Storage heaters – Economical, no maintenance, ideal for bathrooms and small rooms
By wpadmin on January 5th, 2012
Electric storage heaters contain clay bricks which retain heat and are charged overnight in order to store heat which will then be released during the day. The heat given out is balanced through convection and radiation which gives a comfortable balance of heat throughout the room.
This type of heating system works best in properties that are well insulated and where heat is required during the daytime. There are two basic types of storage heater: Combination Convector Storage Heaters and Fan Assisted Storage Heaters.
Convector storage heaters have a convector inside them alongside the usual storage heaters system. Fan heaters have a fan inside them which increases the potential of the heater to use off-peak electricity, in essence it provides a modicum of control by discharging the heated air through the heater at a time when you want it.
Newer ranges feature automatic charge control which benefit from improved energy efficiency. These units are capable of measuring the temperature of the room whilst charging allowing the appropriate amount of heat to be stored.
Popular models on the market include the Dimplex XL/XLS range of storage heaters. Less than 6″ deep, it’s one of the slimmest models available in the UK. Creda’s Eco Response intelligent heating range combines stored and direct acting heating technologies and features low running costs.
The main advantages of storage heaters are:
- Economical – they use low tariff (Economy 7) overnight electricity.
- More flexible than central heating since no flue modernisation, extensive pipe work or plumbing is required.
- They can be installed anywhere through the use of a simple wall bracket or they can be free-standing.
- No maintenance costs.
- No risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- More energy efficient and environmentally friendly than central heating.
- Thanks to their compact design they are ideal for bathrooms, ensuites and cloakrooms.
However there are some disadvantages. The main disadvantage being that there is no real form of heat control, therefore if the heater is charged overnight, it will be discharged into the room the following day whether the heat is needed or not. A side-effect of this lack of control is that if the heater has not stored enough heat, additional heating will be required if it turns really cold. Therefore for most people the background heat provided by storage heaters will be inadequate during the winter months and will need to be supplement by another form of heating, for example a fan heater.
With regard to cost, a storage heater will cost you around £200 or more with the most well known and more popular brands including Dimplex and Creda. Some of the Dimplex heaters can cost between £300 and £400 but they are of high quality with lots of built in features and also feature good guarantee’s and standards certifications.
Other less well known brands can be considerably cheaper, for example a Stiebel Eltron manual storage heater costs around £135 including VAT. However other storage heaters in the range increase in cost which again means that you are not likely to get much change out of £200.
All storage heaters fitted to new build properties must benefit automatic charge control in order to comply with Part L of Building Regulations.