Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 Review
Pros: Great remote, has wheels, elementary controls
Cons: Bulky, no oscillation
Manufacturer: Dr. Infrared Heater
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Putting up a fantastic score, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 is one of our favorite warming devices. The beauty of infrared space heaters is that they don't actually heat the air, instead they emit infrared radiation that warms objects in the direct line of sight of the heating element. This type creates a feel that is less dry and breezy than ceramic models.
We divided the personal heating metric into two parts — how well each heater fits and operates underneath a desk and how well they work in a living room setting.
Although this device does a good job of producing warmth, because of its large footprint it doesn't make a ton of sense to use the Dr. Infrared underneath a desk. In fact, it wouldn't comfortably fit underneath an average-sized desk.
However, this model does great in living room settings. We found that right around 5 feet away the Dr. has a sweet spot, making it perfect for use near couches and chairs. We also think that his model would make a great choice for a larger room or workshop.
To measure convenience we looked at a multitude of settings and features — we noted if the heaters had remotes, if the controls were intuitive to use, and if there were any special elements that set any of the models apart from the others.
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 is very strong when it comes to convenience. Regrettably, this style of heater doesn't offer any sort of oscillation, but the Dr. makes up for this shortcoming in other ways. The remote included with this model has the functions of each button spelled out in plain English rather than using often confusing symbols like many other models.
Although the DR-968 is one of the bulkiest space heaters that we've tested, it does have wheels that aid in mobility, provided that the surface you are using the heater on is concrete, hardwood, tile, or thin carpet.
The timer setting has 1-hour increments, and it goes all the way up to 12 hours. We find the option to set the timer for this length of time to be especially useful for long, cold nights or ensuring that you'll be coming home to a toasty room after a day of winter adventuring.
In order to gain some more objective data, we used a laboratory-grade thermometer to measure how much warmth each heater was able to add to a 161 square foot room in 20-minute increments over a total period of an hour. We made sure that the outside temperature, as well as the temps in adjacent rooms, were close to the same for each model's test.
During our small room assessment, the Dr. Infrared DR-968 did fairly well. Starting with a room temperature of 62.4 degrees this space heater was able to raise the temperature 8.6 degrees in one hour. The first 20 minutes of operation was especially impressive for the Dr. — it brought the room temperature up 5.2 degrees during this relatively short period.
To determine energy costs we used a wattmeter to measure the amount of kilowatts each device consumes in an hour. We are then able to take this number and multiply it by the national average price of a kilowatt per hour to project costs for periods such as 10 hours, a month, 6 months, or a year.
The Dr. Infrared DR-968 is a moderately efficient space heater. At the time of this review, the average energy cost in kilowatts per hour in the United States was 13 cents. After 10 hours of heating on full blast, the Dr. used 13.3 kWh, which translates to $1.75 in costs for that period. Even running around the clock for 365 days, the going rate for running this model will be approximately $1500 — this is relatively cheap to operate considering that it's a 1500 watt device.
The Dr. Infrared DR-968 is a bit on the pricey side, but considering the functionality of this type of space heater and its great deal of efficiency it's a solid choice. That said, ceramic element heaters are generally cheaper than infrared models so if the price is a deciding factor for you, it might make sense to go with a cheaper model
We found the Dr. Infrared to be a phenomenal infrared space heater overall. Although it lacks oscillation, this model did a great job at heating a small room, is perfect for use in a living room, and we loved the controls on the remote and on the heater itself.
— Ross Patton and Austin Palmer