If you have read my Home Heating Using a Paraffin Inverter Heater page, then you will probably already be aware that I currently heat my entire home using nothing more than two paraffin inverter heaters, made by two different manufacturers, a decision which has actually saved me around 40% on my Electricity bill, by switching to Paraffin / Kerosene based heaters compared to previous years where storage heaters have been used.
One of these paraffin inverter heaters is made by a well known Japanese manufacturer called Corona, and the other is a popular inverter heater sold all across Europe by an Italian distributor called Brico Bravo. The origins of this inverter heater are unknown, but mine is branded as ‘Kero’ and I suspect that its probably made in China.
Despite its suspected Chinese origins, I have now been using this budget Brico Bravo sourced heater as one of my main sources of home heat since the Winter of 2012 with no problems whatsoever, and it has proven just as reliable in everyday service as the more expensive branded Corona heater (which cost around £100 more).
When comparing the Brico Bravo heater with the Corona 3016 model, the differences in everyday use and operation are largely negligible. Both inverter heaters have a built in fan for rapid and effective heat dispersion and both are rated at 3000 watts (when running at full output) and so either of these inverter heaters will heat an average sized living or bedroom area, very quickly indeed with no obvious differences in output or efficiency between the two models.
I run both of my inverter heaters on standard UK domestic heating oil, which is also known as 28 second kerosene, this is largely against the manufacturers recommendations of using nothing but premium or class C paraffin, however given the huge premium price added to these types of fuels in the UK, I decided that running on basic heating oil was a viable option, and around 1/3 of the price of the Premium Packaged fuel from DIY outlets. I have now been doing this continuously for four winters, with no ill effects to either my health or the heater(s). Needless to say, that both the Brico Bravo and Corona models seem to work on this standard kerosene fuel (Heating Oil) with no problems, other than a slight 30 second whiff of Kerosene when the heaters first fire up and again when they are shut off.
Using the Brico Bravo, heater is a breeze. Despite being from a Chinese source, instructions are provided in English, as are the control panel decals and text, the built in LCD display also has English characters, and is used to indicate current room temperature, desired (set) temperature, power level heat output. In the event of a fault then the heater will switch itself off, and display an error ‘E’ code followed by a number. This code will tell you exactly what is wrong with the heater.
Both the Brico Bravo and Corona Inverter heaters have low fuel warnings. In the case of the Brico Bravo heater, a low fuel alert is carried out by a short musical ‘chime’ which plays for around 5 seconds, followed by the word ‘Oil’ appearing on the LCD display on the control panel. At this stage the built in metal fuel container can be removed from the heater and safely refilled, whilst the heater continues to run at a background level, however if the tank isn’t refilled then the heater will continue to run at its minimum output for around 10 – 15 minutes before sounding the chime again and shutting down.
The Brico Bravo Inverter Heater, also has the same number of safety features as the Corona 3016, making it very safe for use in the home, workshop or mobile home. The safety features include a built in overheat protection system, Flame Failure detection, CO2 detection and fuel quality monitoring. In the event of the heater being knocked, the safety system will immediately switch off the burner and extinguish the flame, requiring a manual reset.
Both heaters have CO2 detection, and constantly sample the CO2 level in the room, if the level rises towards a dangerous level then the heaters will shut themselves off, requiring a manual reset, however the heaters will not ignite again until the CO2 level falls back to normal levels. This makes them one of the safest portable fuel heaters available.
Personally, I find that the Brico Bravo heater has slightly better overall controls than its Corona counterpart. For example, it is easy to set the Brico heater to its minimum heat output setting, simply by selecting the “Min” setting on its control panel, whilst in comparison to do the same with the Corona heater, will require you to physically lower the desired temperature setting to a value below the current room temperature which will then lower the heater output to its minimum setting automatically, as there is no manual selection.
I use both of the Brico Bravo and Corona 3016 models on a daily basis throughout the winter months, and both perform very well and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these inverter heaters to anybody. However for most people the deciding factor on two very similar products always comes down to the actual purchase cost of the heater, and being some £80 – £100 cheaper than the Corona model, then the Brico Bravo wins on value for money alone.
So my final conclusion on ending this inverter heater review, is that both the Brico Bravo and Corona heaters have identical features, give the same amount of heat output, and use the same amount of fuel to produce the heat. Both heaters are extremely well built and the build quality of the cheaper Brico Bravo heater is just as good as the Corona model, despite it not having the same Japanese built heritage nor the credibility of the Corona brand badge.
In short, (in my own opinion) there is nothing to justify the extra £80 – £100 price tag on the Corona model, and in addition, the greater flexibility in relation to the heat output selection controls on the cheaper Brico Bravo model actually make it more attractive. In fact you would have to spend over £300 in order to get the same level of features as the Brico Bravo inverter heater by buying a much higher specification Corona Model.
The Brico Bravo Inverter Heater reviewed above has now been discontinued, and Brico no longer ship from Italy to the UK. You can find the very latest deals on Inverter Heaters in the table below.
Have you seen a similar inverter heater cheaper?, please share it in the comments below