Mobile Heaters

There appears to be a number of providers such as Ecoheat and Warmwool selling powerful energy efficiant plug in heaters but when doing more research and in particular Trust Pilot they all seems to be a con.  Could anyone recommend an effective portable heater?

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  • There appears to be a number of providers such as Ecoheat and Warmwool selling powerful energy efficiant plug in heaters but when doing more research and in particular Trust Pilot they all seems to be a con.  Could anyone recommend an effective portable heater?
    They are just electric heaters, they are 100% efficient as all electric heaters are 100% efficient, 1kWh of electricity in means 1kWh of electricity out. Whilst gas boilers are generally around 95%+ efficient they have the benefit of gas being less than a third of the price of electricity per kWh, so it is generally far cheaper to heat your home using gas. 

    If you let us know what you are trying to achieve then there will be people on here who can advise you. 
  • lohr500
    lohr500 Posts: 922
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    All plug in electric heaters will be pretty much 100% efficient in converting electricity to heat. What size of room are you heating? For background heat you could look at an oil filled or convection radiator with several heat settings and a thermostat. If you want to direct the heat more in one direction then a fan or infra red heater may be better, but again look for one with a thermostat and several heat settings so you can find tune the output.
  • vacheron
    vacheron Posts: 1,590
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    edited 1 November 2023 at 10:43AM
    There appears to be a number of providers such as Ecoheat and Warmwool selling powerful energy efficiant plug in heaters but when doing more research and in particular Trust Pilot they all seems to be a con.  Could anyone recommend an effective portable heater?
    The whole concept of energy efficient heaters should be viewed with suspicion.

    In order to produce heat, you need to conusme an equal amount (or slightly more) of electrical energy. therefore a 1000W heater CANNOT deliver 2000W of heat into a room. 

    However, there are certain heater designs which are more effective at delivering heat to specific certain areas of a room / person depending upon what it is you want to be heated.
    Convection heaters are good at heating rooms, but tend to heat the room "top down" so take a while to warm up.
    Fan heaters can deliver the heat more directly to a certain area, but are more noisy.
    IR radiant heaters can provide heat to a person / object quickly, but not neccesarily heat the whole room efficiently.

    So I would start by asking what it is you want to heat?
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  • had a quick look at these websites - they do look like low quality tat that's over advertised made it to look like they do soemthing other heaters don't, all based abroad.. 

    From EcoHeat website Contact Us page:
    Send an email to: [email protected] - so this links to another website..
    Honestly it all looks like scam.

  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,634
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    edited 1 November 2023 at 11:05AM
    There appears to be a number of providers such as Ecoheat and Warmwool selling powerful energy efficiant plug in heaters ...
    Not just a con, but liable to burn down your house.

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  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,753
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    edited 1 November 2023 at 12:22PM
    Neither of the brands you mention seems to state the power output.  Essentially they're just seriously underpowered and seriously overpriced fan heaters.  They won't be able to warm a room to a sensible temperature in a cold winter, they'll only provide a 'puddle' of warm air in the immediate vicinity.  Check whether Estonian laws apply and whether you'd have to pay to return it to China if there's a problem.
    Similar products on Amazon suggest the Ecoheat is a mere 500W.  Do you think that five wall lights or table lamps each with a 100W bulb would make a living room comfortably warm?  Me neither.  You'd only get a small 'puddle' of heat in the unlikely event you were sitting close to the wall socket and facing it.
    Warmool lookalikes on Amazon are rated at 1200W.  Most fan heaters are 2 or 3kW so it's still underpowered but at least it has a cord so it might be able to be positioned slightly better.
    However, the inescapable facts are (1) daytime electricity is the about most expensive form of heating you can have (even worse if you use E7 during  the day) and (2) there's nothing revolutionary or magical about any of these 'miracle' heaters, X kW of electrical energy in gives X kW of heat out regardless of the type of device (except for a heatpump).
    If you still want to proceed then go to Amazon: at least returns will be straightforward when the inevitable disappointment kicks in.
  • Scot_39
    Scot_39 Posts: 1,674
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    edited 1 November 2023 at 1:26PM
    The difference between heaters - unless using external heat recovery / compressor type tech like an ASHP - comes down to not how much heat you get per kWh input - but how it's delivered.
    In terms of speed from turn on - and equally important in many cases - where in the room - relative to the "person" - it generates that heat first (as some will always circulate) and the speed of doing so.
    It's easy to put a fan on and blow heat onto yourself / selves - instant gratification (but many end up adapting to a higher heat setting with fan heaters)  - or position a cheap halogen (essentially operate like an old bar fire) facing you and close to you to radiate at least some of the heat directly on to the person.
    But over time they still heat the room to some extent.  
    But it's probably fair to say - in that case your part of the room may at least then be the hottest - at your location - wheras a wall mounted panel or radiator - is more likely to heat the immediate air space (few feet) - and that directly above - so then have to wait for that heat to circulate and sink in the room (unless have a fan to accelerate air circulation quicker).
    And if mounted under a window or on an external wall - that just makes the heat loss potential even worse - as that pooled air hot spot - easily a few degrees warmer than you need at "couch or feet level" for comfort - just increases losses to cold outside.

    But my own go to heat source - before I turn my c25+ year old manual night storage heaters on - (needs to be consistently cold for days - and of course - not just a few hours a day ) is to use an oil filled radiator.
    Not as instantly gratifying as a fan heater - but to me provides a smoother heat profile - adjacent to the device. And at lower level than say a cheap convection panel.
    And right now - that's sitting under my computer desk - and been used - for maybe 1-2 hour - on its low (c0.7-0.8kW) on some of the coldest nights recently - to heat me (legs) first - then the rest of the room.  
    But even after that time - the thermometer on the far end of the room is also creeping up - so even without forced circulation - the heat spreads.

    It's heavy (but on wheels) so not that portable.

    So just bought a smaller one - it's c650W only, has a handle and weighs just over 2.5kg (not much more than a 2l bottle of pop)  - so light enough to easily move around - up and downstairs etc (I can lift the big one - it's closer to 15kg - but my sister struggled - nearly fell carrying it back down stairs once when visiting ).
    Specifically this one - but their are several similar at other stores / DIY trade outlets for few +/- £s - ranging in the 500-700W plus range.

    I hasten to add that I can use it at same rate as my NSH - as still on legacy E10 - so get 3 hrs afternoon and 2 in evening - so it is a sensible alternative to over using my NSH (even on min - they store and output too much heat and leak that at the wrong times - on borderline days)

    Not sure it's the best heater I've ever bought - but saw it whilst in store - and thought worth a try - and at £24 seemed a reasonable price cf others seen on google - and feel far more comfortable leaving that style of heater unattended in another room (whilst in house) - than say would a fan or even convection heater - and really woldn't want to use a halogen in the bedroom (or if had cat / dog / young kids etc). But that's perhaps just me. No timer or anything fancy - just on / off and thermostat - yet to use in anger - switched on only to test so far.  


    Then their are the real heat the person solutions - like heated throws - if purely for passively sitting on the couch watching TV purposes.

    And that brings me on to another important factor - the cost of buying (not just running) if need a new heater.

    My parents used to use a cheap convection heater in the downstairs hall - the sort you can still buy from sub c£25 -  to heat the space - not the person(s) - for instance.  

    It still costs the same in electric as my more expensive oil filled radiator (modern equiv of my own - c2Kw with timer - now retails for over £100) - would to heat the same "space" to same temperature target.  

    That c£80 even now still buys quite a lot of heat - say 300 kWh worth - or ability to have heat on say 2-3 hrs a day extra over a 4-5 month winter season . 

    A cheap panel heater - sub £100 - an expensive designed "ceramic" radiator - few-several £100s etc.

    The one thing I cannot convince myself about is those mini "plug" units - typically c500W. I have obviously stuck with a mini oil filled radiator - despite that store currently selling one for an even lower price - c£15 iirc. A colleague - with poor circulation felt cold in legs - tried one at work to replace an older floor fan unit a while back when they were just coming on the market.  The unit itself seemed to get very hot (his legs less so) - so he returned it. But at 500W - probably would more than keep the chill out of a small room - if felt safe leaving it unattended / or in space and left on for long enough.  









  • Scot_39
    Scot_39 Posts: 1,674
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    Gerry1 said:
    Similar products on Amazon suggest the Ecoheat is a mere 500W.  Do you think that five wall lights or table lamps each with a 100W bulb would make a living room comfortably warm?
    500W if I trusted those mini devices to run unattended - over 24 hours - is still upto 12kWh of heat energy - assuming dont reach target setpoint and thermostat cycle.

    Yes they won't heat room as quickly as a 2 kW (typical standard) or 3 kW (high powered) fan heater. But been well publicised many who use those to heat the person directly often end up consuming more power - as then really "feel the cold" relative to the high "heat" when on. 

    So arguably lower for longer and less direct heat no bad thing.

    BUT the marketing "sell" of some of these devices - run for less (not mentioning instantaneous) cost. 
    Hoping many dont realise that for many /  many rooms - that might simply mean run for longer - at best for same total cost as more powerful heater at same rates  - at worse a far higher cost than alternatives (NSH if all electric, GCH if have it etc)
    To achieve (if even can in bigger or lossy spaces at such low power) a target temperature - let alone a high one like 21C for elderly / disabled etc. on a cold day.

    But over time that's still a non trivial amount of energy.  OR cost 12kWh at 27p = £3.24 = near enough £100pm if on single rate.  And could buy far more heat energy if had GCH or a low off peak for nsh rate for it etc.  But many driven by fear and actual costs if not controlled carefully / well - are unwilling to use alternatives -  to do so.

    My own case, my living room NSH regularly uses less than 10kWh(*) - let alone 12kWh.   And the house in total 20-25kWh even in windy cold snaps with sub zero nights.

    (*) Despite being a 3.3x kW input device capable of holding nominal max 24kWh energy if on e7 daily, it regularly charges for only a fraction of my 10 hr off peak windows.

    I only run my 3 nsh in coldest months - 2 in mild winter - often starting with just the 1.  There not on yet this year - but will be soon - as already using plug in some evenings.

    My hall NS heaters 2 @ 1.7kW input used for rest of 2 bed house - do charge for longer - upto around 5 hours on ave between them in a cold snap. 
    So if both on and charging for 5 hrs,  5x3.4= 17kWh in - or average output equivalent to 1 = 17kWh/24h = 0.7kW heater - for kitchen, halls, 2 bedrooms and bathroom. 
    But that only gets all that space to 15C - too cold for many people. 
    But close to govt guidelines for passive work areas (16C passive, 13C active iirc - guidelines = targets not statutory mins) and for me - keeps them above insurance (current insurer has no set limit, just het to avoid...,  previous had 12, one looked at had 15 as guideline if leaving home empty during freezing temps etc) and damp mould avoidance guidelines (14)

    So again 500W IF used long term - for a smaller space - a non trivial energy level - if don't expect too high a temperature.  

    The TDCV for a medium consumption type 2 electric meter home just dropping 4200 to 3900kWh (that may include properties not het by electric - its just meter type - not even tariff iirc - based) - so just 10.7 kWh per day for everything on average.

    I use over 5kWh daily in summer, so excl heating c2000kWh pa. And use less than even the new 3900 kWh.  Doesn't leave a lot for heating over 4-5 months. Maybe 10-15kWh normal, 20kWh in cold snaps. 

    Think I hit c30kWh total one day last Dec - but the full month ave still sub 20kWh daily.  Even that 30kWh - c24 heat - only c1kW on average over 24 hours.

    So 2 of those mini 500W plug fan devices - which I saw for as little as £15 in one store the other day (how they compare to the on line ads for £49 that pop up on some sites - look similar enough  ) when I bought a second - mini this time - 0.65kW oil filled radiator.
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