This post was originally going to be titled “Goodbye heater”. I’ll explain why shortly. I have kept this cute heater for a long time now,
At least two years to be more specific. What do I like about it? It’s light. I can carry it anywhere in my house. Central heating turned out to be too expensive for us – thanks to our “window” which lets a mouse pass through. After being securely shut that is. So either I keep a heater in every room – kitchen, bathroom (you can’t believe how cold our bathroom can get even while taking a hot shower), bedroom and living room or I carry one with me. My solution has so far been a breed of the two. I have two heaters, one in my bedroom and another that I move between the living room and the bathroom. I don’t spend much time in the kitchen and if I do, I’ll probably be cooking which makes the room warm enough. So, it’s great that my heater has a big surface area while still being light enough to carry around.
Another thing I like about it, and halogen heaters in general, is they’re efficient and soundless. No sound at all. Heating fans are terrible. I can’t imagine sleeping with a fan on. I doubt if fans are efficient. Mechanical movements are probably costly. I used this heater in a house where we had to watch our electric costs. It certainly cost less than a fan heater to use.
Third, I can easily turn it on and off, turn the heat up or down and make it turn (it does give some sound while turning but I never needed it to turn). The power on button gives me the smallest heating. I can then turn on two other buttons to get it hotter and hottest. Some other heaters I’ve used do nothing when turned on. I have to fiddle with other controls to get them do anything useful.
Fourth, it has a safety protection. If it’s turned on and it falls down, it turns off automatically. There is a small detector at the bottom that gets pressed when it’s put right up on the floor. Smart engineering. Just like a paperclip.
I recently read an inspirational chapter from Invention by design : how engineers get from thought to thing Henry Petroski. It talks about how paper clips are so straightforward to use. A paper clip pack doesn’t come with a manual. People use paper clips without consciously thinking about how to move their fingers. The heater probably came with a manual saying “Keep it up right when turned on”. But you don’t have to read the manual at all. It’s way better than selling me “ye yidres yidres sira” and warning me in big red letters that it’s not their responsibility if it causes fire. Such things are what you get due to bad engineering. Blame consumers for engineering problems. Next time you read big red letters, think about how it could have been engineered better.
Fifth, if I turn off the automatic turn I can still turn it around. It also has an elastic nature. It moves if I keep the base fixed and push the body sideways in any direction. It gets back to it’s original position when released. This means it doesn’t hurt if I bump into it or if it hits my leg accidentally while taking it somewhere (which I do often). It’s a soft elastic thing that I don’t need to be too careful about.
Sixth, I can disassemble it (disconnect the base from the body). It gets handy when it comes to moving out (I’ve carried it to three different houses so far). I just loosen two screws from the bottom and I’m set to go.
The screws can be turned by hand. No screw driver required. How often have you wanted to screw something loose or tight? And how often were you unable to because you don’t have a screw driver nearby? Of course this design can’t be used everywhere (definitely not on laptops for example) but the makers have recognized how suitable it would be here.
Seventh, it lasts for a long time. I thought it went dead today after it suddenly went off by itself. Fortunately, it turned out I had a faulty extension. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it got broken now. I expected it to last for a year or so. But here it is, two years and a few months and it’s still working. And no, it wasn’t an expensive piece of equipment. I forget the price but I’m sure I wouldn’t have spent more than 20 pounds on it.
To help the negativity towards products made in China, I should also say it is made in China.
What I don’t like about it, and other halogen heaters too, is the light they emit. That’s why I prefer not to keep it in my bedroom. I used to have it in my bedroom overnight. I managed to go to sleep ok but I still preferred a dark room. It doesn’t have a thermostat. A room would often get too hot or too cold and so I have to manually adjust the heating. It’s not too bad to do so but it gets very annoying when I have to get up in the middle of the night to do this. Last, it doesn’t heat a room rapidly. It takes about 20-30 minutes to warm up a cold room. I keep an electric radiator heater with a thermostat in bedroom. That one heats the room within five minutes and it comes with a thermostat (not very good though as I still have to re-adjust it in the middle of the night sometimes).
All in all, I’m kind of attached to my halogen heater. Today I thought it had died and felt what Tom Hanks felt when he lost his ball Wilson. But hey, it’s bright again and I’m feeling warm as I post this.