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Customer Discussions > Home Improvement forum

Econo-Heat 400-Watt Wall Panel Convection Heater Model # 603

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Showing 1-25 of 47 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 29, 2011, 8:53:07 PM PDT
Jo says:
Bought a old one...1918 build, 1933 remodel. Has an old( so old I'm not sure how old) Coleman in the wall furnace that runs off propane in the upstairs hallway. I am afraid this is a fire hazard as it gets very hot and makes the surrounding area which is wood too hot to touch. I cannot afford to redo the furnace system just yet but I do need to figure out replacement heat for 3 bedrooms as there is no other heat source. I saw the Econo-Heat 400-Watt Wall Panel Convection Heater
Model # 603 at home depot and think it might work. I'd like to know if anyone has experience this heater. Thanks in advance.

Posted on Sep 29, 2011, 10:59:06 PM PDT
I purchased 2 for a well insulated room in a home I used to own in Illinois. I found them pretty much useless. Ended up purchasing a Rinnai space heater, they come in both Natural and LPG models. They are pretty cost effective when you consider the cost of a new furnace.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2011, 10:34:31 AM PDT
Jo says:
Thanks, $$ is a major consideration at this point as it's also necessary to fix the kitchen a bit. So I'm not sure a Rinnai LP space heater is in the budget as I would definitely need to have help installing it and then need to have it approved and checked off by the propane company as well. Looking for safe, affordable and workable for this winter.

Posted on Oct 3, 2011, 12:17:55 AM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
Dude, wut? So you're looking at $100+ wall heaters of indeterminate effectiveness that only put out 400 watts while ignoring perfectly good, proven effective 1500 watt heater-fans that sell for, like, 20 bucks everywhere? Really? Uh, okay. Best of luck to you.

Posted on Oct 3, 2011, 9:05:55 AM PDT
Jo says:
Duuuude, operating cost is a factor.....400 Watt= around $35/mo. 1500 watt=around $120/mo.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011, 2:27:02 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:44:10 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011, 3:38:11 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:44:03 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011, 11:19:06 PM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
You're forgetting that BTUs per kW are pretty much a fixed value (it's about 3400). That means for the 3.75x electrical consumption, you're getting 3.75x the heat. There's some variation in design efficiency, but I'd bet that any nominal advantage would go to the heater-fan for a couple of reasons I won't bore you with. There are a few other advantages to the heater-fan:

1) Higher output warms room faster. Plus most have some sort of thermostat that will maintain temp vs. running full-blast the whole time.

2) They're small, portable, plug-in anywhere and can be put away when not in use.

3) They are more effective at heating an area since they blow the heat directly where needed instead of letting convection carry it up the wall to collect at the ceiling while you still freeze at floor level.

Anyway, it's your money and your decision, go with whatever makes you happy.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011, 11:29:10 PM PDT
Jo says:
No worries about the coleman, turned off the's not even running a pilot light at this point.

Posted on Oct 3, 2011, 11:45:54 PM PDT
Jo says:
The primary reasons I was considering this type of heater are 1. Space; it's an old house rooms are not huge. 2. The rooms needing the heat belong to young children and I am looking for the safest alternative. 3. The previously mentioned above energy consumption. Our previous rental came supplied with a 1500 watt space heater as two of the rooms had no other heat source, come winter our electric bill tripled inspite of using the thermostat on the heater with a setting of 65F. With the increases being forecasted in propane I'm not sure I can afford to triple my electric costs as well. Right now I haven't made any decisions for the short term though and being undecided I was hoping to hear from folks who had direct experience with this type heater. I do however need to figure it out before the temps drop and the snow falls.

Posted on Oct 4, 2011, 4:01:33 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:44:40 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 4, 2011, 3:11:14 PM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
Wow. Just checked-out the link NomD posted. There are so many fundamental flaws in, not just the design, but the very premise of those heaters, I can't believe they've lasted on the market beyond a year or two. Stay far, far away from any heater like that, Joetta. Christ, light bulbs would be a better heating option. No, I'm not kidding.

Also, I apologize for my failure at making the points in my last post more comprehensible. Basically, I addressed most of the concerns you mentioned in your reply, describing how a heater-fan is better (very small, portable, more effective AND efficient). As for safety, I guarantee--GUARANTEE--that a conventional ceramic heater-fan is safer than one of those things.

What I had in mind is something like this (though I'm not recommending any particular brand or model): Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011, 4:19:34 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:45:01 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 4, 2011, 10:03:56 PM PDT
Jo says:
Thanks for the information gentlemen. I think we are going to try a baseboard type space heater. Something Similar to a Lasko 39-3/4 in. 1,500-Watt Portable Electric Convection Baseboard Heater with a Remote Control. Still convection with no fan but higher BTU's. I'm hoping being closer to floor level it will heat the rooms somewhat more efficiently and I have an out of the way area for this as well so it will still be safe. Will post and let you know how it goes as this will be the only heat source for the winter.

Posted on Oct 4, 2011, 10:21:05 PM PDT
Jo says:
This is my alternate choice...Soleus Air 1,500-Watt Flat Panel Micathermic Heater with Remote Control....I will still most likely go with the other one as it is slightly less expensive and it's only one season I need it for. Opinions are welcome on either unit as well.

Posted on Oct 4, 2011, 10:29:57 PM PDT
Jo says:
Though I am also taking the Lasko Ceramic heater into consideration...I'm just afraid that with a fan it will be too noisy in a bedroom. We live in the country, the kids are used to quiet and have been awakened by the ticking of a clock!

Posted on Oct 4, 2011, 10:56:42 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 9, 2011, 4:22:02 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 5, 2011, 12:54:15 PM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
Well, the light sleepers are an important consideration. Convection and radiant heaters are technically silent, though many make ticking sounds as they expand and contract with the the heating cycles, though it's usually fairly minor (my parents had a quartz heater that would buzz--no doubt a because quartz vibrates when a current is passed through it). Heater-fans can range from whisper-quiet to sounding like a baby jet engine. Some people actually run fans to help them sleep as the sound is similar to white noise and soothes them. Either way, with noise being a consideration, I would buy any unit locally so I could check it out beforehand and easily exchange it if it's too loud.

All three heating methods (radiant, convection, heater-fan) are perfectly good ways to heat a space, but each has it's own quirks:

Radiant: Arguably the most effective. The heat radiates out (like light) and warms only objects it hits, which in turn heat the air. Very good for heating things quickly and keeping the heat down where it's needed, but since it doesn't heat the air directly, the room can still feel cold until the air is heated if you're not in the radiant zone. Also the heat is rather harsh so people and objects too close to the heater can become uncomfortably hot, possibly dangerously so if care is not taken.

Convection: Least effective but potentially safest (depending on heater design). Think of the room as a water tank with warm air as the air and cold air as the water. As the heater warms the air, it rises to the ceiling and pushes the cold air down. Without some sort of fan to push the heat down or mix it, the ceiling will be warmest and floor coldest, which would be fine if we lived on the ceiling.

Heater-fan: Allows you to place the heat where it's needed and can't overheat anything that isn't within a few inches of the heater, and never hotter than the heated air coming out. The warm air will eventually rise to the ceiling, but not before it's heated the immediate vicinity and mixed with some cold air. Noisiest option and if the fan fails you're left with a rather inefficient convection heater.

Hope that helps.

Posted on Oct 5, 2011, 1:19:36 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:45:21 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2011, 2:26:28 PM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
Well, they're supposed to have a thermostatic cut-off if they overheat. Plus the heating elements touch only the ceramic, which can withstand several times the heat they produce, and the whole heating unit is usually enclosed in a metal frame. Safety on these things is pretty good--they've been around for 20+ years and have yet to be singled-out as a safety hazard. But yeah, one should always be careful about obstructing them. Still, safer than radiant and only slightly less-so than convection.

Posted on Oct 6, 2011, 8:31:26 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:45:44 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 7, 2011, 10:38:45 PM PDT
Jo says:
This leaves me going .... Now what options are left? I definitely cannot afford a new furnace at the moment but temps overnight here last winter were in the -20 to -30 range without the wind chills for around a month. The preceeding and following month weren't that much warmer. My husband wants to put in a wood stove with a grate above it to allow heat into the upstairs. The house has a chimney but I'm not certain it's functional. Lots of options but no good short term fixes really.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2011, 12:03:20 AM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
Well, there's still electric baseboards. You can also check out the DSIRE web site and see what state and federal programs might help you pay for a more permanant solution.

Posted on Oct 9, 2011, 4:14:10 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 2, 2013, 1:46:11 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 9, 2011, 9:31:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2011, 9:32:29 PM PDT
Douglas Reed says:
Yes, MOST (read: not all, always check the specs) hardwired baseboards are suitable for continuous usage. Depending on your confidence and competence, they actually wouldn't be that hard to install yourself. The range of difficulty pretty much comes down to how good the existing wiring is and (if it's not so good, thus requiring more extensive wiring) the locations of the baseboards relative to the electric service panel.

Assuming adequate service (12 ga. or numerically lower wire on a 20 or more amp circuit), you could tap off the nearest outlet. An "old construction" gang box, a short length of conduit, a slightly longer length of 12-2 w/ground wire (commonly called "Romex"), and the proper hardware (wire clamps, conduit fittings, etc.) is all you would need per baseboard. You could easily have it done in an hour or two. If you choose to go this route, lemme know and I'll give you the step-by-step. If the wiring isn't up-to-snuff, best to let a qualified individual handle it.

Oh yeah, if you want to go the DIY route, make sure you get 110-120 volt units as the 220-240 volt ones would almost certainly require additional wiring (though they do run at half the amperage, which MAY avoid certain headaches down the line).
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Discussion in:  Home Improvement forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  47
Initial post:  Sep 29, 2011
Latest post:  Nov 15, 2013

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