We ended up with four of these. They are relatively quiet. Heat starts the moment it is turned on. You can use it to heat an area or direct it towards yourself.
We only run them on the low setting (600 watts) and they do just fine. We live about 50 miles north of NYC, and it gets cold here, but we have not needed to use the high setting (1500 watts).
We only use our oil furnace-forced air heating system, which is in theory the primary heating system in our house, to heat things up in the morning and early evening, and it is off all night long. We run it for maybe a total of 90 minutes on very cold days.
We also have oil-filled electric heaters, which also work wonderfully well (and have no fan), and I think for a smaller space, these Sunbeam heaters are actually more efficient. Great for heating up a cold bathroom in the morning (yes, it is advertised for use in bathrooms even though the box says not for use in bathrooms...so use them with care around water).
We use three of them to keep the house warm over night and have had no problems (we use one of the oil-filled heaters in the bedroom, as I like total quiet).
We did initially return one for an exchange because it became rather noisy. May have been a defective fan part. But we've been using these four non-stop since mid-autumn, and we are extremely pleased with their performance.
The specs don't say anything about a two speed fan, yet even on the low setting it seems that the fan sometimes cranks up to a higher speed when needed.
Based on comparisons of our electric bill from this year to last--when we were using the oil filled electric heaters more than now--they are indeed quite efficient.
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