What are storage heaters?
Storage heaters are a form of electric convection heating with no plumbing or pipework. They are wired into the mains and have ceramic or clay bricks inside them. These bricks are heated at night, making use of the low tariff rate, then they release the energy the next day. This allows households on dual tariff electricity meters such as Economy 7 or Economy 10 to make savings on electricity.
There are some issues with this form of heating. Because they only release heat during the day, it’s possible for them to run out by the evening. They can make your home nice and toasty in the morning though!
Old models can be really inefficient, but new ones are much better. Even so, their future as an efficient form of heating looks uncertain, as Economy 7 (the very thing which makes them cheap to run) is at threat – we talk about this below.
How much do storage heaters cost?
They start from around £300, depending on the size, manufacturer and model. It is worth spending extra on a more efficient model with intelligent heating controls.
Pros of storage heaters
- As long as Economy 7 keeps going, they are cheaper than running the same amount of electrical heating using electricity at regular daytime rates.
- Cheaper to install than a complete central heating system.
- Very little maintenance required.
Cons of storage heaters
- They leak heat, so you end up paying to generate more heating than you actually get from them
- You can only use what has been generated – you can’t increase the amount of heating on demand – so you have to try to guess what times you’ll need it on a cold day.
- They’re often big and ugly!
- Controls can be complicated.
The future of storage heaters
We believe storage heaters may soon become redundant as Economy 7 probably won’t be around for much longer. Coal and nuclear power plants (which can’t switch off at night, hence cheap night rates) are being decommissioned. As the main advantage of storage heaters is their being cheap to run, once this is no longer true it is hard to imagine them being a popular option for many. We’d recommend infrared heating instead – the units are much better looking and radiant heat doesn’t get lost like convective heat does!
Installing storage heaters
Need new storage heaters? We have scoured the country for the best tradespeople, so that we can make sure we only recommend those we really trust.
If you would like us to find you a local installer for storage heaters, just fill in the form below and we will be in touch shortly!