Night storage heaters

Night storage heaters

Using your night storage heaters

Storage heating is designed to take advantage of low-cost, off-peak electricity tariffs, enabling you to keep warm and comfortable at an economical price. This guide will help you make the most of your heating system, showing you the different types of storage heaters and how to use and control them without wasting energy.

Storage heaters store up heat, using low-cost, off-peak electricity, which is gradually released to keep your home warm throughout the day. Your night storage heater stores thermal energy during the night using the off-peak electricity tariff, Economy 7. This is only available from 12.00 midnight until 7.00 am.

You can control storage heaters individually. This means you can choose different heat settings for different rooms. Used correctly, they should provide much cheaper room heating than electric fires or convector heaters.

Storage heaters are cost effective if used properly, but do require a little more attention than other forms of heating. In order to use your night storage heater effectively and safely, there are a few important things to remember...

  • A storage heater doesn't provide instant heat when it's first switched on after being off for a period – it needs to store up energy during the night so it will work the following day
  • Once energy has been stored, the surface of the heater can be hot. This is perfectly normal as heaters of any type do get hot, especially around the air outlet grille
  • Do not cover any surfaces of the heater and do not obstruct the air outlet grilles. This will cause the temperature to rise sharply and may cause safety cut-outs to operate
  • Don't put clothes, fabrics or any inflammable materials on top of or draped over the heater
  • Don't allow curtains to hang over the top and ends of the heater
  • Don't push furniture up against the heater
  • Do not allow people with reduced physical, sensory or mental capacities to use the heater unless they have been given instruction and supervision concerning the use of the appliance by a person responsible for their safety
  • Children should be supervised to ensure that they do not play with the appliance.

There are three storage heater models used in Magna homes:

  • FX night storage heaters - used mostly in our sheltered and supported homes, have one control
  • XL night storage heaters - the most common form of storage heater in our general needs homes, use two controls
  • CX/CXL night storage heaters - again with two controls, including a separate convector element.

If you're unsure as to which heater model is in your home, or you need help with understanding and setting the controls, we’ll be happy to help.

FX Storage Heater

This night storage convector heater has only one heat control knob which is very easy to use and will keep your room at a constant temperature. Turn the dial clockwise if you want the room to be hotter and anti clockwise for a cooler room.

The FX uses the Economy 7 tariff to store heat during the night, if you need an extra boost during the day, the convector heater will provide this, so a constant
heat is provided. It’s unlikely that the convector heater will be needed to kick in during the day, but if it does, the convector will be using the on-peak electricity tariff an will cost more.

XL Storage Heater & CX Dual Storage Heater

Both of these night storage heaters have two heat controls. The left hand (output) knob controls the heat going into the room. The right hand (input) knob controls the heat coming into the heater.

Setting the controls:
The control knobs have been positioned so that they are clearly visible to an adult, but out of sight of young children. The correct setting of the controls should ensure your home is kept warm or cool according to how you want the temperature to be, using the off peak Economy 7 tariff. The setting position of the controls will depend on the weather. The secret of using these storage heaters successfully is to get into the habit of monitoring the weather forecast. You may find it easier to set the dials by inserting a 2p or 10p in the vertical control slot to help move the dials around. Don’t use sharp utensils as these could damage the controls and stop the heater working effectively.

Setting the right hand (input) control dial:
In very cold weather set the right hand (input) knob to maximum (fully clockwise).
In milder weather set the right hand (input) control to a lower position, so don’t turn it all the way round.

Setting the left hand (output) control dial:
In the evening... This control may be moved to maximum ONLY if additional heat is required at that time. Return the control to the minimum setting before going to bed.
In the morning... If you want to maintain the temperature of the room, then move the left hand (output) switch slightly clockwise to allow the heat to come out. This opens a damper flap and allows the room air to circulate through the heater and keep the room warm.
If your house is empty during the day, the left-hand (output) switch should be left at a minimum temperature all day and then moved towards the maximum temperature required on your return to the house in order to let more heat escape.

CXL Storage Heater

In addition to the above, the CXL incorporates a convector heater which can be used to increase heat output during the day if you need this. You will recognise if your heater is a CXL as there will be a switch on the right hand side of the unit. If you flick the switch, the convector will switch on. A red or orange light on the front of the unit will be illuminated to show that the convector heater is working.

Power supply

The storage heater will have two power circuits, one for on-peak and one for off-peak (Economy 7) electricity and two power switches on the wall next to it . The off-peak switch is just a switch as it has a dedicated electricity circuit. The on-peak switch has a fuse as it is part of another electricity circuit.

During the summer months or when heating is not required due to absence from home, switch both switches to the off position.

During other months when heating is required, the off-peak switch can be left to the on position at all times. But, only switch the on-peak switch to the on position if there is a need for more heating, as the electricity the convector uses could be very expensive if used excessively, so do not leave the on-peak switch to the on position unnecessarily.

Don’t be afraid of the on-peak facility as it will be useful if you need additional heating in very cold weather. But, be aware that using it will cost you more in electricity charges when you receive your electricity bill, as the electricity supply will be charged at peak power rates during the day.

Remember, if you switch the on-peak switch to the on position, make sure you remember to switch it off again once you have warmed your room to the temperature you require. Don’t leave the on-peak switch on overnight – you will be wasting money.