Supplying heat to heatless places is tricky. First of all, there's a reason why your existing system--HVAC, radiators, electric baseboards, etc.--doesn't service that area. Maybe the furnace isn't powerful enough to cover your home, plus that additional area you want to heat. Maybe it's a basement that was never intended to be finished but now is. Or maybe the previous homeowners were cheapskates.
Fixing the Temperature Problem
So, you're left with plugging that gap somehow. Extending your home's heating system to additional areas can get very expensive. If the furnace isn't big enough, you need to buy up. Extended radiators require the assistance of a plumber (again, expensive). Even electric baseboard heaters need electricians. And forget about using little plug-in area heaters. hey don't put out enough heat, plus they're ugly. Is there a middle solution?
I tested the DeLonghi Micathermic Flat Panel Radiator Heater to see if it could work as an acceptable stop-gap between full-blown heating system extension work and crummy little space heaters.
Wall-Mount or Freestanding Installation
The best thing about the DeLonghi is that it attaches to the wall. It has a hanger clip that attaches to the wall with two screws. The heater hangs on the clip. At the bottom of the heater are two screw holes to further secure the heater to the wall and prevent it from being accidentally flipped upward.
Alternatively, two caster wheel stands can be attached to the bottom for free-standing, rolling operation.
While the heater is light enough to attach to drywall with its intended anchors, it could have been improved if either set of holes (top or bottom) had been the conventional width of studs, which is 16 inches.
Instead, the top holes are 5.25" wide and the bottom holes are 17.25" wide. While a minor point, it's always nice when you can place two screws in studs. To combat this issue, try placing one screw in a stud, if possible, and the other in the hollow drywall.
How the DeLonghi Micathermic Heater Performs
At 1500 watts, the DeLonghi does a nice job of heating small spaces like bathrooms. Set at max heat in a 24 square foot basement bathroom, it can increase the temperature 15 F in just 30 minutes.
In the larger space of a basement living room (about 150 square feet) it can raise the temperature by about 7 F within an hour. This heater is not intended for spaces of that size, so the results are admirable.
Operation of the De Longhi is simple: two dials on the right-hand size and a "pilot light" that indicates that the heater is operating. One dial controls High and Low power settings, and the other dial controls the thermostat. It also has a frost-prevention mode, which keeps room temperatures at about 41 F.
The Bottom Line
All in all, a simple heater to operate. Its black flat panel design is modern, sleek, and unobtrusive. It would be a plus if DeLonghi offered more wall-blending colors such as white or ivory.
As a radiator-type heater, it heats up spaces slowly--as it is intended to do--and practically sips energy as it maintains its target temperature.
If you're looking for a cheaper solution to extending your home's heating system, this DeLonghi may just be the way to go.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.The author donates most review items to Habitat For Humanity Re-Store.