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How to get maximum heat/efficiency from storage heaters?
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# 1
Old 20-10-2008, 8:17 PM
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Default How to get maximum heat/efficiency from storage heaters?

I have been lurking in the background reading with increasing concern about the efficiency of storage heaters.
Any advise on how to run them correctly would be greatly appreciated. We are moving to a large 2 bedroom bungalow - living room 24ft x 20ft 3 storage heaters, bedroom 19ft x 19ft 1 heater. The landlord says there is economy 10, but its expensive to use - I don't know what that is:confused: . There are a lot of portable heaters dotted around at the mo - Should I be worried?
How do I get the best both in terms of heat & cost? Do they give out heat as they store it? So would it heat up the kids bedroom for the morning?
Many thanks J
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# 2
Old 20-10-2008, 9:00 PM
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Be worried unless you're one of those people who don't need heating.
The storage heaters heat up overnight so the house is warn then and for most of the day - then you release the heat for the evening - except it doesn't last all evening so, on go the portable heaters.

You won't be cold - but be sitting down when the bills come in.

Econ7 means you get periods of cheap elec - ten hours - most during the night when heaters are storing, again in the afternoon for boost. The other 12 hours is more expensive than normal to compensate.
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# 3
Old 21-10-2008, 8:52 AM
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We moved into a similar bungalow in the Spring of 1990 and installed oil fired central heating - no gas here -before the next winter. I still use the storage heater bricks in the garden. However, do consider all of the costs: I've had to pay over 1k up front for oil; we've had to replace the boiler and pump once; and there are the boiler maintenance charges.

Be particularly aware of a storage heater in the living room which appears to have two switches. One of them may be for an internal booster (convector) heater which can be extremely expensive to use and easily forgotten.
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# 4
Old 21-10-2008, 8:53 AM
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Oh dear! Am I best to avoid using the economy 10 or will I need it to boost the heat? There are apparently 2 meters at the property would 1 be for the economy 7 and one for the economy 10?
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# 5
Old 22-10-2008, 1:23 PM
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You have to think of storage heating differently to central heating.

They provide background heat all day and need to be treated as such.
You can then top up with other sources of heat when its gets colder, such as a gas fire, portable heating etc etc.

You will have two controls, one called input and one called output.

The input controls the amount of heat stored, so in a cold period turn this to number 6. The output controls how much heat will be given out during the day, so if you are out leave set to 1 or 2, and in the evening set it to 6 and this will open a flap to allow stored heat out.
A good setting to use is input set to 4-6 dependant on how cold it is, and the output set to 2-3 and open up to 6 in the evening, this way you should never run out of heat.
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# 6
Old 28-10-2008, 1:36 PM
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My economy10 means that electricity is cheaper between 9.00pm and 7.00am and more expensive during the rest of the day. (Economy 7 is only 7 hours of cheap electricity)

Different companies have very different charging rates. I am often in during the day so I didnt want exhorbitant charges during the day.

I find the heat increases during the night which can make the bedroom stuffy. I often switch it on before I go to bed and then switch it off when I go to bed. This way you get a little bit of warmth to go to sleep but do not wake up too hot in the middle of the night. I wonder if they make them with remote controls cos it is very boring having to get up to turn them down!!!

I echo Ada's advice on how to use them .... although you also need ESP to know how much heat you will need tomorrow! There is always a lag on them cooling down and heating up.
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# 7
Old 29-10-2008, 5:09 PM
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Hi not been on for a few days - just wanted to say thank you very much for the advice. It makes a lot more sense to me now.
Thanks J
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# 8
Old 26-11-2010, 2:39 PM
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Sorry for jumping into an old thread. The most important thing with storage heaters is to make sure the Boost control is closed or off during the night when the unit is warming up. Leaving this open is why the house feels too hot in early morning and cold in the evening. It also means the bricks don't store enough heat to keep going through the day into the evening. Only open the Boost control if you need to in the evening and remember to close it again before going to bed.

If you follow this simple rule and find the house is too cool in the mornings then you are not storing enough overnight, so increase the input a notch.

It is also very important with this type of heating that your house is well insulated and draught-free.
If your outgoings exceed your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.
-- Moe Howard of The Three Stooges explaining economics to brother Curley
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# 9
Old 27-11-2010, 12:41 PM
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This is what I decided to do last year to save 1200 per year. The house is listed, 350 years old and electric only, no cavity walls and then single glazed.

1). Move away from storage heating (disable meter) and Southern electric E10 tariff which was 12.1p normal and 8.93p off peak to OVO fixed at 8.61p for everything.

2) Use good quality oil filled heater with thermostat and timer (use energy meter to ensure heater set up to provide minimum running costs based on settings for each room with heating elements and thermostat. Meter shows that it is slightly cheaper to run heater at 2.5KW setting than 1KW or 1.5KW - this will depend on size of room and heat loss via windows & walls).

3) The thermostat and timer are essential to ensure low as possible running costs. Each room to set to come on and off to meet the needs of who is home.

We have also just installed secondary glazing which of course has greatly improved noise and heat retention of each room.

My annual usage is about 25000KWH so even a small change in tariff is important.


Note: If my bill for Dec is 200 or less I will have achieved at least a 1000 saving this year. My Nov usage (I take reading on 27th each month) came to 2255 KWH = 194

Just out of interest I use five DeLongi Rapido 3KW oil filled heaters each have 7 heat settings a thermostat and timer. They are the safest with children as all main heating elements are fully enclosed by outer cover and the heater has a fast warm up element (500W) if you cannot wait the five mins for the oil to get hot. The more flimsy convector types with a hot element heat up fast but cycle the thermostat more often as there is no heat sink like the oil, I use one in the dining room.

Last edited by andyrpsmith; 27-11-2010 at 12:52 PM.
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