What are the different types of Storage Heaters?

March 25, 2019 Paul

As technology evolves, translations of new products often get lost. Electric storage heaters have been around since the 1960s, exploiting night-time electricity tariffs to provide an economical heating solution. Throughout the eras, the technology and the language used to describe them has advanced. Heater Shop will help explain the different terms, their origins and how they apply today for choosing the right storage heater.

Manual storage heaters

The name given to the most traditional variant. Manual storage heaters are a tried and tested heating method, the simplest way to make use of cheaper night-time energy tariffs.

They offer analogue control of a heating system which must be given time to charge. Old fashioned manual versions would warm up internal ceramic elements. With no thermostats or timers, heat can be dispatched at inconvenient times, regularly causing chilly evenings. If your schedule includes staying at home for long periods of time, using these as a heating solution can be less economical, costing more money and wasting energy.

These products are now seen as quite simplistic and rather outdated. With newer technology they have become more efficient and usable, however their manual function remains impractical.

Night or night-time storage heaters

Sometimes called night heaters, night-time storage heaters are specifically named for their quality of charging up at night. They can be wall-mounted and they work by storing heat overnight within ceramic or clay bricks.

Night-time heaters often feature simple controls, allowing you to regulate how much heat input during sun down and output in the day. Many feature a boost function, utilising the mains electricity.

Night heaters depend upon the owner manually operating it every day and night, therefore they can be inefficient and ineffective. Acting in a similar manner, updated smart models are more flexible and reliable, whilst still taking advantage of cheaper night-rates.

Economy 7 storage heaters and Economy 10

The widely used Economy 7 tariff was introduced to increase the amount of people utilising night-time electricity. To avoid wastage of electricity provided by the power stations, electricity suppliers offer cheaper-rates in the afternoon evening and night-time.

Economy 10 is also available from some suppliers but requires an Economy 10 meter; this measures the consumption of usage. Economy 7 offers seven hours of cheaper usage however Economy 10 offers ten, however this can depend upon the remaining hour’s rates.

If your house is generally electrically powered then economy tariffs and storage heaters can save you a lot of money. Ideal for well-insulated houses good at retaining heat, they can be tactically used alongside other household appliances. Although potentially more expensive at first, the products that are making use of these tariffs can be a long-term economical affordable heating solution.

Automatic storage heaters

Introduced much more recently than their manual counterparts, these heaters are designed to be convenient and reliable. Their use of thermostats and timers eliminates the constant manual adjustments needed to keep track of changing weather. After setup, programmable heaters will regulate their input and output, improving efficiency and performance and relying less on the homeowner.

These are a great replacement for older variants as they offer functionality with effective heat distribution whilst also remaining relatively uncomplicated. Enhanced versions automatically adjust overnight charging based on regular daytime room temperature – an efficient feature which has carried over into the latest Smart range.

Smart storage heaters

The sleek, stylish smart heater is the newest and brightest variant, featuring and assortment of functions and devices. Similar to their forefathers in how they take advantage of cheaper Economy 7 tariffs, modern models offer complete control over your environment.

The latest versions are Lot 20 compliant - economical whilst remaining affordable. They warm the room by both radiating and convecting heat and can accurately measure ambient temperature. Energy saving technologies include Open window detection which measures and reacts to rapid changes in temperature. Adaptive Start improves the 7-day 24-hour timer’s efficiency and the smart heater retains the boost mode for extra heat.

Many smart heaters offer a WiFi connection, allowing them to be controlled remotely. They are also quieter and lighter than the manual models which are being gradually phased out. The more expensive new electric models offer access to lower energy tariffs, and alongside the warranty can ultimately save homeowners money over time.

For more information on the types of storage heater and the ideal one for your needs, contact us on 01473 276686.

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