Tuesday, December 22, 2009

EdenPURE Infrared Heater - Product Review

You may have seen the infomercials featuring Bob Vila in a warm, comfortably heated living room. Vila kneels close to a portable heater while a family sits leisurely going about their activities. The message is that this portable heater is safer because of an infrared heating process that eliminates hot spots and that this heater costs less to operate.

I have a background in marketing and advertising. My father has been in the business 50 years and I have helped to write copy (the message in an advertisement) that can turn a negative into a positive. My legal background also allows me to understand how people attempt to shape the 'truth' to fit their agenda.

After seeing some of the claims made about this product I decided that it would be fun to order one knowing that it would be returned because it cannot meet the claims made.

I ordered the Gen3 Model 1000 that is supposed to heat a 1000 square foot area with eight foot ceilings. This model has a 1500 watt rating and can operate from any grounded household outlet.

Before we get to the test results let's first review some of the claims as they appear on the EdenPURE website:

"Typical heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces, corn/fuel/propane burners, and normal space heaters reduce humidity which dries out your skin and sinuses causing bloody noses, and irritated eyes." I do not doubt this at all. Winter air overall is dried whether it is artificially heated. Some type of humidity system should be used by anyone who experiences those symptoms.

"The EdenPure heating system also heats the room evenly, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling. Other heating sources heat rooms unevenly with most of the heat ending up near the ceiling." This was the statement that led to the decision to purchase this product and test it. I am not a physicist by any means but physics is just one of the many subjects I have studied and I, along with nearly everyone else, know that heat rises. Vila suggest that this product defies the laws of physics saying "The result is the heat you need to feel comfortable is now down low where you dwell and you are no longer wasting money heating the ceiling!"

The most spurious claim is that "it pays for itself in a matter of weeks!"

So onto the test. The first test location was a brick three-car garage with ceiling just under eight feet.. Overall square footage is about 700. The walls are insulated with 3.5" R13 batts. The outdoor temperature starts in the high 40's and peaks around 52 Fahrenheit. According to the claims made by EdenPure this heater should make this garage very comfortable. The indoor temperature is slightly cooler, nearer the overnight temperature.

The heater is placed in the center of the garage and turned on in mid-morning. For this initial test only a single thermometer was used. The result was that by late afternoon the temperature has risen to 53 degrees.

The second test was in a lapboard siding house also with walls that are insulated with 3.5" R13 batts and ceiling under eight feet. The footprint is 42 x 23 feet resulting in square footage just under 1000. The outdoor temperature overnight and through the day ranged between 30 and 34 degrees. The temperature in the living room, where the heater was placed, was 46 degrees at the beginning of the test. After three hours of running the heater non-stop there was little overall temperature change in the house.

The living room at chest level was 52 degrees which was achieved somewhat quickly, slightly warmer at the ceiling and significantly cooler on the floor. The hallway was slightly warmer along with the two bedrooms. Further back in the house, on the North side, there was no temperature change in the kitchen or bathroom which both remained around 43 degrees.

For a comparison test a Holmes 1500 Watt ceramic portable space heater purchased at a mass retailer for $24 was used. After the room temperatures had returned to their starting levels the test was ran again using the Holmes heater. The Holmes heater produced hotter air that seemed to blow about the same distance as the EdenPure heater.

After three hours of running the heater non-stop there was little overall temperature change in the house. The results were nearly identical as the previous test except that the living room was slightly warmer at 53 degrees. The wall surfaces seemed warmer also but this could be attributable to the heating in the prior test being retained after the air temperature had dropped.

I my many years of life I have lived in homes with steam radiators, oil furnace, natural gas furnace and electric furnace as whole-house heating sources. I have found each to function better than the EdenPure heater. In comparing the cost of heating a similar sized home to 65 degrees using a natural gas heater the EdenPure would cost the same to keep the same house around 50 degrees. This is hardly a cost savings.

In looking at how to turn a negative into a positive Vila shows us a thermal imaging video of the room and points out that there are no "hot spots". This is what the claim that the EdenPure heats the room evenly is based upon. What you are not told in this advertisement is that no part of the the room is hot. There are no hot spots because the entire room is cool.

Based upon all the miraculous claims made about this heater, such as it can defy the laws of physics, I was left wondering why this heater wasn't accompanied by a perpetual motion machine that would produce its own electricity to operate it.

My best advice. Save your $397 and use a furnace at much lower cost or get the same or better results from a $24 space heater.

If you think it is too good to be true that a 1500 watt space heater can sufficiently heat an entire house that is because it is. This proves once again the old saying, If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.


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©2009 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

4 comments:

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nucinc said...

Thanks for saving me a lot of money.

Adalbert said...

EdenPURE Infrared Heater - Product Review ... holmesinfraredheater.blogspot.com

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