Storage heaters, as the name suggest store or keep heat. Good storage heaters are designed to consume cheap off peak or direct electricity for maximum output.
Among other models, the following are some types of storage heaters designed for comfort and optimum efficiency and effectiveness.
- Combination model
- Automatic model
- Smart fun assisted model
- Manual control model
Before deciding on any of the above types of storage heaters, the following specific heater considerations have to be taken into account.
I. Safety Features
Minimum safety required standards should be taken into consideration before installing a storage home heater. The following are some of the safety concerns;
- Exposed surfaces; should be cool to touch and free from any acute shocks
- Safety cut off switch; to stop current flow in case of any emergency
- Air inlets and outlets; ventilation is important for cooling. This prevents energy loss due to overheating.
- It should also be free of open flames and exposed heating elements to prevent accidental fires and burns.
- Should conform to low voltage directive (LVD). should draw less amount of current so as not to overload the electrical circuit systems
- Should be Eco-friendly by not emitting unsafe exhaust gases e.g. carbon monoxide and smells
At any time, even under a vacated premise, it should not expose your property to damages by leaks from radiators
II. Energy Saving Features
High cost of fuel, climate change and supply shortages are some of the important reasons for energy conservation. To aid this, a good storage heater should have well installed features for energy conservation. These include;
i. Panel heaters; Panel heaters offer a variety of options in relation to energy saving as below;
- Run back timers; after a specified time duration, the run back timer switches off the heater automatically.
- 24 hours timer; allows planned (advance) heating since it controls when the heater will be switched on or off
- Accurate thermostats;controls overheating or under heating by ensuring the room temperatures do not vary/fluctuate
- Half heat switches; reduces watts used if heater output is more than required.
ii. Heater Controls; Examples include; Plug in Modules, Individual Heater Controls or Central Programmers. They improve on efficiency of the storage heater.
The Automatic Input Control controls the amount of heat the heater stores depending on the weather.
iii. Duo heat radiators; by using off peak and direct source of electricity, they enable 24 hours provision of heat. The heater should be able to automatically adjust to desired heat proportions for comfort-ability. Check out this video for a little advice on how to get the most out of your storage heater:
For safety and efficiency, some storage heaters require regular maintenance. To avoid damages to heater cords, Servicing should be done by only qualified personnel.
Before deciding this type of storage heater, get information on how frequently it will be serviced and if there is any fee attached to that. If it needs frequent servicing, consider other better options.
Also get to know the type of servicing whether it will involve changing parts or just simple routine maintenance. A good storage heater requires very minimal or no maintenance.
For effectiveness, safety, efficiency and optimal results, heaters should be strategically installed with the following taken into consideration;
- Human traffic; as a safety measure, heaters should be installed in arrears or sections of the house free from human traffic. This will prevent burns and trip hazards from heater cords.
- Visible cords; heater cords should not be passed under carpets or anywhere not visible as they might unknowingly undergo wear and tear.
- Away from easily combustible material e.g. paper bins, curtains, desks among others to prevent accidental fires
- Balanced, optimal heating; should be orientated for maximum, better heat output results.
V. Cost and warranty
With many storage heaters in the market, consider the one most tailored to your needs in terms of optimum energy output and low costs (price and maintenance) Cut on installation costs by inquiring about after sale installation service and get assurance about the heater quality through warranty to cover on any inconvenience.
VI. Heating effectiveness
Optimal effectiveness depends on heater efficiency and size of the room among other factors. A large open space will require more powerful heaters compared to smaller enclosed rooms. For energy efficiency, a heater with correct capacity for a given room should be considered
Overheating heaters that exhibit more than 22c of temperature are never a good fit since a lot of energy is wasted. Consequently, consider heaters with automatic input controls, half heat switches and Run back timers for automatic energy regulations.
Some heaters require constant or frequent supervision due to their overheating nature or exposed flames e.g. small fun heaters. These kinds of heaters must be attended to when in operation and should not be preferred for home installations due to high risks associated with them.
Heaters with automatic cut outs on tipping, without exposed flames, cool to touch and free from faults should be preferred.