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Storage Heater Advice Please!


richmoore4071

Question

Hi Everyone,

 

 

I've found a really nice flat to rent.  It's on the ground floor, has high ceilings, double glazing, cavity wall insulation, and an EPC rating of 68.

 

However, it has storage heaters rather than central heating and I need some advice.

 

I want to know whether it's going to be

 

a) very expensive to heat

b) really cold in winter

 

Is there some way round this problem? Oil heaters on timers perhaps?

 

Cheers,

 

Rich x

 

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11 answers to this question

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it will be expensive to heat, although storage heaters are usually on cheaper leccy through the night, sometimes a boost through the day. as for how cold in winter, depends how much you put the heaters on. also remember they are not instant, so you have to plan ahead what the weather will be

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We have a 3 bed house, stone built. Good loft insulation but draughty and no cavity walls to insulate.

 

We spend £1,000 per year on electricity (night storage, all cooking and hot water).

 

£200 coal, and probably £150 value of logs, but I've never had to buy any yet.

 

Light the fire in winter evenings.

 

The UK average gas and electricity cost is about £1,300 so we are sitting around that.

 

(do run washing machine and dishwasher over night on cheap electricity).

 

To give you a real life example. I don't find the house cold. I have costed putting in central heating and it simply wouldn't pay.

 

There is an art to life with electric storage heaters, and you do need a supplemental heat source on cold evenings.

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Unfortunately there's no fire or stove. So the only extra heating I do would be oil or fan heaters.

 

What I've noticed is that a lot of flats I'm viewing have lower EPC ratings than the one mentioned above - but have gas central heating.  

 

Is heating these flats going to be more costly than heating a the more heat-efficient flat with storage heaters?

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It would depend on the insulation qualities of each individual flat, but I would say if you had two identical flats except one had gas central heating and the other was electric storage the gas would be cheaper and more comfortable.

As I say each case has to be taken on its own merits.

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 I would say if you had two identical flats except one had gas central heating and the other was electric storage the gas would be cheaper and more comfortable.

I agree 100%, but the difference would be very small and not get you a payback on the installation of the central heating for a LOT of years.

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I'm guessing you are a non electric person   ( A Muggle)  so a quick run through on storage heaters .  A few things some people aren't aware of.

 

Power is only available to your heaters for 7 hours  (hence Economy 7)    This usually switches ON at midnight  GMT  ..off at 7 am .

Old systems switched by a big time switch by your meter .

Newer systems switched by a signal transmitted by Radio 4  ( Last time I looked)

The heaters are filled with refractory bricks that store heat so although the power goes off at 7am the units will give off heat all day but are using no electric.

 

 

Your electric , after midnight , will be 1/2 price ( or more precise, the agreed price on your bill )  ,,,cheaper anyway.

 

So as the guys have said above ... fit timers to  run your washing m/c & immersion heater  after midnight .

 

Yes I'd say you will need a second heating source in the winter such as a fan heater although storage heaters are quite efficient I believe .

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Hi,

 

Yes, I'm a muggle :)

 

Thanks for your replies so far.

 

So ....

 

If I do go with this flat and do all the things you guys have suggested, will i still end up paying a lot more than i would in a place with normal central heating?

 

Will the (relatively) well insulated flat be able to actually stay warm most of the time anyway?

 

R

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I don't think any of us can answer that  Richard , but if it has a good energy rating .........  as  said , storage heaters are efficient  but you are always a day behind  when controlling them thats all .     If the weather suddenlyy turned to a heatwave overnight , you can't stop the heaters giving off heat .

 

Yes in my opinion , gas powered wet central heating would always be preferable , but if theres no gas .........

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Hi,

 

Yes, I'm a muggle :)

 

Thanks for your replies so far.

 

So ....

 

If I do go with this flat and do all the things you guys have suggested, will i still end up paying a lot more than i would in a place with normal central heating?

 

Will the (relatively) well insulated flat be able to actually stay warm most of the time anyway?

 

R

 

 

How old is the flat?

 

I was doing some work in a 1st floor flat in the winter - no heating on and it wasn't cold. This block is about 15 years old and there are 3 floors so the one I was in was in the "middle".

 

If the one you are thinking of renting is old, you may find it tricky to keep warm  - especially if you are home a lot during the day.

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68 is a good rating, and as you have people above, that will keep you warmer. In general the higher the EPC, the lower the running costs, but there is a weighting in energy assessing against serviving costs, and gas boilers need servicing, so are seen as more expensive to run, so can lower the EPC rating of the property compared to storage heating which basically never get serviced.

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Ground floor flat suggests there are floors above, what about to the sides? how many external walls do you have. Quite a lot of flats rely on electric only heating due to the added complications of gas boilers and the strict regulations about venting and the position of flues. How many other equivalent sized, gas heated, flats have you seen at the same monthly rent?

 

Doc H.

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