Date: 31 October 2017. Handy Heater
Seaweed I do not watch television. Therefore the "As Seen on TV"
items flogged in late night commercials are beyond the scope of my
knowledge. When I came across a
Handy Heater in the local Walmart I
was intrigued. On sale last April for $20, I decided to take a
chance and bought the thing. Here's what you need to know.
The first thing that caught my attention was the wattage shown on
the box. That was 350 and much lower than many cube heaters.
I realized that the Handy Heater could run from my solar
array via the inverter.
Although my batteries would not sustain running this all day, my theory was I could turn it on for a half hour in the morning
to take off the chill in the main cabin.
Mine came from Walmart. In checking I did find the Handy
Heater on Amazon. As of today (Halloween, 2017) the price is
$19.64 with free shipping.
everything works in theory...
As President Reagan said "Trust, but verify"
I got out my
Kill A Watt meter.
It measures AC electric
(not 12-volt DC power)
My meter is older and not so fancy. It is just right for me.
This one was $20 while the spiffier ones run upwards of $100.
Frankly I don't need that
much information. I want to know how many watts something
uses. Knowing the total amperage over a set period of time is
useful as well.
For me, this unit is
P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
There are two fan speeds. When on standby, the Handy
Heater uses .01 watts.
The Handy Heater stands 6" tall and
is 3 1/2" wide. It is small.
From front to back, the unit protrudes about 5" from the wall.
When the fan is running on Low it uses .05 watts. On
High, the meter registers .06 watts.
You may notice the
number 69 on the digital control panel shown to the right.
That is the temperature I chose.
You can set the
temperature. That is user determined, between sixty and ninety
Handy Heater is designed to
plug into a wall outlet. You are not supposed to plug it into an
extension cord and sit it on the floor or a shelf. That is because
of the vents on the bottom of the unit.
The vents on the bottom cannot be blocked. The Handy
Heater must hang on a wall.
What fooled me was the wording on the box. It says
the plug can rotate. It turns 180 degrees which is wonderful. What
is not so great is that it won't click at 90 degrees. Aboard Seaweed
my outlets are horizontal. The Handy Heater is designed for vertical
The Red button on the side turns the unit on and off.
Although the box claimed the Handy Heater used 350
watts I was skeptical. I got out my
A Watt meter and did some testing.
Side Note: A Kill A Watt meter is
a good device to have in your tool arsenal. When I want to know the
amount of AC power something is using, this device tells me.
Although not a necessity I am surprised how often this tool is
And for the record, I would not
pay more than $20-$25 for one. I do not need the sort of detailed
information some of the fancy units provide. For me, this one is
There are two fan
settings on the Handy Heater.
With the heater on and a Low fan setting:
heater on and a High fan setting:
Additionally, there is a
timer. If you want the unit to shut off automatically you can turn
on the timer feature. The timer can be set between one and twelve
minutes. Otherwise, the Handy Heater runs continuously.
feature is that the unit will put itself on stand-by when the
pre-set temperature is reached. As the room cools it will come back
The heat is adequate IF you're right next to it. When
I get up out of my toasty bunk I turn on this little gem. Having a
heater that will keep me warm in my cabin while I get dressed is
rather decadent. As for heating a room, no. The
Handy Heater will not do
A secondary issue is that every
time you turn it on (Red Button on the side) it starts out at 90
degrees. That is not a huge problem as I want the heat while getting
One thing I do appreciate is that when you set the temperature, it
will automatically shut off when that number is reached. Often I
will turn it on when I get up, changing the temperature down to 68
degrees or so. When the area gets that warm the Handy Heater
automatically shuts off. The internal red lights remain lit however
the fan shuts down and no heat emits.
Would I buy
again? Perhaps. It's not perfect. I like that I can run it for a few
minutes while getting dressed. I'd be more enthusiastic if the
heater had cost me $10 rather than the $20 I spent. Such is life.
are here. I've written a few articles on staying warm aboard
Seaweed. A couple you might find useful include
As Winter Approaches
Warm Fuzzies (winter bedding).
autumn has arrived, having a Handy Heater aboard is rather nice. I
used it this morning.
I'd love to hear what you do to stay warm in the winter.
And, do you have a Handy Heater?
Manatee Bumps Algae
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