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What are night storage heaters?

Night storage heaters draw electricity through the night and release heat the next day. It can be a cheaper way to heat your home if you’re on an Economy 7 plan.

A night storage heater is a wall-mounted box that looks and works a bit like a radiator. It draws electricity overnight, and stores it as heat in a ‘bank’ of clay or ceramic bricks to release the next day.

It makes sense to be on an Economy 7 plan if you have night storage heaters as you’ll enjoy cheaper rates for seven hours overnight. You don’t get night-rate electricity on other types of plan. 

Using your night storage heater

All night storage heaters have two simple dials:

  • Input – controls how much heat you want it to store overnight
  • Output – controls how quickly you want the heat to be released the next day

The input is important because, even though night-rate electricity is cheaper on Economy 7, there’s no point paying for more than you need. So if it’s not particularly cold or you’ll be out for most of the day, then set the input to minimum. 

The output works like a standard radiator. It allows you to release the stored heat gradually throughout the day and into the evening, if you want.

Some storage heaters have a timer so you can set the output to come on at specific times (for example, when you wake up and come home from work). Others allow you to regulate the amount of electricity the heater draws at night, depending on the temperature.

They sometimes have a ‘boost’ setting too. But beware, this doesn’t use up your stored heat. It draws electricity from the mains and should only be used if you run out of stored heat.

Top tips for lower bills

  1. Make sure your output setting is turned off at night and when you’re out of the house or room
  2. Don’t use the boost setting unless you really need the extra heat
  3. It’s better to turn up the input on your storage heater and store more heat than to plug in another electric room heater

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