What is a storage heater and what are the alternatives?
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.
Night storage heaters come in many shapes and sizes, but all storage heaters will use bricks, or energy cells as they’re sometimes referred to as, to store heat. With improvements to current legislation, specifically LOT20, improvements have been made to storage heaters which allow people to control how much heat is released and when the heat is release from the heater.
What are storage heater bricks made of?
A common question that we hear is what are the bricks made of? Some people believe that they are made of asbestos, but this was pre 1960’s/1970’s, since then, none have contained asbestos whatsoever. If you want to see a list of all storage heaters that did contain asbestos, you can check the storage heaters containing asbestos list. The bricks are typically made form clay bricks, water containers, ceramic materials (grog) or more specialist materials such as feolite. All these materials function well for storing and retaining heat.
Dimplex Storage heaters, such as the Quantum range, use energy cells which are high density bonded magnetite energy cells surrounded with microporous silica and calcium silicate slab insulation. Whereas the energy cells for their XLE range, is slightly different, using use high density bonded magnetite energy cells insulated with microtherm on back front and top
What are the best replacements for storage heaters?
These would be a good alternative for people who tend to require heating only at certain times of the day. For example, for someone who works 9-5 and requires the heating only in the morning and evening in the week, but more frequently at the weekend, these types of heaters would be ideal. This is due to radiators and panel heaters being able to have integrated controllers and timers which can be used to adapt the heating times and frequency of heating.
However, one thing to be aware of, if you are considering switching from storage heaters to either electric radiators or panels heaters, it will mean switching from a dual/economy tariff over to a single rate tariff as these types of heaters do not work on Economy tariffs due to the timers and controllers needing a 24-hour supply. A standard electricity tariff will charge an average amount throughout the day, as opposed to an economy tariff which will charge less on an evening but far more than average during the day.
Fan heaters aren’t a good solution for heating a home as they blow heat out in one direction and can be very annoying if you are sitting directly in front of it, however they are useful for a quick boost of heat or in an area which needs to be warmed up but not necessarily occupied, such as a utility room. Shops make good use of fan heaters / curtain heaters as they are usually placed in the ceiling above the door which is frequently opened and closed.