If you are searching for suitable alternatives to storage heaters, then look no further you are at the right place! Storage heaters allow the users to store thermal energy during the evening or night when the electricity rates are lower and release the stored heat during the day. A common issue with these electric heaters is of heat control; they start to release the heat once they reach their maximum capacity whether you need it or not. Due to this lack of heat control, it is better to consider other substitutes to storage heaters.

All About Storage Heaters!

Storage heaters are electric heaters that work by storing thermal energy during the night and releasing it during the subsequent day. Such heaters are composed of ceramic bricks that serve as a heat storage medium and are embedded with electric heating elements that heat the ceramic material. These heaters would be best for the customers on cheaper electricity tariffs (Economy 7 and Economy 10). Modern Storage heaters offer an enhanced level of heat control, but still, they aren’t the most practical way of heating your households in these modern times.

Why Choosing Alternatives to Storage Heaters is the Right Decision?

You might be wondering if these heaters store thermal energy during the night when the electricity rates are lower then what is the need to replace them. The main issue with them is that much of the stored heat is released inefficiently and not when you require it the most. The temperature drops during the evening, and it will be the time when there would be a greater need for heating. There is a good chance that your storage heater would have released all the heat by the time evening comes and would be left with no stored heat. It might also be the case that these heaters release excess heat into the rooms, leading to unnecessarily high temperatures. Due to these setbacks, it is better to replace them with a more viable alternative.

Replacements for Storage Heaters

If you are looking for substitutes to storage heaters then here is a list of some alternatives:
  • Fan heaters
  • Electric radiators
  • Oil-filled radiators
  • Ceramic heaters
  • Infrared heating panels

Fan Heaters

Fan heaters aren’t the best choice when it comes to replacing storage heaters. These heaters could be used to give a blast of hot air in a single direction. Fan heaters are compact portable units and are suitable for heating smaller rooms.

Electric Radiators

As the name suggests, electric radiators use electricity rather than hot water to generate heat. These radiators have an efficient way of working and are a suitable alternative to storage heaters. You would find electric radiators in terms of output ranges in the market that indicate the amount of heat these radiators can generate.

Oil Filled Radiators

Oil-filled radiators work in a similar fashion to electric radiators. These radiators are filled with oil, and a heating element is inserted in the oil. When the heating element is heated, it transfers its heat to the fluid inside the radiator. Due to the oil’s excellent heat retention properties, it takes time to cool down and radiate heat in the meanwhile even after turning off the heating element. The heat-retaining property of oil makes it more cost-effective than electric radiators. These radiators come in both portable form and as fixed wall insulation. Some of the benefits this radiator has to offer that might be ideal for your situation are:
  • This radiator works silently; if you want your heating equipment to work with lesser noise, then oil filled radiator is a must-have.
  • It would be a cost-effective solution to your heating problems.
  • This would be the best alternative to the storage heater if you have allergies.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heaters and fan heaters resemble a great deal in their construction. The difference between the two is of working principle. The ceramic heater comprises a heating element made from ceramic. It has a positive temperature coefficient (PTC), which means that the ceramic material’s resistance would increase with the increase in temperature. When the air passes over the ceramic material, it gets heated up by convection and is distributed in the space where heating is required.

Infrared Heating Panels

Lastly, a recent development in the world of heating equipment is infrared heating panels. It could be said to be one of the best substitutes for storage heaters due to its immense benefits. The working of infrared heating panels is quite different from conventional space heating in homes. What these panels do is that they emit infrared radiations. When these radiations hit a solid object, let’s say a human body, the body’s top surface particles would start to vibrate releasing heat in the process and leaving a warm sensation. Here are some of the benefits these panels behold that would help you choose them over storage heaters.
  • Infrared heating panels are an efficient way of heating and would allow you to save precious energy.
  • These heating panels have a compact design and are silent in operation as it doesn’t have moving parts that would make any noise.
  • They take only 30 seconds to reach the optimum heating after being switched on.
  • These panels heat the walls and floors as well, unlike conventional heaters that just heat the air. This helps the floors and walls to stay dry that prevents them from being infested with mould.
Now you would be wondering that among these five substitutes for storage heaters which one is a must-have. This would depend upon which alternative works best for your situation and that would be for you to decide.

Cost of Storage Heater Substitutes

Cost is also an important consideration when choosing the right alternative to storage heaters. Average buying cost of the above substitutes is mentioned in the table below.
Heating Equipment Average Cost
Fan Heater £9-£15
Electric Radiator £120-£415+
Infrared Heating Panel £100-£500+

Operating Cost of Alternatives

As all of the replacements for storage heaters mentioned earlier use electricity, it is important to consider their operating costs as well. The operating cost of the heating systems mentioned above can be found out by multiplying the energy consumed by the heater in kWh by the cost of electricity. The average cost of electricity has been set to 14.4p/kWh.
Heating Equipment Energy Consumed Per Hour in (kWh) Estimated Operating Cost Per Hour in (p)
Fan Heater 1.5 22
Electric Radiator 1.2 17
Infrared Heating Panel 0.4 6
You just need to keep this simple formula in mind to determine the estimated operating cost per hour of an electric heating system. Estimated Operating Cost Per Hour= Energy Consumed Per Hour × Cost of Electricity

Final Verdict-Alternatives to Storage Heaters

Storage heaters despite using electricity at cheaper rates to store thermal energy during the night and giving it off during the day have become a technology of the past. Considering other practical solutions that would provide an efficient way of heating is necessary. Looking at the features and weighing the pros and the cons, infrared heating panels seem like the best option. Though these heating panels are a bit hard on the pocket initially, they would be a wise decision in the long run due to their enhanced efficiency. With that being said, all five alternatives discussed earlier could be used to replace the storage heaters. Choosing the right one which works best for you is for you to decide.  
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