Whatever Happened To The Heat Helper After Shark Tank Season 3?

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In the colder months of the year, running your dryer only to pump the warm air right back out of the house can seem like a waste. That's why Lyle Schuette developed the Heat Helper in an effort to reduce his energy costs and slightly raise his dryer for his wife who had back issues. The device is incredibly simple — all it does is redirect the warm air into the space rather than out of an exhaust vent — but, sometimes, basic is better.

Schuette's episode of "Shark Tank," Season 3, Episode 7, aired all the way back in 2012, but the simplistic and ultra-compatible design behind the Heat Helper made it more timeless than a lot of the other inventions shared on the show. The question then, however, was if the brand was able to gain enough traction to truly take off and maintain the momentum of its appearance on "Shark Tank" over a decade later.

What happened to the Heat Helper on Shark Tank?

During his pitch to the stars of "Shark Tank," Lyle Schuette asked for $100,000 in exchange for a steep 50% equity in his product, an offer that valued the Heat Helper much lower than some of the other businesses pitched on the show. He began with a quick demonstration of the product, called it "common sense in a box," and claimed it paid for itself in the first year. He also revealed a bit of his backstory, from his childhood in Wisconsin to his current job as the owner of a dirt business.

Once he got into the numbers, Schuette revealed that his sales of the Heat Helper, especially in the last year, weren't exactly taking off. He took some time off from pushing the product to focus on his dirt business, Schuette's Dirt Works, and, because of that, a few of the Sharks dropped out. The rest of the entrepreneurs felt a bit put off by the fact that the business was still so undercooked, so he ultimately didn't walk away with any new investors.

The Heat Helper after Shark Tank

After his appearance on Season 3 of "Shark Tank," Lyle Scheutte experienced the common boost in product orders, known as the "Shark Tank effect." Unfortunately, however, it looks like this increase in sales was short-lived. Viewers of the show were won over by Scheutte's positive disposition, but this popularity didn't translate into long-term sales. In a tweet shortly after the show aired, Scheutte discussed the possibility of expanding the Heat Helper's shipping to Canada due to popular demand, but there was no activity on the account after March 3, 2012.

Despite the radio silence on social media after 2012, it looks like the Heat Helper website was still up and running for a while after the product's time on "Shark Tank," even as recently as late 2017 (via the Wayback Machine). After that time, however, the domain expired, and any attempts to visit the website or purchase the product would redirect you to the option to buy the domain.

Why did Heat Helper go out of business?

Despite getting fairly positive feedback from the Sharks on "Shark Tank" back in 2012, it looks like the Heat Helper is no longer in business. It appears to have shut down around 2017, though it's possible the company stopped shipping out orders before the website was finally put to rest. Thankfully, however, this likely didn't mean much financial difficulty or strain for fan-favorite presenter Lyle Schuette. Many of the Sharks dropped out because Schuette was still focused on his dirt, compost, and topsoil business, and it's likely they made the correct decision.

The exact reason for Heat Helper's shutdown is unknown, but there are a few factors that likely contributed. As said, Schuette was very focused on his other business, so he could have easily put Heat Helper to the side in favor of his other job, just like he did before his presentation on "Shark Tank." The Heat Helper was also fairly expensive considering what it was, so, despite the money Schuette claimed customers would save, many likely passed on purchasing once they saw the $99 price tag.

What's next for the Heat Helper's founder?

After developing Heat Helper, it doesn't look like Lyle Schuette started working on any other inventions. Instead, he stuck with what he knew: his dirt business. Schuette's Dirt Works continued business as usual until 2016, when it was purchased from the original owners by James and Shelby Keller. In 2021, the pair decided to modernize the company, giving it a bit of a rebrand and changing the name to Wichita Dirt Company. It still appears to be up and running under the new title today, and Schuette and his wife are most likely enjoying retirement thanks to the profits from the sale.

Despite the fact that the Heat Helper is no longer available for sale, similar products are now on the market, like this Deflecto Extra Heat Dryer Saver. It might come in a bit less of a streamlined package, but it's much cheaper than Schuette's product at about $13 for a one-pack.