Barely coming up short of winning an award, the Comfort Zone CZ523RBK is a terrific space heater with very few flaws. This model offers fantastic heating performance and distributes heat very well, even without the oscillator turned on. Its small footprint makes it a great choice to fit below a desk, and its strong fan works well in larger open spaces.
Comfort Zone CZ523RBK Review
Pros: Fantastic performance, convenient features, fall-over protection
Cons: No fan-only option, mediocre efficiency, pricey
Manufacturer: Comfort Zone
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This space heater finished just below the top spot in our product comparison extravaganza, falling just a few points behind in some key metrics. We found this model to have several convenient features — it has a digital thermostat, a timer, fall-over protection, and we especially love the innovative remote control holder on the backside of the Comfort Zone CZ523RBK.
The CZ523RBK works fantastically beneath a desktop. It fits very nicely in tight places thanks to its small footprint as long as there's room for its tall profile. It heats the area below the desk up evenly without using the oscillation setting.
When we used the Comfort Zone in a living room setting we were even more impressed. We found that this model produces a nice, warm breeze from 5 feet away.
When it comes to elements that add to its convenience, the CZ523RBK brings a lot to the table.
The user interface on the Comfort Zone is simple and easy to use. It has a digital thermostat that has a range from 41 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit that is adjustable in one-degree increments. We find timers on space heaters to be incredibly useful in many instances — this model's timer goes up to 8 hours. This heater also has a sensor that shuts the power off if the device isn't standing vertically. This feature is perfect for those with clumsy pets or playful toddlers.
All of this heater's functions can be operated by its handy remote control that includes visual symbols for each button that are self-explanatory and easy to use. The CZ523RBK also has an inventive storage slot for the remote on the back of the unit near the handle which is perfect for when the heater is in summer storage or even everyday use.
To gain some more objective data, we let each model run at its highest setting for an hour in a 161 square foot room in order to measure the amount of heat they were able to produce. We were careful to make sure that the room had a similar starting temperature and that the adjacent room temps were the same. Lastly, we waited for a cold spell so that the outside temperatures were in the low to mid-30s so that our data was the result of a real-world setting.
The Comfort Zone displayed decent performance during this assessment. During the first 20 minutes, this heater brought the temp of the room up 5.7 degrees, and after the full hour, the thermometer read 9.9 degrees higher than the 65.3 degrees that we began with.
We didn't find a ton to complain about while reviewing the CZ523RBK, but it does have some shortcomings that should be mentioned. If you are going to use this model below a desk, we found that the buttons are in a bit of an awkward spot if you want to adjust the settings without the remote. Also, the oscillation is a bit wide and slow for this application.
Regrettably, the Comfort Zone doesn't have an option to use the blower without the heating element engaged, so if you're looking for a model that doubles as a fan for use during warmer months you're going to have to look into other options.
This space heater also showed so-so results during our power consumption tests. To calculate energy cost we used a wattmeter to measure the number of kilowatts that each model consumed over the course of an hour. We were then able to take this figure and multiply it by the national average price of kilowatts per hour (kWh) to extrapolate the cost of running each heater for a day, a week, a month, and so on.
The Comfort Zone uses 1.34 kilowatts in an hour — when we multiply that number by the national average of13.17 cents per kWh at the time of the review we know that this heater will run you $1.76 in power over a ten-hour period. This might not sound like much, but running this model for ten hours a day over the course of 3 cold months is going to raise your power bill by $160 — much more than the cost of the heater itself.
Unfortunately, there are space heaters that outperform the Comfort Zone CZ523RBK that cost a bit less than this model. This device would be a great value if it were on sale.
The CZ523RBK is a high-performance space heater that has some useful features that complement its heating capabilities. This model has an ingenious remote control storage slot on the back of the device so that you'll be less likely to misplace it while the heater is in storage during warmer weather. It does well at raising the temperature quickly, but it's a bit inefficient and on the pricey side.
— Ross Patton and Austin Palmer