Storage heaters…! (dull content)

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  • Storage heaters…! (dull content)
  • Lemurian

    Does anyone else use/have experience of electric storage heaters? We have 2 in a rented, 1 bed property and they seem to be costing us a small fortune (£80 for six weeks) at the minute, unless are they are virtually off. Considering just buying a plug-in fan heater and using that instead. Anybody else have the same problem?


    I’ve had them. They are pretty poor (expensive and ineffective.)

    Have a good read up on the best way to use them.

    Premier Icon brassneck

    Check you are actually on an Economy 7 a like tariff – if they are heating up on normal price leccy they will bankrupt you. 2 should not be costing you anything like that, they are relatively expensive compared to gas/oil but not that bad.

    So will the fan heater btw, best bet for supplemental heaing is the little plug in oil filled radiatros – set them low and run them longer to keep a nice level.


    Yeah, I’d definitely second that grizla! :S Have had a little dig around for info in the last couple of weeks but nothing particularly helpful. Thanks brassneck, think I might give the leccy company a ring to check the tariff is correct. The oil-filled ones sound like they could be a good bet.


    Some have dual settings so that they work as stroage heaters to get electricity in the night and also have the ability to work as a standard heater during the day to offer anytime heat.

    At those price you may be paying for heat using electricity during the day.

    I think they work fine as supplementary heating I.e. if you have a fire or stove for the main heat of the house.

    It is reasonably mild at the moment so an input and output of about 4 should work pretty well.

    Fleeces work out cheaper.

    Old storage heaters are poorly insulated so they leak a lot of heat when you don’t need it (ie night time), and will often be cold before the next recharge.

    Bu do check the timers on them are charging them only during the night. (The hours of cheaper electricity are very short)

    Any sort of plug-in rads of blowers will cost exactly the same (pro rata), & potentially a lot more if you already use economy 7 for the storage heaters. Don’t be fooled by the adverts which tell you they are cheap to run. – They can be cheap because they use little electricity and give out little heat commensurate with that. A couple of old 100W lightbulbs would be about the same as the small ones.

    Remember all electric heaters are more or less 100% efficient. There is no free lunch.

    We get allong with ours just fine.

    Things to note:

    Insulate everything, we just did our loft, OK this week is milder than early Jan, but we’ve just turned the heaters off!

    Economy – 7 doesn’t exist in a lot or areas anymore. You might need to be on its replacement which gives us about 5 hours overnight to charge the heaters which are on a seperate circuit at the meeter. Then again at arround 4pm they kick in for an hour to top them up. The main circuit is only cheep for the nightime 5 hours, but is still arround 10% more than the heater tarrif.

    You have to set them the day before so keep an eye on the forecast. If its going to be cold turn them up.

    Keep at least one window open a fraction to let the hosue breathe, because they cost more/not that great its tempting to seal the house up completely.

    Our flat was circa £1600 last year (100square meters, top floor, 50% of downstairs is empty, minimal insualtion circa 50-70mm in the loft).

    Make sure they only come on at night. Our tarrif is about 3x more for daytime vs nightime ‘lecy. So even if theyre not very efficient its cheaper to heat them up for 5 hours overnight than it is to run the equivalent heater for an hour or so in the evening!

    Premier Icon brassneck

    We only ever had really crappy old ones, with about 4 tons of heat bricks in them (I know as I swapped one out for a new one when decorating, more for the space saving than anything) – we used to call them psychic heaters as you needed to guess 3 days in advance that you’d need the heat 🙂

    Economy – 7 doesn’t exist in a lot or areas anymore. You might need to be on its replacement which gives us about 5 hours overnight to charge the heaters which are on a seperate circuit at the meeter. Then again at arround 4pm they kick in for an hour to top them up. The main circuit is only cheep for the nightime 5 hours, but is still arround 10% more than the heater tarrif.

    That’s what I was thinking of, couldn’t remember if we switched to this or from this though – it was a few years ago.

    My dad’s a sparky, and he was of the opinion that most people over winter should run the input on full, and the output closed, then open them up as needed – if they are charging up correctly with heat they should be OK. Otherwise you tend to spend more on supplemental heating than you would of had you kept the storage heaters at full trot overnight.

    Have to say, when we moved to an oil heated house that was one of the best things.. till the prices of that started to go up as well 🙁

    Premier Icon brassneck

    EDIT: Wooooh, double post!


    The output from storage heaters is a mechanical flap which when the output is set to 0 is fully closed and opens the flap as the output is increased. This allows the heat to escape from the bricks into the room

    So if there is nobody at home during the day then keep the output at 0 and open it up when you get home, this way you will get the most benefit from the heat stored in it.

    The worst part of them is that when the weather is switching a lot from cold to mild that it becomes a real PITA to keep on top of them

    They are horrifically bad for controllability and efficiency

    I think it’s one of the cheapes method of heating your appartments. I mean, its all depends on the storage heaters you have choosen. Every manufacturer propose their own system to use.


    ^^^ nice spam. For the price of a couple of heaters and some way to heat tap water you could have a decent gas boiler.


    If you’re on an Economy 7 tarrif all the rest of your normal electricity supply will be charged at a slightly higher rate than properties without economy 7(at least that’s how it was with EDF when I was looking into costs). Coupled with the fact I have an instant shower and never used the water tank heater bit of the Economy 7 either I figured it more cost effective to have the whole Ecomomy 7 supply disconnected at no charge by the leccy company and switch to a normal tarriff apart from other space and flexibility benefits of a convector heater.

    Less than £2/day isn’t that bad for heating?

    FWIW once we’d set ours up and insulated the loft (which made the most difference) they’ve been fine, probbaly not as cheep as gas (its as cheep as gas, but is on at the wrong time of day so neds more to keep the house warm). I quite like them as they keep the house warm and dry all the time whereas more controlled heating always seems to result in masses of condensation as the house warms and cools.

    I’m here to disappoint you. Never be a spammer.


    Just for your info OP there are commonly three sizes 1.7kw 2.5kw and 3.4kw so they’re juicy anyway.

    I’d not be suckered by energy efficient heating claims either if you want 2kw output you’ll need 2kw of input.


    We have old ones in our house and I’m in the process of ripping them out and replacing with nice new modern ones, which having had them in a new apartment we had prior to the house are a lot more efficient.

    It’s the only option for us as there is no mains gas and fuel Oil costs a bloody fortune to install, let alone keep going.

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