How good was that?
Summer, I mean. The long, hot Sydney summer that seems to have been here for ever. Those perfect days for enjoying the beach and the outdoors. It feels like it has been summer for ever, and it feels like it will never end.
Except it will. It always does.
A funny thing happens when it gets cold in Australia – the entire population of the country is completely shocked by it. We walk around in stunned disbelief that the temperature has dropped below 25 C, and act as if such a phenomenon has never, ever occurred before. We look at each other, wide-eyed in exasperation and exclaim “IT’S SO COLD! I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW COLD IT IS!”
I know this dance and I know it well, because EVERY SINGLE YEAR I too get caught out by the huge difference that a small drop in temperature can make. Every year, come winter, I realise just how cold my house can become, and every year I employ in vain the same old ineffective heating methods to try and fight away the cold.
That seems to be the thing about many Australian houses. They seem to have been constructed as if the builder had zero concept about this “winter” thing, and that they acted under the firm belief that Australia never, ever gets cold.
It’s true that we don’t get European cold. For most of the country we don’t get snow. Temperatures hover around single digits. But when builders decide that properly sealing gaps around windows and adding ceiling insulation is a waste of time and money, the result is that Australian houses get cold. Mine does and I bet yours does too.
This year I’m ahead of the game. I have the Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater ready to go. As soon as that temperature drops below my comfort levels, I’ll be ready.
I’m excited about this Vornado heater because it appears to be the answer to my question – how do I heat my downstairs living area?
Upstairs, we are okay. Ducted air-conditioning keeps things reasonably comfortable (not cheaply, mind you). But downstairs, in our main living area, it can become an ice box. Oil heaters are expensive to run and they take a long time to heat up. They are also very hot to touch once they get going. What about natural gas? The idea of burning gas in my living area doesn’t sit well with me, so they are out of the question. As for fan heaters… in my experience they are usually effective at heating approximately 1 square metre directly in front of them.
The Vornado VMH300 is different. Vornado have taken the fan heater concept and completely redesigned it to spread the generated heat evenly throughout the room. It does so efficiently and quietly, which sounds good to me. Vornado uses an airflow phenomenon called “vortex action” to send that warm air throughout the room.
My first impressions are very positive. It is a beautifully constructed heater. It’s brushed steel exterior and solid build are a far cry from the cheap-and-nasty fan heaters that I have had in the past. It’s 4.5 kilograms are easy to pick up and move from room to room (unlike the oil heaters), but still enough to make it feel like a quality product that is capable of generating some serious heat. Best of all, it is backed by a 5-Year Replacement Warranty, which shows that the people at Vornado believe in their product.
For the style-conscious, it looks great. The brushed steel and metal turn dials are far more pleasant on the eye than plastic fan heaters. It also takes up a lot less space than an oil or gas heater would. The Vornado VMH300 can also sit unobtrusively in a corner of the room, as it can warm the whole room without fuss – prefect if you don’t really want your heater on show, no matter how good it looks!
Crucially for those with toddlers around, the Vornado VMH300 is packed with multi-level safety protection. Tight grill spirals, tip over switch and an auto-shutoff when the VMH300 detects that airflow is obstructed all help to give me peace-of-mind when Hannah is around it. Add to that the cool-touch exterior and the Vornado VMH300 becomes a pretty compelling choice for those with little ones about.
How good is it?
Being the curious fellow that I am, I did have to try the VMH300 when it first arrived. As it was still summer-like conditions, I did the only sensible thing and tried it in a small, already warm room at full-strength…
Needless to say, it works. Within a couple of minutes I had to open the door and release the heat. It was seriously fast and the amazing thing was that the Vornado heater didn’t even seem to be trying. The VMH300 was quiet and not intensely hot directly in front of it. It just pumped warm air right throughout the whole room. Lesson learnt – low power in small spaces, save full-blast for the living areas… and don’t use during heat waves.
While that obviously wasn’t the best way to give the heater a test run, it filled me with great hope for my comfort levels this winter. Finally I am ahead of the game! For the first time in my life I will be truly prepared for the chill of winter.
Disclosure – Vornado provided Blog of Dad with the Vornado VMH300 free of charge, for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the Vornado VMH300. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.