What is it with space heater companies that begin with the letter ‘E’? First there was EdenPure with their overstated claims of heating coverage and now we have eHeat’s new Envi Heater which the company claims can heat 120-140 square feet with only 450 watts.
Maybe on a nice sunny day in a south facing room could a 450 watt heater warm up a 10′x14′ room, but you have to wonder how a heater with the equivalent of 1535 Btu is going to fare in a poorly insulated north facing room with the master thermostat set back to save money.
Just to put this in perspective, the typical oil or gas fueled home furnace is rated at 60,000 Btu of heat input. If you use the standard rule of thumb of 35 Btu per square foot for basic heating requirements a 60,000 Btu furnace would heat 1,500-1,700 square feet.
When you apply the same estimating formula to 450 watts, or 1535 Btu, the resulting coverage is somewhere around 50 square feet, or the equivalent of a 5′x10′ room. This is eerily reminiscent of EdenPure’s claim of 1,000 square feet of heating coverage from just one of their 1,000 watt heaters.
On a positive note, the heating appliances manufactured by eHeat and EdenPure have excellent safety records. Although the Envi Heater is too new for any type of safety track record its predecessor, the Eco Heater, has no safety related complaints against it as far as I know.
Another feature of the Envi Heater, as with the Eco Heater, is that a wall mounted space heater will be out of reach for toddlers and, since it works by convection and doesn’t require a fan it should operate silently.
The majority of complaints against heaters such as these have never really been about health or safety related issues but rather too little heat for too much money, or just plain too little heat.
As far as too little heat goes you have to temper your expectations with the fact that all you’re getting is a 450 watt heater, despite any new technology used to enhance its heating capabilities.
Addressing the problem of too little heat for too much money is much simpler to resolve. At the current sale price of $110, the 450 watt Envi Heater costs 24 cents per watt.
This is in comparison to 3 1/2 cents per watt for a standard 1,500 watt space heater with an average price of $52.
As of the date of this article, the Envi Heater was not yet available at Amazon.com. The reason I mention this is Amazon is a great resource for honest consumer product reviews. I suspect if or when the Envi heater is made available at Amazon the complaints will run in much the same vein as its forerunner, the Eco Heater, and similar in nature to the ones discussed here.
The only alternative to the Envi and Eco heaters is a wall mounted micathermic heater. Although micathermic heaters are three times more powerful they are plagued by complaints of hot spots and shooting sparks.
Electric space heaters are as individual as you are. Find the perfect match at Sam’s Guide to Small Space Heaters