Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater

Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater

Pros

  • Fast
  • Great heat from a small electric heater
  • Makes small and medium-sized rooms toasty
  • Makes larger spaces comfortable
  • 5 year replacement warranty
  • Safety features

Cons

  • Brushed steel attracts fingerprints
  • Quality costs money

WINTER IS HERE!

As Australians, we seem to have an incredibly short-term memory when it comes to cold weather. We enjoy those amazing, long hot summers, then… cold. Then we whinge and whine and complain about how cold it is, as if the exact same thing didn’t happen last year, and the year before, and the year before…

Even more amazing is that we just don’t seem to be capable of preparing for it. Did you not buy a heater last year? Why do you need to go out and buy another one this year? Chances are it’s because the one you bought last year turned out to be woefully inadequate and it went out with all the other cheap and nasty discarded goods in the spring council clean up. That is a pattern of behaviour that I know I was guilty of, and I bet I’m not alone.

The vicious cycle goes like this: It suddenly becomes unbearably cold. Panic. Go to the shops and buy a heater that comes in pretty packaging and promises great things (for as cheap as possible). Take it home. Plug it in. Spend the rest of winter huddled up directly in front of the heater’s woefully inadequate output because that is the only point in the room that is actually warm. Discard said heater as soon as the weather warms up. Promise yourself to do better next year. Forget all about it three days into summer. Repeat.

We can do better! We deserve to life in comfort and warmth. The Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater could be just what we need…

 

Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater

I wrote my First Impressions post of the Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater just over a month ago, when the Sydney weather finally started to cool. It was at the end of a particularly long and hot summer, which made the difference in temperature particularly noticeable for most of us Sydneysiders.

At the time, my first impressions were very positive. I had found the little heater to be more than capable of dealing with the initial chill in my house. But that wasn’t truly winter. That was just a little drop in temperature. Now that it has been properly cold for a few weeks, I can provide a greater insight into the performance of the Vornado VMH300.

 

Small Room Performance

If you like to be toasty warm in a single room, the VMH300 Whole Room Heater has you covered. As I write this I am sitting in a moderately-sized bedroom/study. My Groegg reliably informs me that the temperature is a toasty 23.9 C. I have had the Vornado running at full capacity for just under eleven minutes.

The great thing about the design of the Vornado VMH300 is that the temperature is consistent throughout the whole room. It is great at distributing the warm air evenly, which means that I don’t have to sit directly in front of it to feel the benefit. Gone are the days of needing to have a fan heater directly under the desk to try and stay warm.

The Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater has turn dials for further fine-tuning the output, so once a room is sufficiently warm you can keep it at your desired temperature, without it becoming suffocatingly hot.

Although I am currently using it in one of the smaller rooms of my townhouse, the output is sufficient to make any standard-sized enclosed room toasty warm.

 

Larger Spaces

The main purpose of the Vornado VMH300 in our townhouse is to heat the notoriously-difficult-to-warm downstairs living area.

There are several factors at play here. Firstly, it is a reasonably large area (for a townhouse). It essentially covers the entire ground floor.

Secondly, like many Australian houses, our townhouse was built with a “winter isn’t really a thing that happens in Sydney” mentality. The large amounts of glass are all single-glazed and installed in the usual sealing-optional way. There is a half-centimetre gap at the bottom of our front door and the same leading to the laundry. Keeping that space warm is not easy.

Thirdly, the room is tiled. When the tiles are cold, it takes an age for them to warm up.

In the past we have tried numerous oil and fan heaters. The oil heaters take forever to heat up and, while toasty warm in the near vicinity, the heat drops away rapidly the further from the heater one is. Our previous fan heaters have been okay when sitting directly in front of them but, like the oil heaters, they create a small warm spot.

The Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater boasts the ability to circulate warm air throughout a room. It certainly does a better job than other heaters that I have tried. To test the ability of the VMH300, I placed the Groegg approximately six metres away from the heater. The starting temperature was a chilly 18.5 C. After about 20 minutes the temperature had climbed to about 19.5, then after another ten minutes it hovered around the 20 degree mark.

In the large space, the room is noticeably warmer closer to the heater, but it doesn’t create a little bubble of warmth like my other heaters have in the past. Generally speaking, the Vornado VMH300 makes the whole space pleasant enough to feel comfortable.

If I know I am destined to spend an evening on the couch, I turn the VMH300 directly towards where I am sitting. I find that creates a very comfortable environment for relaxing in front of the television.

 

Safety

As I am a parent, the safety of appliances around toddlers is paramount. Heaters like my old oil heaters are out of the question, as they become very hot to touch. In fact, many heaters start to look just a little risky when viewed through the lens of fatherhood.

The Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater is about as safe as a floor-based heater can get (obviously out of reach heaters like reverse-cycle air conditioner are also very safe). The designers at Vornado have taken the time to really consider appropriate safety features. The tight grill spirals, tip over switch, auto-shutoff and cool-touch exterior all help in giving me peace of mind when Hannah is in the room. I particularly like the cool-touch exterior, as Hannah does like to touch the heater.

 

Build Quality

The Vornado VMH300 oozes build quality. It is subtly stylish and it uses quality materials. My previous fan heaters have been mostly made of plastic, but the VMH300 is predominantly metal. The brushed steel exterior is pleasing to touch (although it can attract fingerprints). The metal turn dials feel solid and robust.

Best of all, the Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater is backed by a 5 year replacement warranty – a sure sign that Vornado believe in the longevity of their product. As a person who has grown sick of seeing huge amounts of wastage through poorly-made, cheap products, this makes me very happy. I think it’s high time we consumers start expecting this kind of backing for the products we purchase.

 

Price

At a recommended retail price of $299, the Vornado VMH300 is definitely not in the “budget” category. The question I then have to ask myself when considering such a purchase is, “will it do the task I want it to do?” In my experience so far, “budget” heaters have fallen short of the mark.

The Vornado VMH300 has made my whole downstairs living area a comfortable place to be. It does a good job of taking the chill out of the air reasonably quickly. It will never make such a large space toasty-hot, but that would be an unrealistic expectation of any plug-in heater. If I want toasty, I’ll take the VMH300 into the bedroom and close the door. In the small and medium-sized spaces of my townhouse, it does an exceptional job of quickly creating warmth. To me, that capability of the Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater, combined with its warranty-backed longevity, make it well worth the investment.

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