We've had our share of cold days and nights this winter and a lot of people invest in a space heater to warm up a room or two. You can spend a little or a lot on a portable heater. But if are you getting what you pay for in the more expensive versions?
The Sioux Empire Safety Village has offices in the old armory building at the fairgrounds.
"It was a little cool in the mornings, so we went looking for a space heater that had a little safety built into it and had a decent track record," Dave Renli of the Sioux Empire Safety Village said.
After looking over the claims from the EdenPURE Makers, Renli decided the space heater with the high price tag of $350 was the way to go.
"I think it's a lot more efficient. I think the output is better on this than the old 1,500 watt dairy heaters you can buy for $40 or $50 bucks at Walmart. I think the heats a lot nice coming out of this," Renli said.
We decided to find out if the EdenPURE heater could really outperform that $40 so-called barn heater like the Renli believes. With the help of Tom Glanzer from Northwestern Energy, we powered two heaters, one EdenPURE Gen 3 and one Patton heater from Walmart and put them into uninsulated storage sheds similar in size.
"The thought it might be a little cheaper to run the $400 heater because of the technology inside of it. We've got them in the same building and started everything from the same coldness today and we're really going to find out, are you going to save that much money by buying a $400 heater as opposed to a $40 heater," Glanzer said.
Both heaters were 1,500 watts and we plugged them into meters that would show how many kilowatts or electricity they would use.
"And then we'll figure out how many kilowatts these used during the length of our test," Glanzer said.
The air temperature was 12 degrees and when we put the thermostats in the sheds, they both registered at 32 degrees. We turned on the heaters, shut the doors and waited.
"We're averaging 1100 watts on these and I just checked the other one and over a half hour, they've used the exact same amount of electricity at about .57 kilowatts per hour and neither of them have come up at all," Glanzer said.
After an hour, we checked the temperatures in the buildings and electricity being used again.
"Running for an hour and we're at that 1.13 kilowatt per hour and we've used one full kilowatt right now. And this is the $400 dollar heater. This is the cat's meow of heaters and it's basically doing the same thing as the $40 heater. That $40 heater is a couple of degrees warmer. The air temperature in there is showing warmer than this one. I'm a little dumbfounded to tell you the truth right now," Glanzer said.
At about an hour and fifteen minutes into our experiment, the cheaper heater heated up the shed about six degrees warmer than the more expensive one, using virtually the same amount of energy.
"$200 or $300 or $40, it doesn't make any difference. It's all 100 percent efficient. Electricity what you put in is what you get out," Glanzer said.
After an hour and half, we brought the experiment to an end. The temperature in the shed of the inexpensive Patton heater was 44 degrees, while the shed with the expensive EdenPURE heater warmed up to 39 degrees
"The $40 one out performed the $400 one; technology aside, claims aside, you put them in a cold building the $40 one heated it up faster than $400 one," Glanzer said.
"I guess I wouldn't have expected that. But what I do know is that one does not have the safety built into it that this one does," Renli said.
Renli says even if his EdenPURE doesn't use less energy or heat up any quicker, he's still happy with his purchase because the heater itself doesn't get hot to the touch.
"So I'm going to spend the extra money because safety is number one my business and it's important to people who work here," Renli said.
But the lesson in all this; if you're simply looking for the fastest, most energy efficient way to heat up a room, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars.
"As far as apples to apples, when you're heating up a room the $40 one killed the $400 one," Glanzer said.
But EdenPURE sees it differently.
In a statement to KELOLAND News EdenPURE says:
Working with our Legal department as well as Research and Development, we contacted Patton to further clarify our suspicions regarding the competitors heater. Patton’s customer service department informed us that their heater is a Utility Heater, not an quartz infrared heater. The difference is that ours uses copper heating elements along with an infrared bulb to safely heat a room. Our unit is intended to be used as a supplemental heating unit, it is to be used to supplement to a consumers already existing home heat. We recommend that you can turn your thermostat down and use the EdenPURE to warm up the areas of the home that are frequently used, therefore reducing the need to heat the entire home. Patton was very specific in stating that their Utility Heater is recommended for use in areas such as the garage, basement or workshop, areas that typically do not receive heat.
It is important that our product is represented correctly. In no way are the two heaters alike and we feel that you have compared an apple to an orange. We cannot comment on Patton’s heater regarding its safety or performance and you would need to contact them for that information. However, our heater is known for its safety and interior supplemental home heating capabilities as well as its aesthetically pleasing outer casing. Our heater does not reduce humidity or oxygen in the air, therefore those with winter sinus issues do not have to worry about it drying out the air. It is non combustible and safe around pets and children. Those interested in checking out our heater themselves can find a list of benefits on our website at www.edenpure.com. We stand behind our product and feel that our millions of satisfied customers speaks to the quality of our product.
- Lauren Capo, Public Relations Representative, EdenPURE