Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater Review

The affordable Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater will take the edge off a chilly room – but not much more

Verdict

If you're after a cheap and simple heater, the Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater could be for you. Compact and basic, we quite like its dimpled look – but its style will clash with some homes. More importantly, there are more effective units available. Lacking any tip-over protection, we can't recommend this heater if you have kids or pets.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Easy to move around the house

Cons

  • Styling won't work in every home
  • Not suitable for bigger rooms
  • No tip-over protection

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £30
  • 62cm wide convector heater
  • Three heat settings with thermostat
  • 2kW rating

What is the Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater?

The Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater has a matter-of-fact name and takes a no-nonsense approach. It’s small, light, simple and quite cheap: don’t expect much in the way of features and you won’t be disappointed. However, with no tip-over protection it isn’t ideal for a household where it might get knocked over. Its heating performance isn’t especially strong, either.

Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater – What you need to know

  • Heating performance – Powerful enough to take the edge off a small room, but don’t expect it to transform bigger spaces
  • Sound performance – With no fan, there’s virtually no noise. This heater won’t drown out the TV
  • Use and features – Simple to use, with a thermostatic control but no timer or remote. Without tip-over protection, we wouldn’t recommend it for a house with pets or kids

Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater design – Black, with dimples, but not much else

Fine Elements hasn’t messed about when coming up with a name for this product. The Contemporary Convector Heater is exactly that. It’s a relatively compact, modern-looking heater that’s light and easy to carry around using two built-in recessed handles.

Finished in gloss black and with large concave dimples on the sides, it looks a bit like a death metal golf ball – but they could hardly call it that.

At the bottom are two black plastic feet that you need to screw in yourself. We noticed that our sample had a slight wobble when placed on a hard floor, but both feet were correctly positioned.

The only controls are a dial to select between off and three different power settings, and a second dial for thermostatic control.

As with most cheap heaters, this is a simple electromechanical control without temperature markings. You get the room to the heat you want, then turn down the dial until the heater clicks off. An orange light shows when it’s emitting heat.

Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater features – All the features you need, except one

The included controls are all you need from a basic heater, but there’s one feature we wish it did have. There’s no tilt-switch to provide tip-over protection, so if the heater is knocked over, then it keeps on heating.

That could pose a fire risk near to carpets or soft furnishings, so we wouldn’t recommend this device for a home with dogs or children, a busy thoroughfare such as a hallway, or for unattended frost prevention.

With its simple mechanical controls, you could pair this heater with a socket timer or a smart switch for scheduled or automated heating – but again, the lack of tip-over protection makes this a bad idea.

To be fair, the heater’s manual explicitly warns you not to do this: the potential outcome of a smart switch turning on an up-ended heater when nobody is in doesn’t bear thinking about.

Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater performance – Adequate heating for a small room

Convector heaters work primarily by raising the temperature of the air immediately surrounding the heating element. This air becomes less dense, rising upward and drawing in cooler air. This generates a subtle circulation of heat within a room.

Since the Fine Elements heater doesn’t have a fan, there’s usually no noise other than some quiet ticking or buzzing as the elements do their work.

Turn on the Contemporary Convector Heater and the warm updraft starts almost immediately. As with all heaters using steel coil elements, there’s a smell the first time you turn it on – this is the elements’ protective coating burning off. With this heater the smell was so strong we had to open a window.

Convectors that have been left unused and uncovered for a length of time can also smell as they burn off house dust, but in regular use, they’re quite unobtrusive. Their lack of noise can make them good for use in a bedroom – but again, we’d find it easier to sleep knowing that we were protected against a tip-over accident.

In use, this Fine Elements heater hums quietly. Measured with our socket meter, it consumed 800W at the lowest heat, 1.3kW on the middle setting, and a maximum of 2.08kW. Tested on full power over 30 minutes it used just over a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity, which would typically cost about 15p.

We measured the effectiveness of the heater with two thermometers on opposite sides of a 48 cubic-metre bedroom. At the start of our 30-minute test, these indicated an average temperature of 20.4℃, which increased to just 21.3℃. While we could feel the room heating up, it did so more slowly than with other heaters we’ve tested.

Should I buy the Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater?

If you’re after a cheap and simple heater, the Fine Elements Contemporary Convector Heater may be for you. We quite like its dimpled look, but its style will clash with some home decor.

More importantly, its comparatively modest heating performance means the heater is only really ideal for the smallest rooms. Without a tip-over switch it isn’t suitable for homes with pets or children, timer operation or frost-prevention, making it far more difficult to recommend.

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