â€œ DeLonghiÂ’s range of convectors offer maximum heat output, silent running and contemporary design. The top of the range model HCA530FTS also features Electronic Climate Control (ECC). 3kW heat output with turbo fan boost for extra fast warm up â€ž
The last time I bought a convector heater, it came from a certain company that also begins with a "D." I've often chosen this brand because it's what my family have bought in the past with very little problems and it's a brand name that I have come to trust over the years. Argos at the time were promoting the company's products highly in store, and I who likes a bargain from time to time, fell hook, line and sinker for the appliance. Three months later the Dimplex coughed out its last warm breath and to make do, I put up with 2 convector heaters in a property which doesn't have central heating and a low powered panel heater in the bedroom to supply minimum room heat. I have been waiting for some time for convector heaters to fall in price. After a year of waiting, now seemed to be the best opportunity.
** Why Choose Convection As A Guarantee? **
I have had ceramic heaters; halogen heaters and fan heaters - all of these types don't last long with me. I don't do anything wrong with them; I treat them as I would do any appliance, and especially when handling a machine that heats up, I don't go about allowing the machines to fall over, or mishandle them inappropriately such as half installation on a low weight bearing wall only to find that it falls off, or try to take it apart thus invalidating the guarantee of the appliance. Over the years I have always preferred convection heaters; they don't dry my throat out like fan heaters do; they don't warm up briefly and overheat like some halogen products have done for me in the past, and as much as the trust I had built up with Dimplex proves, sometimes even convector heaters can fail. Additionally, most convector heaters I find are more stable in use, and seldom fall over. If they do fall over, the chances are that it will break the element inside and could quite easily start a fire.
Firstly the Delonghi here has a 3 year guarantee, which comes with the product and a further year's guarantee with Argos. Even if you don't take the Argos guarantee, if you pay by credit card, you obviously have that year's guarantee anyway. Convection means briefly, metal bar elements which heat up and produce heat from the metal. So with convection ovens for so many years, the consumer had to put up with waiting a long time for the oven to heat, and then there was fan assistance, which sped up the waiting time.
** Price **
Across the board of stockists and high street shops, this Delonghi product comes in at a very reasonable Â£59-99 and that's for a choice of not just 1 or 2kw, but 1, 2 and 3kw of heat available, or 1000, 2000 and 3000 watts! In the past I have had to spend up to Â£100 to get 3kw of "power" but thanks to fashion dictating public consumption these days, standard convector heaters have fallen down in price thanks to coal effect fires which use convection but have been jazzed up to look like a traditional hearth or traditional fire without the burning off and running up electricity costs.
Argos, Currys, Comet and John Lewis have this heater on sale as do many other outlets which sell convector heaters;Â’ Delonghi has since become a well respected name for heaters of most kinds since they were launched here in the 1970Â’s. They have since merged with Kenwood UK - the company famous for their kitchen food machines.
I've never come across a heating product which has been so universally formal with its price or availability.
** Nar Â’s Quick Skip Product Review Features **
Â• 3kW heat maximum output convector heater
Â• Electronic Climate Control (ECC)
Â• 3 heat settings plus switchable fan boost
Â• Cool air fan setting
Â• 24 hour timer
Â• Sicura safety alarm
Â• Overheat safety cut-out
Â• Integral carry handles
Â• Wall mountable (brackets included) or Freestanding
Â• Dimensions: H47 x W 73 x D 17cm
** Assembling The Delonghi **
Firstly the box that this product comes in is awash with pictures of the heater concerned, and inside you will only find two pieces of polystyrene which holds the heater tightly packed inside. 2 bags enclosed with the box contain wall mounting hooks and screws; 2 plastic feet and a user manual.
* User Manual *
The user manual is a fold out detailed 100% recycled pale grey booklet which has been written in English and uses minor diagrams and a lot of words to show certain areas of the product. No other language has been used to show how to use the machine.
* Basic Assembly Before Use *
Putting the legs on the machine is very easy to do and yet the first indication of how well designed this heater is compared to others I have had before is just how light it is - just below 1kg I'd say - and it has two integral handles already fitted by the sides o the heater. The heater can be lifted quite easily and belies the fact that it holds so many elements despite its specification. To allow the heater to "free stand" on its own, all you do is slide and snap fit the two plastic feet on either side of the heater on the bottom - and that's it. For wall mounting, the heater comes with its own fixings and the manual shows you how to wall mount the heater - but remember the wall has to have sufficient load bearing weight and the appliance should have near access to a wall socket but not directly placed below a permanent mains power socket.
** Using It **
There is more to this convector heater than meets the eye. Whereas other models may have two switches for powering up the heat levels available, there are two main controls located on the left hand side of the heater and a switch on the main fascia of the heater on the bottom left hand side on a plastic permanently fitted grille. The Delonghi must be placed at least 50cm away from soft furnishings and general furniture.
* Turbo Fan *
Think of the convection oven principle and how it heats up faster if you have the option of using fan assistance. This is exactly what the Turbo fan does; only that it has two uses:
The first use is that the fan can be used as an independently functioning cool air ventilation fan, but the thermostat must be set at the minimum or Off to allow the cold air to pump out. You can increase the speed of the fan but you must not activate the top control at the side of the heater- more about that later. The noise is very quiet and if you have sensitive ears all you will hear is a slight whirr from the fan.
The second function makes more sense. If for example, like me you live in a home that has no central heating or at the least, a radiator the Turbo fan can be activated to boost the convention convector heater. In effect it means that the room can be heated up faster whilst the convector elements heat up. It is a very clever idea but you need to be careful you don't leave the fan on whilst the convector heater heats up incase the fan burns out! The Turbo fan function is actually a good idea, but Delonghi could improve on the formula by adding an auto stop function if the owner "forgets" that they have left the actual fan on. Also the Turbo fan will heat up if the Thermostat has been turned all the way up to MAX, or to any desired temperature via the second and only real rotary dial located at the top side of the heater.
* The Thermostat *
Gone are the days on controls that feature similar graphics to heater controls in cars. Instead, written words "Max" & "Min" on the Thermostat rotary control have been written in a clear dark grey writing, and since the whole machine is mixture of light beige and cream, it isn't hard to spot what temperature the heater is in. Additionally at the lowest selection which shows a star, there are also numerals marked 10, 20 and 30 to describe and show the 1, 2 or 3kw heat options and lastly MAX indicates the highest level of heat available. Use this to function the general heat and the fan.
* ECC *
If you're a Volvo or Saab owner, you may have come across this term before! I know I have! ECC means Electronic Climate Control. Briefly this is how it works;
You can already set the temperature as discussed with the Turbo fan and thermostat, but here there is an additional circular control which is lit up with several LEDs and words at the side to show the user what can be selected. In the middle of the control, which is white plastic compared to the dark brown acrylic which acts as a window for the LEDs, you will find two symbols. The first symbol looks like a half circular element and below a 3 tri circle symbol - this is the symbol which shows the ECC function. By pressing this, you will activate the ECC function.
ECC means that the heater will monitor the room temperature and adjust the heat accordingly even though you can additionally select your chosen temperature. Not only does this lessen the chance of allowing the heater to over heat but it also maintains a precise and level band of heat emerging from the heater in the room. And the heater changes from time to time on its own, mostly because when I have it on setting 2, I can hear the heater click off and on - but there are no cold spots between the clicks and the heat remains stable above the 5Â° centigrade & 35Â° centigrade temperatures.
The top control looks like a rotary control but this doesn't turn - it's a touch control which can be activated by lightly pressing on the inner beige centre.
* The LED's *
Now the LEDÂ’s are very simple to operate because markings in flame symbols indicate the 1, 2 or 3KW power. All the LED's light up in a light orange colour. Tap the control once for example and you will have set the machine to come on at maximum power. As a result all 4 lights on the control will light up. Tap twice and the medium level comes on which is the singular top level of LED's (2) and finally tap three times and the bottom level of 2 LEDs come on to indicate the lowest power has been activated.
* 24 Hour Timer *
Unfortunately the 24 hour timer is not a digital display but of the style that was made in the 1980's with push up push down flick pins that cannot be taken out. Measured in the 24 hour clock, you can activate the heater to come on when the delays are set, or without the timer activated. Two small flick up switches are located to the right hand side of the dial - you have to look very carefully at this and refer to the manual because the dial is a bit small to simply glimpse at - I have used the 24 hour timer and although I am impressed with its function, Delonghi could have made this easier to locate as well as activate - but still its a good measure to have if you like to come home and find that your room warm when you open the door. Just don't turn the dial anti-clockwise - as the manual suggests, it's really a 24 hour electronic clock so it has to be turned clockwise to function properly.
** Safety First **
I must stress that I have used additional timer plugs with heaters before and if the heater comes with a 13 amp plug, like this Delonghi does, additional plug timers tend to burn out from the heat that the appliance has, not just the adaptor moulding - so its handy to have a timer function located on the heater itself, rather than the additional worry an additional timer add on adaptor has proved.
** Heat Levels **
I am surprised that the 1kw setting actually pumps out a fair level of heat because previous experience has taught me you don't get much at 1000 watts. The 2kw setting is similar but more full on and it is between 1 kilowatt and 2 kilowatt I have used this machine's levels of heat at most. The 3 kilowatt setting is very hot and can heat up a room very fast but I find that the room can feel as if there is too much heat after ten minutes. Roasting is a phrase that springs to mind here, infact but when the ECC is activated there is a much more rounded feeling of heat rather than setting the machine manually to do what you want it to do!
** Over Heat Cut Out Function **
Most heaters be it convection or otherwise have this type of setting. Briefly, the Delonghi will cut out if the heater over heats - it switches off even if it is plugged on. If this happens you just pull out the plug and wait for the heater to cool down between 5 and 10 minutes. Thereafter plug the heater in and it can be reactivated.
* Frost "Stat" Function *
The Frost Function basically means by setting the thermostat to the star marking (*) and pressing the ECC button the Delonghi will switch on automatically only if the room temperature drops to 5Â° centigrade to prevent freezing. In terms of a power cut however the heater will not function independently.
* SICURA System *
This Delonghi is fitted with a system alarm called SICURA. Basically this means that if the heater becomes unstable or falls, an alarm sounds to let the user know and if the heater completely falls over, the alarm function will actually switch the machine off to prevent accidents.
Now the sound of this emerges from a small singular circular grille located at the bottom left hand side of the machine just above the left foot. Ingenious not just in the inclusion of such a safety device, but when I moved the heater away from the wall to be vacuumed, the alarm moves in pitch faster if the heater angle moves towards the floor. The sound doesn't hurt my ears but it does sound like a suitable clock alarm which is at best distinguishable.
* The Look & General Finish *
Generally I am pleased with this product. To use, it takes time because reading the manual is very important to get the best of the product and it took me a few days to get around the ECC function and the Turbo fan. The Turbo fan did begin to make a clicking noise but it vanished the moment I moved the heater and vacuumed any dust that was clinging to the bottom grills on the underside of the heater.
The general look blends in well in my living room, the height of the product being average for a convection heater but blends into the room well instead of looking out of place. Partly due to its up turned size of the main heat outlet and its controls, it could well pass for a storage heater. The main mouth does look a little ugly to my eye but I'm impressed so far with the performance and the relative ease of the controls. The main parts of the heater are metal aside from the feet and integral carry handles which are plastic and heat insulated - however the heater in my mind should only be moved slightly to clean out dust. Other heaters on the market which have castors are better thought out and more geared towards actual movement from room to room. The heater can be wiped with a slightly damp cloth but thanks to the transfers of the main company logo and SICURA system which briefly refreshes the user's mind as to what it means, you can't use benzene or alcohol based cleaners to use a heater - common sense dictates if you use flammable substances, you could well start a fire quite literally.
** Conclusion **
This Delonghi heater is currently the flagship of the range and yet for Â£60-00 it appears as a very good highly featured peace of heating technology. If it didn't have so many features you can bet your bottom dollar this review would be half its normal length! It may use the old fashioned process of convection heating but my recent electricity bill only shows a rise of Â£2 to Â£3 to what I pay otherwise on a quarterly scheme.
And that's the problem with convector heaters though; no matter how high the settings are, they can work out to be expensive. But for on/off heat they give a more uniform heat to any room or just for one person rather than "parts" such as feet or a face sitting near a bright and eye dazzling upright Halogen type heater.
Our Delonghi has performed admirably for the last two years and continues to impress and to feel suitably roasted when heat is needed. Thanks for reading. Nar2 2007
De'Longhi Group Service (UK)
1/2 New Lane
Telephone 0845 600 6845
Short name: DeLonghi HCA 530FTS