Presto OB-0020 Compact Heater

Presto OB-0020 Compact Heater

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Presto Has A Winner With This Parabolic Electric Heater!

Sep 30, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Puts out great heat in a specific area.

Cons:None

The Bottom Line: Consider this is you need some extra heat in a specific area. You will love it!


A year ago we moved from our home that had forced air heat, to one in Montana with electric baseboard. I have never had a great love for the baseboard type of heating, but it was the house we decided on. Last winter we were cold! It is not that Montana is a horribly cold place to live, but that there is a real lack of sunny days in the winter where we live. Put the combination of electric baseboard heat and little sunshine, and that equals not being very warm.

Trying to be somewhat frugal, and concerned with our increasing electric rates, we were trying to strike a happy medium between comfort and that bill that came every month. Considering that our house is all-electric, our highest bill was just under $200. That is not bad, but with the cooler weather approaching again, and electric rates going up over 30%, just how low could we go, and still be comfortable. I had already used the wool sweater and shoes and socks routine, but frankly was never toasty warm like I had been before with our forced air heat.

The dilemma about what to do to keep costs down and body temperature up, seems to have been partially solved by a recent purchase. Walking thought Costco I was immediately aware of this tremendous warmth. Okay, I must admit this round disc was rather fascinating as I stood there looking at what was a space heater, but nothing like I have ever seen before. Actually, I was looking at the Presto Heat Dish Parabolic Electric Heater. My husband was off looking at some books, so I stood there watching the video and feeling the warm air. I had never heard of a parabolic heater, and must say I was impressed with how much heat was being generated. I went back and located my husband and told him to check this out. We decided to purchase one, and just see if it made us any warmer in our home.

Granted it is not winter yet, but the morning temperatures are down to the upper 30s. The sun is still shining and the day temperature reaches 70, however, the morning are quite cool, and the temptation to turn on the heat in the living room is there. Since we purchased this little space heater, we have NOT turned on the heat, and have been warm as toast.

Let me share some background information. What is a parabolic heater? This is a different concept in space heaters, and is used to heat a certain area, usually where you are seated or working without first heating the air space around you. This way, you can actually be quite warm without having to heat a whole room. The heat is generated by a coiled wire element, which is wrapped around a ceramic type cone. This actually acts like a tiny satellite dish and the heat is sent in an intense beam by this parabolic reflector. In a nutshell, the heat is going where you want it. For example, it was chilly in the house this morning as we sat down in the living room for our coffee. Instead of turning on the baseboard heat, I plugged in the parabolic heater, and while we sat there, we were very warm and comfortable with the temperature set only at medium.

The big catch is this is supposed to save energy. Frankly, even if it didn’t, the warmth is well worth the cost. The concept of this heater is it puts out three times the amount of warmth at a third less cost to operate. There is no doubt in my mind that this is an excellent secondary heating source, with first-rate warmth, and reasonable operating costs.

The heater is a very simple unit. It is about the size of a medium floor fan. There is a top-mounted thermostatic control. This thermostat can be set from Off to Hi. Like I said this morning we were very comfortable with the medium setting. There is a protective grille, a very wide base, which provides excellent stability, a footlight that lets you know the heater is plugged in, a convenient recessed handle, and a three foot power cord.

This item has some excellent safety features. If the unit would be tipped over, not only would a loud buzzer sound, but also it would automatically shut off. The buzzer will also sound if you pick it up and move it. Although this heater has a built in alarm, never put it close to furniture, curtains, and you should only use it if you are present when a child is in the room. Common sense rules, as this will get hot!

The location of this heater is quite important for maximum usage. The recommendations are to place the heater at least three feet away from you, but no more than ten. Remember it is a people heater, and although the room in which you are using it will warm up, the concept is to concentrate on the areas where you are, and be able to keep your over all temperature in your home lower.

Frankly, I am quite impressed with this space heater, and currently we are considering purchasing at least one more. We are all faced with rising energy costs, and something such as this that can generate heat in a specific area, and allow you to keep your thermostat even five degrees lower, can help reduce your utility bill, or at least keep you warmer. This product comes with a one year warranty, and is made in the USA.

If you were considering getting some type of room heater, this would be one that I would recommend. There is nothing better than being warm and toasty!


Recommend this product? Yes


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