The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Amish Heater?

There have been some posts the past day or so about these "Amish heater" ads that have been running in newspapers. I know of something cool that Amish people use to heat their homes.  It's called a: FIREPLACE.  Or maybe a kerosene stove.  And, hey, even a few still use coal.  But, please, please, common sense folks.  The "Amish heater" is about as much Amish as I am am Bulgarian (which is about none).

Large newspapers across the USA (shame on them) have been running full page ads touting the "Miracle Heaters" made by the Amish.  Well, first of all, whoever is behind the ad campaign has some bucks because full-page ads are not cheap.  The Post-Standard, the main daily in Syracuse, New York, is one of the papers that ran the full ad.  The ad claims that you can save big on your heating bill if you buy one of these. Baloney!  If you don't believe me, read a short "letter to the editor" of another paper that published the ad.  The letter was written by Andy Foley a Phd in Connecticut who obtained is degree in turbomachinery.    Still, you don't have to always have a Phd to know that an ad like that is bogus. Just use your gut and common sense. Are the Amish really into electric heaters?

The website "Fat Wallet" is a good one for examining money-saving prospects and promises.  Here are what the posters at Fat Wallet have to say about the "Amish heater", and I generally agree with all that is said.

Some of the best posts about this product, though, are here on this Yahoo forum.  This is yet another example of an entity capitalizing on the good name of the Amish to pitch a product.  Don't buy it.

Re: Amish Heater?

Hey cant you all read or at least listen to the advertisement?? The electric fireplace is not made by the Amish, the MANTLE is made by the fine craftsmen in the Amish community. The heater portion is made in China. Two different nationalities working together sorta like Toyota, the cars are assembled here and the parts are made in what Japan?!! Some people just dont listen!

Re: Amish Heater?

Yes the wood cases are made in the the Amish. The heater is made in China. If they don't work the company lets you send them back. There is nothing illegal about good ole marketing. The company is called Uni Syn and also runs the same 2 page ads in Parade etc (about $2 million per run) for the Golden Presidential Dollar Coin products.

Re: Amish Heater?

If you carefully read the ad, it does state that the HEATER is imported. I believe it's from China if I'm not mistaken. The only part made by the Amish is the mantle.

Re: Amish Heater?

One must be very naive to believe in miracles: if it doesn't consume more electricity than a coffee machine, it cannot provide more heat than that machine. That's pure physics. And, "save money and have a warm house"? Electricity is the most expense form of energy.

What surprised me -as a European citizen- is that in the US, such advertisements can be published an look like a journalistic article, hence can mislead readers. In Europe, advertisements must look different from journalistic work.

Re: Amish Heater?

Thanks for all the comments. We live in Northern Arizona and need such a heater for our upstairs areas but prior to buying one, I googled this web site and came up with a whole bunch of reasons not to. Home Depot or Lowe's - electric space heater X 2 = $200 or so - and they will probably work very well.

Thanks again!

Joe Farmer

Re: Amish Heater?

THIs article is in the Morning Journal, Lisbon Ohio, today Sept. 9 2008! A full page ad!! How can they keep on?? Are there ANY that do work? We have a friendly waitress that said her bro. bought one some where that heats his whole house but we cannot get any info from him yet. Wouldn't that be great?? If there is anyhting out there you know does work, PLEASE let me know!

Re: Amish Heater?

My mother-in-law bought two of these things (wanna sell her some beach front propority in nebraska?) Anyway, yeah the marketing works, no they are not Amish made- which is wrong to sell it as so BUT they do work. I wouldn't recommend trying to heat your whole house with them, but they are great to take the chill out of the air. They are kinda big (she bought the mantle) and they are kinda neat to watch, a bit noisy when fan is on high.

Re: Amish Heater?

Interesting, thank you for this...Yea, that is why I think this whole Amish heater thing probably falls just short of being an outright scam because people DO get a heater....I just think the marketing is duplicitous, shameful, and misleading.......

Re: Amish Heater?

WE ran into someone the otherday that bought a heater from supposidly Amish and it is great. WE have been so interested but now am afraid to trust anyone. Is there ANY out there that are what they say? Appreciate your comments

Re: Amish Heater?

i've been selling all kinds of fireplaces for 20 years now.

electric fireplaces are designed more for astetics, with a little bit of heat
5000btu's is a joke! designed to warm your or maybe a 5x5 room.
will not heat your house unless you buy like 10 of them!

a typical vent-free gas stove, designed for zone heat, produces 35,000 btu's ( real heat ) at an approx. cost of 25 cents/hr while an electric produces 5,ooo btu's at approx 10 cents an hr.( pretty sad ratio for electric )

if you truly want to heat your home----invest in a wood stove or wood insert!

Re: Amish Heater?

I was going to buy two surge heaters because I was told that it would heat my whole house. I have a two story house with 15ft by 15ft rooms in them. NOT! Well I had already had placed the order and was told that I would recieve them in 10 days. Well, 14 days later I called to find out where they were and I was on hold for what seemed like forever. I know it was longer than 1 1/2 hours. They told me that my order had not been shipped yet that I would have to wait 5 more days. Well that got me wondering about this company so I checked around and found out that they were going to be no better than the two space heaters that I already owned. So I had asked for my money back since they had not even processed my order yet. I got a full refund but not until about 30 days later. My opinion this is just a big scam and making somebody rich. And it sure isn't the Amish.

Re: Amish Heater?

I am not very familiar with the product but I think you are a little bit to drastic about its promotion, every producer has the freedom to promote his own products his own way. I am a regular customer for Frigidaire parts my heater is their brand.

Amish Heater

First, I just want to say my daughter bought one, and she's very happy and satisfied with it. Second, I too have seen the ads in my local newspaper, even in the in with Sunday paper in the grocery store coupons. So, I did some reseach on these heaters. What I was able to find out is that the heaters are made in China, and supposely the Amish make the mantel piece. Further research revealed that Amish sectors differ in what modern conveniences they use. Some of the modern Amish use telephones, cars, & electric. The stricter sectors still follow the no electric or telephones and refridgerators, stoves, and lights powered by propane. Do I think the Amish actually make the mantle pieces, no. This appears to me to be just a well planned marketing campaign for a nice looking space heater that comes with a remote control.

Re: Amish Heater

The Heat Surge "Miracle Heater" is very misleading. I purchased one of these heaters for $446 and what I thought was free shipping with purchase. The ad said 100% money back guaranteed. The ad stated the unit did not get hot and kids could play around it. Well, it did get hot, enough to burn a hand if touched. I called customer service and waited on hold for an hour and a half. I was told that I was responsible for shipping the unit back to company for a refund. It cost me $76 to ship UPS. The tracking showed me that the company received the unit 2 days later. A month has gone by now and I still have yet to see a refund. I called customer service promply at 9:00am when they opened and waited for 52 minutes on hold today March 11, 2008 and they told me that they refunded my $397. I told them I paid $466, they said it did not include the $49 shipping fee they paid to ship it to me. What I thought was free shipping was not, what I thought could have been a great product was not, customer service was not very friendly. Consumers are being led in the wrong direction and all I got was a "you have to read the fine print sir". So before you lose $125, please think twice about ordering this unit. There are numerous complaints online and to the BBB in Canton, Ohio about this company and their product. I wish I had that information before I made that purchase.

Re: Amish Heater

Well....this why I stop short on calling it a "scam" (I'll have more to say in a day or two about the heaters)....You DO apparently get a glorified "space heater" out of it....and it probably does work just swell...but it's using some marketing methods which I think are a bit stay tuned...

Re: Amish Heater?

I also read the Add in National Geographic and at first seemed to believe the darned thing only because National Geographic is a reputable company. After reading all the articles online. I began to look closer at the ad and Not only did I notice the flaws, but you can clearly see the quality of the Ad itself. When I called at 2:30am I first thought I was getting 2 free heaters, but then they wanted my credit card. Which I don't carry just for such the occasion. I talked to a nice person, who was really trying their hardest to get me to buy it in the middle of the night. To me that seemed more shadier then giving my credit card. "we're open 24/7 365" Ha!

Re: Amish Heater?

That's weird..the web link that I just sent is way down on the previous posting that I just sent...scroll down a bit to see it. :(

Re: Amish Heater?

Found this website about complaints by consumers and the Ohio Attorny General is investigating about the Amish Heaters.

Re: Amish Heater?

My husband saw the add for the 'free stoves' in the current National Geographic Magazine - he asked me to call about the offer - I didn't even have to read the advertisement to know it was a scam ... ELECTRIC STOVES - AMISH?  I don't think so. I thought I'd give a few minutes to search the internet for more information and within 30 seconds clicked on Oasis ... I am planning on contacting Nat'l Geographic tomorrow. I am ashamed that a periodical of such longevity and esteem would run such an ad. I appreciate your site and have requested to be on your mailing list

Sincerely, A Granny from rural S.E.Indiana

Re: Amish Heater?

There are a lot of misconceptions concerning the Amish. Their issue with electricity, telephones and the like is the connection with the "English" - the Amish term for the non-Amish. I have seen such items as hand-cranked radios in their stores in the Lancaster area. I recently read an article about an Amish businessman who was selling photo-cell systems to other Amish.

So it is not impossible that the Amish might sell an electric heater. But there is still a lot to be suspicious about concerning this product.

Re: Amish Heater?

I think what surprises me is that A) whatever company is doing this has some massive bucks to underwrite such a PR campaign and B) Yes, the, prestigious publications are running such an ad...Sheesh, National can't get much more venerable than that. I know advertising is a struggle busienss now, but, they should know better!

Amish Heaters

I saw the full page ad again last week in my local newspaper (this is the second time in 6 months that this ad appeared!).  I've thought about calling the newspaper telling them about this scam and I chickened out. 

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and call. 

Will it do any good?  :(

re: Amish heaters

If the ad is actually in your local newspaper,yes, by all means call and certainly can't hurt.  If the ad is in Parade Magazine or USA Today Magazine, then you need to call those publications.....still, I think there would have to be a massive public outcry for newspapers to pull these ads.....newspapers are struggling now, they are under a withering assault from the internet so they are in the market for any cash they can get and these newspaper ads are NOT cheap, do the math:(

Amish Heaters

I own an Amish furniture store and am fascinated & disturbed by the Amish Heater ads. It's a good study into 'marketing genius'. The headline says, "Amish man's new miracle idea...", so I ask after carefully reading the lengthy ad, What is this new miracle idea? It's not the Chinese heater and it's not the mantle. It must be the CASTERS on the mantle! WOW! It's a MIRACLE!!! Now some insight into this marketing scam. The fellow in the picture - his name is Jonas, he's not Amish, and he isn't even in the furniture business. There's a girl in the picture dressed as an Amish girl wiping stain off a mantle. The stain being used is a 'no-wipe' stain that doesn't need wiping for speed of application. The hayloft in the picture is another joke - no insulation with a high ceiling - "it would take a lot of them heaters to heat that space", one Amish fellow joked. Here's the facts: A marketing firm located in Canton, Ohio is purchasing these heaters in large quantities from China. They've been selling a similar 'light-bulb' heater in full page ads for years. Now they decided to add the word Amish to help promote another 'light-bulb' heater. (Yes, the Amish are assembling the mantles.)They have contacted several furniture builders and furniture finishers in Holmes County, Ohio. The marketing firm supplies all the plywood (yes, plywood), the stain and varnish, and then ask for a weekly commitment and dictate the price they will pay. Several shops I buy from have signed up, as fill-in work, and to make a few bucks. Some told me they were approached but turned the deal down because they did not want to be in a position to put their regular customers, like myself, on the backburner. Unlike the ad wants you to believe, the Amish are not selling or promoting these heaters. They're just slapping the plywood pieces together to make a buck. There are no buggies transporting heaters like the ad shows. The marketing firm arranges the pick up & deliveries. Even in the day-to-day furniture business, they don't transport fine furniture by horse & buggy, they hire local transporters.

So what do the Amish think about all of this? One fellow involved, with a fairly large shop, didn't want to talk much about it, simply saying he occaisionally gets orders & fills them. Another Amish craftman was upset that his fellow Amishmen would partake in such an endeavor (all about the money). One of our older distinguished craftsman was concerned about their reputation. "We spent years building up our reputation of high quality furniture, now I fear these fireplace mantles are going to hurt us when people see what they really are". I find that it's typically senior citizens that are gullible, and they usually don't read the entire ad. They actually think the Amish invented, patented, and are now marketing a new technology that will drive your heating bills down. READ THE AD CAREFULLY, TWICE... BUYER BEWARE!

Free Amish heaters

Washington Post Parade magazine 1-27-08 ran the ad.

If you know anything about the Amish you are aware they aren't going to put an electric powered appliance into anything. An Amish man holding an appliance cord is as likely as him test driving a Porsche.

I doubt the cabinets have been touched by an Amish man. The sheer numbers needed by the distributer "HEAT SURGE" would prohibit the ability of them to turn out hundreds of "hand built" mantles. If the electric appliance itself sill set you back $249 how are the Amish to turn a profit at all.

I saw it and the first thing through my mind was "HOAX".


Amish Heaters

I saw that orginal ad in our local newspaper sometime back.  That ad took up an entire page and I also wondered how much it cost to place it....I immediately thought it looked good to be true!  But then a little word of wisdom came to me "if it looks good to be true then it isn't true!". 

I threw our newspaper in the trash :)


Chinese stuff in an Amish store

We were shocked to find a fairly large supply of men's coats at the Amish store ( real Amish store) made in China! Everything is made there, or nearly. These coats were on a rack with lots of homemade clothing.


I am sure the Amish nearest us use gas heaters. I saw it in use, it looked like gas heater, and it did not smell like kerosene in the house. We used to use Kerosene and it bothers me a lot.

It is so nervy for people to use the Amish name to make money. Even the restaurants get on my nerves. People believe these are Amish businesses!! People will ask me if I have been down to eat in Milroy. I explain that those places are not run by Amish people, so they are not really Amish and they look at me really odd. Maybe they think it is just Amish food, but without the Amish people it is just part of the picture. It used to be done to the Quakers, as well, since they were a name that would be trusted ( at one time). But at least the oats were a good thing. I still do not agree with it. At the very least it is in bad taste. Who cares about good taste or bad anymore?? Truly, I grieve about this - we are being deluged by tacky thinkers.

re: heaters

Joanie - Yes, I dislike the smell of kerosene. I am glad Lovina now lives in a community that uses mainly coal.

Amish restaurants are trickier than other businesses that use the word "Amish."   I really don't have a problem with "Mary's Amish-Style Restaurant"....chances are if people want Amish-style cooking, Mary's restaurant (I just made up that name) is their best bet since most Amish homemakers won't be inviting total strangers in for a meal.  I do have a problem with "Alice's Amish Restaurant" or something that is more deceiving......Other products that use the word "Amish" are less tricky, most are just clear-cut blatantly tacky.....

Found this about the "Amish Space Heaters"

"Free" Amish Space Heaters

Last Update: 12/17 6:23 pm

An update now...On a full page newspaper ad for "free" space heaters!

The Cincinnati Enquirer is once again running an ad for "miracle space heaters" .... with a picture of a bunch of hard working Amish people

Further down: "how to get two free heaters" ...Next to a picture of an Amish carriage.

But read the fine print. You get the heater free only if you purchase a mantle for $298.

Just the miracle heater, alone? $249.

Consumer Reports magazine says you can get a good space heater for less than $100.

As for these heaters that appear to be built by honest Amish Americans? Nope…they are made in China.