are Pelonis heaters safe

Are Pelonis heaters safe? (A critical review)

Are Pelonis heaters safe? Pelonis is a space heater brand that sells affordable heaters, such as ceramic tower heaters, oil-filled radiators, and electric heaters. Pelonis heaters come in all sizes and in various price points.

Some popular Pelonis heater models are significantly cheaper than their higher-end advertised counterparts from brands such as DeLonghi. Are these cheap Pelonis heaters safe?

In this article, we find out whether Pelonis heaters are as safe as other brands. Also we uncover the most common safety issues with Pelonis heaters. Yes, there are some. So, let’s have a look.

Quick answer: Yes, Pelonis heaters are generally safe. Pelonis provides the same safety features as other brands and produces their heaters to common safety standards. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Sometimes, Pelonis heaters with issues seem to pass quality control, which is why some heaters might be faulty. If you receive such a model, you can always return it.

By the way: As an independent blogger and electrical engineer, I am not affiliated with Pelonis. This is a critical and realistic review!

Are Pelonis heaters safe?

First off, as with all heaters that are sold in the US, Pelonis heaters have to fullfil safety regulations and standards. Pelonis heaters adhere to the common ETL and UL standard for space heaters. In general, all heaters that are tested under these standards fulfill a good basic set of safety criteria.

Safety features in pelonis heaters

Let’s have a look at the safety features Pelonis advertises.

Usage of fire resistant materials

One thing that looks interesting is that some Pelonis heaters made of fire resistant cool to the touch ABS UL94 material. I have no clue what this is, so let’s investigate:

UL 94 is a United Laboratories standard. It standardizes the flamability of plastic materials. There are different flamability grades. Pelonis does not specify the flamability grade in its product descriptions on amazon. In the worst case, this means the plastic material is “slow burning”. You would prefer “no burning”, right?
I am sure that if the material was graded higher, Pelonis would have mentioned it.

Overheat protection is built in

To make Pelonis heaters safe, most heaters come with overheat protection. Overheat protection is a simple mechanism that switches the heater off once it gets too hot. The heater, therefore, draws only a limited amount of power over time. This reduces the risk of fire.

Tip over protection

Also, there is tip over protection. The tip over protection is a mechanism that detects when a space heater tips over. Heaters should always stand upright because that is the way they are designed. Also, it protects the heater from igniting when its damaged. Imagine your oil-filled radiator tips over and leaks oil. I am sure you don’t want the electric heating element to keep heating until the leaked oil catches flames.

You can plug it directly into a wall outlet

Pelonis advertises that you can plug any Pelonis heater directly into a wall outlet. To me, this sounds a little ridiculous. Where else would you plug the heater instead? Also, why would plugging something else in between the heater and wall outlet help with safety?

As a Pelonis customer, I do not want to think about such stuff. It should be absolutely safe to plug it into a wall outlet. No need for Pelonis to mention it. Or is that something special?

Most Pelonis heaters draw 1500W of power. This is the most common power rating for heaters in the US. And I assume that any wall outlet in the US should be able to handle 1500W power output. There are also some smaller 900W heaters available for paranoid users. But all in all: To me it is natural that I am able to plug my electric devices in any wall outlet I have at home. There is no need to advertise it.

Additional safety features present in Pelonis heaters

In the section above I have listed safety features most Pelonis heaters are equipped with. In some heaters, however, Pelonis offers some additional nice-to-haves.

Some heaters, for example, have programmable temperatures (using a thermostat) and heating times.

Thermostats ensure that the heater uses just the right amount of energy to keep your room at the desired temperature level. This works through a thermometer that constantly senses the present temperature in your room. Once the target temperature is neared or surpassed, the heater will adapt the heating power. Thermostats ensure that energy is not wasted. Also, they provide another layer of safety. With a temperature controlling thermostat, as long as the heater is working properly, it is impossible for the heater to overheat.

Some Pelonis heaters also have built-in fans. To ensure maximum safety, those heaters oftentimes rotate in order to distribute the heat in all directions. This reduces the risk of a fire. But the movement might catch the interest of pets such as cats.

Safest Pelonis heaters

We care about safety. So, what are the safest Pelonis heaters?

Personally, I like the Pelonis oil-filled radiator most (click here to see my review of it). The reason is not the brand itself, but oil-filled radiators are the safest sort of space heater.

The Pelonis oil-filled radiator is safer than the Pelonis electric or ceramic heaters because the heating element is embedded inside the oil-filled metal heating body.

Therefore, with an oil-filled radiator, it is impossible to touch it and burn yourself or even cause a fire. Oil-filled radiator surfaces of course get hot. But it’s not dangerously hot. Just as hot as a heat source needs to be without causing serious threats to safety.

Other brands also build good and safe heaters, but Pelonis has a convincing price-quality relation. Pelonis still uses sturdy and solid materials. They just seem to produce their heaters more efficiently and cheaply. But as long as you are satisfied with “good and solid” instead of “perfect” quality, you are well set with a Pelonis heater.

How safe are Pelonis heaters compared to other brands?

Compared to other brands like DeLonghi, Pelonis has no safety disadvantage. Pelonis has to adhere to national safety regulations like any other brand, otherwise, they wouldn’t be allowed to sell their heaters. 

In general, there is no safety disadvantage when buying a Pelonis heater.

One point, however, would be reasonable to make. I am just speculating, but I would assume that Pelonis saves some money on quality assurance. They are producing lots of heaters for cheap prices. In general, the heaters are good. But on rare occasions, there are exceptions to the rule, as you can tell from the amazon user ratings. This is, where I would assume that Pelonis cuts some corners.

Interestingly, more expensive brands such as DeLonghi have the same quality assurance problems, only a little less often. Not all heaters are perfect. But DeLonghi heaters may be perfect a little more often.

The safety of a heater corresponds to the price point

The safety of a heater doesn’t depend on the brand. At least not for the most part. What is more important is the price point of the heater.

Cheap heaters generally tend to be engineered with fewer safety features and lower-quality materials. Whereas more expensive heaters tend to be more durable, fire-resistant, and safe.

One interesting note about heaters: Since all heaters consume 1500W of energy, they all heat the same. A cheap 1500W heater can heat your room just the same as an expensive 1500W heater. The price difference comes from materials used and engineering expenses. Therefore, expensive heaters don’t heat better but they are usually safer.

Of course, this is a generalization. Some heater brands produce very good cheap heaters and are exceptions to this. Pelonis heater products are cheap. But within the set of Pelonis products, you find heaters ranging from $30 to $300. Here, the more expensive Pelonis heaters are safer.

Note that all Pelonis heaters conform to the same safety regulations. Pelonis would argue that all of their heaters are perfectly safe to use. But from my engineering experience, I would argue that safety comes with higher prices.

Potential safety issues with Pelonis heaters

So far, I have only mentioned positive aspects about Pelonis heater safety. But upon deeper investigation, I discovered some potential flaws in Pelonis heaters. These flaws are rare and they occur across brands. They are not unique to Pelonis.

As a manufacturer, Pelonis produces hundreds of space heaters daily. They go through quality control and after a few weeks they end up in the customers’ homes.

When I worked in the heating industry as an engineer myself, I found that not all issues are detected in quality control. That is the reason that sometimes customers are unsatisfied with their products. Even if just 1 out of 1000 products has an issue.

Here are some safety issues with Pelonis heaters:

1. Pelonis heater leaks oil

According to one customer, their Pelonis oil-filled radiator “started leaking oily liquid”. This can happen if the oil-filled radiator’s heating body is not fully enclosed or has microfractures. Even bad transport can cause this. Or when the heater tips over and hits a sharp edge.

The oil encapsulated in the oil-filled radiator is not dangerous. However, leaking oil is always a bad sign and you should immediately discard the heater for a new one.

2. Pelonis space heater makes sharp noises

Another customer reports, their heater “just makes a high pitched noise and sounds dangerous”. These noises can come from imperfections in the electronic circuitry. Or in a worse case, an electronic component is defective and causes the heater to draw too much power.

The high power consumption needs an escape valve which is the production of these noises. Space heater noises are oftentimes bad signs, but other times they are harmless.

If your space heater makes noises, I have made this video with example noises, so you can troubleshoot your heater:

3. Too thin power cord

“AC power cable in the heater is too thin. I cannot believe the manufacturer use this kind of cable for 1500W heater.”

review on amazon

Space heaters draw a lot of power. A common space heater consumes 1500W of power. That is the amount of power that most wall outlets can handle. There are some high-power space heaters that consume more power, for example, 2500W. And some other space heaters consume less, for example, 500W. 

The higher the power is that an electric space heater draws from the wall outlet, the thicker the power cable must be. The reason is that thin cables quickly overheat and burn when too much current flows through them. This is, by the way, how a lightbulb works.

If the power cable is too thin, there is an increased risk that the cable overheats. In rare cases, this is what leads to cable meltdown and fires.

Normally, all space heaters are tested and designed to suit government requirements. Otherwise, companies are not allowed to sell their products. Therefore, in general, I would assume that the “too thin power cable”-issue happens only rarely. Either the manufacturer tried to save money on cables, or the product is bad. In both cases, the space heater company (e.g. Pelonis) would quickly lose credibility and trust.

If you worry about too thin power cords, then just buy the space heater and plug it in at home. Does the cable heat up? If yes, then it is too thin. Just return the space heater and you’re done.

Conclusion

Pelonis heaters are generally safe heaters. They provide the same safety features as other heater brands. Also, you can expect a similar build quality.

Of course, some people find quality issues and write negative reviews for Pelonis heaters. But that also happens for other heater brands like DeLonghi.

If you want to save some bucks, don’t hesitate to buy a Pelonis heater. I am perfectly happy with them.

About the Author

Daniel Hirsch

Daniel is an electrical engineer, blogger, and author. He studied electrical engineering and information technology and decided to blog about heaters after working in the temperature sensing industry.