Honeywell HZ-980 Review

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Honeywell HZ-980 Review
Bottom Line

Plain and unassuming in its black plastic case, the Honeywell HZ-980 quietly racks up some of the better reviews among larger infrared space heaters. It's feature packed, including digital controls and readouts, an energy usage indicator, a limited but useful timer, and a remote control.

ProsEfficient, Great spot heating, Good safety featuresConsLarge, Plain aesthetics, Pricey

Breaking it down

Performance

Have reasonable expectations. Some competing infrared space heaters are victims of their own marketing, promising better energy efficiency and heating performance than they can reasonably deliver under most circumstances. The Honeywell HZ-980 (made under license by Kaz), largely avoids most of that. Instead, testing reveals it to be a competent space heater that does a great job in spot heating, and a very good one in heating up even a reasonably large room. The manufacturer claims that the HZ-980 saves 35 percent in energy costs compared to a standard 1,500-watt heater, but that has not been independently verified. However, there is a built-in energy use meter for owners to monitor consumption for themselves.

Ease of use

Digital simplicity. The clean, digital controls on the Honeywell HZ-980 are judged to be very good when it comes to ease of use, and we saw no notable user complaints in that regard. There's a top-mounted control panel with digital readouts as well as a remote control. There's also a built-in 8-hour timer, but it is adjustable only in one-hour increments -- adequate but certainly not very flexible.

Safety

Strong safety features. The Honeywell HZ-980 is equipped with most of the safety features experts recommend. Those include a four-way tip-over sensor and overheat protection. The case stays relatively cool to the touch, but one expert testing organization comments that the area right around the heat exhaust can get a little toasty. Mommy blogger Cindi Riley notes the same thing, but adds that things don't get hot enough to cause serious worry of a child being burned.

Noise

In the ear of the beholder. One independent testing organization rates the Honeywell HZ-980‘s noise levels to be excellent. Most of the limited user reviews we spotted agree, or are silent themselves on the issue.

Buy from Amazon

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Honeywell HZ-980, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org tests the Honeywell HZ-980 as part of its large, comparative review of space heaters of all types. Space heaters are ranked and rated, based on evaluations of performance, safety, noise levels and more.

2. Amazon.com

Honeywell MyEnergySmart Infared Whole Room Heater, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2015

The Honeywell HZ-980 gets around a hundred user reviews at Amazon.com. The rating is a little concerning and we see an unusual number of reports of units that either arrived dead, or that failed prematurely. However, that pattern is not repeated at other sites, and users that received working heaters give it top grades.

3. BestBuy.com

Honeywell - MyEnergySmart Infrared Heater - Black Model HZ-980, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of November 2015

While it's based on less feedback, the satisfaction story at BestBuy.com is very different. Here, the Honeywell HZ-980 earns a solid 4.3-star rating, with just under 85 percent saying that they would recommend the heater to a friend.

4. Walmart.com

Kaz Inc Energy Smart HZ-980 Convection Heater, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of November 2015

The feedback at Walmart.com is even more positive than that at BestBuy.com, though again it's based on fewer reviews. Still, 96 percent of the nearly 25 owners that leave reviews and ratings say they would recommend the HZ-980 (sold here under the Kaz brand name, but it's the identical heater), and it earns a rating of 4.7 stars.

5. A Mom's Take

Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart Infrared Heater, Cindi Riley, Feb. 21, 2014

Mommy blogger Cindi Riley reports on her experience with the Honeywell HZ-980. She's upfront in revealing that she received her unit in exchange for the review, but the write up seems reasonably balanced. The infrared space heater is used in an 800 square-foot room and has "no problem heating and keeping this room at a comfortable temperature," Riley says.