Boekamp Inc. of San Diego, the leading producer of quartz heaters, has agreed to stop claiming that its quartz heaters produce more heat for the same wattage than other electric heaters and has dropped the words "energy saver" from the name of its heaters, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.
Quartz heaters, introduced last year, are expected to be one of the hottest-selling items this year. Quartz heaters warm with radiant heat, which warms the surfaces it strikes, as does the sun or a fireplace, rather than warming the air.
The FTC charged Boekamp with falsely claiming that its infrared quartz heaters were more efficient than other electric heaters, when in fact they produce the same amount of heat for each watt consumed.
The FTC complained that the company was less than accurate when it said that the heaters provided two to three times as much heat as conventional electric heaters of the same wattage and that the heaters can rapidly warm objects far away from them.
The company signed a consent agreement with the FTC, neither admitting nor denying the agency's charges but agreeing to discontinue disputed advertising claims. As part of the agreement Boekamp's future advertisements will include a statement that "heating or raising the temperature of a room is only possible after extended, continuous use of the heater."