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Electric heaters to avoid: CHOICE

Heaters from Kogan and Arlec fail to keep you warm this winter.

Last updated: 01 June 2023

CHOICE has revealed the worst heaters from their latest electric heater test, placing models from Kogan and Arlec at the bottom.

"Electric heaters aren't the most energy-efficient way to heat up your home, but they can quickly take the chill out of a cold room. They're also cheaper to buy upfront than other heaters, making them popular purchases during the cold months," says Chris Barnes, CHOICE's home heating expert.

"Unfortunately, every year we test electric heaters and find models which struggle to simply heat a room. Avoid these models from Arlec and Kogan as they're likely to leave you feeling frosty when you need them the most," says Barnes.

These two electric heaters scored lowest in our testing:

arlec peh224ha

Arlec Black Smart Convection Panel Heater (PEH224HA)

CHOICE Expert Rating: 47%

Heating score: 40%

Price: $119

"At just $119 this was one of the cheapest models we tested, but there were still less expensive models that performed better. At that price, you'd expect this Arlec model would do a good job of heating your home. However, this model received a dismal heating score of just 40%. We recommend saving your money and giving this one a miss," says Barnes.

kogan aoilhtb24a_


CHOICE Expert Rating: 51%

Heating score: 43%

Price: $129

"An energy efficient heater sounds great, but when it's at the cost of keeping you warm it's not something we'd recommend. The Kogan model had the lowest running costs of all the electric heaters we tested, but couldn't even manage to heat up a room by 10°C in two hours," says Barnes.

"This Kogan heater received a very low heating score of 43%, so avoid this model if you don't want to be left out in the cold," says Barnes.

Our expert guide to buying an electric heater:

Look for a long cord

"You'll likely want the heater close to you for as much warmth as possible, so look for machines that come with long cords. For safety reasons, avoid using extension leads," says Barnes.

Try to get a timer

"Electric heaters can be expensive to run. A timer or automatic shut-off option is a great feature which can help save you money and keep you safe in case you accidently leave it on," says Barnes.

Consider size and storage

"Storing the heater during the summer months is something you might not think about when you're running to the store on a cold winter's night. Consider a smaller or lighter model if you lack storage space," says Barnes.

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0430 172 669

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.