Pros: Inexpensive. Quiet operation.
Cons: Slow to heat room. No timer. Built to a price.
I purchased a Pelonis HO-0218 oil filled heater at Home Depot while running errands on a -15 day. I suppose this is the thermal equivalent of going to the grocery store on an empty stomach, but for $37.99 I decided to try my first electric oil filled radiator heater. A limited amount of assembly is required, and the casters must be attached by two metal loops to the body of the heater. This is very simple, and since two wingnuts are used, not tools are required beyond an opposable thumb.
Oil filled radiator heaters work by using an electrical element to warm oil in a contained unit. The oil in turn radiates heat into the air through 6 coils/fins (for the HO-0218). There is no fan, so operation of the unit is virtually silent, except for the occasional sound of very soft clicks from the thermostat. The heated air eventually will spread throughout a room, but I found 30 mins. to 1 hour is needed to noticably heat a room on the high setting (1500W). There are also lower power settings of 600W and 900W. Once a room's temp has approached your desired level, the lower settings seem to do a decent job of maintaining it, but I suggest using the high setting initially, then turning the unit to lower power to conserve electricity once the confort level is reached.
The thermostat is a rotary switch with no specific temperature indicated. Essentially, turn it to "high", and when you feel cozy enough, rotate the control counter-clockwise until you hear a quiet click from the thermostat. Simple and functional, though not precise.
Other than the switch with the 3 power settings + off and the thermostat, there are no controls. There is a place to store the power cord near the base of the unit, and a handle molded into the top of the control panel to ease movement of the unit. The cord is ~6' long, which is long enough, particularly since best circulation of the hot air generated by the unit requires placement near a wall. Lack of a second handle on the opposite end of the unit means that you must wait 5-10 mins before carrying it, a concern that applies mostly to multi-floor homes as the casters allow easy movement on wood floors and short carpets. Longer pile carpets could be more of a challenge with the smallesh casters, but I can't personally speak to that issue.
The manual indicates that there is an overheat safey, so the unit should turn off if something is amiss and it gets too hot. A light on the control panel shows if safety has tripped. This is another feature that I have not tested.
While function has been perfect so far, a couple of issues show some cost-cutting in production. First, as I removed the unit from the cardboard box, I noticed a number of dark, greasy fingerprints on the heater. Nothing suggested my unit had been opened, so I assume it was shipped in that condition. This had no impact on function, but it made a poor first impression in my mind as to quality control. The only other issue worth mentioning was initially, there was a moderately strong odor as of new equipment heating up for the first time. After a couple of hours of use, the smell went completly away. Another minor issue is that the poor fit of the control panel leaves gaps large enough to see the "power" light from nearly any angle. This is not a functional issue, but again is something that causes a negative 1st impression as to the dedication of Pelonis to a quality product.
The Pelonis heater has a 1 year warrantly, but in my short week of ownership, it has worked perfectly, and while it may be a little slow to heat a room, it eventually gets the job done while making me feel safer than with other type of heaters that could potentially post a fire hazzard due to higher operating temperature. The Pelonis heater gets hot to the touch, but not enough to cause the instant burn that some heaters can cause if accidentally touched.