Making the most of storage heaters

Storage heaters use electricity overnight to generate and store heat ready to be slowly released during the day. They are a good option for all-electric homes that don’t need to be heated everywhere, for example in rooms that aren’t used often. These heaters work with a special two-rate electricity deal where electricity used at night is cheaper than electricity used during the day.

Check your energy plan to make sure it works with your storage heaters. It may be called ‘Economy 7’ on your bills. If you rent from the council or a social landlord, your heating may be included in your rent. If so, you’ll have a separate deal with your energy supplier to power all other electric appliances in your home and the electricity won’t be cheaper at night.

If you have an ‘Economy 7’ deal, try to use as much electricity at night to take advantage of the cheaper rate. If your hot water tank has a timer, make sure it uses the overnight electricity, too.

Control your heating and adjust the settings throughout the day.

Some older-style storage heaters will have two knobs: one for ‘input’ (‘charge’) and one for ‘output’ (‘boost’). Before going to bed, decide if you’ll need a lot of heat the next day, for example if you expect cold weather or if you plan to be home the whole day. Turn the ‘input’ dial clockwise (towards the higher numbers) for more heat. Turn the ‘output’ dial fully anti-clockwise (to the lowest number) until the morning.

When you wake up, adjust the ‘output’ dial to release some of the stored heat. Remember that you have a limited amount of stored heat, and this must last the whole day. The higher you set the ‘output’, the quicker you’ll use this heat. Turn the ‘output’ dial to the lowest number if you plan to be out during the day.

Some storage heaters also have a switch that can provide a boost of heat during the day if the stored heat runs out. Turning this switch on costs more than using stored heat, so only use it if you really need to.

The newest types of storage heaters have extra controls and sensors, which can operate automatically.

Storage heaters can be tricky to use and you might need to experiment with the controls to find the perfect settings. If you have old storage heaters and you always seem to run out of heat before the end of the day, contact us for help.

Storage heater with manual controls and two wall switches