What we do:
We do not sell Portable Space Heaters, Air conditioning units, Fans, Air coolers, or any other appliances. We investigate them, test them, use them and scrutinize reports about them. When we find something we believe is worth buying we will recommend it to you and tell you why.
How do we decide what to recommend?
We look at a lot of domestic heating and cooling appliances, we speak to our trade colleagues, professional tradespeople, retailers and manufacturers.
Most importantly we speak to the people who buy & use them. We then identify a selection of what our research tells us are the best valued and best-performing appliances and we test them on site.
We are not interested in repeating manufacturers tests which give readings based on ideal laboratory conditions. We want to know how they work in real life situations, in your home.
Safety and space heater testing:
In order to carry the CE mark, stringent safety tests are required we ensure that our manufacturers have complied with these.
We warn against buying any appliance which does not carry a CE mark (read more about CE Marking here), as they are not safe to use in the UK.
Our Test Criteria:
We believe you need to know how these heaters actually perform in the home (that's what they were designed for). We either use them ourselves or find people who have used or are using them, our portable space heater (and cooling appliance) reviews are based on what they are really like to use in the home.
Any workshop testing we do will mirror real-world conditions as closely as possible.
We give a mark from 1 up to 10 for each of the areas we monitor, bearing in mind no appliance is absolutely perfect a 10 score is about as good as you can get.
- Value for money: Is it worth buying? Some heaters are overpriced, but things such as good design or performance make spending that little more worthwhile. 1= hideously overpriced 10= a bargain
- Safety: All the appliances tested are earthed, double insulated or both. CE marked and comply with EEA safety regulations we look at the added features such as anti-tilt switches, frost protection etc.... 1= unsafe, avoid. 10 = as safe as it can possibly be.
- Build quality: How robust and durable is the heater? As most space heaters are portable they should be capable of being moved around often without bits falling off or breaking, how well are knobs and switches fitted, if they have castors or feet are they attached properly. 1= a cheap tin can 10 = Tough enough to last for 10 years or more with normal usage.
- Ease of use: Are the controls finger friendly or fiddly, are dials and switches marked clearly, are the controls easy to reach, how complicated is it to set, program or just turn on and off. 1= so difficult you'll end up kicking it across the room 10 = simple and effective
- Styling: This really depends on what you like, we give a low rating for a basic functional design and a higher rating for an effort which has shown innovation and is a good attempt to an ordinary heater into a desirable piece of furniture. 1= very basic 10= we like it a lot
- Noise: All electric appliances will hum a little as electricity passes through them. Infra-red panels are whisper quiet, then oil filled radiators, convection heaters will hum a bit louder because the elements are exposed to the air and they will click as the thermostat turns on and off. Then there are fan heaters, a high-speed fan blowing air around is never going to be quiet (despite manufacturers claims). For comparison, a normal PC fan is about 38db and a standard 30 cm office desk fan at full speed is about 80db. So far we have never found a truly quiet fan heater, the lowest rating we give is 3 = 38db (rated as equivalent to background noise), rating 5 = 43db (equivalent to a whispered conversation) 10 = 80db. As regular exposure to any noise over 90db can cause damage, a too loud fan heater is not just annoying, it's dangerous. Take a look at the Decibel (Loudness) comparison chart (DB levels in our tests are approximate only as individual fan heaters, even the same models, will vary slightly).
Customer Satisfaction rating:- There are a lot of dodgy appliance reviews online, we think it's only fair to give you a way of seeing for yourself how our recommended heaters perform for real customers.
Amazon are proactive about preserving the integrity of their customer reviews, they have a scheme where people who have bought an item through them are flagged as verified purchasers and they police their site to remove false reviews (In October 2015 Amazon filed suit against over a thousand 'customers' for writing false reviews, this is the second time they did so that year).
As Amazon is serious about using genuine reviews, we look at them as well before calculating our customer satisfaction rating.
Our customer satisfaction rating is also based on a 5-star system. Taking 3 stars as satisfied, 4 stars as very satisfied and 5 stars as extremely satisfied, we add up the 3, 4 & 5-star ratings and give them as a percentage of the total ratings, in most of our reviews we also give the percentage of 5-star ratings as well.
We take our reviews anonymously and no PII (Personally Identifiable Information) of any kind is taken or kept, all we ask is that anyone who has bought and/or used the appliances under scrutiny confirm that they did so and report the performance indicators to us.
As would be expected our findings broadly mirror the experiences of Amazons verified purchaser reviews If you are interested in one of our recommended heaters you can follow the links onto Amazon and check their own user's reviews for yourself.
In some instances, especially with some of the very expensive 'best of their type' there are no Amazon user reviews (not surprising as some of these heaters are £1000+) so buyers are very few, our reviews are based totally on our own experiences and feedback.
The Home Heating Shop Reviews are independent, honest and verifiable. Based on real-life experiences and are designed to help you make an informed choice when buying your portable heating, cooling appliance and related products