Do We Still Need Storage Heaters?

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    Apr 11, 2014
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Do We Still Need Storage Heaters? Photo by Colin Armstrong

In the 1970s, UK energy companies came up with the Economy 7 tariff as a way to get homeowners to use more electricity during the night by offering cheaper electricity during unsociable hours. In order for people to take advantage of the tariff, storage heaters became the must-have electronic heating solution.

These heaters were installed to 'charge' during the night when the electricity was cheap and then emit the stored heat throughout the day from its ceramic blocks and fan-assisted dissipater. To keep track of how much electricity was being used, the storage heater was connected to a two-tariff meter, which would provide owners with a day and night rate on their bill.

Storage heaters are still in use today across the UK and still provide great benefits to people that are unable to access the gas grid to install a gas central heating system in their home as well as to those who produce their own electricity through solar PV or wind turbine. However, the traditional models that became popular in the 1970s have given way to more effective alternatives: electric radiators and panel heaters.

Comprehensive Electric Heating

Besides taking advantage of cheaper electricity, the major benefit of storage heaters was, and still is, that they are cheaper to install, maintain, and run as central heating systems. This remains the case with modern electric heating supplies. However, some of the drawbacks of the original heaters have been addressed, the two most significant being the unavoidable heating of a property overnight as the heater charged; and the size of the heater dictating how much charge it can take.

Modern electric radiators and panel heaters have much more in common with conventional 'wet' radiators than storage heaters, designed to look the same, giving them aesthetic appeal.

In terms of heat output, the electric heating supplies of today are much more advanced. Both radiators and panel heaters are available in a range of size and power output options, and are capable of providing you with heat whenever you need it – no charge necessary. Newer digital panel heaters are also equipped with built in thermostats that allow you to fully control heating for enhanced comfort and lower energy usage.

So, back to the original question: do we still need storage heaters? Yes and no.

Do we need the original storage heater designs that were introduced in the 1970s? No. Do we need their 21st century alternative? Yes, we definitely do.

Author's Profile

In this article author Writes about Storage Heaters. Electric Heating Supplies is the UK's leading electrical heating specialist, offering a wide range of electric radiators and panel heaters at affordable prices.

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