What every best Space Heaters has:
- The right heat for the job.
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.
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.
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 ConsumerReports.org 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.
In the ear of the beholder. ConsumerReports.org rates the Honeywell HZ-980‘s noise levels to be Very Good. Most of the limited user reviews we spotted agree, or are silent themselves on the issue.
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.
The Honeywell HZ-980 gets nearly 145 user reviews at Amazon.com. The 3.4-star 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.
While it's based on less feedback, the satisfaction story at BestBuy.com is very different. Here, the Honeywell HZ-980 earns a strong 4.3-star rating based on more than 90 reviews, with 85 percent saying that they would recommend the heater to a friend.
The feedback at Walmart.com is even more positive than that at BestBuy.com, though, again, it's based on fewer reviews. Still, the more than 40 owners that weight in seem pleased, and this space heater earns a rating of 4.7 stars. However, it may be worth noting that some reviewers here received free products in exchange for their reviews, which could skew the rating.
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.