This is a delightfully attractive, small electric heater that has a very convincing 3D flame effect.
It came in a sturdy box, was wrapped inside a clear plastic bag and suspended in polystyrene foam. As a result, there is a good 2 inches of space all around. The legs are stored separately in pairs recessed into the packaging. It would be easy to miss them if it weren’t for the large red labels stuck to the polystyrene informing you of the fact. A bag of screws is stapled to the instruction manual and the manual explains how to assemble and operate the heater with clear and concise instructions.
Assembly requires screwing four plastic legs into the base of the heater, three small Philips head machine screws for each corner. Our heater came with 14 screws, so you do get two spare. No tools were provided and you will need a regular long handled Philips screwdriver. A stubby or electric screwdriver probably won’t do because space is very tight. The legs line up in a rectangular hole and then you screw in three screws per corner. It’s tricky in part because the screws are painted and are difficult to seat in the threaded holes. Initially, if feels like you might strip the threads but after about ¾ turn they behave but to need a lot of turns to tighten.
The other thing is the handle which screws on separately at a slight angle. It has notches that intersect so it’s pretty easy to tell when it is properly aligned.
The heater looks solid but is surprisingly light-weight. It’s not that small; otherwise you could easily carry it with one hand. Other than the plastic legs the exterior is of mostly sheet metal construction with Perspex windows into the log diorama. Controls are nicely concealed behind the door. When you swing open the door there are two dials and three red switches that illuminate when switched on.
The first dial is for setting the thermostat then you have three transparent red switches. The first one is 1500 watt high power mode, the second is 1000 watts and the final switch turns the heater on and off. The last dial on the far right allows you to modulate the lighting effect from low bluer to large bright flames.
The heating elements are mounted underneath the cabinet and shielded with a metal grill to prevent contact by small hands or in our case pet paws.
Both my wife and I were impressed with the 3D fire effect. It is very convincing and looks very cozy. It can be turned on independently to the heater if you just want some attractive accent lighting in the room. It looks like flames with seemingly random flame effects and you can vary the height and brightness of the flames. They are more red and bluish at low setting and quite bright and yellowish with the odd blueish accent on high setting.
When the heater elements are turned on it doesn’t take long for the heat to come. There is a fan inside the heater that ducts air over the element and blows it gently into the room. The 1000 watt low setting produces warm air while the 1500 watt is noticeably hotter.
Though the heater claims it is good for 1000 square feet, It really is more of a single room heater. It just so happens that the HVAC blower door safety switch failed on our central air system so we got to use this heater exclusively in the bedroom. With the door open a crack in 43 degree weather, the heater managed to keep the room a manageable temperature without running constantly. The thermostat does not have any temperature reading. Instead, you have to let the room heat up to a comfortable level and then slowly dial back the thermostat knob till the heater clicks off, then raise the temperature very slightly and it will maintain the same comfortable temperature.
It works well enough. The only niggle is that with the fan blowing it is not silent. When we had it in the living room with the TV on at quiet conversation level we noticed that we had to turn the tv up a few notches because the heater does raise the noise floor somewhat. Fortunately, it didn’t effect our sleeping and is actually quieter than the central air system. So the noise is acceptable.
The heater is much nicer than we expected. It is attractive and solid looking but not at all heavy. So long as you use it as a space heater for heating a room it will maintain a nice, comfortable temperature. But don’t expect it to heat up a whole house efficiently. We like it a lot, and even if we don’t need heat, we turn on the flames because it adds some real atmosphere to any room you put it in. Both my wife and I really like it and are very pleased with it. We were kind of hoping they would have a large insert for our 34” fireplace because we liked the flame effect so much.
Duraflame DFI-470-04 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
- Visual appeal