As temperatures around the country plummet, you don’t have to suffer cold feet. An electric heater can help keep you cosy without pushing up your energy bills – provided you buy the right model.
If you’re thinking of buying a new heater, it’s definitely worth doing your homework first. There are many types of portable electric heaters to choose from, including some that don’t match up to power claims or aren’t energy efficient.
We’ve also come across some electric heaters that take a lifetime to heat up your room, or are so noisy, you can’t hear the TV.
Just want to know which heaters are the best? Go to our Best Buy electric heaters.
Which heaters meet the new EU standard?
As we previously reported, any new electric heaters sold in the EU will need to comply with an updated set of regulations. The new legislation, EcoDesign Lot 20, is set to improve the efficiency and performance of electric heaters.
We tested our most recent batch of heaters to the new heating standard to find out if they’re energy efficient, and we’ve found some models that fall short of the regulations.
If a heater fails the standard, it is still safe to use and, provided it was manufactured prior to 2018, it can still be legally sold. But a heater that doesn’t meet the standard lacks the same energy efficiency and performance of one that does.
Some retailers may try to clear old non-compliant stock early in 2018. Be wary of big sales or significant reductions in price; these heaters may or may not have the energy-saving features that are included in the legislation. So even though you’ll save on the purchase price, you’ll end up paying for it in the long run on your energy bills.
To find out which models pass the grade, see our in-depth electric heater reviews.
Are there any dangers to using an electric heater?
Unsurprisingly, our tests show that heaters get hot! But as long as you use them according to their instructions, they are safe appliances.
Never place anything on a portable heater or cover it up, as it massively increases the risk of a fire.
Some heaters have a ‘tilt protection’ feature – if the heater is knocked over, it will automatically switch itself off. It’s worth considering this feature if you have enthusiastic children or pets.
Nearly all have some kind of carry handle for moving them about, and many have a safety cut-out feature – this will switch off the heater if it gets dangerously hot.
Find out more about how to buy the best electric heater.
Latest electric heater reviews for 2018
We’ve tested and reviewed 10 different electric heaters. The results of this batch were a mixed bag, with some models performing under par.
Some of the heaters struggled to maintain an even temperature when the conditions changed (for example, if you open a door and let cold air in). So you’ll find that the room temperature drifts by several degrees as the thermostat tries to adjust.
To make sure we only recommend energy-efficient heaters, we measure how much electricity it takes for the heater to heat our 3.5x4m test room. The longer a heater runs, the more electricity it uses.
In our tests, a heater that scores three stars out of five for efficiency uses 40% more energy than a five-star heater.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great heater to keep you warm and comfortable. The cheapest Best Buy uncovered in our tests starts from less than £40.
Our latest electric heater test results
- Challenge 2kW DL06 Convector Heater with Timer (£24.99)
- Challenge DL06 3kW Convector Turbo (£34.99)
- DeLonghi DCH6031 (£44.99)
- DeLonghi HCX3124FS (£79.95)
- Kingavon DL01S (£21.99)
- Simple value DL06 2kW Convector (£19.99)
- Sentik 53021s (£23)
- Stadler Form Anna Little fan heater (£90)
- Stadler Form Paul (£275)
- VonHaus 14/703 (£30)