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Dimplex 400W Electric Panel Heater
Why I "bought" (was given) this Heater:
In our old house, we did not have any heating in the living room. It was a rented house and prior to moving in we noticed it had a chimney and so, we expected it to have an open fire. On our first visit the letting agent did not show, this however, gave us time to decide we really liked the area and wanted the house without even looking inside. Big mistake!
When we did look inside, there was no fireplace and we broached the subject with the agent, who agreed that they could see no problem with us installing a wood-burning heater as long as we made good when we left.
To cut to the chase, after moving in we bought a wood burner and called in an expert to fit it for us, only to be told that the chimney was fake! Worse still we couldn't even route a liner up it for reasons I fail to recall.
So we needed cost effective heating for the main area of the house! We tried infra red heaters and an old electric radiator we already had. Eventually settling on a combination of a calor gas heater when we were in there in the evenings and a panel heater left on the rest of the time. That seemed to work just about adequately until the calor gas fire packed up! The ever thoughtful in-laws gave us one of these for Christmas. We had all staid together in a holiday cottage in Cornwall a couple of years previously and there had been one of these as a focal point in the main living room, although the cottage had calor gas central heating.
Ours arrived in a nice colourful with polystyrene around the heater. A nice little instruction leaflet and a remote control!
An attractive and effective little heater with a log burner effect. When switched on the heater really does look like a wood burner, burning away and giving out heat. It resembles a small woodburner and stands just short of 60cm high and is 50cm wide and 34cm deep. The realistic door actually opens and features a little brass effect knob as does the mock ash pan. It stands about 4cm off the ground on four little legs and is fairly easy to move around should you wish to do so. Comes in a realistic black.
We were delighted to receive this heater and unpacked it and plugged it in, worked out all the controls without looking at the leaflet and then figured out the remote control as well. It does sit very well in the room, either free standing or in a fireplace. Having it in our home, looked a bit odd as we still had our cute little French multi fuel burner in the mock fireplace, so it made us look very greedy with 2 woodburners!
The logs when lit up look extremely realistic and give off a satisfactory glow to the room they utilise the "Optiflame" system which gives a more realistic effect compared to the previous rotating hot air propeller system used in such heaters. There is incorporated a back projection system that means you can sit and look into the flames and all in all it is a most pleasing effect, especially for a romantic evening in. The best thing about the fake heater though is when you switch it off; the fake logs appear to glow gently, just like a real fire dying down and some have a grey effect, there is some giggery pokery with the paint job on the logs to make this happen and when I opened the door to look more closely there actually appears to be children's glitter on the "logs" in places - very clever!
The heater packs a maximum 2kW of heat and does not have a thermostatical control, so you need to be there to turn it off or down when the room warms up, otherwise as your house gets hotter and hotter your electricity bill will get longer and longer!
Seriously, this is a heater designed to use and enjoy when you are in the room, not leave on to contain the heat. As such it works a treat, I was worried that our electricity consumption would be horrendous, but all in all, taking into account the cost of a calor gas bottle, I don't think it cost us much more to run and they are a very attractive little heater that look great with a vase of flowers on in the summer when not in use. Unlike other winter heaters that you want to find somewhere to hide away.
The fire is quiet on low settings, but gives the game away when you turn the heater positioned below the fake fire up to full as it gives out quite a roar. It does however soon increase the temperature and the fire effect gives a nice warm feeling inside too. The boost of the full 2kW will battle the coldest night, if you can put up with the noise? However, once up to temperature we turn it down again and resume the barely audible lower fan blast and heat setting.
We had to manoeuvre our extension lead around, as the place we wanted to put it was well away from the electrical socket and the lead is only about 30cm long.
A fake chimney piece can also be purchased to complete the look at around £30.00 at the time of writing.
A welcoming focus point that will warm the cockles of your heart and your little toes-ses too.
However, not an only heat source due to no thermostat, so not recommended to be left on in an empty house or when you go to bed.
If you want a focal point and a little boost to the central heating this is great.
The design suits modern and traditional décor.
Price and Availability:
Just short of £180.00 from Amazon, also available from Dimplex stockists. I think they are worth it, as last really well and give out adequate heat for an evening in front of the TV.
Thank you for reading my review & I hope you found it useful? 5/5
Whilst browsing the Dimplex sit to check prices, I noticed their Clearance and Outlet Sections https://store.gdcgroup.co.uk/dimplex/index.htm which you might decide worth a visit? Happy shopping and stay warm!
We had actually given thought to the installation of a proper solid-fuel burning stove when redecorating our lounge, but were put off by a few major factors.
a) The cost of rebuilding our fireplace from non-combustible materials, relining the flue and installing a stove was prohibitive - How much? £4500? Surely His Excellency is 'avin' a larf!
b) The size of wood-store needed to hold a meaningful amount of fuel didn't really suit suburban living, given wood's relatively low calorific value and high bulk compared to coal.
c) Here we were decorating, and volunteering to get the room all smoky and dirty all the quicker!
Yes, it would have been nice except that I could also predict whose job clearing out the ashes would be..................
Hence we set about decorating the lounge for more cosmetic reasons.
The 30-year old curtain linings now looked like Miss Haversham's wedding dress in its later years, and wasn't it about time that the wood-chip wallpaper, so popular with landlords of student digs, was changed for something a little less 'low rent'?
Last time I'd decorated, I'd already cleared out the thirties fire brick, revealing a larger squarer hearth behind, and installed a coal-effect basket, with hidden fan heater. If truth be known, we use it for heating only a few times a year, and only have the coal effect lit for, well.....effect, actually. The flickering flame effect had stopped working as soon as I fitted an economy bulb (sprayed red) some time back, there not being enough waste heat to make the little propeller go round!
This time we wanted something different, and it was whilst on holiday in a barn conversion in Wales that we came across the Dimplex Club stove, which seemed to be just the job. Admittedly, it looked a bit silly and kind of phoney standing there by the wall; after all, a log fire without a flue?
Imagining it in our own fireplace was easy though as it appeared to be exactly what we were looking for and could even be dressed up with a dummy flue once in place. A bit of uPVC soil-pipe sprayed matt-black came to mind.
(Dimplex do actually sell a dummy flue for thirty quid, with a 90 degree bend in it so that it appears to pass through the wall behind, but ours would only have to be about 6 to 9 inches tall and straight before disappearing out of sight).
In the end we opted for the same 'Club' model for the simple reason that unlike the other models in the range, it happened to be exactly the right size:-
There is a smaller model called 'Brayford' with almost identical specification, the common features to both being :-
Fan heater with 1 kilowatt and 2 kilowatt settings.
Remote control of On/Off (or whatever it was set to last)
Optiflame ® simulated log fire.
The main difference, apart from dimensions is that the Club's front door does actually open, giving access to the three rocker switches that control the fire effect, 1 kilowatt and 2 kilowatt settings. In this way, it doesn't immediately squawk "look at me I'm a fake!"
YES, I KNOW IT'S NOT A REAL FIRE
If the truth be known, I'm not really worried about the comparative expense of running an electric heater. Experience gained with its predecessor showed that it got used about three times a year, after returning home in cold weather from a holiday, during which period the heating had been turned down or off. The main concern is to create a central feature in the room that a blank stare from an empty fireplace can't emulate.
The Optiflame ® effect is pretty good compared to the previous effort, it having an electrically-powered 'shutter' made of floppy cloth vanes to create the flickering effect, therefore it isn't dependant on 'hot air convection' to make it move. It is also somewhat more random an effect than just having a rotating 'propeller' like the old heater.
I was a little taken aback when I read that the power drain of just the flame effect was 130 watts which Dimplex regards as 'minimal'. I bet to differ. I'm guessing that's 10 watts for the motor and 60 watts each for the halogen candle bulbs. I'll wait for these to throw in the towel and seek out LED or 'compact fluorescent' replacements, which will probably drop that to about 20 watts in total.
130?! WATT? That should be AMP-le for our 'OHM needs.*
(* I certainly dragged that one up from the VOLTS. It's so corny, it HERTZ.)
The motor that drives the flicker effect is commendably quiet, and you really have to get down and dirty to hear it. It's certainly quieter than a Sky+ box or similar, and with the telly running, you'll never hear it. It's quite surprising to find how shallow the actual display is, as a kind of wavy mirrored curtain makes the fire look twice as deep, and gives the flame effect something upon which it can 'back-project' the flames.
Obviously, noise levels rise somewhat with the fan heater running but that's to be expected. It certainly doesn't prevent listening to TV and radio.
The remote control is a model of simplicity. You can turn the heater on and off with it! The setting with which it returns to when powered up depends entirely on how it was set when you turned it off.
Ours didn't sit dead square on the ground, needing a minor bit of packing under one of its rear feet, but this is more than likely caused by my tiling rather than any inaccuracy of manufacture!
Overall, I'd say that one of these is as nice a way of creating a focal point within a room as you'll find, unless you can afford servants and therefore a real log fire!
However, beware the uneconomic cost of running the fan heater. It is not thermostatic, so it will just go on making the room warmer till you break into a sweat and turn it off! Seriously, Dimplex do warn about leaving it running whilst someone disabled is alone in the room. As I said before, we only intend using it to take the chill off an unheated house every now and then.
Incidentally, I'd puzzled over this feature when I first saw this heater in Wales. It actually seems to give the appearance of dying embers when turned off. Thinking that there was some 'back-up' LED inside, I was even more puzzled when I realised that I couldn't see the effect in a totally darkened room. Closer inspection reveals that the 'logs' have had a subtle amount of red glitter applied to them, which might sound a bit tacky but it isn't.
Funny, I could have sworn they were lit.
The Club is a mid-sized cast-iron style electric stove designed to fit in or on a standard fireplace and hearth. The Optiflame log effect gives the illusion of dying embers even when switched off and the flame effect can be used independently of the 2 heat settings. Also includes a remote control on/off.