“ Manufacturer: Prem-I-Air / Type: Compact / Power Source: Electric / Heating Element: Ceramic / Heating Levels: 2 Levels / Features: Thermostat, Cool-Touch Exterior, Power Indicator, Carrying Handle / Fan Forced: Fan Forced / Energy Star: Without Energy Star / Safety Features: Tilt Switch, Automatic Shut-Off / Power: 1,800 Watt / Height: 28 cm / Width: 21 cm / Depth: 18 cm / Weight: 1.2 kg / Exterior Color: Metallic Finish „
The joys of living in halls of residence mean that although I have a limited supply of electricity to live on, I have already paid for it within the price of rent which I pay yearly. Although the convector heaters on the walls of my apartment are working overtime, they still don't stay on for prolonged hours when I'm head launched into study books and I'm completely happy with my Delonghi fan heater which pumps out a maximum of 2400 watt generated heat - in one room against the kitchen which is always freezing or has a base warmth thanks to the convector heater in there, and even I know its not good to go from one hot room to one cold room...its no surprise that already I have a drippy nose!
With the latest warnings of more bad weather coming I knew that I had to buy another heater of some sort. It was either another Delonghi - and at £15 at John Lewis for the same excellent model - or a cheaper heater if it was possible to keep working alongside the Delonghi albeit in another room. The trouble was as I found out; the local Argos store in Edinburgh is currently sold out of every cheap heater, even their heater models which have been withdrawn in their recent clearance sales! Jenners couldn't supply with any heater below £30 and another private electrical store had run out of fan heaters. Seems like I'm not the only one who has cottoned on to the drop in air temperature then!
** Nar's Quick Skip Product Spec **
Prem-i-air Endurance PGK180C £19-99
Ceramic heater (as opposed to standard fan convection)
Compact and upright; (about the size of a compact jug kettle)
Cool to touch exterior
2 speed fan with thermostat and cool fan option.
1800 watts maximum, 1100 watts minimum.
Thermal cut out.
Frozen room temperature setting.
Back carry handle recessed.
Currently on sale at John Lewis & Online.
When I got home with the Prem-i-air I didn't actually know that it was called "Endurance" until I searched on the internet for online prices but they are on average £19-99 which is what I paid for at John Lewis. I know I was looking for a cheaper heater but the design of the Endurance attracted me to the model on the basis that it is smaller, thinner and darker looking than my all beige beehive Delonghi although the two are both upright fan designs.
Ceramic heaters have been slow to take off in this country; I realised this when many years ago I wanted to buy one but they were too expensive against convector fan heaters although realistically although ceramic heaters are supposedly more economical consumers are led to believe that they are also more powerful. I was more interested about the economy saving but the sales person at John Lewis was at a loss to tell me of any eventual saving.
** General Design **
Generally the design of the Prem-i-Air is very good, if not simple to locate the dial rotary controls which consist of the fan dial and then the thermostat dial - Ciao states there is no thermostat but a timer- but this is not the case here. The PGK180C model has no timer. Both dials are located on the top of fascia and generally the plastic quality is okay for the price, although there is some rough detailing apparent around the edges of the main grille which against the body is not heat resistant in use.
Design wise, the model is silver and dark grey and wouldn't look out of place in a small office even though there is a handy red LED light in the middle of this stereo speaker look a like heater. Both controls are well marked as to what they do and you don't really have to look at the manual much in order to fathom out how to use the heater; simply plug in, dial in your preferences and remember to turn the thermostat dial up if you want more heat.
If there is one aspect I do like about it, then it is the size; it means I can lift the model onto my table as the Prem-i-Air pumps out much needed hot air into my direction and leaves a gentle vibration through the table (which I can presently feel through my laptop as I type!), less motor noise and lovely roasting heat.
Over the larger and bulkier Delonghi, the Prem-i-Air is lighter to carry - at 1.2kg - but similar to a convector fan you have to leave it in an open space to allow the fan at the back to circulate air and cool the motor in use.
** In Use **
I couldn't wait to switch this model on and see what the hype is between ceramic and convector fan heaters. I've always read that they are supposed to last longer than fan heaters and produce less noise. So I plugged it in and switched it onto its highest position, indicated by two wavy heat lines to indicate the top speed. Sure enough the LED light came on and I recognised more whoosh than any actual whine of a motor - but similarly this is the kind of noise my Delonghi makes - which brought me the first false advantage of "less noise with ceramic heaters."
Lots of heat emerged from the second position which means maximum heat here although at times I felt the pathway of the heat was dissolved far quicker than my convector fan and the speed 1 (when it works at 1100 watts) produce good heat if you located the Prem-i-air nearer to you body such as your arms and wrists rather than by your feet which pumps out a minimal amount of heat.
** Lacks Power **
Unfortunately the Prem-i-Air lacks the power of my Delonghi in use; it is more noticeable when the fan is put into the maximum position of heat it can supply against the similar Delonghi which pumps out the same level of heat on its first low position. When I left it in the kitchen to put out heat for an hour, and walked back into the room afterwards the room felt warm but not as hot as it does with the Delonghi. That's a great disappointment...
In my bedroom with the heater on the floor, the Prem-i-Air fails to supply a bigger surround feeling of uniform heat too, no doubt thanks to the tiny 10cm by 10cm ceramic bar window which eventually starts to glow orange if the heater is left on for more than an hour.
It may well be more economical to use this 1800 watt heater against a 2400 watt motor but the Delonghi appears to do better just on the strength of its power, if not price which is £5 cheaper than the Prem-i-Air in this respect and that's a shock when comparing a convectional fan to a ceramic type fan. It's as if Prem-i-Air has tried to swap trends here and my model has been switched on longer than the Delonghi which sits at odds with worries of an apparent economical saving.
Other downsides consist of the fact that whilst the heater may well have a safety cut out feature it doesn't have an anti tip over shut off facility which some online companies are reporting the model to have.
The user manual is a large text based affair of four pages but unless you have never used a heater before, it isn't even worth looking at on its own accord.
So it's back to John Lewis on their promise that they will swap the model if I don't like it and true to their word, John Lewis have yet again come up trumps - they allowed me to swap for the same Delonghi model I had bought previously.
** Conclusion **
So who are Prem-i-Air hoping to attract in the market? Caravanners will probably love this heater for its compact size, if not for its simplicity but definitely for its choice of speed settings, cool air option and lack of motor noise - but then again it isn't any noisier in use than my Delonghi model! It appears the extra £5 against the Delonghi has been spent on making a heater as compact as possible.
Yes the Delonghi has a larger element and it is probably slightly more expensive when it adds £3 (or more) to the quarterly electricity bill but it is more powerful and needs less facility to move it from time to time to get more directional heat! So it's a No from Nar for medium bedrooms and small kitchens with a kitchenette; in smaller spaces such a small private office or an enclosed newspaper stand, it could well come in handy I'd imagine - but to beat the cold you'll need something a bit more powerful even if it is to add additional heat; good for toes but very little else what a great pity! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
The Prem-I-Air PGK 180C is a Compact Heater, with Ceramic heating element.