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Would you install these instead of storage heaters?

(34 Posts)
CravingSleep Mon 28-May-12 19:35:32

We live in an 80s ex council house in a mixed estate. Our road is the only road without gas supplied. (I realise this affects the value of the property but that was how we could afford to buy when we did).

We have 2 storage heaters that could easily be the original ones. One works fine the other gives minimal heat. I'm not a fan of storage heating but it has been unbelievably cheap to run compared to our previous gas heated flat. (We don't use them until winter, then fairly low, don't use hot water for periods at a time so don't heat tank overnight).

We could replace the hallway storage heater but our neighbours have installed this .
I know absolutely nothing about these type of things at all, and guess whichever firm I ask for advice will be biased towards their product. The neighbours are happy with it, but they moved in and didn't have any intention of using night storage heating. If we changed over we'd move off of economy 7 tarrif (which is currently saving us money due to storage heating).

We don't have a lot of money at all so £2000 is a lot to us - and it feels a lot to spend when we don't really understand electric, replacing a boiler is more understandable!

* Does anyone know of this firm/ this type of heating? Does it work out cost effective. The benefit of being able to control heating is of course huge but we don't want a HUGE increase in bills.

* We're aware our resale value is sadly limited by not having gas - but would this affect it in anyway? We were hoping that recent-electric heating would sound better than storage heating but both sound expensive to someone used to gas don't they?

We'd love to move from here but until I'm back at work that's unlikely sadly.

We can get gas connected to the house for a few hundred but as the house has no pipework for anything, no radiators, boiler, etc etc it would be thousands and thousands to contemplate.

I'd appreciate any advice.

PigletJohn Mon 28-May-12 23:28:12


Sorry, fell on the floor there

Italian aluminium is the finest in the world

Does anyone seriously believe that the nationality of the aluminium causes more heat to come out?

Electric heaters are fundamentally very simple. X amount of electricity input, cost of £Y, Z amount of heat output. The brand is irrelevant. The nationality of the aluminium is irrelevant.

So far as I can see though my tears of mirth, the heaters you have linked to are not storage heaters. So either you will run them on daytime electricity at twice the cost, or you will run them on Economy 7 or similar, and they will make the house warm while you are in bed.

If one of your old storage heaters is working but not putting out enough heat, see if one of its elements has burnt out and needs changing; if not, and it is just not a powerful heater, buy a new one.

PigletJohn Mon 28-May-12 23:51:33

laughing at the ad, you understand.

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 07:22:43

Thanks - the website irritated metens the sales rubbish (although I'm not scientific so don't actually have much of a clue about how these things work)

However we currently have storage heaters which we hate and next door have put in non-storage electric heating and claim it isn't costing them a lot. They happened to go with linked guys above and recommended them. I'm happy not to go with them but honestly haven't a clue about such things.

Neighbours moved from economy 7 to a different tarif as obviously day electricity is expensive on economy 7. Are you saying it would still work out silly expensive? They're pleased so far which is what led me to post here. Website had my skin itching but if at the end of the day they do the job . . . Wasn't sure who else to approach.

Or should I just replace storage heater and live with the crapness of them?

I suspect it would be cheaper to move (we'd love to) than install gas.

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 07:27:27

Piglet - meant to say I know they're not storage heaters. They've come off economy 7 to a normal tarif to use them as normal heating.( economy 7 only tarif for storage heating)

Very much appreciate any advice! I can't go to these people or other radiator companies obviously as they want to sell them to me!

PigletJohn Tue 29-May-12 08:31:14

If these things are not storage heaters, just electric panel heaters, there are plenty of low-priced ones around. All electric heaters are equally efficient, despite the exotic foreign flavour of that Italian aluminium.

For example Argos or Tesco probably have electric heaters at £30 or so. The extra money can be used to impress the neighbours in some other way.

Yes, daytime electricity is about twice the price of E7 electricity.

I'd save your money up until you can afford to go for gas CH.

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 08:49:04

Thanks - not at all interested in impressing neighbours (we're not that kind of family) but were interested in the hope of thermostats and heating that didn't need to be set each night and could be controlled during the day. Completely hate having moved from central heating to storage! I am feeling very stupid though.

I was thinking that on economy 7 the day rate is high and heaters run all night but on a normal tariff the day rate would be lower and they'd only run morning and night?

I have some cheap Argos heaters for when it gets cold in the evening - I assumed I would be paying for control but thinking about it the price hike is huge.

I'm thinking you may have saved us from an expensive mistake. Thank you. Honestly didn't know who to ask. My family have always been gas.

So any form of non storage heating is a no no? We have a little money set aside - would improving storage heaters be better? Is there such a thing as a good storage heater?

Thankyou. I'm not as stupid as I look - really . . .

PigletJohn Tue 29-May-12 09:44:36

Well, if your family is at home during the day (when storage heaters give out most of their heat) then they aren't too bad. If you have the chance to run other power-hungry electrical apppliances (tumble drier, immersion heater, washing machine, dishwasher, in that order) or overnight bedroom heaters in cold weather, when they can take advantage of the night-time rate, that helps too. You must have plenty of smoke alarms just in case an appliance goes wrong, especially tumble-driers.

Generally, electric heating on daytime rates is very expensive.

Incidentally, I've used electric heaters at times. They almost all have thermostatic controls on them these days, which prevents you wasting heat by getting the room too hot. I've found the ones with integral timers to be less reliable, as the timers eventually go wrong, and can't be repaired. They are also more expensive to buy. If you have an electric heater on a timer, I'd suggest an oil-filled or fully-enclosed one, so there is no chance of a sock or something catching fire if it is on top.

You probably know that you mustn't dry clothes on top of a storage or other electrical heater as it is liable to overheat and trip or melt the overheat protection.

PigletJohn Tue 29-May-12 09:50:26

p.s. there are some storage heaters which have a fan to blow out the heat faster, e.g. when people come home in the evening, but they are more expensive. I just had a look and couldn't find any on sale.

Storage heaters are not much good if you are out all day, as they heat the house when you are not there to feel it, and have probably run down by evening.

Have you looked into improving your home insulation? If you look at the website of your Electricity supplier (also British Gas even if you are not a customer) they probably offer heavily subsidised or even free insulation for loft and cavity walls.

If you have a hot-water cylinder, and is it not factory-coated with foam, fit one or two red insulating jackets. They are subsidised down to £3 this year and will pay for themselves in weeks. Also lag all hot pipes with Climaflex or similar (stiff plastic foam) from the DIY shed. Hot Water heated by electricity is expensive.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 29-May-12 09:53:36

The thing is, if you are adding electric heaters, you should not need a specialist company to come and install them. It is simple, you fit them to your wall, and plug in the contact! Like you would a wall mounted lamp!

these look nice

Why not keep the storage heater that is working, and just replace with one or two small slim-line electric heaters?

PigletJohn Tue 29-May-12 10:06:38

I see their prices start at £235 and go up; you can buy electric heaters that work equally well for a tenth the price, personally I would put up with a bit less elegance for that blush

Flightty Tue 29-May-12 10:09:35

I would try to look into getting some solar panels installed on your roof.

You could probably get much more heat out of those than you do from your storage heaters.

There are grants available for doing this plus I think you actually earn money from suplying the national grid with your excess.

Flightty Tue 29-May-12 10:11:58

Btw getting an entire gas heating system installed in your house would cost less than this.

If you can get gas connected to the actual premises, you're laughing.

I actually paid towards this in our last house. They dug up the road a bit and connected us and put in a meter, then we got heating installed and I'm sure it was less than a grand...look into it, gas heating is v efficient now and very cheap.

And it works. If you are coping on two ancient storage heaters you will barely need the gas on at all.

Don't buy these electric heaters - it won't up the value of your house as the next people will probably go for the gas anyway.

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 10:51:24

Getting connected to gas was about 300 as it's in the next road, but all new radiators and boiler and piping and labour would be a huge huge cost surely?

Wasn't going to replace just one heater with a day heater as day heating on economy 7 is really expensive. If we moved to electric day heating we'd change rate. Looking like it's not such a good option though. Hugely grateful for this thread!

We bought in 2007 just before the crash and we'd need a lot more to move so we might be stuck with replacing a storage heater for now.

Flightty Tue 29-May-12 13:00:23

It depends how large your house is really.

Ours was a detached two bedroom house, we had about 6 rads put in, I think - and a new boiler, all of it had to be drilled through ceilings and pipework connectedthroughout (and it had asbestos - yikes!) and I'm sure, sure, sure it wasn't over 2 grand. Including the two or maybe three days of labour and so on.

It's a much quicker job than you would expect.

PigletJohn Tue 29-May-12 13:41:32

wasn't over 2 grand. Including the two or maybe three days of labour and so on

I'm stunned
cheap boiler £650
five rads, say, £400
cheap programmer, £31
5 pairs rad valves, say, £40
inhibitor £15
some pipe
some more pipe
add bits and pieces, fittings and a living wage...

Flightty Tue 29-May-12 14:35:45

no, really. Really John. I'm not arsing about. It wasn't that much. I don't think the boiler cost that for a start. You can easily get them for half that.

DaisySteiner Tue 29-May-12 14:48:48

2 grand would be a bargain round here.

Flightty Tue 29-May-12 17:43:07

Maybe we got a rubbish boiler smile But seriously, if it was a little bit more even, it would add such a lot to the value of the property that it'd be a better investment than the electric thingies in the OP.

Flightty Tue 29-May-12 17:47:43

Actually it was about 8 years ago. Just looking at boilers online and they have gone right up. Sorry...but even so, I'm sure it could be done relatively cheaply depending on the size of your house.

EssentialFattyAcid Tue 29-May-12 18:42:50

Piglet John has sound advice
Sadly you are likely to increase your bills and decrease your re-sale value because of this so called "improvement" imo

On the other hand, I think a new gas central heating system would probably add as much value to your house as it costs but I think £3.5k would be about right for the cost. Ask an estate agent for their opinion before you go ahead

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 20:04:38

Thankyou all so much. I might see if I can get some central heating quotes then. I had assumed it would be closer to 10grand. I'd much rather standard heating. Should I just ask British gas? We don't have the money but it might well be worth saving for and we can just make do this winter.

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 20:10:15

House is a very small 3 bed end terrace (can't really fit a single in the third room and second room about the size of a double bed!) if that makes any difference?

PigletJohn Tue 29-May-12 20:38:32

You can rely on British Gas being the most expensive. However it will not hurt to see what special offers or interest-free credit they offer. I was formerly employed by a utility company, and the Marketing Director offered me the employee discount, but it was still more than an independent approved installer.

If I were you I would go for a good brand of boiler (Vaillant or Worcester Bosch, say) then go to the manufacturer's websites and ask for a list of their local approved installers, ask if they give a 5-year parts and labour warranty, then get a few local installers to give you quotes. I have a Viessmann, which is a good brand, but not so many local installers. Find out how long they have been approved installers for that brand, and ask to see their Gas Safe Photo-ID badge. If they get offended at being asked, that is a Bad Sign.

If you are a small family with only one bathroom, a combi boiler will do, but run the kitchen cold tap into a bucket, time it, and see how many litres per minute you get. Less than 12 is not enough and you may need a new incoming water main as well, or else a loft tank. Don't mention this to the installers until they have given you a quote, watch to see if they measure pressure and flow first. If not they have not gathered enough information to do a proper design, which is a Bad Sign.

CravingSleep Tue 29-May-12 20:47:12

Thankyou ever so much PigletJohn. Really. Can't thank-you enough. I was so close to going down the electric heating route before thinking I could check on mumsnet...

I know nothing about home improvements/heating/etc as you can tell. (However ask me about philosophy or theology or psychology or education and I will feel far more confident!)

I hadn't realised it didn't need to be a mainstream supplier so it sounds like a bit of a project to find someone trustworthy/ good price etc so will look up some links to boilers then ask the companies for suggestions. I take it I can't get a rough figure from a website without getting individual quotes?

It won't be this year but it will be good to have something to aim for.

Thankyou so much. (Rather un-mumsnetty profusion of gratitude!)

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