Thursday, August 23, 2012

LIFESMART Power Plus 1500-6 Infrared Heater Review

LIFESMART 6 Tube Infrared Heater
Editor's Note: When I wrote this review a couple of weeks ago the Lifesmart 1500 was selling for $129 on Amazon. When I checked the link today it no longer takes you to the Lifesmart 1500 sales page, but instead to the Lifesmart 1200 priced at $155.

Although this happens only occasionally at Amazon it is none the less deceptive and extremely annoying.

Aside from the higher price, the only difference between the 1500 and 1200 is the square foot heating coverage claim: 1500 vs 1200 sq ft. Other than that the specs  and features of the two heaters are virtually interchangeable - including customer reviews. Sorry for the confusion.

 The Lifesmart infrared heater is currently the most popular furniture style space heater sold at Amazon. And like every other type of space heater sold at Amazon, best selling equates with least expensive.

Selling for around $129, the Lifesmart now edges out the former best selling Dr Heater priced at $160.

But being the least expensive product of its type is not necessarily a bad thing.

In the world of look alike infrared heaters that employ a technology not easily understood, the easiest way for a company to differentiate their brand from the competition is to sell it for less.

Once again, there's nothing wrong with getting a good deal as long as the product lives up to your expectations. So let's see how the Lifesmart stacks up.

The Lifesmart brand is marketed by parent company Source Network Sales and Marketing of Plano, Texas. The heater itself, like all the other brand name infrared heaters is manufactured in China - no surprise there.

Product Description  When you read the product description, the first featured selling point is "rated to heat up to 1200 square feet." This might be true if you live in a well insulated 30' x 40' one room home (loft) in a climate where the outside temperature never dips below freezing.

But for the rest of us who inhabit homes in freezing climates with partitioned walls and doors this won't be the case.

One thing an infrared heater does excel at is getting you warmed up quickly. This is due to the nature of infrared heat which warms animate and inanimate objects (people and furniture respectively) first, and the room air second. In other words, you don't have to wait 30 or 40 minutes for the room to warm up before you do.

The washable filter system is also a valuable feature providing a health benefit not found on typical space heaters.

Finally, the furniture style wood cabinet housing blends in well with most home decors.

Other features include E-Z Glide wheels, wireless remote and LED soft touch controls.

The inner workings are composed of a fan which intakes air through the filter and circulates it around 6 quartz infrared tubes enclosed by copper heat exchangers. The heated air is then forced out of the front grill and into the room.

How Does It Perform?  If you really want to find out the effectiveness of any consumer product you can do so by reading the reviews of people who actually own and use the product.

In the case of the Lifesmart, here is how consumers reviewed the product:

Very Satisfied:  68% of the reviews who commented on the Lifesmart were pleased with the overall performance.

Somewhat Satisfied: 12% of reviewers weren't exactly bowled over but didn't experience any major performance problems either.

Dissatisfied:  The remaining 20%, including one customer who said her unit caught fire, were not pleased with their purchase. Other reviewers complained of temporary or permanent breakdowns.

These results are pretty consistent with the reviews of other space heaters in the "least expensive model" category regardless of brand name or heating technology.

So the odds are 4 to 1 in your favor that the Lifesmart will satisfy your supplemental home heating needs. If not you can always return it.

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