Electric Storage Heaters: What You Need To Know
Storage heaters are a type of electric heater which help you to make the most of off-peak electricity.
Are you thinking about getting yourself a storage heater? Here is what you need to know!
How does an electric storage heater work?
Hot air from the heater will rise and in doing so, extract cool air. This cool air is warmed up via the heater itself. This process continues until the warm air evenly permeates the room. Storage heaters use off-peak energy in order to store heat. You might be wondering how they do this and it's relatively simple!
Similar to other electric heaters, storage heaters possess a heating element. These often come in the form of ceramic or clay bricks, this is due in part to the fact that they can withhold a great deal of heat. These heaters gradually heat up the internal bricks through the night, this is because there is significantly less pressure on the National Grid at this time. Then, this stored heat is slowly expelled throughout the following day.
How efficient are electric storage heaters?
Storage heaters are highly efficient because all the electricity they use is converted into heat. If your electricity is acquired via a renewable tariff, this is a zero-carbon emissions way to heat your home.
What are the types of storage heater available?
Storage heaters come in different varieties to suit many applications. These include:
- Basic storage heaters: These heaters have two controls, an input and an output. They control the amount of heat that is stored and the output controls how fast the heat escapes.
- Automatic storage heaters: These heaters have an inbuilt sensor used to monitor air temperature. The heater will adjust itself automatically and its charge in order to suit your specific settings.
- Fan-assisted storage heaters: These heaters expel warm air into the room and you’ll find that some models possess a two-speed fan - this controls the output.
- Combination storage heaters: These heaters possess a built-in convector heater. This can be used in order to top up the heat during the colder months.
What are the steps for using your storage heater?
You’ll usually find your storage heater controls on the top of your heater. Once you’ve found a comfortable setting, you won’t need to faff around with the controls unless there’s a significant drop in temperature.
For the majority of storage heaters, the following two settings are the main ones you’ll be using:
Input – this controls the heat stored throughout off-peak hours. The input is important in terms of your overall running costs. Generally, in milder weather, it's advised to set the input to low, and in cooler weather, you can set it to a higher setting in order to store additional heat.
Output – to prevent wasting heat, be sure that the output switch is turned down or turned off at night, or when you’re not on your property.