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What is the best way to use Storage Heaters?

Here at the Heater Shop we get asked many questions about storage heaters, such as what’s the best way to use a storage heater? How do you use a storage heater efficiently? Which electricity supplier should I use? Are storage heaters Economy 7? Are they more efficient than other heaters?

First, let us explain what a storage heater is and how it works;

A storage heater is an electrical heater which stores thermal energy when switched on and releases the heat when switched off. It stores the heat by using heat retaining bricks or as the Dimplex Quantum Storage Heater range refers to them, energy cells.

Now that we know what a storage heater is and how it functions, let’s try to take away some of the confusion that surrounds storage heaters and separate fact from fiction.

What is the most economical and efficient way to use storage heaters?

This all depends on who your energy supplier is and which electric tariff you are on, but generally, the best time to turn your storage heater on is at night when your electric costs are at their lowest, such as economy 7. During the night, the storage heater will store up heat and then when switched off, the heat will slowly release during the day. Here is an example for you:

Best way to use storage heater
Best way to use night storage heater
Best way to use automatic storage heater
Best way to use storage heater

Are storage heaters more efficient than other heaters?

This is very much dependent on your needs and circumstances.

As mentioned above, storage heaters are most efficient when used on an economy tariff when you can take advantage of reduced electric rates. As this is usually during the night, the heat will be released during the day so if you are a family where the parents are at work all day and the children are at school all day, the house is empty when the house is being warmed up, so storage heaters wouldn't be the best solution for this situation, although, with new LOT20 regulations now effective, storage heaters must allow you to control when the heat is released so you could choose to start releasing the heat when you get home but that would only give you a couple of hours until you need to start charging again. However, if they are used for a home where someone has retired, or work from home, an office or care home, then storage heaters would work very well in these situations.

What is the difference between storage heaters and night storage heaters?

There is no difference at all. Storage heaters are traditionally used at night and have therefore come to be known as night storage heaters, however they are the exact same product.

Fact or Fiction?

  • Storage heaters contain Asbestos
    Fiction – Back in the 1950's and 1960's it is possible that some storage heaters did contain asbestos however any heaters made since then would definitely not contain asbestos.
  • You have to put the bricks in yourself
    Fact – When installing your Storage heater, you will need to put the heat retaining bricks in (or energy cells). However, please refer to your manufacturers installation guide when doing so.
  • Storage heaters smell
    Fiction – As with all new products such as heaters, trainers and clothing, there is usually a "new" smell which disappears after use. Unlike panel heaters, dust does not burn and smell on impact.
  • Storage heaters make a lot of noise
    Fiction – Storage heaters are silent.
  • You need dual supply energy
    Fact and Fiction – No you don't need it, however it is available in many models to enable efficient use of economy 7 tariffs in the evening and other tariffs during the day using a boost function.
  • You can control the heat output
    Fact - Most Storage heaters have controls which allow you to control the heat output. Depending on the type of room you are using the heater in will depend on what to set it at, however a good way to start is by setting it to mid point and then increasing or reducing the heat output as necessary until you find a setting that you're comfortable with.

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