THE best storage heaters allow you to take advantage of lower night-time (or off-peak) energy rates and use that energy to heat your home at a time when electricity is more expensive.
So, if you’re one of the many people on an economy tariff with off-peak rates, a storage heater could be for you.
Before we go in, it's worth noting storage heaters only really save you money if your home is not on the gas grid, as electricity is more expensive than gas.
How do they work?
Storage heaters contain ceramic bricks that are heated up during the night.
The thermal energy is stored in these bricks and then slowly released throughout the day to heat your home.
If you work from or are at home during the day, storage heaters might be the perfect option for you.
As with most things in life, the cost of a storage heater can vary dramatically, depending on how many features it has, how efficient it is and what brand you go for.
It is possible to pick them up for less than £200, but most of the better ones cost upwards of this price.
Remember, the more efficient a storage heater is, the less it’ll cost you to run in the long term.
If you already have storage heaters and are just looking to replace them, expect to pay around £50 for installation with existing wiring.
If new wiring is needed, you’ll pay a lot more and there will be more disruption your home.
Types of Storage Heater
There are five main types: of storage heater: manual, automatic, automatic combination, quantum and fan-assisted.
Manual is the most basic type of storage heater you can buy and, therefore, the cheapest. They release their heat automatically during the day and will continue running unless switched off manually.
Automatic ones have thermostats to control the amount of energy stored in them according to the temperature of the room.
Automatic combination models are part storage heater, part traditional electric convection heater. The convector heater can be switched on whenever you need a burst of warmth and require a permanent power supply.
Quantum designs are newer and are fan-assisted, so they use less electricity and are cheaper to run.
They also have an LCD control panel with customisable programmes that let you set your own heating options.
Finally, fan-assisted storage heaters have a silent fan and more than double the insulation of standard models, which means they release their thermal energy slower.
Sorted as to what model you need? Good, then let’s get shopping.
1. Futura Eco Panel Heater
- Futura Eco Panel Heater, £184.99, Amazon – buy here
This combination heater has a convector so you can have a boost of heat if you need to.
It’s only little but can heat a room that’s up to 14 sqm – the size of a regular living room or large bedroom.
There are timed, manual, automatic, eco, frost protection and programmed modes, and the handy small screen allows you to see how much energy is being used.
2. 2kw Electrorad Aeroflow Electric Heating Radiator
- 2kw Electrorad Aeroflow Electric Heating Radiator, £512.05, Amazon – buy here
The 2000W power output of this model means it can heat a 12 sqm room and is extremely energy efficient.
It comes with brackets to mount it to the wall, as well as a 30-year guarantee.
It’s also one of the best-looking models we’ve found.
3. Dimplex QM150 3.3 kW Storage Heater
- Dimplex QM150 3.3 kW Storage Heater, £939, Amazon – buy here
Yes, this one is expensive, but the money you will make back on your electricity bills will make up for the outlay.
The reason it’s expensive is in part due to its size – it’ll heat up very large rooms or those with high ceilings.
It comes with a holiday mode, so you can turn the temperature down while you’re away and programme it to get warmer when you’re back.
The fan makes it super-efficient too.
4. Futura Electric Panel Heater
- Futura Electric Panel Heater, £59.99, Amazon – buy here
Much cheaper than the Dimplex QM150 but still very energy efficient, this slim model is fan-assisted for even heat distribution, is programmable and has three seven-day timer profiles – perfect for smaller rooms.
It’s also compatible with all off-peak energy tariffs.
5. Creda 0.9kw Sensor Plus Electric Storage Heater
- Creda 0.9kw Sensor Plus Electric Storage Heater, £225, Amazon – buy here
Want something super-simple to operate to heat up a small room? This storage heater is for you.
There are no controls – it works as a conventional storage heater with ceramic bricks that heat up during the night then radiate heat during the day.
It comes with brackets so can be wall-mounted or floor-standing.
If warmth is what's needed, we've rounded up the best cheap rugs to give a room something extra.
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