“ Manufacturer: DeLonghi / Power Source: Electric / Heating Element: Oil Filled / Heating Levels: 3 Levels / Features: Timer, Thermostat, Wheels / Fan Forced: Non Fan Forced / Safety Features: Automatic Shut-Off / Power: 2,000 - 900 Watt / Height: 64.5 cm / Width: 44 cm / Depth: 22 cm „
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Over the years I have lived in homes with no central heating, with electric storage heating and with my favoured gas central heating. In fact gas central heating is a must for me now - so much so I won't even look at any homes which don't have it and have felt this way for over 20 years after living in a flat with storage heaters which were particularly ineffectual.
Of course sometimes you need a little back up, and when I lived in Edinburgh in my big old house, it was cheaper for me to heat the one room I was sitting in than turn on the gas central heating, so I used a halogen heater quite effectively.
When I moved to my current home, which is much smaller, I realised that one of the bedrooms didn't have a radiator. As I planned to use this bedroom as my office, I knew I would need a heater for colder days. The halogen heater was fine until the weather started to turn colder and I also wanted something that had a thermostat so it was using electricity efficiently. With all this in mind, when I saw Costco had the Delonghi Dragon HM3 oil filled radiator on offer, I decided to bite the bullet and buy it.
The heater, which is white, is quite bulky and heavy, but does have castors making it easy to move about. It weighs 16 kilos but I have been able to carry it upstairs reasonably easily (when cold of course!). There is a cable storage area which you can wind the cable around when the heater is not in use too.
It comes with a fairly short lead which is about a metre or so, and this is worth bearing in mind when it comes to choosing where to locate it in a room. You shouldn't place the heater too close to furniture or a wall for instance.
There are several different versions of the Dragon HM3 - mine has a digital thermostat which acts as climate control. This gives you the option of using this on a timer too - which is ideal if you want your room heated at certain times twice a day. My heater also has a remote control which you can use to increase or decrease the thermostat temperature and to switch the heater on or off.
The heater differs from other oil filled radiators I have owned in design. The Dragon is designed to have what Delonghi call a "super chimney effect" meaning the sides of the heater get warm but warm air also rises from the top of the heater too.
The heater output is a fairly powerful 1.5 kw.
Setting up is very straightforward - all you have to do is plug in and set the clock. You can then choose your default temperature and switch it on. The heater warms up quickly too, and once the desired temperature is reached, the climate control will switch your heater off.
Having gone from using small electrical heaters which I have had to moderate the temperature on manually to this little beauty, all I can say is I am sold! Being able to choose a temperature and basically leave this on is brilliant - and also stops me worrying so much about how much electricity the heater is using.
As I said, this heats up fairly quickly too, and I haven't even had to crank the temperature required up in spite of the sub zero temperatures we have endured in Scotland over the past few weeks - in fact the highest I have set it was for 22 degrees Celsius. The thermostat goes right up to 35 degrees Celsius but I have absolutely no need to set it that high in this relatively small room, but it's good to know it can throw more heat out if required.
You can programme the heater to automatically come on twice a day, as I currently do with my gas central heating but as I tend to be in the room I have this located in at different times, I haven't used this. It's fairly easy to programme however, with controls on the side digital display being reasonably self explanatory.
You can also manually choose how much power you want the heater to use with a choice of three settings available. This is very easy to do - you merely switch the heater on using the main "On/Mode" button on the side control panel and the digital display will show three triangles. This indicates the heater is operating at maximum power but if you wish to reduce this you press the button a second time for medium power or a third time for minimum power. On the fourth press of the button the heater will be switched off.
The climate control is effected by which power setting you choose too. For example if you have chosen the medium power level then the climate control will modulate the heater between medium, minimum power and switching the heater off to keep the heater at the selected temperature. Obviously the maximum power setting will modulate between all the power options.
There is also a frost protection function on the heater which is useful if you wish to maintain the heat in a room above a certain temperature at all times. I haven't used this however - despite the freezing temperatures my house is reasonably well insulated and the main gas central heating has been doing the main job of keeping the house cosy.
The remote control is handy for manual operation of the heater if you have mobility issues but I tend not to use it much as the heater is located in a fairly small room close to me so it's no problem for me to use the manual controls on the heater to switch it on or off or to regulate the temperature or power.
There are obviously some safety issues to adhere to with this heater, including not placing it in a bathroom, not covering it or using it to dry laundry and to ensure you never place the power cable on top of the heater whilst it is on.
The heater gives off a smell for the first 8 hours use which you are informed of in the instruction manual but thereafter there is no odour. You do have to get used to the metal contracting however when the heater is heating up and cooling down - so it can be quite noisy periodically. For that reason it might not be ideal for a bedroom if clicking noises bother you. I must admit I barely notice these noises but it would be wrong to say they don't exist when they clearly do.
Delonghi clearly have faith in their products as this comes with a huge ten year manufacturer's guarantee.
I paid just over £60 for mine in Costco when it was on offer in November but the recommended retail price is £109. It's worth shopping around for it however - and the price fluctuates regularly on Amazon where it is currently £102.99.
If you need a secondary heater which is powerful, offers variable settings and that all important climate control making it efficient to run then I highly recommend the Delonghi Dragon HM3.