Heaters Buying Guide
Look for heaters with handy carry handles or grips to make moving your heater around easier.
Portable heating is a great way to quickly warm-up a room, and offers a cost-effective option (more so if you use a discount voucher) for heating just the rooms you are using, rather than heating the whole house. There are a number of different alternatives depending on your heating requirements and the space you need to heat.
For a fixed feature with the wow-factor, consider incorporating a designer radiator into your scheme using a promo code - a great idea for extra heat in the bathroom, where it is unsafe to position portable electric heaters. To ensure you choose the correct size radiator for your room, follow these tips
- Multiply the room length, width and height in cubic feet (Typical example: 10 feet wide x 12 feet long x 8 feet high ceilings = 640 cubic feet).
- Multiply this figure by 5 to get the required BTUs (Typical example: 640 cubic feet x 5 = 3200 BTUs required).
- Add 10% for upstairs rooms, entrance halls and kitchens (Typical example: Living room = no reduction = Total BTUs required 3520 BTUs).
- Reduce by 10% for upstairs rooms, entrance halls and kitchens (Typical example: Living room = no reduction = Total BTUs required 3520 BTUs).
Special features to look for
Wattage - Heat output is measured in watts, more watts means more power. As watts increase so too will energy consumption and running costs.
Timer - Allows you to set the time when you want the heater to switch on and off. Provides a solution to control how much energy is being used.
Heat settings - Gives you added flexibility over how much you heat your room
Variable thermostat - Gives you control over the temperature of the heat and helps with energy consumption as the temperature can be set so not to overheat the room and waste energy.
Electronic Climate Control (ECC) - This ensures the selected temperature is maintained and is more energy efficient as it is less likely to under-heat or over-heat the room.
Frost guard protection - Automatically turns the heater on when the room temperature drops to seven degrees centigrade.
Safety cut out mechanism - Switches the heater off if it's accidentally knocked over or if there is a danger of overheating.
Buzzer alarm - Will sound if the heater is knocked over.
Dehumidifier Buying Guide
Why buy a dehumidifier
High humidity levels in the home are created by daily activities such as bathing, running dishwashers and washing machines, cooking, and drying laundry. Excess moisture can cause condensation, damp, mould growth, peeling paint and wallpaper, warped wood and musty smells, generally creating an unpleasant environment. You can check your humidity levels with a simple instrument known as a humidity sensor. Also check to see if you can use a code prior to purchasing the dehumidifier. The recommended humidity level inside the house in summer is between 35- 45%, in winter 25%.
Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
What's good about vacuum cleaners
A vacuum cleaner is likely to be one of the most important and frequently used appliances in your home. As vacuum cleaners are designed to last for many years it is important to choose a model that specifically meets your requirements. The choice of models available is vast, so read our expert guide before you buy to ensure you choose the best machine for the job.
- Consider what you want to clean with your new vacuum cleaner, carpets, hard floor surfaces, or perhaps a car.
- Decide how much you'd like to spend, and try and reduce the code with vouchercodes
- Think about the style of vacuum cleaner you would like - cylinder or upright. Find vacuum cleaners that meet your criteria and consider what they have to offer in addition, for example, compare size, comfort, quality, construction and power. Check how light the machine is to push, the accessibility of the tools, cord storage and how well it handles when the tools are in use. Choose the vacuum cleaner that is best suited to your needs and is easiest to handle.
Upright or cylinder - the differences
When buying a new vacuum cleaner, the first decision you need to make is whether you would like a traditional upright vacuum or a cylinder machine? Both types are available in standard and compact versions and as bagged or bagless.
- Effective carpet cleaning using multiple heads.
- Adjustable head for maximum cleaning power.
- Better at cleaning pet hair.
- Good for cleaning large areas without obstacles.
- Larger, heavier and harder to move.
- Noisier than cylinders.
- Not easy to clean stairs.
- Not good at cleaning hard surfaces.
- Generally smaller, lighter and easier to move around.
- Accessories readily to hand.
- Suction head separate from machine for bigger cleaning area.
- Most models have cord rewind.
- Good at cleaning under and around furniture and on stairs.
- Bad at removing pet hairs unless motorized brush heads included.
- Harder to store.
Bagged or bagless
You can now buy bagged and bagless models of upright and cylinder vacuums. The bagless cleaners are generally more expensive because of their technology but the extra expense may be more than compensated for by savings you make on buying bags. Performance of bagged cleaners can also be compromised as the bag gradually fills up. Bagged models can be more hygienic, however, because the dirt and dust is collected in a sealed bag - a bagless unit must have its container emptied. If anyone in your house is asthmatic then choose a model which has the British Allergy Foundation seal of approval.
The power, in watts, of a vacuum is a pretty good indicator of how well it will perform at cleaning. Generally, the higher the wattage of the motor, the better the cleaning performance should be. A good figure for a cylinder cleaner is around 1400 watts, and 1300 for an upright.
Filtration and allergy sufferers
Filtration determines the size and number of particles there will be in the air when it is exhausted out of the vacuum with the majority of vacuum cleaners having a filtration rate of 99%. This does not have a bearing on how much dust or dirt the vacuum sucks up. Filtration is a feature of great importance to asthma sufferers and those who are sensitive to dust mites and pet allergens.
There are three basic types of filtration to choose from, standard, S-class/HEPA and lifetime filtration.
- Standard Filtration
A heater may be fitted with wheels or castors or a combination of both, so that you can move it around easily from room to room.
- S-class and HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air)
iltration is specifically designed to reduce the number of microscopic allergens emitted after vacuuming. HEPA filters claim to capture 99.97% of all particles resulting in a cleaner outflow of air that is safer for those with asthma and similar problems, to breathe in. For the highest possible filtration, look out for a HEPA 12 which claims to capture 99.95% of the most penetrating particles.
S-class is the name of the standard adhered to by vacuum cleaner manufacturers to achieve this aim, and HEPA filters are the technology most models of this type feature. Having a Hepa filter isn't good enough - it's also important that it fits correctly.
The above two methods of filtration will require a change of filter after a certain length of time. Lifetime filters, on the other hand, do not need replacing. They are guaranteed to filter the in-coming air throughout the life of the vacuum without compromising on suction power or filtration efficiency. Some S-class/HEPA filters are also Lifetime filters, but models featuring this type of filtration are usually more expensive.