Review: Russell Hobbs Eco-Extreme Fan Heater PDF Print E-mail

In South Africa, where the high price of electricity can bite just as hard as the winter chill, finding cost effective ways to keep cozy during the colder months can be rather challenging. 

The Eco-Extreme Fan Heater by Russell Hobbs pledges to drive away the cold without breaking the bank – or the environment. I have not been using the heater for long enough yet to see how its presence in the house will reflect on the power bill, so I don’t know if Russell Hobbs is just blowing hot air with the promise. I highly doubt that the company will use it as a major selling point if it is mere marketing spiel, even proclaiming on the box that it delivers energy savings of up to 35%. Besides, fan heaters are traditionally less power hungry than many other types of electrical heaters.

A graph on the box depicts that traditional technology reaches 60 degrees Celsius at 2200W, whereas the Eco-Extreme heater claims to reach that temperature using just 1400W. The blade of the fan is situated behind the heating element and reportedly uses ambient air temperature (with a lower volume), which is heated and circulated using considerably less electricity.

As for appearances, the fan heater is white (I don’t think it is available in any other colours) and it boasts a clean, basic design, with a grill covering the high velocity blade of the fan and a handle so that you can easily move it around from room to room, as needed. The device is lightweight and therefore conveniently portable. The power cord is 1.5 metres long, allowing you some leeway to position the heater to best suit your needs.

There are two controls at the top of the heater, denoting the various settings which are “Summer” (for blowing out cooler air), “Eco” (the energy saving setting that regulates the temperature by switching the heater on and off when the room reaches a certain temperature), “Rapid” (which you use to heat the whole room very quickly) and the self-explanatory “Off”. The other control allows you to adjust the temperature setting on the thermostat.

The Eco-Extreme is like the perfect house guest: a warm yet quiet presence, thanks to its use of “whisper quiet” technology. I’ve used it in the TV room and there really was no need to turn up the volume on the television while the heater was running. It is so quiet, that even light sleepers would be able to use it in their bedrooms at night.

I have spent the last few chilly nights cosying up to this heater and it has warmed my winter-hating heart to such an extent, I now don’t dread these next few months quite as much anymore.

Good: Quiet; heats well; easy to use; large enough to be effective; yet small enough to be portable.
Bad: I personally wish the power cord could be a bit longer so that it can be positioned centrally in larger rooms, but at this length, it will suffice for most people.
Rating: 9/10
Price: R375 from Woolworths.