Unless you've become a recent devotee of spartaneity, you've probably seen one of the TV or print ads for the Heat Surge Roll-N-Glow Electric Fireplaces, commonly called Amish heaters. In the ads, Amish craftsmen radiate calm contentment as they craft wood mantels for the Heat Surge space heaters. The ads are so popular that they've generated the requisite parodies on YouTube. (Read the Consumer Reports review of the Amish heater.)
The Better Business Bureau has received complaints about a range of issues related to the heaters, including customer service, pricing, and service. Still other consumers have taken issue with Heat Surge's ads. As the Los Angeles Times reported last week, a BBB probe revealed that some of the people pictured in the ads are Amish and that the mantels, unlike the China-made heaters, are manufactured in this country.—Gian Trotta
Essential information: Heat Surge claims the heaters will help you "save big on your heating bills." (You can, if you employ zone heating.) "Don't Let Energy Savings Go Up and Out the Chimney" includes proven ways to save energy during heating season, with information on space heaters, programmable thermostats, and wood- and pellet-burning stoves.
The wooden case called a "mantle" may be pretty. But how does the heater differ from any other electric space heater?
There is no difference in btu output between this and any other 1500W electric heater. It looks better than one of those oil filled radiator types (the ones I use), but it isn't any more economical...
I knew exactly what you folks were gooing to say. No heater more than 1500 watts for plu in. I habve actually seen these rigs in Florida for $200 including the mantle. (a large one)
Keep up theood work. The things must cost them less than $50 to be able to advertise like that.
These heaters are a rip off. Customer service is horrible. Purchased them less than 6 months ago and they already quit working. Now they won't do anything about it. Buyer BEWARE!!!! PLEASE!!!!
I bought one of these heaters and had nothing but trouble with it and the customer service people. I tested the output with a meter and the wattage used and electric used to run this heater. They claim that the heater uses less energy than a coffee pot. BULL! A coffee pot uses 1000 watts and the heater uses 1500 watts. No matter what they may claim, you will add to your electric bill for very little comfort. And the Amish have nothing to do with the cabinet surround on the heater. These are made in a factory in Canton, Ohio.
Have one of these heaters, have no complaints. The oak mantle is very good looking. Is it worth the price-all depends on the buyer, I have no complaints.
I'm a senior..thought would save me money but when I called the customer service people they said I should 'add-on" another 150 for warranty. When I asked why they said 'it could be broken during shipping, or it might break down' etc...at that point I felt it was erroneous adv and now would not consider this item
PS. I am a retired credit manager and now on very low income status....not in a position to give my money away.
These things are scams;
1st, the FREE heater part. It's "FREE" if you buy a overpriced fake fireplace.
2nd, All electrical resistance heater are 100% efficient. It doesn't save you one penny vs the $30 heater you buy at hardware store.
I can't believe no state AG take these scum to jail yet.
I received the heater as a gift from my father as a house warming gift. Less than a week after he gave it to me he passed away. I have not had the unit long and the lights quit working in it so I emailed customer service they told me what to try to fix it. I emailed back that we tried what they suggested and it had a dimmer light then before. Customer service emailed back and told me that in order to help me further I needed to fax a death certificate or proof that I was over my fathers estate to talk about this further. I was very upset called the phone number and was treated very poorly and asked for a supervisor that also was unhelpful I asked to speak to someone else and she replied that she was over customer service and there was noone else to speak to and seemed to be giggling as she said it. My mother who is still living is on the credit card that was used to purchase the unit but that does not seem to matter to their customer service. The customer service is horrible and uncaring and seems to find humor in situations where there is non. The lady that I spoke to is Amanda 1-800-924-7964 Ext. 8937 if anyone from the company reads these comments I hope they make the needed customer service improvements.
My husband and I bought a $350 Amish heater for our son and daughter-in-law's anniversary. We had our son order it online Oct. 26, with his credit card. When it was delivered, the oak cabinet was broken ... looked like a fork lift had bashed into the side of the box. The delivery truck came and got it the following Thursday. They have been waiting patiently for a new one. I am online a lot.
I have had my heater for about 6 weeks now. I bought it on one of the TV shopping network. I really like the looks, the size and portability of this item but shouldn't they be honest about what it costs to run it? My bill was up about $50. for about 2 weeks use but I do use a heat pump and that didn't run much. It would cost plenty to return it; I applied for a $39.00 waranty but I get the run around each time I call to see where it is. If I have to have this thing repaired I would have to ship it and pay those costs so I don't think I would buy it again..
I hope others will respond about how much this item has raised their electric bill. It may save others from making a costly mistake.
By the way, the ads indicate these cabinets are hand made by the Amish in Ohio. That could be true as there are Amish craftsmen in a few different areas of the country..
What bothers me is magazines and newspapers, we'd like to believe we can trust for information, are running all those deceptive full page ads for these heaters. I hope eventually some consumer protection group will stop them.
We have 2 insert we bought last year. The fan is making a lot of noise. have you had these kinda complains. Our propane bill did go down but our electric bill was like a summer bill. High. If they work another year they would be worth the money on propane and we enjoy the flame. Love it in our bedroom which is on the n.e. side of the house and it is colder in there. Living in south central ok. we usually don't have a cold winter,but this year is cold. pat
I BOUGHT 4 OF THE FIRE PLACES AND THIS WEEK MY DAUGHTERS CAUGHT FIRE AT THE PLUG AND CAUGHT THE WALL ON FIRE BY LUCK SHE WAS IN THE ROOM AND SMELLED THE SMOKE AND YANKED THE PLUG OUT WE HAD IT CHECKED AND IT WAS THE PLUG AND NOT THE OUTLET SO WE;VE BEEN TRYING TO FIND OUT IF ANY ONE ELSE EXPERIENCED THIS PROBLEM NOW THE GRAND DAUGHTER IS AFRAID TO LEAVE HER TWO ON WHEN NOT IN THAT ROOM AND THEY DO REALLY RAISE THE ELEC. BILL PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANY ONE EXPERIENCED THIS PROBLEM. THANKS
These heaters are a joke. I bought one to use in my basement to help warm it up. As far as the claim of 9 cents/hr on low and 15 cents/hr on high there is no way. The first month we had it we ran it on low and it wasn't ever on all the time (only when we were in the room). I got my electric bill for the 1st months usage and we used more electricity than the previous year for the same time frame when we had Christmas decorations outside (and I mean alot of decorations-lights,blow ups, yard decorations,etc.) and this year we didn't put any of our decorations out. So explain how a space heater on low ran occassionally can use more than a Griswold like Christmas display.
I recently purchased one of these heaters. I have one small room (10x11) that is always cold. I was so excited to finally have something that would warm that chilly room up. I am disappointed to say, I am still wearing a sweater when I'm on the conputer and my fingers are still cold. The heater comes on for a bit and then drops back onto idle without even warming the room. Standing directly in front of the vent is about the only place that is warm - and then, not for very long as it kicks off in very short order.
Need I say how disappointed I am? I am on a limited income and had hoped this purchase would take care of my chilly room problem. Not so. I would urge anyone thinking of purchasing to think again. hcc
These things are the bane of my existance. I work for a utility company; people think that they're going to save money by using one and then I'm the one who gets yelled at when their electric bill goes up. You have to be operating the unit under certain circumstances to get any sort of benefit. You might save money if you use propane or heating oil for your heat, or the price of natural gas goes up drastically, but you'd have to use one of these to heat the room(s) you use the most and turn your heat down to 50 everywhere else. This may also work for you if you have a large house with a lot of extra rooms that you don't want to bother heating. Either way, good luck with what seems to be all around awful customer service and a crappy product. Added note - the claim that it uses as much electricity as a coffee maker may be true, but you'd be using a similar amount of energy if you left your coffee pot on for 12 hours a day!
I just got an iHeater from www.originaliheater.com The iHeater is pretty much the same thing just without the lame mantle. It works great, and they were able to get me a great deal on it.
what a hoax! first of all i get this package marked "made in china"...where to the amish come in...the woodwork only...but that's not the "TV impression". i think it's really unethical of the amish to participage in this deception...as at least i...viewed this as a "loving hands at home" item. i remember them saying it uses no more electricity than a teapot. everybody better check out their "teapot"! i don't know what it is but...i used this for my felines because the sales pitch was that it's energy efficient. what a lie! i used this to take the chill off the room for my cats and thought it was an additional savings because it provided a "night light"...until of course...i got the $400 electric bill. my electric
bill prior to that was $12...yes TWELVE DOLLARS. this thing is going in the garbage. the cats will just have to rely on their fur coats.
We are organizing a class action against the Heat Surge. Email Chairman@madeusafdn.org.
Just to comment on Vicki Van Leuven's comment on Feb 9th. The Amish may not even have ANYTHING to do with this product as most of them DO NOT WATCH TV and may be shamelessly being exploited in the whole process of these heaters. Even if they did make the mantle, they have nothing to do with the heaters and they probably sold those puppies for like pennies on the dollar.
Thanx people!! I have been shopping for one of the Amish Mantle Heaters for my son and his wife. They live in a coastel community and it does get COLD in their home. I wanted to give them a gift of warmth with style. NOT!! After reading the various customer comments, I will just hit Walmart or Home Depot to look for something else. My husband and I live in a mountain community and swear by our wood burning stove. It beats the price of propane and the ambiance is great.
Thank you to all the consumers out there that got took for your honest opinions. It has helped me make my decision.
Thanks for all the info, I was wanting to purchase an awmiish heater since they say it only costs 9 cents an hour instead of my high propane costs for my central heat. I guess I will have to reconsider Thanks you all for the input:)