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How Do Storage Heaters Work? Its Not Rocket Science!

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A Storage heater is an electric heater that accumulates heat in special ceramic or clay  bricks during the night (when electricity is at its cheapest ) which then releases it during the day. Storage heaters are usually mounted on the wall and resemble radiators.

These heaters are called storage because they have the ability to conserve energy and release it when the source of energy is unavailable.

It can heat up the ceramic bricks inside when electricity is abundant and cheap, mostly during nights, store it and release it during the day.

It is ideal for people who have an  Economy 7  meter and have subsidies on power bills at night.

The easiest way to understand storage heaters is to visualise them as a big rechargeable battery.

Once the heat has been exhausted, ( usually late afternoon )  you need to use another source of heating for the rest of the day to heat your home.

The heaters are then recharged from 10 pm for use for the next day.





What Is The Average Lifespan of a storage heater?

The life expectancy of a typical storage heater is  15 -20 years old.

Models older than this should typically be replaced with modern automatic models.

In recent years ‘automatic models’ have been introduced as standard since they offer small gains in terms of efficiency and economy.


What Alternatives Are There To Storage Heaters?

If you would like to change from electric storage heaters to an alternate form of heating, you have a number of options:

  • Gas Central Heating
  • Electric Panel Heaters
  • Electric Central heating with radiators
  • Infrared Heating
  • Electric Underfloor Heating

All the above have their pros and cons so please do your research before taking the plunge.


Safety Tips For Electric Storage Heaters

  • Never cover any air vents on your storage heaters
  • Avoid placing anything flammable near your storage heater
  • Ensure a gap of at least 16cm exists between your curtains and the top of your heater
  • Install a storage heater guard to protect children
  • Make sure your storage heaters are installed by a qualified electrician

How Do Storage Heaters Work?

Storage Heater Repairs

If your heaters are old , it will not usually be cost effective to repair them.

Average repair costs are £120 and you can replace a heater for another £50 or so.

We recommend you replace rather than repair in most cases.

Are Storage Heaters Being Phased Out?

Storage Heaters are gradually being phased out due to lack of demand and the fact that they are still one of the most expensive form of heating.

They are also now very old fashioned too and are associated with  1960 s & 1970s homes.

Sales of storage heaters are diminishing year on year  with renewable heating becoming more popular as the UK heads towards a carbon zero future.

Can Storage Heaters Make You Ill?

Electric space heaters and storage heaters can make the air inside of your home extremely dry and unpleasant.

Some of the newer models also blow out air which is not suitable if you are suffering from asthma

This won’t make you ill, but it may  irritate your skin, eyes, ears, and even nose.

Are Old Storage Heaters Dangerous?

Some old storage heaters contained asbestos sheets which as you know is a hazard to health.

If your heaters are damaged in any way, asbestos dust and fibres may be released into the room.

If this dust is  inhaled into the lungs, they may give rise to an asbestos-related disease such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

What Is The Best Practice For Running Storage Heaters

  1. The most effective and cheapest manner is to ensure is that you don’t use the peak electricity power switch unless absolutely necessary.
  2. Try to avoid using this unless in the middle of the winter when you need a heating boost.
  3. The idea is to make sure the storage heater only charges during off-peak hours.
  4. Turn off the output of the heater when you do not need it heating your room, like at night or when not home.
  5. Before switching to boost mode, make sure you have consumed the stored heat first because the boost feature utilizes daylight electricity.
  6. Do not plug-in extra heaters for more warmth. Instead use the storage heater’s input to the maximum first to store as much heat.
  1. Turn the ‘output’ setting of your storage heater  off when you are out of the room or go out of the house. Good idea to turn off at night too.
  2. Only use the   ‘boost’ setting on your heaters  when  all the stored heat has run out . Always open  the output fully before using boost as it uses expensive daytime electricity.
  3. Avoid using supplementary plug-in heaters as they too will be expensive to run. It’s much  better to turn up the input on your storage heaters so that they recharge more at night and store more heat.

Can I Leave Storage Heaters On All The Time

If you do need heat over the summer, you may only need to switch the storage heaters on to charge every other night. … You can save more heat for the evening by keeping the setting low during the day, such as when the room is warm enough or you are going out.

As  storage heaters will only charge up at night, so you can leave the input setting without danger of using expensive day-rate electricity.

Once the heat has been exhausted , it will not charge up again until its preset charge time which is usually around 10 -11  oclock.




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