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  • FIRST POST
    • cbrid01
    • By cbrid01 9th Oct 19, 2:30 PM
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    cbrid01
    Are modern storage heaters a good alternative?
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 19, 2:30 PM
    Are modern storage heaters a good alternative? 9th Oct 19 at 2:30 PM
    My disabled daughter has been offered a grant by the Scottish Gov., to change her current electric radiators to Quatum storage heaters which they say will save her money (Current electricity DD is cost 140 - which is 2 weeks benefit money) We changed from VERY old storage heaters a few years ago mainly because they couldn't provide a constant heat and had lost all their heat by dinner time. I know we would have to change back to an Economy 7 type tariff but my main question - does anyone know if the new, modern storage heaters able to provide high reliable heat for an infirm person? If it is a choice between intermittent low heat and low cost or reliable decent heat and high cost then the latter has to win because of her medical needs. (no alternative to electric possible)
Page 1
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 9th Oct 19, 2:50 PM
    • 27,994 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 19, 2:50 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 19, 2:50 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    First the bad news. Modern storage heaters, or any other electrical heater, do not produce any more heat for the same electrical consumption than older electrical heaters of any type. They are all 100% efficient in the heat they produce.

    However the advantage of modern storage heaters is that they 'leak' less heat than the old models and the output is more controllable.

    The Quantum heaters have a 'normal' heater as well as a modern storage heater. These normal heaters 'kick in' to maintain the desired set temperature; but they will be using expensive daytime electricity rates which are higher on an Economy 7 tariff than a 'normal' 24/7 tariff.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 9th Oct 19, 3:08 PM
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    tacpot12
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 19, 3:08 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 19, 3:08 PM
    If mains gas isn't available, then a storage heater that also has an instantaneous heater mode is the next best thing.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 9th Oct 19, 3:09 PM
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    Gerry1
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 19, 3:09 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 19, 3:09 PM
    Yes, full price electricity is extremely expensive so provided that they are correctly dimensioned (i.e. have sufficient capacity for the room sizes, heat losses etc) they're probably the least worst option if you can't get gas. Beware of anyone who offers a low price because they'll be tiddlers that won't be up to the job.

    Also, take time to make sure that they are appropriately programmed (operating hours, temperatures etc), don't just rely on the default settings.

    Needless to say, make sure that you take monthly meter readings and that you are on the best tariff !
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 9th Oct 19, 3:31 PM
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    coffeehound
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 19, 3:31 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 19, 3:31 PM
    Dimplex claims that from independent testing:

    Dimplex Quantum is proven to be up to 27% cheaper to run than a standard storage heater system, and up to 47% cheaper to run than an electric convector or radiator system.
    https://www.dimplex.co.uk/blog/mythbusters-quantum-vs-night-storage-heaters
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 9th Oct 19, 5:02 PM
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    Cardew
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 19, 5:02 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 19, 5:02 PM
    Dimplex Quantum is proven to be up to 27% cheaper to run than a standard storage heater system, and up to 47% cheaper to run than an electric convector or radiator system.
    I wish a quality firm like Dimplex wouldn't use a meaningless term like 'Up to'

    If they are 0.0001% cheaper to run their statement is accurate.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 9th Oct 19, 6:13 PM
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    matelodave
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 19, 6:13 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 19, 6:13 PM
    As Gerry says, they need to be correctly rated to provide sufficient heat for the space. A heater that is too small wont store or deliver enough heat and will need to use the supplementary heater (on peak price electricity) to make up the shortfall.

    You do really need to make proper heat loss calculations for each room that has to be heated rather than just a basic length x breadth x height estimate to ensure that the units are properly specified.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 9th Oct 19, 7:11 PM
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    coffeehound
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 19, 7:11 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 19, 7:11 PM
    I wish a quality firm like Dimplex wouldn't use a meaningless term like 'Up to'

    If they are 0.0001% cheaper to run their statement is accurate.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Agreed; it probably makes many people less likely to believe the message, which is poor marketing.

    Anyway perhaps the most useful quote from their research for the OP's situation is

    ... this comparison study showed that [Quantum] heating systems using an E7 tariff on average reduce running costs compared with Direct Acting systems using a Standard Rate tariff by between 45 and 47%.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 9th Oct 19, 8:40 PM
    • 27,994 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 19, 8:40 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 19, 8:40 PM
    .. this comparison study showed that [Quantum] heating systems using an E7 tariff on average reduce running costs compared with Direct Acting systems using a Standard Rate tariff by between 45 and 47%
    That simply confirms that any storage heating on an E7 tariff is cheaper to run than 'direct Acting systems' using a standard tariff.

    There is nothing that makes Quantum heaters inherently cheaper to run than a storage heater and using any other form of electrical heating to keep the room at the desired temperature. The advantage of the Quantum is that it automatically uses both of its heaters to achieve that temperature.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 9th Oct 19, 8:51 PM
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    Gerry1
    There is nothing that makes Quantum heaters inherently cheaper to run than a storage heater and using any other form of electrical heating to keep the room at the desired temperature.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Unlike the simple 1970s box of bricks, it seems that the Quantum is better insulated and doesn't heat by plain convection. Instead it uses a fan to blow heat downwards and out at the bottom. Therefore, if it's a mild day the fan won't kick in and it will retain most of its heat, whereas an old style storage heater would still be merrily leaking heat and turning the room into a sauna.

    Similarly, clever timing controls mean that it won't charge up when not required. If it's correctly adjusted it should seldom need to use peak time electricity, except for the very small amount used by the fan.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 10th Oct 19, 9:26 AM
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    coffeehound
    That simply confirms that any storage heating on an E7 tariff is cheaper to run than 'direct Acting systems' using a standard tariff.

    There is nothing that makes Quantum heaters inherently cheaper to run than a storage heater and using any other form of electrical heating to keep the room at the desired temperature. The advantage of the Quantum is that it automatically uses both of its heaters to achieve that temperature.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Yes apparently the high-heat-retention NSHs offer savings over the older generation heaters of something like a quarter. That figure including 10% of the heating being done using peak-rate electricity - something that a right-minded MSEer would probably lock out. But the figure should be representative for the OP's situation where they need to maintain a safe ambient temperature. The comparison was carried out by an independent industry expert so looks legit.
    • jk0
    • By jk0 10th Oct 19, 1:21 PM
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    jk0
    I wonder if Quantums are that much cheaper still in view of reduced price differentials? The best day/night differential I have been able to get here is on EDF at 21p for day rate to 8p for night rate. One of my rentals is 20p for day rate and 12p for night rate on SSE key meter.


    Therefore even if Quantums manage to use 90% at night rate, the average price is 9.3p on EDF and 12.8p on SSE.


    The ordinary storage heater managing 80% at night rate, would be 10.6p on EDF and 13.6 on SSE.


    Therefore Quantums are only about a 10% energy cost improvement over a normal storage heater. (Not worth 500 plus each IMHO.)
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 10th Oct 19, 1:50 PM
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    • 6,190 Thanks
    coffeehound
    Fair point. Also it depends what daily temperature profile they used for the comparison. If it was for low daytime temperature then heat in the evening, that would favour the high-heat-retention heaters. But for a higher ambient temperature throughout the day, the old-school heaters do that anyway, so would not be at such a disadvantage.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 10th Oct 19, 5:15 PM
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    • 13,844 Thanks
    Cardew
    I wonder if Quantums are that much cheaper still in view of reduced price differentials? The best day/night differential I have been able to get here is on EDF at 21p for day rate to 8p for night rate. One of my rentals is 20p for day rate and 12p for night rate on SSE key meter.

    Originally posted by jk0
    Without doubt E7 night rates are much higher, as a percentage of day rates, than a couple of years ago. It seems the cheapest is around 8p/kWh. However on a non E7 tariff(24/7) below 14p/kWh is possible.

    I wonder if this is a reaction to the increasing number of electric cars being charged overnight.
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 10th Oct 19, 7:52 PM
    • 5,349 Posts
    • 6,757 Thanks
    A. Badger
    Unlike the simple 1970s box of bricks, it seems that the Quantum is better insulated and doesn't heat by plain convection. Instead it uses a fan to blow heat downwards and out at the bottom. Therefore, if it's a mild day the fan won't kick in and it will retain most of its heat, whereas an old style storage heater would still be merrily leaking heat and turning the room into a sauna.

    Similarly, clever timing controls mean that it won't charge up when not required. If it's correctly adjusted it should seldom need to use peak time electricity, except for the very small amount used by the fan.
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    As a point of order, they sound exactly like the Dimplex storage heaters I had in a flat in the 1970s - downward facing fans and all!

    Unreliable, noisy and, above all, not coming with a 100% reliable onboard weather forecast, they finally convinced me that storage heaters per se are to be avoided when possible.

    If you add in the fragility of the National Grid these days, if I were in a situation where I was going to be entirely reliant on electricity and had someone infirm on the premises, I would make as certain as possible I was on a priority scheme with my supplier. And even then I would worry.
    • jimbo6977
    • By jimbo6977 15th Oct 19, 3:39 PM
    • 435 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    jimbo6977
    Having lived in electric-only accommodation in a variety of environments from the Med to the Alps, I personally would get rid of storage heaters and go for electric heaters with a central time&temperature control module and wireless control receivers with individual room thermostats on each radiator.

    Unfortunately they are not commonly available in the UK in the way that they are in France, Italy, Spain etc.

    The one flat I had in the UK with storage heaters was cripplingly expensive to heat, I was on the verge of driving to France and loading the car up with a complete regular heating system from Leroy Merlin in Calais, but it happened that I changed jobs and had to move anyway.

    The only possible situation in which I would ever even consider storage heaters is if I was going to be in the premises all day every day.
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