Devola Designer Review 2kW Lot 20 Glass Panel Heater WiFi Controlled

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The expression out with the old, in with the new is very fitting, especially when it comes to home heating! For most people, gone are the days of heating a house without electricity, mainly because traditional ways of heating a house such as using gas lamps and fireplaces are not economical or feasible if you leave in a flat.
People are gradually being steered to "smart electric everything", including electric cars and electric heaters. Gas powered central heating is slowly being phased out too (at least in the UK) with a gas boiler ban taking place in 2025. With electric heating being the only feasible option, most people will be eventually using some type of electric heater and, there are many to choose from.
Electric heater types include halogen heaters, electric fan heaters, convector heaters, oil-filled electric radiators, storage heater and panel heaters such as the Devola Designer (pictured below), which is a 2kW glass panel heater with Wifi control so, you can operate it via a smartphone or tablet. 
Being a panel heater, the Devola Designer is direct acting, meaning it provides rapid heat and has a maximum output of 2kW, which means it gives out 2kW of heat without any losses. A cheap and cheerful fan heater also generates rapid heat by using a fan motor to blow the hot filament, which not only makes noise but, it also uses more electricity to operate the fan motor. 
The Devola Designer panel heater does not use a fan to blow heat. Instead, the Devola Designer panel heater uses the convection method of heating cold air. The Devola Designer panel heater has vents on the bottom and top. Cold air enters at the bottom, gets heated by the element and warm air comes out the top. The front panel does get warm so, it provides some radiative heat too.
The Devola Designer panel heater can be mounted on a room wall or conservatory, although you probably don't want to mount it too high though, certainly not at eye level. Because of how convection works, you will end up with a very warm ceiling and a cold floor, as cold air will not be sucked in from the area lower down. 
When mounting the Devola Designer on a wall, be aware of "Thermal Tracking" or soot markings that can appear on the side of the wall above the heater. All wall-mounted electric heaters can experience this issue, which is caused by dirt and moisture particles in the converging into the heat path, creating a dirt track.
The bare bones of the Devola Designer is a convector heater mounted behind a black glass fascia covering the actual heater housing which is made of black anodized aluminium metal. The glass front has a mirror finish designed to mimic a flat screen TV. The front of the glass features rubber feet (one on each corner), which are designed for safely resting the glass front of the panel heater on a floor. The power cable measures 1.4 meters long.
On the right corner of the glass panel, there is a 4x4 inch touch sensitive display with large pixel numbering and seven backlit icons that represent the heater's functions, including Comfort Mode, Eco Mode and Anti-frost mode, which is designed to prevent frosting by delivering a slow leak of heat. When enabled, anti frost mode will automatically kick in when the ambient temperature is below 5 degrees centigrade and turn off automatically when ambient temperature rises above 5 degrees centigrade. 
There is no way to manually adjust the output of the Devola Designer; hence it constantly outputs 2kW. That said, when the panel heater is set to Eco mode, it effectively halves the output down to 1kW. There is no way to turn the heater's display off while keeping the heater on. The highest thermostatic setting you can set the Devola Designer panel heater is 50 degrees centigrade.
Along with the Devola Designer panel heater, there are some accessories included. You get two plastic support feet, weighing 72 grams each and measuring 24cm long, 5cm wide and 5cm tall, as well as thick metal brackets. 
There is also a IR remote included that weighs 13 grams and measures 85mm long, 45mm wide and 5mm thick. The remote has four switch bounce buttons for powering on/off the unit, increasing/lowering temperature and changing modes. The remote uses a single CR2025 coin cell battery and works in direct line of sight up to 2 meters in range.

You won't need an electrician to set up the Devola Designer as it's plug-and-play. You can set it tree standing, which only requires a screw driver for screwing the included plastic feet to the base of the heater. 
Wall mounting the unit requires more tools like an electric drill for drilling holes in the wall, as well as a spirit level and tape measure, which are not included. Metal brackets, screws and wall plugs are included though.
Electric panel heaters can use either infrared radiation heat transfer or convection heat transfer like the Devola Designer does by heating the air at low level and then, circulating it throughout the room. Halogen heaters use radiation heat transfer, which works like a beam of heat, beaming heat directly at anything within range. This type is very useful for outdoor settings; hence why pubs use them in winter for people sit outdoors drinking a pint of beer.
The Devola Designer 2kW glass panel heater is Lot 20-complaint, according to the European Ecodesign Directive legislation that came into place on 1st January 2018, which requires any type of electrical heating device to integrate an electronic thermostat, as well as a 24-hour/ 7 day timer with either adaptive start or an open window sensor if the electric heater is to be mounted on a wall
Because of the Lot 20 directive, the old type storage heaters have been phased out in favor of smart storage heaters and high heat retention storage heaters, which don't leak heat constantly throughout the day. The Lot 20 legislation doesn't invalidate non-complaint electric heaters but put tighter control on how companies are to manufacture electric heaters from now on.
model DVPW2000B - 2020 version
Setting up the Devola Designer for Wifi control is easy. Simply download the Smart Life app from the Google Play Store or App Store or, scan the QR code within the pages of the user guide to download the app. After download, you need to install the app and find the Heater option under Small Home Appliances. 
Like most mobile apps, the Smart Life app works via the 2.4Ghz Wifi network of a router. If your router is dual band, it's likely set to broadcast 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, which is not supported by most mobile apps, including the Smart Life app. 
Fortunately though, you can bypass this without having to change the settings of your router by changing the Wifi network band from your smartphone to 2.4Ghz only. If you use a powerline adapter to connect to your route, you can also change the Wifi network band from the powerline adapter settings.
Once the Smart Life app is installed, you need to create an account and add the Devola Designer as a device, which takes under a minute. You will be then presented with a main menu with the heading "Intelligent Heater" with a nice image as the background and spinning watch-like spikes.
The heading "Intelligent Heater" can be edited so, you can rename it to anything you want. Inside the spinning watch-like spikes, there is the target temperature setting in large fonts and the current temperature in degrees centigrade in smaller fonts. 
Beneath the current temperature, there are three modes (Low, High and AF), Minus/Plus buttons for increasing and decreasing the target temperature, as well as a schedule tab and a power button. The Devola Designer 2kW glass panel heater will make an audible beeping sound when upping and downing the temperature. From the schedule tab, you can set a timer and/or set schedule for when you want the panel heater to turn on and turn off. 
From the Smart Life app, you can also set third-party control via Alexa or Google Assistant. Naturally, you will need an Alexa speaker (i.e. Echo Dot) or Google Home speaker. There is also a "share device" facility for you to allow a person with a Smart Life account to control the panel heater. 
As far as actual running costs, it would depend on your electricity tariff. According to UK power Networks, the average electric tariff is 14.37p/kWh. So, running the Devola Designer panel heater at full 2kW for one hour would cost 28.74p. Gas powered central heating is probably cheaper to run but panel heaters offer several advantages such as more precise control of temperature, which you can program for a 24 hour period, allowing to arrange your heating around your daily routine. 
The Devola Designer panel heater will switch itself off when the desired temperature has been achieved and switch on again once temperature drops down by 3 degrees. When switched off, the panel heater can take up to 15 minutes to be cool to touch; hence it gets hot during operation. That said, it is safe to mount on a plasterboard or wood cladding wall, as long as the wood cladding has been treated and sealed to British Standards. You can buy the Devola Designer 2kW glass panel heater on Airconcentre as well as buy it on amazon. Check out the review of the Devola dehumidifier the review of the Devola desk fan

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