The Night Storage Heater
Storage heaters are the home’s tireless workhorses, quietly toiling away at night while we’re asleep to provide cut-price heating for us the next day. They are denizens of the dark created specifically to profit from off-peak electricity tariffs at midnight economy. They are renowned for being able to provide years of low-cost heating to thrifty users. Due to the unique way it warms up spaces, the night storage heater is a completely different animal compared with most other electric heaters. It is an appliance with two distinct people-it quietly stores heat during the night and becomes an adjustable source of warmth during the day.
Why are they known as “night” storage heaters?
Storage heaters are the only heating system designed to make use of special energy tariffs. Such as Economy 7, which offer different rates for electricity in the night and daytime. Originally, these tariffs became popular in the 1960s when power plants needed to utilize the surplus electricity that accumulated at night when fewer people were using their appliances. The electricity board promoted the use of night-time electricity to keep these power stations running efficiently by providing cheaper rates to consumers which, in turn, prompted manufacturers to find a way to use this cheap electricity to produce and store heat for the next day. This breakthrough invention was a storage heater.
How do storage heaters work during the night?
A common problem that comes up is how storage heaters know when to start using electricity at night. With the power utility, it’s not some form of magical telepathy – the reason storage heaters know when to turn to night-time levels is that they’re wired into a separate energy meter that only activates during the specified off-peak hours. These off-peak hours are set by your provider and will vary from business to business, as well as from region to region. Off-peak scheduling in some areas can start as early as 10:00 pm or end as late as 08:30 am so it’s important to know exactly when your off-peak hours start and end to unintentionally avoid using daytime rates.
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