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Gadget of the Week

Gadget of the Week: When heating gets smart

The Aeno Eco Heater is both a smart and efficient way to stay warm, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

What is it?

Winter is here with a vengeance. As much as we’d like to get by on natural warmth, we aren’t geared to deal with cold fronts that send temperatures plummeting. Out come the heaters, and up go our energy bills.

Gas heaters help keep the cost down, but they come with many downsides, from size itself to the risk of carbon monoxide being released. Unless one has a gas feed, changing gas canisters also becomes messy and inconvenient.

Now, welcome the Aeno Seasonal Premium Eco Smart Heater into your home. Probably the most elegant heater we have seen, it looks like a large flat-screen TV, and is a high-quality appliance that combines style, energy efficiency, and smart features. It can stand on its own legs, once fitted, or hang from a wall or ceiling – it is that light.

Some would even say it revolutionises the way we stay warm and, although that is taking it too far, one can see why they may see it that way.

Let’s first look at the specs: It’s a 700-Watt appliance, meaning it uses half the power of a typical electric space heater. It uses convection and infrared heating, meaning it heats up the air in the room as well as the bodies of people in the room, but to a controllable temperature.

The heat of the 11mm glass panel can be adjusted to anywhere from 60 to 120 degrees Celsius, and a heat sensor allows one to set the target temperature of a room. This only works in an enclosed space, however, and the heat is lost in a larger room with open doors.

The standout feature of the heater, though, is its exceptional energy efficiency. By using a combination of convection and infrared heating, it quickly and evenly warms a room while consuming less energy than traditional models.

Then there is its array of intelligent features, controlled via the Aeno app. It instantly pairs with a smartphone via Wi-Fi and the app can then be used to turn the heater on or off, adjust the temperature to a target level, and set timers.

The app allows extensive customisation, so that one can set a heating schedule or create a personalised routine that automatically turns the heater on and off at specific times, ensuring the right ambiance awaits you when you think you will need it.

Because it uses Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth, it can be controlled from anywhere in a house or in the world. Just in case travel or traffic forces a change in routine.

The app offers an added layer of security by providing real-time status updates and alerts, meaning one receives instant notifications if any issues arise. It has an IP44 rating, meaning it is protected against solid particles and can withstand direct jets of water splashes.

More significantly, the app includes a Scenario function, which automates “If-Then” processes, such as telling it to change the room temperature at a certain time, or turning off appliances when temperature rises or falls.

If there is one thing Aeno could have improved, it would have been to add visual cues or controls to the black glass panel, such as an icon of a flame to show it is on, and a display of the current temperature on the screen itself. After all, if it looks like a flat-screen TV, it could act a little more like one!

What does it cost?

Starting at R5,499 from Makro, Takealot and other outlets, including the following Gauteng stores: @IT Stoneridge; @IT Lambton; @IT Parkmeadows, and @Cherry on It in Rustenburg.

Why does it matter?

The Aeno Seasonal Premium Eco Smart Heater is a reliable companion for cold winter days. Its energy efficiency, coupled with its smart features, making it an excellent choice for small to medium-sized rooms. The sleek and modern design adds a touch of elegance to any living space. While it may not be the most powerful option for larger rooms, it offers a combination of functionality, convenience and control. It’s like having a personal heating assistant.

What are the biggest negatives?

  • It can be a bit pricey compared to regular electric heaters.
  • It’s not as powerful as cheaper electric heaters, although it uses far less power.
  • It’s not ideal for large rooms.

What are the biggest positives?

  • Thanks to being a 700W appliance, it’s highly energy efficient.
  • The sleek, modern design means it is an elegant addition to any room.
  • A variety of smart features allows one to control it via a smartphone app.
  • A combination of convection and infrared makes for quick, efficient heating.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Threads on @art2gee

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