EdenPure Gen 3 model 1000 space heater improvement

Consumer Reports News: February 10, 2010 03:26 PM

The EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000 space heater.

Update Feb. 2011: Read about Costco's EdenPure recall.

The winter of 2009-10 has been a tough one throughout the country. Last weekend's snowpocalypse shut down sections of the Mid-Atlantic, another storm is slamming the East Coast today, and cold weather more typical of northern states has dipped south to put the big chill on some parts of the Sun Belt in recent months.

So it's no surprise that we continue to get blanketed by your inquiries about EdenPure space heaters, and that our past posts on these appliances are among the most popular on the Home & Garden blog. Read "Are EdenPure Space Heaters Just a Lot of Hot Air?" and this post on EdenPure space heaters and the Heat Surge Roll-n-Glow Electric Fireplace, aka the Amish heater for more details.

Interest in these space heaters makes even more sense when you read the appealing pitch EdenPure makes in its marketing, which features celebrity home improver Bob Vila touting, "I've said it on TV . . . The EdenPure heater really can save you up to 50% on your home heating." (Watch this Vila video on the EdenPure site.)

In our October 2007 report on space heaters, the EdenPure Quartz Infrared 1000 was one of only two space heaters to receive a poor overall score, primarily because of its fair performance for temperature control and ease of use. The mechanical rear-mounted dial-type thermostat on that EdenPure 1000 model likely contributed to its wide temperature swings and less-than-stellar performance.

The manufacturer has since updated the EdenPure Quartz Infrared 1000. The latest version, called the EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000 (shown below), has new controls and an infrared remote control, and its control panel is now conveniently located on its front. The electronic thermostat control on the similar EdenPure Gen 3 Model 500 is on the back of the unit.

EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000 Control Panel
Control panel on the Gen 3 Model 1000.

Dressed in basic black with a strip of faux burled wood, the 17-inch-high x 13-inch-wide x 18-inch-deep Gen 3 Model 1000 is a pretty basic-looking device and lacks the allure of the Amish heater. This EdenPure can heat up to a 1,000-square-foot area, claims the manufacturer, is equipped with a 100-inch, 14-gauge extension cord, and is backed by a 60-day guarantee and a three-year manufacturer's warranty

This latest EdenPure heater is an improvement over its predecessor. But why drop about $400* on this portable heater when you can find several significantly less-expensive models that rated a very good overall score in our ratings of space heaters (available to subscribers)?

How the EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000 Works
On the Gen 3 Model 1000, you use up and down scroll buttons on the heater itself and the remote to select from among 13 temperature settings in auto mode, which you can override by choosing the high mode in which the heater defaults to continuous-heat-output operation. (The control panel is shown.) There is no user adjustment for fan speed or heat output, though according to the manual, in auto mode the heat output will be reduced when the temperature is within 2°F of the desired temperature setting.

In an office at our Yonkers, New York, headquarters, we set the thermostat to maintain a slightly warmer temperature than the room temperature. The Gen 3 Model 1000 would cycle on and off according to the heating demand. When the thermostat shut off the heater, the fan would also stop. While off, the fan would occasionally operate for short durations, most likely to move room air across the temperature sensor to get a more accurate room-temperature reading.

We believe that with these control and operating improvements, the updated heater would perform better than its predecessor in our standard temperature-control test.

Heating Claims Don't Add Up
Manufacturers of electric space heaters want you to believe that using one of their devices will lower your heating bill. Lowering your home's thermostat(s) and using your main heating system less in tandem with a space heater—called zone heating—will cut your utility bill. (Every degree you lower the thermostat(s) can save you about 2 percent on your heating bill.) But keep in mind that based on current national average prices and adjusting for the energy losses due to burning a fuel, heating with electricity is about two and a half times more expensive than heating with gas, the most common heating fuel in this country.

EdenPure suggests that "you can turn the heat down in your house as low as 50°F, yet the room you are in will be warm and comfortable. When you move to another room, the EdenPure goes with you. Its wheels make relocation a snap." That scenario assumes that you have to heat only a single room to heat at a time or that you own multiple EdenPure space heaters; that once you're in a room you stay put and don't move around the house; and that you're willing to keep the rest of your home at a chilly 50°F. Lowering the thermostat(s) by 3°F would likely result in minimal discomfort for you and your family, but are you willing to keep your home at 50°F?

The 1,483-watt EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000 uses quartz infrared elements as the heat source. Its design essentially negates the radiant-heating effect, so it operates more like a typical fan-forced convection heater. While a fan can help mix the room air, there is typically some temperature variation, with cooler air near the floor and warmer air near the ceiling.

Humidity Information Seems All Wet
EdenPure says its heaters "protects the humidity level and air quality important to breathing comfort and personal health," and also notes that "Heat from the copper tubing rides the humidity in the room and provides moist, soft heat—ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall—without reducing oxygen or humidity."

Simply put, when you heat a room with any space heater and don't also have an additional source of humidity, say a humidifier, the total moisture in the air in that space will stays the same but the relative humidity will go down, not up. That's true for every space heater we've tested, including the EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000.

Safety and Space Heaters
The EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000 is a bulky, rectangular box, but be aware that like any space heater with casters mounted inward from the corners, it could be prone to tipping sideways.

No matter the space heater you use, follow this safety advice and look for models with these key safety features.

In the end, remember that electric space heaters in and of themselves can't save you energy and lower your utility bills over the winter. To do that, you need to weatherize your home and lower your thermostat(s) so your heating system has to work less. But if you're going to buy a space heater, you don't have to shell out $400 or more for the EdenPure Gen 3 Model 1000.

Essential information: Check our free buyer's guide to space heaters. And if you're in the market for a new heating system, see whether this equipment is eligible in your state for a rebate as part of the $300 million cash for clunkers for appliances program.

*The EdenPure costs $472, but in recent days the company's Web site lists a price of $397, with free shipping.

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