How we test
Quick heating Our testers check how long the heaters (on their maximum heat and fan settings if applicable) take to increase our test room’s temperature by 5°C and 10°C from a starting temperature of 8°C. The outside temperature is maintained at 8°C.
Heating distribution They also create a profile that shows how evenly the room is heated.
Safety With these heaters, safety is vital. Testers carry out gas and electrical safety tests and measure surface temperatures, confirm safe carbon dioxide levels, look for any gas leaks, and see if the ignition works OK and that the gas cuts off in 90 seconds if the flame goes out. All the heaters passed these tests.
Ease of use They assess how easy the heaters are to start, the controls are to use, how clearly the controls are marked, how easy the timer is to program and how easy it is to clean and change the filter.
Standby power Energy on standby is also measured.
Score The overall score is based on a combination of:
- Quick heating: 35%
- Heating distribution: 35%
- Ease of use: 30%.
(A) Model on test does not support remote control. New model offers thermostat and programmable timer through use of optional remote ($270).
(B) New model available is P36NG5 with additional air deflectors to improve fan airflow. The new unit also has an overheat safety switch.
(C) Wired remote control.
(D) Child lock on remote only.
(E) 3.5 star rating if used with optional wireless remote.
Maximum heating capacity The kilowatt rating will generally determine the speed at which your room will be heated; however some models are more efficient at this than others.
Other aspects to consider are how effective the heater is Heat distribution, keeping pockets of cool air within a room to a minimum.
Dimensions provide information to measure against space available in an existing fireplace recess.
Flue kit cost Kits are normally sold separately with the kit choice determined by the installation requirements.
While a vertical flue allows for installation of a heater in a standard fireplace, a horizontal or powered flue allows greater variety when
installing a heater not directly under a vent.
Recommended retail price, as of April 2010, not including installation.