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5 Common Problems with
Storage Heaters

Research shows most people who have common storage heater problems or think that their storage heater is broken do not understand how to use them correctly...

Understanding storage heater controls can save a lot of money on electricity bills and improve user experience dramatically.

See below interview with Dimplex storage heater service engineers to find comprehensive and accurate answers to the most common storage heater problems:

Reduce Running Costs

I have expensive heating bills and excessive electricity usage. Do storage heaters usually have expensive running costs?

For most storage heaters there are 2 main controls an 'Input' control and an 'Output' control.

The Input control governs the amount of heat stored overnight and therefore has the biggest influence on expensive running costs.

Turn down the Input control slightly and you may not notice the difference in comfort but it may reduce those electricity bills.

running costsThe Output control helps with evening comfort and heat retention.

Ensure that whenever you go out, to turn down output to retain heat for as long as possible for when you come back in the house.

If your heater has an additional convector heater which can be switched on during the day - use it as seldom as possible as it runs on expensive day time on-peak electricity.

One other common reason for expensive bills while using storage heaters is that they have been wired wrongly to the 24 hour peak electricity supply instead of the economy 7 off peak electricity supply.

Get your energy supplier to check supply has been hooked up correctly. If the storage heater is charging from the 24 hour main supply it could be overheating and not cutting out. If you are feeling constant heat this is an indication that it's hooked up wrong.

If you put input on 6 full charge all the time this can be another reason, turn it down one notch a time each day if there is too much heat, until you have just have enough heat to last you the day.

Comfortable Temperature

I have a Dimplex storage heater but I'm having trouble maintaining a comfortable temperature.

In cold weather most storage heaters will have difficulty in temperatures below freezing. However aside from cold weather if a storage heater has been installed for a number of years and operated satisfactorily then it is most likely a thermostat or an element which needs replacing.

If it has been installed a short period of time it may have been sized incorrectly and is too small for the home to maintain a comfortable temperature.

My storage heater comes on but only at luke warm temperature... I am cold!

Firstly check the input control setting in case this has be altered. If not then its probably a faulty thermostat or element failure. If it an automatic models (see below).

If you are using an automatic storage heater, this could be the problem. The frustration is because automatic storage heaters have been known to have a mind of their own and not give out enough heat.

Automatic storage heaters automatically sense a room temperature that day using an automatic room sensor which overrides the input charge to take a charge that night. This determines how much heat will be released the next day.

If you have sudden fluctuations in temperature from one day to the next you don't have control over how much input charge you have for the next day which can lead to frustration with the temperature of the heater. Unfortunately you can't override the input setting.

If your property is prone to sudden changes in temperature due to poor insulation or draft proofing it may be worth considering replacing it with a manual storage heater.

Manual storage heaters gives you more control if you want more heat coming out the next day. It's also very important to turn your output setting down to minimum when you go out of your home to conserve heat inside the bricks for when you need it.

The output setting controls a strip which stops the heat coming out. A certain amount of tweaking is needed to find how much heat you need. See the Dimplex Kw output calculator to find out what KW is suitable to exceeds your heat loss.

I am uncertain about manual settings to start with on my manual storage heater...

What is the ideal setting to operate a manual storage heater so I get a cozy warm temperature throughout the day?

How do I operate them in a cost effective way?

Everybody is different and has their idea of the ideal temperature. Generally the most comfortable temperature just right for a room should be between 21-23 degrees.

Depending on your situation and variables in room insulation it will require a certain amount of testing and measuring at the beginning to see what is suitable for you.

It is recommended to set the input switch on a manual storage heater to 3 and output switch at 3 to start. Judge how much heat is just enough the next day, if there is not enough heat turn input up one notch. If again the day after there is still not enough heat, turn it up one notch more.

Taking a methodical approach will help you remember the perfect setting and stay energy efficient with just enough heat. You don’t need to change the input after that unless there are dramatic temperature fluctuations. As mentioned, the output control will automatically open or close the damper valve each evening.

Input control - Mid position (number 3 or 4)

Output control - Mid position (number 3 or 4)

I set the input to full overnight and left the output closed but when i got up this morning I opened the output and no heat is coming out.

Have I done something wrong, do I need to heat for more than one night or does it sound like my heaters are broken?

Most of the heat provided from a storage heater comes from the heat of the casing. There is an 'Output' control which controls the opening of a further vent inside the heater. However this vent only becomes effective in the evening when the heater casing becomes cooler.

The storage heater is designed so turning the Output control in the morning will not open the vent thus holding some heat back for the evening.