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Night storage heaters

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2Margaret | 18:31 Sat 17th Sep 2011 | Property
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We are about to buy a 2 bed flat which is electric only and has storage heaters with panel heaters in the bedrooms (assume all original from 1989). We are concerned about heating costs and realise that new storage heaters are more efficient. The main concern is the lack of flexibility ie the need to store heat overnight for the next day. We have seen ads for continental type plug in electric radiators. Any advice would be helpful, although assume these would not be on economy 7.


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!989 heaters are still pretty good, Margaret. The advantage of newer models is no magic cure. They mostly have better control facilities so they can be fine tuned to your needs.
Energy in = heat out ................ whatever the heating medium may be. I wouldn't take too much notice of the ads. They still consume energy in exchange for providing heat........... and if they're on full-price instead of off-peak, then you'll be worse off .......... warmer during the day, but worse off financially.
Electric systems can often give surprisingly good (low) cost-to-run figures......... but, only with a very high level of insulation. Important for all systems, obviously, but especially for electric.

Spend your money on draught-proofing (if it's an older flat). Maybe even floor insulation (if on ground floor), or loft insulation if you're at the top of the building.
If it's a brand new flat (with today's high insulation standards), then good quality thermal curtains/blinds make a great difference.
How stupid can anyone get ................ ^^^^ how on earth can a new flat have 1989 heaters ...................... doh! :o((((((
You need to consider when you'd actually need heating in the bedrooms. Even in the coldest of British winters, nobody should need to heat their bedrooms when they're actually in bed. (It's simply wasting money. Throwing another blanket on the bed - or snuggling up to your partner - is a lot cheaper!).

So, if you'll only need heating when you're getting dressed or undressed, then a couple of cheap fan heaters, together with a couple of plug-in timers, might be best for you. Simply set the timers to turn the heaters on for a short period prior to going to bed or to getting up.

However if you'll also be using the bedrooms for study, or to watch TV , etc, then you might want to consider using oil-filled radiators instead.

TB is correct (as ever)

I've lived in both older and new properties heated by storage heaters and as long as the property can keep the heat in storage heaters work fine and don't cost too much to run.

The main problem with them is you have to predict what the weather will be like, sudden cold snaps can be dealt with as long as the heater can work as a convection heater too (slightly more expensive though).... sudden warm spells are actually harder to deal with, you can end up with a fully charged heater and even on the lowest output setting they'll still make the flat like a sauna!
Awwwww .............. thanks Chuck :o)
Good point about convection heating. Some models do have both a thermal store, And a convector. This would need two supplies. One off-peak and one regular, for the convector to be used whenever you need it.

Also, it's important to close the "storage" control at night so that the unit takes heat in, but doesn't lose it overnight when you don't need it.
Yes, as others have pointed out, it is a complete fallicy that modern electric storgagte rads are more 'efficient' then older ones, since ALL electric heating methods convert 100% of the electricity into heat - no matter what age. The basic problem is that electricity as a means of generating heat is so damn expensive (compared to gas) in the first place.
Also (as others have pointed out) the main 'advantage' of modern storage rads is that they 'hold in' the stored heat better than the old ones - giving the customer more flexibility about when to release it (and heat the room). The old one dribb;led heat out during the morning - no use for folks out at work and wanting the heat released early evening onwards.
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Thank you all so much for the advice. I think we will just have to give it a go for this winter and see how it works out. Then we can decide what to do. I like the idea of two supplies, but don't know if the residents association would agree to two meters as there is a 'meter room' with all eight meters for the individual flats.
I think modern heaters can be more efficient at 'storing' the heat .. not converting TO heat.
The better ones always retained the heat in a huge bulk of storage medium .. ie. Ceramic .. brick, etc .. and had flaps on the outside of the hot area to let heat escape when needed.
I think the moderm slimline type just cannot do this.
You just have to try and pre-empt the weather!
I'm almost sure you will have two supplies but you won't necessarily know it. We have night storage heaters which are fed by one supply and all other circuits off another. But it is all read from the one meter.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is Economy 10 which we have. This gives the usual 5 hours at night and 2.5 hours in the afternoon of cheaper leccy but also gives an extra 2.5 hours in the evening. It comes on again at 10pm which just warms the heaters up again for the late evening. We dont have a heater in the bedroom or bathroom (small pull corde instant wall heater), or kitchen. Just one in lounge, dining room and spare room. The spare room is used for dressing or drying and we keep it on low.

Energy bills are not cheap by anymeans but I don't imagine I'd save anything by swapping the good old heaters for modern ones. (no gas available here)
Wow maidup ..
Incredible that so many folk are still using those wall-mounted reflector bathroom heaters!
No choice I suppose if no central heating or heated towel rail in there.
Some of the modern heated towel rails can be reasonablt economicalk to use. Wired into mains outlet.
Its just a little occasional use fan heater Allbags. Bathroom is right in the middle of the house and warm enough.

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