Storage Heaters

Rather than going through the hassle of using a plumber to install radiators
into my converted garage I am considering storage heaters.
Can you advise if the typical storage heaters plug into a conventional wall
socket? - I expect a flush fitting to the wall so how do the electrics work
Reply to
You may live to regret it, theyre pricey to run.
There are 2 systems for E7, depends which you have. Either the clock switched storage feed is separate, or in some cases its not, and the clock switches the whole house between E7 rate and full.
Reply to
LongYP formulated on Sunday :
They would prove to be very expensive to run by that method. The usual method is to run them charging up on some sort of off peak scheme - cheaper electricity during the night, but paying a little extra during the day per unit. Look up E7 (or Economy 7) and off-peak.
Reply to
Harry Bloomfield
I wouldn't. I had a flat once with storage radiators - they're expensive and useless - do you know if you're going to be cold tomorrow?
Reply to
They do not. All permanent heaters need individual radial circuits back to the consumer unit. For storage heaters this would now be a dedicated off-peak consumer unit, connected to the mains supply through a radio-controlled teleswitch, to charge the heaters up overnight at off-peak rates. You also need your meter changed, and connected to the teleswitch, to register the separate peak and off-peak readings.
You will have a restricted range of storage heating tariffs to choose from, and your daytime electricity will cost more. Choosing electric heating can also affect the SAP rating of the extension, so you may need to use additional insulation measures to satisfy Building Control.
The cost of new consumer unit and associated works, together with the heaters themselves (they're not cheap) may make the plumbing alternative more attractive. Microbore is easier to route than 'traditional' piping and in the long term additional radiators will probably be cheaper to run and add more value to the property than a partial storage heater installation.
Reply to
1. Insulation 2. Dedicated feed for each to CU (not off a ring) 3. Economy 7 or Economy 10 (Southern Electric) 4. Insulation 5. Dimplex Duoheat seem most likely to be usable 6. Insulation
Switching is usually via a Normal/Low dual rate meter, with radio/timer contactor switching the E7 heaters. Your REC will provide details of their E7 service.
E7 generally applies to the entire house - so you will pay more for all your peak electricity & less off-peak. May be advantageous re 2am showers, washer, dryer.
E10 generally applies to the heaters only - they and only they are on the 3-timed period cheap rate elec.
The problem with storage heaters (ignoring cost) is the storage-v-loss ratio. Size them correctly to keep a room warm until late in the evening and they will be extremely hot during the night (unbearably). Size them so as not to cook you during the night and their thermal capacity will be too depleted by even quite early evening.
Considerable insulation helps to manage thermal loss.
Combining off-peak & on-peak helps to manage sizing. The Duoheat use a thin film panel heater to boost the output of the storage heater as it falls off during the day. In so doing it undersizes the storage heater part so as to avoid cooking you overnight, and transfers some of the money "wasted" there into paying for the on-peak boost. Realise the on-peak is from a 400W heater (not big).
Economy 10 is an alternative to help manage sizing. This uses 3 bands of on/off spread out over 24hrs, as in 3hrs overnight, 3hrs in an afternoon, 4hrs in evening.
The problem with Economy 10 is that it is (AFAIK) only available from one supplier - Southern Electric - and that is not a good situation re substitution & competition. Just a risk to consider when calculating long term economics.
Typical price of E7 off-peak is 4p/unit, peak is 10p/unit. You can see that gas is cheaper even at 89-95% efficiency.
I assume there is no way to run a gas pipe to a balanced flue wall heater in the converted garage? Such wall heaters can be program/thermostat controlled (Robinson Wiley).
One useful aspect of the Duoheat literature is that it shows the decline in heat output of a conventional storage heater. Essentially by 7pm very little will be coming out of it, hence often hated by people who come home late in an evening :-)
Another alternative is heat pump, although unless you are very far south I doubt an air pump will work in January. Air heat pumps (air conditioning & heating) produce heat in winter by operating in reverse, CoP typically 3.1+. They pump a few kW into a room from each kW of electricity. This would magically bring them into gas territory were it not for efficiency collapsing as the outside temp goes >5oC.
Duoheat (Creda do something similar) is an attempt to fix the problem of storage heaters - but size & cost carefully.
More preferable to extend GCH or gas wall heater w/stat.
Reply to
Dorothy Bradbury
That's a resounding "Don't do it...." - ok - any other ideas for heating other than plumbing more raditors and possibly needing a more powerful boiler to drive the buggers??
Reply to
The first question is "is the habitable area well insulated?" By this I mean have you insulated exterior walls and (if it's a roof above) the ceiling? If so, what was used?
What is the area used for? Do you need heating the whole time?
Adding radiators is not particularly difficult, especially if it's an attached or integral garage. A couple of years ago, I converted my detached garage to a workshop, insulating it thoroughly and adding radiators run from the house system using a heat exchanger.
Another option could be to use balanced flue gas heaters if you can get a gas supply there easily.
Either would be considerably less expensive to run than anything electric.
OTOH, if use is occasional, even fan heaters would be suitable if the area is insulated properly
Reply to
Andy Hall
Everyone, Thanks for the responses. I'll continue down the radiator route. The area will be used as a bedroom/office. It's large (double garage). Walls and roof insulator (still get's bloody cold mind you - currently using an oil heater)
Good responses everyone.
Reply to
A bit of digression, but on topic; reference heat pumps. Not working well below five (degrees) C! (+5 C)? That's interesting because some newer homes here in this part of rather windy Eastern Canada where we spend several months at temperatures close to or slightly above the mid 30s (Fahrenheit) at say around 5 degrees; are installing air heat pumps.
And AFIK they with some electric heat backup for the coldest days, like minus 5C to minus 15C, work satisfactorily. I know of several homes (which happen to be in a fairly high windy area) which have used heat pumps for last five years or longer.
Many years ago when we were being exhorted to 'Live better electrically' an article about electric heating observed 'That every month in this province is a heating month to some degree'! (Nice play on words there?)
Building this house we went totally electric, only installing a chimney/fireplace some years later. That chimney incorporates a separate flue for an occasionally used basement workshop wood stove.
Using Fahrenheit, 60+ degrees (around say 15 C) "Is a nice summers day", the occasional 75 or even 80 Fahrenheit has people complaining about the heat and the humidity.
By the time the annual regatta (men and women crews rowing six's sculled shells btw) is held on the first Wednesday in August, an event that goes back some 160 years to when British Royal Navy and local fishermen rowed heavy ships boats and dories in competition, one is starting to get out the winter woollies! An ideal day for that is around 12 to 15 degrees C and very little wind.
But heat pumps in this cool climate very much part of the scene and frequently advertised as a viable option for new homes.
Ah well must go and get out my studded snow tyres it's almost November! Once installed I can then use them until 1st of May, although Minister of Highways has discretion to extend that if we happen to have 'A long winter'!. And must check the snow blower, snow shovels? Yes. Piling snow up against footing of house also helps reduce heat loss due to high winds. Trouble is that with milder winters (global warming?) the snow melts or blows away sooner, so the effort is lost.
Leaves coming off the deciduous trees at a great rate now.
Reply to
On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 12:49:04 -0000, "LongYP" wrote:
If it's still effectively poorly insulated compared to the house IME (in a large conservatory) the CH will not be heating long enough to make any impression on it. My boiler hasn't fired today and it's 23 c in this room and 12 c outside.
If you can get gas out there a balanced flue room heater (or two) might be a better bet.
My daughter has come across a sleeping bag that has arms (like a coat) and legs (like a pair of trousers).
You could wear one of these 24/24.
Reply to
Derek Geldard
In article , terry writes:
Problem is that the condensation freezes on them, and the evaporator ices up. I've tried running mine at that temperature, but it spends just as long doing defrost cycles as it does heating cycles. Good fun if you like watching large clouds of fog being sent across the garden, but probably less efficient than a bog standard electric heater. It would probably work OK below freezing as there's much less moisture in the air -- the nasty zone is where the air temp is a little above zero and the evaporator is below zero.
It's probably possible to design ones for that temperature range, but the ones in this country aren't.
Reply to
Andrew Gabriel
In article , Derek Geldard writes:
There was a Drugasar wall heater heating most of my house for about 30 years prior to me putting in central heating. The Drugasar worked very well. It heated up very quickly, and the proportional control on the modulating burner maintained the temperature extremely accurately (once I'd pulled the thermostat phile out from behind the heater and fixed in on the wall below the heater). The model I had was halfway between their current Horizon NL31 and Horizon NL51 models. They don't need an electricity supply.
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can easily add a timed setback feature by adding some tiny heating resistors to the thermostat phile, powered by a wall wart on a timeswitch (or a home automation system in my case).
Reply to
Andrew Gabriel
On Oct 28, 2:36 pm, (Andrew Gabriel) had
Yes Andrew: That's why I mention it. It would hardly raise a ripple over the sipping of drinks etc. if someone at a New Year party, with temperature below freezing outside (although that global warming is causing some surprises), to mention their heat pump.
Heat pumps are a little different and a lot of people don't seem to understand their principle even when you say "Like a fridge, backwards"! Various efficiencies are tossed about; but whether those are overall during a typical winter (well a year in our case) or peak efficiencies during not too cold weather etc. don't know. One number is "Uses one third the electricity" but you have to factor in the greater investment cost and higher maintenance costs.
Our electric baseboard heaters are 37+ years in place. None have needed replacement although a couple needed respraying and total diy maintenance has been two wall mounted 230 volt line thermostats and one 20 amp 2 pole (230 volt) circuit breaker. For a total well under $100 (3 bucks/year!).
But heat pumps are becoming just part of the home heating scene. Especially with the escalation of oil prices, leaky fuel tanks, ground pollution, cleaning chimneys, replacing combustion chambers in hot air and hot water furnaces. The fact that heat pumps can be run as AC is here not much of a factor/selling point, although we did haves some humid and thereby, to us, hot days this last summer.
Still a lot of nonsense talked; for example electricity being more or less 'efficient' than oil! And/or that hot water radiation is 'better' heat than electric baseboards etc.
Underfloor heating being used by some; both electrical and from an oil fired or electric furnace via warm water pipes under the floor!
We don't have any cheaper rate electricity time periods here. So have never seen a storage heater. But liking to know more about them can anyone recommend a suitable web site to browse.
TIA Terry ex-Liverpool 1956.
Reply to
Given the significant transmission losses in the power network, electricity is inherently less efficient. However, it has the potential for "sustainable" sourcing.
google Dimplex or TLC
Reply to
: Economy 10 is an alternative to help manage sizing. : This uses 3 bands of on/off spread out over 24hrs, as : in 3hrs overnight, 3hrs in an afternoon, 4hrs in evening.
Are you sure about this? I have E10 and I'm pretty sure it is 7 hours at night (as E7) plus 3 hours in the afternoon...
: The problem with Economy 10 is that it is (AFAIK) only : available from one supplier - Southern Electric - and that : is not a good situation re substitution & competition. Just : a risk to consider when calculating long term economics.
re; Southern Electric -- My understanding is that E10 is only available to existing subscribers (with any supplier) with E10 heaters already installed. As you say this prevents E10 users changing suppliers. Do you have any pointer w.r.t. SE and E10?
Regards Tom.
Reply to
Yes - because it depends where you are in the UK. o Manweb have a 3-part split - reducing existing E7 time o Elsewhere has a 2-part split - perhaps more useful
I think that might be incorrect... o The oddball "oil filled heater" crowd were pushing E10 ---- install their non-storage-heaters and then use E10 ---- heaters made in France, expensive "designer look" o The Electric Boiler crowd were also pushing E10 ---- electric wet central heating for flats (heat+water+floor) ---- I suspect aimed at apartment complexes etc
What is true AFAIK is that E10 only exists from SE.
I think someone listed the prices for 2004/2005 on the Internet, but they will be hopelessly out of date in terms of optimism :-)
Reply to
Dorothy Bradbury
Actually it seems there is quite a lot of conflicting info... o One site - E10 offers 3 split periods ---- 3hrs afternoon, 2hrs evening, 5hrs overnight o Another site - E10 offers 2 split periods ---- 3hrs afternoon, 7hrs overnight
I suspect it is simply regional variation...
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S&SE E10 periods vary based on locality ---- Midlands 5hrs overnight, 3hrs afternoon, 2hrs evening ---- Scottish 3hrs overnight, 3hrs afternoon, 4hrs evening o I recall a more significant variation elsewhere ---- may be E10 times are varied or have been varied ---- however I do not think they use over-grid signalling ---- I think they just use a ?Radio-4-beep-synch-signal?
That document also lists prices for customers. Manweb have the highest service charge/day I notice (24p) Midlands have by far the lowest service charge (11p).
There are further discounts re 6% for monthly D/D and prices include VAT - so basically knock the VAT off.
Additionally there are 3 suppliers of E10... o
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nPower o Southern Electric o Powergen
E10 might become popular if we can get some air heatpumps that have good efficiency at UK low temps - a la Canada ones. Not expensive "appliances", cheap to install, cheaper than gas or at least closer to parity & on-demand with good control.
What are Atlantic Energy & Gas prices for E7... o In the Manweb area for comparison ---- E7 peak -- 17.28p/unit for the first 900 units per year ---- E7 peak -- 9.40p/unit for the remaining units ---- E7 night -- 3.85p/unit for the 7hr period ---- prices exclude 5% VAT & 1-month-free discount (8.3%) o Glancing at the E10 prices, it seems a fair whack more ---- so much more I am not sure E10 is very economic ---- unless you have many storage heaters vs 1 as backup
I much prefer an air heatpump re on-demand & control, but am not convinced they will work well in a UK January.
Reply to
Dorothy Bradbury

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