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Storage
Heater
Guide

Welcome to Greenvision Energy’s Electric storage heater guide.
In the UK around 2.2 million households use electric heating rather than gas. This equates to around 8.5% of all homes. The majority of this is made up of storage heating, but, interestingly, most people who have storage heaters don’t know how to use them effectively or the best option to replace them with.

What is a storage heater?
Storage heaters are a good option for households who are not connected to the gas grid and need to use electricity as a heat source. Storage heaters work by drawing from the existing electricity (effectively, ‘charging’ like a very large rechargeable battery) and gradually releasing the stored electricity as heat. They are designed to take advantage of cheaper, off-peak electricity tariffs such as Economy 7, which make use of cheaper, overnight electricity rates to absorb and store electricity. Typically this is done using ceramic or clay bricks inside the heater, which retain heat and make heating the home during the day cheaper.

There are many different types of storage heaters, some of which are no longer manufactured so may not be a good choice for the long term. That is why it is important to research the best solution for your heating needs.

Are storage heaters right for my home?

Historically, storage heaters were recommended if your home didn’t have access to a mains gas supply. Today some people are looking to replace their central heating with Dimplex Quantum High Heat Retention Storage Heaters and some of the reasons are:

Smart storage heaters are comparatively easy to install
They don’t require regular maintenance or servicing
They have a long service life, with some manufacturers offering a 30-year warranty and they will improve your energy performance certificate (EPC). This can make storage heating a particularly appealing option for landlords.
It may be difficult or impractical to install central heating, which is the case in listed properties.
Switching to electric heating is a better choice for the environment, especially when the electricity comes from renewable or low carbon sources.
Heating our homes accounts for around 15% of the UK’s total carbon emissions(1) – so it’s a huge contributor to climate change. And if the government is to meet its target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, we need to find alternatives to fossil fuels (gas and oil) for heating our homes.

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What are the different types of storage heaters & panel heaters

Dimplex Quantum Electric Radiator

Dimplex Quantum High Heat Retention Storage Heaters

As the name implies, these are a “smart” version of the traditional storage heaters. Whilst they work in broadly the same way, the clay or ceramic bricks are encased in a highly insulated compartment which allows the stored heat to be released at pre-set times and temperatures. This means smart storage heaters can still take advantage of Economy 7 tariffs but provide much more flexible usage.

Old Style Storage Heaters

Old storage heaters work by drawing electricity at night, and storing it as heat in a ‘bank’ of clay or ceramic bricks to use the following day. they offer very poor energy efficiency, because the heater begins to lose heat as soon as it’s stored and you can’t set different times and temperature. Unlike smart storage heaters. Also old storage heaters can be expensive to run. Smart storage heaters are 27% cheaper to run.

Old Style Storage Heater
Dimplex PLXE Panel Heater White

Fan Assisted Storage Heater

Unlike traditional storage heaters which automatically release the stored heat, fan assisted storage heaters have a low speed fan. The fan draws air through the heater and propels the heat through a grill or vent usually situated at the base of the unit. Some models of fan assisted storage heaters may also have an adjustable speed so that you can control the rate at which heat is given out.

Panel Heater

Panel heaters are a great alternative to a storage heater for rooms that don’t require a lot of heat and have limited space. Ideal for bedrooms

Panel heaters use standard rate electricity and provide fairly constant heat when switched on. They are 100% efficient at point of use and are ideal for rooms that only need heating for short periods, although in compact, well insulated properties they can be used as a complete heating system.

Panel Convector Heater

What should I replace my old storage heater with?

The Dimplex Quantum smart storage heaters are the most advanced storage heaters in the world and the best alternative to old, inefficient storage heaters. This fantastic energy-efficient storage heater is recommended by the Government to improve your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Due to its superior heat storage technology, the Dimplex Quantum is 27% cheaper to run than standard storage heaters and 47% cheaper to run than an electric convector.

Other benefits of the Dimplex Quantum

  • 47% cheaper to run than a convector heater. 
  • 27% cheaper to run than standard storage heaters. 
  • Fully programmable to fit your lifestyle using the simple LED display.
  • Thermostatically controlled – only releases heat when your home needs it, minimising costs. 
  • Attractive, state-of-the-art, compact design.
  • Boost option available when you need extra heat. 
  • Smart Wi-Fi models available – Control your heating from anywhere in the world via your smart phone with an app.

What's the best tariff for my storage heaters?

The best tariff for storage heaters is ‘Economy 7 or ‘Economy 10. Electricity companies provide cheaper energy when demand is much lower (i.e during ‘off peak’). Essentially this means overnight or at weekends, when offices and factories aren’t using as much.

Simply put, the ‘Economy 7’ tariff provides seven hours of cheaper electricity overnight, whilst the. ‘Economy 10’ tariff does the same over 10 hours. Economy 10 was introduced for use with older, inefficient storage heaters because they tend to run out of heat in the evenings. E10 gives additional cheaper rates in the evening unlike E7. Note, you normally pay a higher rate for this.

Newer,  modern high heat retention storage heaters, such as the Dimplex Quantum do not need an E10 tariff as they have superior insulation compared with old storage heaters and they are phenomenally good at retaining their heat.  They work best on the E7 tariff, which is normally cheaper than the E10 tariff.

As tariffs become more advanced, alongside smart meter technology, it is quite likely that, in the future, we’ll pay a different price for electricity at multiple times of the day. So if cheaper energy, such as wind or solar, becomes available, the Dimplex Quantum has the technology already built into it to take advantage of these new smart tariffs.

How to get the best out of old storage heaters?

We would recommend you watch the video from the Energy Saving Trust website which explains the best way of setting up your old storage heaters.

On older storage heaters, the input and output controls are usually found on top of the heater, or down the side.

https://youtu.be/qUwXE8mlj-I

You should adjust the controls throughout the year, to avoid using more energy than you need during the summer. And to make sure the heaters are storing enough heat to last you through the day.

Some storage heaters also come with a ‘boost’ setting, to give you an extra blast of heat if you need it. However, giving your home a ‘boost’ of heat often uses peak-time electricity, rather than the energy stored in your heater from overnight.

If you have more than one storage heater, you can control each one individually.
‘Input’ controls how much energy to store up overnight

The numbers on the input control typically run from 1 (low) to 6 (high). The higher the number, the more energy your heater will store overnight, and the more electricity it will use.

You’ll need to store up more energy during the winter nights, to make sure you’ve got enough heat to last throughout the next day. So, when it starts to get cold, keep the input dial at somewhere between 4 and 6.

In spring and autumn, keep the input dial somewhere between 1 and 3. You won’t need the heating on as much during the day by then, so you don’t need to store up as much energy overnight.

If you find your home isn’t getting warm enough, or you haven’t got enough heat to last you throughout the day, try turning the input dial up a little further overnight.

Over the summer, if it’s warm enough, you might not need any heating on at all. If that’s the case, switch your storage heater off at the wall. This will stop it from absorbing energy overnight and giving out heat during the day.

‘Output’ controls how much heat to give out during the day

During the day, turn the output control up or down to heat your home as and when you need to. 

The higher you turn it up, the warmer it will feel. But by doing that, you’ll also be using up more of your stored energy.

By gradually releasing heat throughout the day at a low setting of about 1 or 2, you should have enough to turn it up in the evening, when it’s usually a bit colder.

Example schedule: Turn the dial to 4 to give your home a quick boost of heat in the morning. Keep it between 1 and 2 throughout the day. Turn it up to 5 at night if it gets a bit cold.

If you’ll be out during the day, remember to turn the output control right down before you leave, to avoid using up more energy than you need.

Always turn the output control down to 1 before you go to bed. Heating up your house overnight will cost more money. It will also use up more of your stored energy, so there’ll be less available for the next day.

In spring and autumn, keep the input dial somewhere between 1 and 3. You won’t need the heating on as much during the day by then, so you don’t need to store up as much energy overnight. 

We can also save you money by replacing your pre-payment meter, as you could be paying up to 15% more for your electricity! Providing there is no debt on your meter, replacing your pre-payment meter to a standard meter is usually no extra cost.

It is important to understand the tariff options when looking into changing your heating system. You need to make sure you match the most cost effective tariff to the type of heating system you need. You need to make it work for you!

Economy 7 (Domestic economy) smart meter tariff
With Economy 7 tariff you get one meter which has two rates. One rate records all energy used during the day, and the other rate records energy used overnight.
The Economy 7 tariff gives you seven hours of cheaper electricity overnight. This is ideal if you have storage heaters, which charge at night.

Standard tariff
Standard tariffs can be cheap, but they can change based on market prices. This can be great when energy prices are going down but prices will rise if the cost of fuel goes up.

Standard tariff Fixed Rate
Fixed rates help you keep control of your budget, and the rates you'll pay will probably be lower than those of the standard tariff. It is good to note, however, that it is the cost of each unit of power that is fixed. If you start using more power than usual, your bills will go up but additional power used will be charged at the fixed rate. Fixed rate tariffs are designed to protect you from energy price rises.

Economy 7 (Domestic economy) tariff
With Economy 7 tariff you get two meters. One meter records all energy used during the day, and the other meter rate records energy used overnight. The Economy 7 tariff gives you seven hours of cheaper electricity overnight. From standard tariffs to fixed-rate deals, there are hundreds of Economy 7 options to choose from, so make sure you shop around!

Economy 10
The Economy 10 tariff works in a similar way to the Economy 7 tariff. It gives you an extra three hours of cheap electricity, usually in the middle of the afternoon. It is designed for electric radiators rather than storage heaters. It gives you 10 hours of cheap rate electricity during a 24 hour period at certain times.

Total Living Control
Total Living Control is for Scottish homes that are highly energy-efficient, and have all-electric heating systems. It offers 8 hours of cheaper, off-peak energy, split across three times each day.

Talk to us about Dimplex Quantum Smart Storage Heaters

Frequently asked questions about electric heating

Smart storage heaters like the Dimplex Quantum may cost a little more to purchase than standard ones, but they are around 27% cheaper to run and will soon pay for themselves and go on to give years of lower energy bills. Even installing just one Dimplex Quantum will improve that all-important EPC rating and keep you warmer into the bargain.

‘Smart’ storage heaters such as the Dimplex Quantum will do the adjusting for you. Like standard storage heaters, they take advantage of off-peak electricity but crucially they can release the stored heat at preset times and temperatures via a sophisticated self-learning algorithm. It will calculate how long to charge the unit and at what rate to release the heat, depending on your lifestyle, weather conditions and your temperature requirements.

All storage heaters will emit a little heat after storage even in the output off position, but smart storage heaters hold their heat for longer because of their highly insulated compartment inside the heater itself. (A little constant background heat can be a good way of avoiding big peaks and troughs in temperature.)

Another advantage of smart storage heaters is their ability to charge only until full, not necessarily the whole seven hour off peak period used by standard storage heaters. Landlords in particular should choose carefully when installing or replacing existing storage heaters. The Dimplex Quantum smart storage heater is BEAB approved. This means you get an improved energy efficiency rating (EPC) for your rented property. From 2018 it will be illegal for private landlords to rent out any property with a rating of F or lower.

It may be difficult to get parts for very old storage heaters and call out charges for qualified electricians can be expensive. New modern high heat retention storage heaters are so much more efficient and controllable. In some cases it may be better to bite the bullet and upgrade and let’s face it, in the current climate, energy prices are only going to go one way.

Yes you can, but we would not recommend it as new storage heaters have more electronics and LED displays which could be affected by moisture. A heated towel rail can sometimes be the better option.

Older type models may contain asbestos. However asbestos was withdrawn in 1973, therefore, all storage heaters made since 1974 should be asbestos free.

 

Installing smart storage heaters is a quick and easy. It requires none of the disruptive plumbing work required to install central heating. Installation done by Greenvision can be completed in 1 day.

Yes, if you want to free up valuable wall space or have a piece of furniture you want to place where the old storage heater was, you can move the new storage heater to a new location.

 

New storage heaters are a lot more efficient than old ones and give out more heat. So, in some cases you may only require one new storage heater as opposed to two. This will free up wall space and reduce install costs. This will depend on the size of the room, how well insulated the room is etc

Need help? Not sure where to start?

Read one of our helpful guides

See our Electric Heating Guide, Storage Heater Guide, or Guide for Landlords.

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Excellent
Based on 42 reviews
Andrew Packham
Andrew Packham
26/09/2023
My experience of Greenvision has been excellent.They were really helpful, accommodating and understanding in responding to my requirements when they changed. Particular thanks to Paul Campbell. Would recommend.
Martyn Shellard
Martyn Shellard
01/09/2023
Excellent from start to finish 😊 highly recommend you speak with these guys before going anywhere else. Thanks guys 😊😊😊
Alison Hutchings
Alison Hutchings
16/07/2023
Greenvision are very professional and knowledgeable and I am very happy with my new Dimplex storage heaters. They are very easy to get hold of and are friendly and reliable. I would highly recommend them.
Jennifer Randall
Jennifer Randall
27/06/2023
I have been very happy with the service received from Greenvision from ordering , installation and after sales contacr
Kaye Walton
Kaye Walton
24/04/2023
I cannot speak highly enough of everyone that I have dealt with at Greenvision with regards to the replacement of my storage heaters. They made the whole process painless and even the installation was quick and done with care. Looking at my electricity usage after the first month, it is around half of what it has been before the installation.
Roz Norman
Roz Norman
28/03/2023
Greenvision were professional and knowledgeable about quantum storage heaters. They were prompt in responding to calls and arrived and installed when they stated they were going to. Installation was efficient and the workmen cleaned up after the work area after. After care has been very helpful and they are very patient in guiding through the programming of new heaters for extra information needed.
Barbora Smith
Barbora Smith
24/03/2023
From beginning to end Greenvision have been great to deal with no drama at al. From Paul with the original sale to Dave fitting and Amanda for all her help and Knowledge. The Dimplex system is working great and any questions I have Amanda is always ready to help.
Andy Doran
Andy Doran
22/03/2023
Greenvision Energy were replacing my Storage Heaters. The service was excellent from the start. I enquired through EDF who passed my details to Greenvision. Within a couple of days they had contacted me and talked over what I required, which included other electrical work. They then sent an estimate. I contacted another large company, who phoned me and I advised what I required. Four weeks later I still haven't received their estimate. I asked Greenvision to give me a fixed price quote so they sent a representative down quickly who was vey efficient. Within a couple of days I had the quote which I accepted. The people at Greenvision were always very pleasant on the phone and always willing to answer any question I asked. Within 14 days the work had been completed. The engineer who came was on time and very pleasant. He was a very efficient worker and left everything clean and tidy. I can well recommend this Company.
Isobel Gleave
Isobel Gleave
05/03/2023
I'm very pleased that I went ahead and replaced my old storage heaters with the new Dimplex ones. The whole process went smoothly and efficiently and Greenvision were very helpful at all stages and didn't rush me. Apart from working better than the old ones they also look smart, as does the new bedroom panel heaters. The installers did a brilliant job and didn't leave a trace.

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