Thread Number: 45225
Dandy little heater from 25 years ago
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Post# 662695   2/27/2013 at 01:53 (1,608 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Presenting the Air Care Industries model 6200. Broan bought them and shipped manufacturing to you-know-where and quality did you-know-what and so did price. You can still find these listed for around $50-60 but questionable source/availability. The original cost less than half that.

I bought mine in 1988 for a N. California house with no bathroom heat. Been with me ever since, running as we speak. I clean and oil it periodically.

What's remarkable about a portable heater? Well, it's only 5x5x6 and the same thermal output as sold today occupying >5x the space for >4x the cost. And it's lasted a quarter of a century which nothing bought today even has a chance.

Inside there are conventional nichrome coils mounted to ceramic standoffs just like an electric dryer. A low/high switch that puts the coils in series or parallel for 1200W or 1500W. A 1750rpm shaded-pole phonomotor and 4-blade aluminum fan that make a gentle z-z-z-z sound. And a fairly sensitive thermostat that can tell if I open a window. As well as overtemp and tilt protection.

After my 1977 audio stuff, 1982 microwave, and 1986 Toyota, this is the oldest working gizmo I own. They really made stuff back then, even if it retailed under $30. Where has the pride gone?

Oh that's right, "you know where".

Post# 662745 , Reply# 1   2/27/2013 at 10:05 (1,608 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

i have a couple of those-whenever i see one at a used shop it is an automatic buy.They were still sold as recent as the late '90s or early 2000s.

Post# 662973 , Reply# 2   2/28/2013 at 02:35 (1,607 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Best value in class. No wonder then, the company got bought by an outsource hosebag (NuTone/Broan) and the product discontinued.

The commercial culture disrewards competent engineering.

Post# 663113 , Reply# 3   2/28/2013 at 18:08 (1,607 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
Your heater bears a striking resemblance to the Lakewood heater I have at work. Nichrome open coils and a strong fan in a tiny box. An amazing amount of warmth from such a tiny heater!

Post# 663118 , Reply# 4   2/28/2013 at 18:40 (1,607 days old) by Kenb ()        

I have a newer model Broan heater here at work.

Post# 663156 , Reply# 5   2/28/2013 at 22:16 (1,606 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

No idea it had so many siblings. Bet those cost over $30.

Customers might expect a heater the size of a fireplace to give off more heat than a box the size of a radio. Does seem more of the large ones are offered. But 1500W is the same amount of heat regardless of the cabinet size and these critters fit where the big ones won't. Like my scrunchy apartment bathroom.

Post# 663254 , Reply# 6   3/1/2013 at 10:34 (1,606 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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That Broan heater isn't quite the same design. The original post heater has open Nichrome coil elements, the Broan pictured above has a some form of a ceramic element.

I wonder if there was a safety regulation change made at some point. The open coil design of old could be a shocking experience if someone stuck something metal into the heater!

Post# 663288 , Reply# 7   3/1/2013 at 14:19 (1,606 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Gaps in the grille aren't big enough for most common household objects (pencils, etc.) and the coils are recessed. But kids--and even adults--can find a way to get themselves in trouble despite designers' best intentions.

Post# 914780 , Reply# 8   1/9/2017 at 13:00 (196 days old) by spatrick (Atlanta, GA)        
Air Care Industries - Big Air Model: 6200 floor heater

We also still have this little / BIG heater. Today 1/9/2017, over 37 YEARS later, the fan stopped rotating. I SIMPLY removed housing, removed fan assembly, vacuumed old dust, cleaned fan wheel/rod with with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)to remove old grease and re-lubed the fan shaft bearing with crc synthetic brake caliper grease (heat tolerant) at the fan commutator end bracket & fan driving end bracket areas - WD-40 (Water Displacement) won't cut it long term and wheel bearing grease will just collect future dust faster. If all you have is wheel bearing grease, you'll be fine.

This fan was engineered and developed to "NEVER FAIL" / last forever, SO if you have one it is worth fixing it or having someone fix it - if parts are available or can be located or even needed!! Over 37 years, it has paid for itself I'm sure over 20times by now, seeing that electronics/heaters now-a-days are made to break after its warranty period!

Below Source:

Published: January 31, 1985

TWO new ideas in space heaters are Big Heat from Air Care Industries and the Krups Convector heater.

Big Heat measures only 4 3/4 inches by 6 inches by 5 inches yet gives off the maximum amount of heat allowed by Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) for a 120-volt heater: 5,120 B.T.U.'s. Lightweight and equipped with a handle, it is made of steel with a wood grain vinyl finish. A chrome grille in front covers the heating coil inside. It has two safety mechanisms, an automatic tip-over switch and a shut-off switch if it overheats. Model No. 6200 also has a fan for summer use. Big Heat sells for $39.95 at Gracious Home, 1220 Third Avenue (between 70th and 71st Streets); it can also be found at Darien Hardware in Darien, Conn. and Masback Hardware in North Bergen, N.J.


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Post# 914848 , Reply# 9   1/9/2017 at 22:18 (195 days old) by ladyearth (Kentucky)        
we got similar one too

last time used it worked just is a "Tatung" "Heat Devil". I just looked at it in bathroom closet floor...
wish I would have bought more of them at the time. Cant remember where I bought it. Probably still have the owners booklet etc..
.probably from Service Merchandise. so many things are at other house
I used to keep folders or binders for all manuals if bought new etc...
also have a larger heater works fine too. But since its at other place cant tell you the brand
thanks all

Post# 914862 , Reply# 10   1/9/2017 at 23:12 (195 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Cool that it's still going:-)

My grandparents had an Arvin heater in their bathroom as far back as I could remember. It was so old the rating was 1650 watts...

Even though the plug was deformed from 30+ years of ever-so-slight overheating I could not get them to part with it. I bought them a much quieter and safer Krups but it mysteriously 'broke' and 'couldn't be fixed' so it found a home on the attic stairs and the Arvin reappeared.

"But 1500W is the same amount of heat regardless of the cabinet size and..."

It boggles my mind how many people simply refuse to believe this. They acknowledge that if you want a window a/c above such-and-such BTU's you need a "clothes dryer" outlet, but simply can't/won't accept that the same applies to plug-in heaters. Obviously marketers have figured this out, judging by the gazillion models now available.

The older I get, the harder it is for me to respond appropriately to people who think laws of physics are products of my imagination. Therefore I avoid topics like these nowadays.


Post# 914892 , Reply# 11   1/10/2017 at 04:57 (195 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth? Well, perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove.


My Cousin Vinny came to mind.


Big Heat was purring in the bathroom over the weekend cold snap.  Just stored it, here it is 60F at 4am.  The little box figured that out last night and cut its duty cycle by 75%.  It spent winters from 90-07 in the garage keeping the washer pipes from freezing.

Post# 914930 , Reply# 12   1/10/2017 at 10:11 (195 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Lol, I've never seen My Cousin Vinny. Maybe I should?

To answer your question... YES. According to several members of my family and a number of other people I know, our attitudes and feelings affect how fast boiling water soaks into grits.

And people wonder why I disengage....


Post# 915058 , Reply# 13   1/11/2017 at 05:27 (194 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

I can't talk with my relatives either, same reason.  As Higgins said in My Fair Lady, stick to the weather and everybody's health.  Appalling degree of buying the bullshit and drinking the koolaid.  And these are 'educated' people, which only makes it all the worse.


By all means see Vinny.  Not the cable version either.  It's as smart as Neil Simon was in his day.  I won't tell you anything that happens and advise against reading the Wiki or IMDB summaries.  The story does a top job of telling  itself.  The female lead won Best Actress for it.

Post# 915087 , Reply# 14   1/11/2017 at 09:29 (194 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

Regarding those 1500 W ...


While I realize that some people are simply incapable of rational thought, I can attest that all heaters do not work the same, no matter what level of power is listed on the box.  My guess is that some models are not actually putting out what they say. That would very much explain why two separate ‘1500 W’ heaters would heat a room differently.


My other guess is that some models cycle ineffectively, so that there is far more off time than on time.


My other guess is that the quality of the fan might affect the distribution of the heat, especially on thermostat models that register plenty of warmth around the unit, while none of it is distributed more than a foot away.


Then again, maybe it’s all just perception and misperception. 

Post# 915088 , Reply# 15   1/11/2017 at 09:35 (194 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

Another thing I’ve often wondered, is whether small units with a good fan, by the nature of their design, are essentially funneling the heat into such a compact space that it blows much hotter on the skin than the broadly dissipated air from a larger unit.  I can’t remember enough of my physics class to say whether could actually be the case.

Post# 915135 , Reply# 16   1/11/2017 at 13:36 (194 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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No doubt you are onto something there John, I'd bet the outlet air temp is higher on one of these small heaters vs a much larger unit that distributes the heat more. But further out into the room, the temperature rise is the same.

3.41 BTU's per watt, not just a good idea, it's the law. At least electric heaters are 100% efficient (at least on the local level), they turn all the energy they use into heat.

It is hilarious to see how many new "miracle" designs that electric heaters have transitioned through over the years. The EdenPure is the latest incarnation of silly marketing hype. I feel bad for the folks that get bilked out of $300-400 hard earned dollars on these things. I still recall hearing people in high school say they would never need physics classes.

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