What every best has:
The infomercial ads also emphasize that the Heat Surge Roll-n-Glow electric fireplace will save you money, but reviewers agree that the electric heater unit (which is made in China) is no better or worse than most electric space heaters, most of which cost far less. Electricity can be an expensive way to heat a house, so the only way to save money with an electric space heater is to turn down the central heating and heat just one room. The price of the Heat Surge is competitive with other electric fireplaces, except that it's much smaller than most. The whole unit is only about 2 feet high and 2.5 feet wide.
The Heat Surge Roll-n-Glow electric fireplace can only be purchased from the manufacturer (online or by phone), so shipping costs for returns can be expensive. We found many complaints from buyers who wanted to return it, either to replace a defective unit or for a refund. There have been hundreds of complaints to Better Business Bureaus about the Heat Surge; the company's rating at the Canton, Ohio, BBB is a D+ at the time of this writing.
We found the best review of the Heat Surge Roll-n-Glow electric fireplace at Consumer Reports, where both a blog entry and a video discuss their tests and evaluation, including an examination of the manufacturer's ads and claims. A review at KABC (Los Angeles) includes a video interview with a man who bought the Heat Surge, focusing primarily on the company's claims that the fireplace saves owners money.
A review in The New York Times covers several aspects, including a probe into the actual involvement of the Amish in making the wooden cabinet. The Better Business Bureau in the Canton, Ohio, area rates the company's practices, while Good Housekeeping evaluates the heater itself. We found several bloggers discussing the Heat Surge Roll-n-Glow electric fireplace; two of the most useful are WalletPop -- for its credible information -- and The Alternative Consumer, which includes over 500 comments, many from buyers of the Heat Surge.