Just ran across a two-page spread in the Sunday paper for the Heat Surge Roll ‘n Glow portable electric fireplace which set off a red flag alert in my blog-addled mind. The company HeatSurge, LLC has a website amishfireplaces.com where you can enter a code to presumably get 2 free heating units during this special offer by purchasing the accompanying Amish-made mantle, you just have to respond within a 1-800-ripmeoff-ish 48 hours.
The headline for the ad reads “Amish man’s new miracle idea helps home heat bills hit rock bottom” which would indicate that an Amish man (traditional Amish sects disavow the use of electricity, phones and mechanized stuff) invented this product. The small print states that the heating technology itself was actually invented by an “engineering genius” in China. The Amish are making the handcrafted wooden mantle. Some consumers have taken issue with the company’s claims, with the most comprehensive evaluation appearing on Yahoo! Answers here.
The other claim in the ads is that the unit consumes less electricity than an electric coffee-maker (I believe that is if they are on for the same amount of time) while producing over 5000 BTU’s of heat and that you can save amazing amounts of cash on your home heating bill by moving the unit from room to room. (The Paul Harvey endorsed, EdenPure, makes similar claims). In both cases, though, turning the heat down in the rooms you’re not currently in, is not normal home owner behavior. ConsumerReports.org has a post on space heaters and lower heating bills. The Heat Surge units do appear to create a nice fireplace-like appearance, don’t require a chimney or flue, and can be rolled around the home.
A better way to conserve heat might be to add some insulation to your home and get programmable thermostats that can regulate your home heating by zone and time to enable you to turn the heat down when you’re not home or in a particular room. Do your research before jumping to throw money at a ‘miracle’ offer that appears to be too good to be true. Also consider safety issues concerning space heaters. Portable space heaters cause thousands of home fires each year.
Anyone who has purchased one of these units or done additional research on the Heat Surge product, please chime in.
Here are some space heater alternatives featured on amazon.com