have to wait for it to cool down to be able to switch in on again. These fan haters these days are much safer when it comes to producing noxious fumes though. The old bar-fan heaters were not great for that and anything that got in there when they were switched on was torched, all manner of bugs and skin cuticles on the 'barby' running up a familiar over-heating aroma.
As I say it's nice and portable with a carry handle so you can take it out to the garage or shed although its three pin standard plug only so no use in your car. The thermostat goes up to a good heat and there are a couple of heat settings if you are not quite melting the ice on the windows. For the summer there is a rather ostentatious cool fan blow option although an expensive way to keep cool. Again, in the old days I would have two or three beautiful women fanning me like on the Carry On films. You can tilt the fan to try and fill the room more with heat, perhaps the best advantage over the oblong low down ground heater model. At £29.99 its a fair price although you will have to shop around to find one, mine on sale in the Multi York sofa store New Year sale.
Up to 2200 Watts upright fan heater
2 heat settings
Cool air setting (fan only)
Overheat safety cut out
Effective tilted head for heat distribution
Handy carry handle
White, gray or black finish available