How to use storage heaters to heat your home throughout the year
Electric Storage Heaters
Electric Storage Heaters can be a good option if you do not have mains gas and have to rely on electricity to heat your home.
Electric storage heaters are usually wall mounted and look like an ordinary central heating radiator, just a bit thicker.
Electric storage heaters use cheap overnight electricity on the Economy 7 tariff to generate heat which is stored in clay or ceramic bricks. This heat can then be released as required during the following day. They are often called night storage heaters for this reason.
The controls on electric storage heaters may appear daunting at first but once you learn how to use storage heaters properly, they can heat your home effectively.
The ECO Scheme provides grants for qualifying home owners to replace faulty electric storage heaters with new ones. Modern high heat retention electric storage heaters are up to 30% more efficient than traditional storage heaters. Grants to replace other faulty heating systems and to install cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are available from the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
More information about who qualifies for Storage Heater Grants can be found HERE.
Electric Storage Heater Controls
Modern high heat retention electric storage heaters tend to have more sophisticated digital controls which help you to control the heat input and output more effectively.
Once you learn how to use storage heaters with digital control systems you will be able to minimise the amount of electricity you use and keep your heating bills low. Modern storage heaters also have a boost function which uses and internal convection heater to provide additional heat on cold days.
How to use storage heaters – Storage heaters are wall mounted and use cheap night-time electricity to store heat
How to use storage heaters – Storage heaters heat up using cheap night time electricity on the Economy 7 tariff and release that heat the following day
How to use storage heaters – Storage heaters allow you to control how much heat you store (input) and how much heat is released (output)
How to use storage heaters – You can use the output control and a timer to release heat to fit in with your lifestyle
How to use storage heaters – Modern storage heaters have a boost setting which provides extra heat on cold days but this doesn’t use Economy 7 electricity
How to use storage heaters – You can also use the boost function when you have used up all of the stored heat but this can be expensive to use
Electric Storage Heaters and Economy 7
Electric Storage Heaters use electricity which is charged at a lower rate, or tariff, than the electricity you use during day time. Economy 7 electricity can be around one third the cost of daytime electricity.
It is called Economy 7 because you can use it for seven hour during the night, although the actual hours may change from summer to winter.
Economy 7 Meter
Your Economy 7 meter can record how much electricity you use during the night time and how much you use during the daytime. It does this by having two sets of dials which can be read to measure electricity usage. It is therefore important that the meter is set at the correct time so that you don’t use expensive day time electricity when you think you are using cheap night time electricity.
Cheap night time electricity can also be used if you are on the Economy 10 tariff. However, because you get cheaper electricity over a longer time period, the rates may not be as good as with Economy 7. You would need to check, based on your energy usage, which tariff was best for you.
How to use Storage Heaters effectively to lower your heating bills
- You should turn the OUTPUT setting of your storage heaters OFF at night and either OFF or LOW when you are out of the house.
- Try not to turn on the BOOST setting too often as this uses expensive day time electricity. It may be cheaper to increase the INPUT control at night if you expect cold weather the following day.
- Avoid using electric convection heaters and fan heaters as these use expensive day time electricity. Again, it may be cheaper to increase the INPUT control at night if you expect cold weather the following day.
Follow these simple rules on how to use storage heaters and you will see your heating bills fall.