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Anyone had any experience changing from storage to panel heaters?

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Anyone had any experience changing from storage to panel heaters?

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annie_lloydannie_lloyd Forumite
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Hello all. I have read many, many posts on here regarding how changing from storage heaters to panel radiators may not be the best way to reduce bills. We are in a two bed 1960s maisonette with 4 huge Dimplex storage heaters that are using 65kw a night. Even at the night rate of 8p a kw, that is £5.20 a night to heat the house. Which adds up to quite a large bill over the course of a year. We have an electric power shower, no bath and at the moment are not using the immersion heater (just boiling the tap for hot water for the sink). Anyway, every single electrician we have had in to look at the house has recommended we get rid of our ancient storage heaters. Gas is not an option for us (it would cost 25K to just get the pipes up to the house). Ideally I would love to hear from anyone who has done the switch - positive or negative. Please do not reply to this post espousing the glories of Economy 7 or how all electric heaters are '100% energy efficient' and to not believe the salesmans hype... - there are enough posts and threads on this topic already! Would love to hear from anyone who has made the switch. Positive or negative! Thank you so much.
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  • edited 25 March 2019 at 1:45PM
    Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    edited 25 March 2019 at 1:45PM
    At the risk of contradicting your initial post - think of it like this. If it takes 65 Kw to heat your flat, then that is what it is. You can burn 65 Kw of cheap-rate electricity, or you can burn 65 Kw of full-rate electricity - the heat output will be the same.

    It may be worth looking at more modern storage heaters. They are no more or less efficient (yes, I'm sorry, all electric heating IS near as dammit 100% efficient, whether you like it or not). But the difference may well be in more effective control-ability - i.e. a more modern heater may hold the heat better with less leakage overnight, and give you more control to release it when you need it. Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott often espoused - you really can't change the laws of physics :-)

    The other obvious thing to check is the insulation in the property - better insulation means less heat loss, which means less electricity needed to keep it warm.
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
  • Thanks for your reply Ebe. The problem is, comparing electric rads to storage heaters is not comparing like for like. Of course, 7 hours of peak electric (which is what storage heaters draw regardless of whether they need it), with 7 hours of standard tariff electric then of course then storage heaters will appear cheaper. However if you estimate that electric radiators will use 3.5-5 hours electricity per day to maintain a constant temperature (most of these modern rads have a thermostat which 'top up' the heat if it goes below a certain temp that you set), then the playing field starts to level up. We just want our home to be modern and appealing when it comes to sell, and also have a little bit more control over the heating!. Electric *is* expensive, that is undeniable, but no new homes are being built with storage heaters any more. I just think panel heaters look smart and are more appealing. Can I ask do you have any experience of storage heaters?
  • tberry6686tberry6686 Forumite
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    storage heaters almost never use peak electricity. They are specifically designed for using off peak (normally eco 7).

    Storage heaters are (by a long way) the cheapest form of electric heating except heat pumps. Panel heaters will be more expensive to provide the same amount of heat.

    Don't be fooled by the snake oil salesmen.
  • Thank you for your comment- do you have any experience of changing from storage heaters to panel heaters?
  • tberry6686tberry6686 Forumite
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    I have both in my house. I am removing the panel heaters as I never use them due to being far more expensive than storage heaters to run. Modern storage heaters are much better than the older models as they look at the outside temp and only take as much charge as they need to use.
  • mumfmumf Forumite
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    Three years ago our gas boiler packed up.Told the plumber to stick a new one in.Not that simple.Pipework 30++ year old,not up to regs blah blah.All our piping is chased in/underfloor.Long story short,we were gouung to have to carve up our Victorian terrace and actually move out whilst sorting it! Back- of- the -envelope £10,000 quid.

    So. Got our sparky to sort out the immersion heater with a new digital timer.180 quid. Hot water sorted. In fact,the water is very hot,lovely!

    Now,I must confess that our living room is primarily heated with a multi fuel stove.However,throughout the house I installed simple panel heaters on the wall.Plug- in and go. They are remote control 1 or 2 kw settings,with a sleek glass frontage. I put one in the living room too for when we dont light the stove.They can all be set on timers.The bathroom has an over-door fan heater ( regulation),and we switch that on ten minutes before needed,and it works a treat.

    The house is well insulated,and we don't heat so that we walk around naked.In fact,we tend to heat the room we are in,as we find anymore oppressive.During the depths of Winter,the living room is set on timer for the morning,but we are out for work by 8am latest.

    We have electric water heating,electric space heating,3 freezers and fridge,washer and tumble drier ( that we use a LOT),and stuff plugged into the wall at any time,as it is like the Apple Store here! Our gas range cooker will be replaced with an electric version when it comes to the end of it's life.

    Our Mid Winter bill was £304 for the quarter, November to January. I hope that helps.
  • Thank you for your response that is very helpful! Glad it's all working well for you. :)
  • I'm hopping on here instead of starting a new thread. We have oil central heating.The living room needs more than the central heating alone to keep it warm in winter and we have a multifuel stove.

    On the days when I don't want to light the stove I want an electric heater. I'm using a wheeled oil radiator but would like something wall mounted.


    mumf
    "I installed simple panel heaters on the wall.Plug- in and go. They are remote control 1 or 2 kw settings,with a sleek glass frontage. I put one in the living room too for when we dont light the stove."
    This is what I'm looking for, what sort did you get?
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    Since they are all the same efficiency, 100%, it doesn’t matter what model you choose. Just pick the rating and style you require.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    MarthaM wrote: »
    I'm hopping on here instead of starting a new thread. We have oil central heating.The living room needs more than the central heating alone to keep it warm in winter and we have a multifuel stove.

    On the days when I don't want to light the stove I want an electric heater. I'm using a wheeled oil radiator but would like something wall mounted.

    It may be worth looking into simply adding another "mains" radiator, as it were, or changing the existing one for a bigger one. Neither option will be hugely expensive (it's DIY-able if you have basic plumbing skills), and it'll be a lot more cost-effective to run long term. Add a TRV if you don't already have one, that way you can easily turn the individual radiator/s down if it's too hot.
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
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