Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review of DeLonghi DCH2590ER Ceramic Electric Utility/Portable Heater

The Delonghi DCH2590ER Safe Heat Ceramic Heater is a good choice for someone who is looking to warm up a small area with a device that is safe and easy to use. The Safe Heat shows you the current room temperature, lets you set a goal temperature, gives you three different fan speeds, can oscillate to provide a greater coverage area and features a remote control that lets you change your settings from across the room. 

How I found the Safe Heat 

My office is cold, cold, and did I mention it was cold? I work in the basement of a former train station that was built in the 1800’s – the walls are 6 foot thick granite blocks that absorb the cold and then reradiate it into the basement. Not only that, where do you think the cold air from the rest of the building eventually settles to? Yup, the all make it down to the basement. I can actually feel the flows of cold air when the doors upstairs open and close to the outside. 

So for all of us who have offices down here, a space heater is a necessity just to stay warm enough to function during the colder months. 

I had a small electric heater that was beginning to show its age and so I was looking for a replacement. I wanted something that was bigger and produced more heat. So when I was in Lowe’s one day and saw that their space heaters were on sale, I browsed until I came across this unit and for the sale price of about $20, I figured I really couldn’t go wrong. 

What you get in the box  

The Delonghi Safe Heat is a one piece kind of item, there’s nothing to assemble when you open the box except to remove the packaging material. In addition to the Safe Heat unit, you also get the remote control (with batteries) and a user manual. 

I would suggest that you read this manual. It provides start-up information and gives you an idea of what all the functions of your Safe Heat are and tells you what the individual buttons do on the heater (which can be a bit challenging if you haven’t read the instructions). 

The most important thing to do is to find a well ventilated site and let the Safe Heat run for an hour or two to let any material on the heating coils burn off. This is suggested in the manual and let me tell you – it was a life saver since the last thing I want to do is run my heater downstairs and have everyone complaining about the smell. I let it run for two hours at home and afterwards when I brought it to work, there was no smell with the Safe Heat when I run it.

Functions of the Safe Heat 

For a space heater, there are a whole bunch of functions. 

The most obvious is the one that reads the current temperature of the room, this is followed by a temperature control that lets you set your goal temperature for a room – the heater will run until it reaches that temperature and then if the temperature goes below it, it will automatically come back on to bring the temperature back up. 

There’s also the speed function which lets you adjust the heater’s fan from low speed up to high speed. In addition, you can allow the heater to oscillate back and forth or you can have it stay stationary. 

Not only that, there’s a timer function that lets you set the time and then set up a heating schedule so that the heater can come on before you come into a room or only heat the area at specific times. 

There is an automatic shut-off on the Safe Heat should it tip over or if it’s bumped. If it is tipped over when hot, the heating coils are protected within the heater and are covered by a hard metal mesh that won’t let the hot coils come into contact with anything else. 

Remote control… 

What will they think of next, right? A remote control for a space heater…I thought it was kind of funny. That was until I got it set up in my slightly undersized office and ended up having the heater slid slightly underneath a table to get the best amount of heat around where I was working. Instead of having to crawl underneath the table, I just pull out the remote and start up or turn off the Safe Heat. I can also adjust my goal temperature with the remote, change the fan speed or the oscillation mode and I can even set up the timer functions from the remote. 


The most important part of an electric heater, no matter all the functions, is how well it heats, isn’t it? 

The Delonghi Safe Heat does an admirable job of warming up my almost impossibly chilled workspace. For my needs, I set the goal temperature impossibly high so that the Safe Heat continually runs, otherwise it would just get too cold. So far this winter, it’s run like a trooper almost every day – keeping the chill from the wall away from me (I actually have it set to blow towards the wall so it warms up that cold air before it gets to me). 

I generally have it in a stationary position, not using the oscillation all that much. I also generally use the medium setting on the fan, which gives plenty of hot air and does what I need it to do. 

My only complaint isn’t really the Safe Heat’s fault, but a problem with all electric heaters like this. The air they heat is so dry that if you have it blow anywhere near you, you’ll likely end up feeling like a raisin in the sun – slowly drying out. I just make sure not to have it blow on me and to drink extra water whenever I have it running. 


The Safe Heat isn’t as noisy as other heaters that I’ve heard, but it isn’t ultra-quiet either. It’s loudest on its fastest fan setting and when it oscillates. On the stationary setting with a low fan setting, it is quite quiet. Generally – other folks down here can’t hear it and it’s not loud enough to interrupt phone calls or anything like that in my office. 

Heating area 

I have a smaller office and the Safe Heat does a decent job at maintaining a warmer temperature than the rest of the basement. That said it’s not going to heat up an entire house or even a larger room – that’s just not what these kind of heaters do. The Safe Heat is best used to warm up a small area or a nook of a larger room. I think it would also work well inside a cubical. 


I’ve been running the Safe Heat almost every day for several months without any change in performance, which I tend to think is probably almost like a Consumer Reports test, since I doubt most people would run their heater 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. 

I do dust off the Safe Heat from time to time, but besides that, I haven’t had any problems. 

In addition, since that initial break-in period, there’s been no smells from the Safe Heat. 

Final Thoughts 

For the $20 I spent on the Delonghi Safe Heat, I am more than happy with it. I would have still been happy if I spent the full priced $40 on it. 

It’s a versatile electric space heater with a number of different functions that should let it adapt to almost any need. It works especially well as a small office or workspace heater and gives you the ability to heat any way you see fit. 

If you’re in the market for an electric space heater, I’d suggest trying the Delonghi Safe Heat Ceramic Heater out, you’ll probably find a heater that will work for your needs. 

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