This past week the temps dipped below to minus 20 degrees, it snowed heavily, and we lost power. We have our home set up quite well when we lose power since we have a generator that is directly wired into the home and we have a wood furnace for the heat where we just use the electric furnace for the blower. However, we have used more than our usual amount of wood this year due to meds that my husband is on that makes him feel really cold all the time.
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After 2 mornings of waking up to 62 degrees temp inside, I had to get more heat. It was too late to buy more wood and our central electric unit simply could not keep our large home heated with below freezing temps. And the snow kept falling.
I came home with 4 different portable heaters to try and figure out which is the best bang or bangs for our buck.
One of the heaters I chose and it was the last one on the shelf for the price of about $23 is the Honeywell Surround Heater Model HZ-2200.
First, let me bring to your attention that the "the Honeywell trademark is used by Kaz, Inc. under license from Honeywell Intellectual Properties, Inc." It says "Honeywell" on the box, but in small letters is the quoted sentence.
This heater is a portable mini tower surround 360 degrees heater. This heater is 11 ½" tall and approximately 20" in diameter. It has a round tower that sits on a base where your control knobs are located. At the top of the tower all around is where the heat blows out. On the top of the tower is a switch letting you switch from a full 360 degrees heat option to a front option only.
The control knob for the heat settings is a "push and turn knob". It is a children safety knob. It offers "off", "fan", "low", or "high". The control knob next to this is your temperature control knob that operates by turning from left "low" to all the way around to the right for "high".
The box states that it offers "three comfort settings to provide powerful 1500 watt heating or energy efficient options", however it does not state on the box or anywhere in the booklet what the other wattage is for the fan or the "low" setting. Most of the other heaters in this range size offered 750/1500 watts or 900/1500 watts.
The cord is 7 feet long whereas my other heaters are 6 feet long of this type.
There is a power light that illuminates orange on the front of the unit when the unit is turned on. This heater also has a tipover switch that will turn the unit off if it is tipped forward or backward but not on its side (rather strange, I would say). It also has a motor thermal fuse that shuts it off if it should become too hot.
Specs at a Glance
· Front only or 360 degree full surround heating options
· Adjustable thermostat maintains desired temperature
· Child Resistant Safeguard switch
· Auto-Off Hi-Limit Switch
· Back-Up Thermal Circuit Breaker
· Motor Thermal Cut-Off Fuse
· Made with VO rated plastic
· Tip or tilt switch (good for forwards or backwards tilt)
· Extra-long power cord for center room placement
· Color: Charcoal
· Wattage: 1500 Watts
· Two Heat Settings: High, Low
· Bonus Feature: Fan only
· Warranty: 5 year limited warranty by Kaz
My Tests and Experience
There are two things I saw right from the beginning after the first 30 minutes. One was that the unit got warm on the top and did not stay cool to the touch. Now it did not get hot enough to burn yourself, but it was warm. Also, when I wanted to move it, I looked around the whole unit for the carry handle or pickup handle and there was not any. So, since the base stayed cool I used two hands and picked it up this way. Most heaters have some sort of carrying handle in which I only need to use one hand, but this is a negative for this one. I also tried the tip over. Since it's tower sits on a sturdy base, it is less likely to tip over than one that does not have a base, however it does not turn off when I tipped it on its right side or left side, just like the manual stated. It did shut off when I tipped it forward and backwards.
The Desk Test: I had bought this for our bedroom, but since it was not time to go to bed, I placed this behind my desk to see if it would keep my feet or surrounding area warm and less drafty. My desk sits right at the front large cathedral style windows. I tried it for a good hour and found my feet still felt a cold draft and so did most of the area.
I then decided to trade with my daughter and try her smaller heater and for her to give me her opinion on this one. I had also bought one like hers, which is also a different brand, but had not opened the box of that one yet. I did not tell her my initial thoughts on the surround heater.
The Daylight Basement Test: Her living space consists of a small living room and her bedroom, her brother's former bedroom and a full size bathroom downstairs in a finished daylight basement. It stays at a pretty cool constant temperature downstairs. After all you are underground. After giving her some time, she told me that her heater which I was now trying out could be placed on "low" and keep her much warmer than this heater which is larger placed on "high".
This is a blowing type heater so it is going to make a constant blowing fan noise. Personally, I don't mind the noise as it drowns out other unwanted noises, but some may not want any noise.
If this is the type that the whole unit is supposed to shut off when it reaches temperature, it did not. I noticed that it no longer blew warm air, but just air.
Keeping at Constant Room Temp Test: Okay, so one of the reasons of the portable heaters was to help the main electric furnace, so I decided to set up various tests on the heaters to see which one or two or three performed well. Our living room is huge with cathedral ceilings that are 16 feet high and huge front windows, so I knew 2 heaters would have to be set.
One night, I tried this unit on one side of the living room and another new radiant one on the other side of the living room. When we went to bed it was 72 degrees inside the home and the fireplace had been burning. When I awoke the next morning it was 70 degrees. Well, I had hoped to keep it constant but at least it was better than jumping around at 62 degrees inside.
The Cold Room Test: Okay, so today, I wanted to know what if our power went out and we had no wood and had to heat the house up from a colder temperature rather than just maintaining the warmer temperature. Well, that was easy to test without paying the consequences. I set this unit in our insulated 3-car garage that is built onto the house. The temperature in the garage was 42 degrees. Two hours later, I checked on it and the temperature had not changed. After 4 hours, I gave up since it only reached 42.5 degrees.
I put the smaller heater out in the garage just to see if I was being unreasonable, and it heated the garage by 5 degrees in 90 minutes.
So, What Do I Think?
I think it is a great idea to have a heat surround, but I do not see a point in keeping this heater if the smaller other brand unit heats better on the low temperature meaning lower watts meaning lower electrical kilowatts it is pulling than this one that needs to operate on higher watts and it still does put out the heat at the higher wattage. Also thinking that watts count for generator usage, the one that puts out the most heat at the lowest watts is not only more electrical cost efficient but can be used with more items on the generator.
Suffice it to say, this one does not past my tests of what I am looking for and I really do not like it not having the safety feature of the tipover switch if it should tip on its side. That part is just totally unreal why it was engineered like that. There are too many households with kids, pets, and fast moving people.
Also, the warranty of 5 years looks great on the box, but in the manual it is not Honeywell that stands behind it, but Kaz and it needs to be shipped back to them along with a check for $10, which I am sure will increase within the 5 year period. So really why bother having the warranty for 5 years if you paid $23 for it and spend another amount on approximately 6 pounds of heater and box for returning it with a $10 check. That 5-year warranty doesn't sound so good any more.
Reviews of other heaters we have in our home or have had:
Delonghi Fan Heater
Lakewood Quartz QTV-22
Lasko Oscillating Digital 5435
Honeywell Ceramic Heater
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