A Bit of History
High heat retention, or night storage, heaters came on to the market in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s and were seen to be innovative technology. At the time, anything electric was thought of as being modern and therefore better. Millions of people have now invested in storage heaters over the last 60 to 80 years, but many of them find the same issues – no control, poor distribution and a lack of comfort.
Technology has come a long way in the last 50 years – so why are people still relying on old fashioned technology, that doesn’t necessarily work effectively, to heat their homes? This is a question that nobody can answer, because any explanation would be flawed.
Motor vehicles have been available for over a century now, and the technology within them has evolved massively. The same goes for all electronic goods such as telephones, computers and even household appliances such as fridge freezers. Why should heating be any different?
In Short – It Shouldn’t
Night storage (high heat retention) heaters work on the basis of taking 7 hours of worth of electricity overnight, converting it in to heat energy and storing it in clay bricks. These clay bricks are sandwiched inside a metal, sometimes asbestos filled, casing with individual kettle elements fitted in the centre.
The most effective way to feel warm is by combining both radiant and convected heat. As the inside of a night storage heater is very tightly packed with bricks to achieve the highest level of “heat retention.” The issue? There is no space for the air to flow, limiting the amount of convected heat a night storage heater can provide. This means you rely almost entirely on radiant heat, giving you a much less effective heater and thus reducing your comfort levels.
Remember sitting around the fire as a child to keep warm? This is the same effect. Radiant heat can be felt close to the heat source, but does not convect throughout the room to evenly warm the area.
To combat the issue, many night storage heater manufacturers have decided to install fans on their heaters to assist with the convection. This, however, comes with its own issues.
Extra Running Costs
Firstly, the fan can fail, meaning you’re left with just radiant heat once again. Secondly, the fan has to have its own power supply, as it needs access to power 24/7. This is an extra running cost and another inconvenience, meaning you need two separate power points for one heater. The third issue is that a fan will naturally generate cool air as it spins, speeding up how quickly the heater cools down, meaning you will run out of heat much sooner.
Many night storage heater users have told us of their dissatisfaction in that night storage heaters, with or without a fan, tend to run out of heat in the early to mid afternoon, forcing them to use a supplementary form of heat to stay warm through the winter. A fan only speeds this process up.
There is also the downside of a lack of control, only being able to open or close a vent to “control” how much heat comes from the radiator, as well as having to predict the night before whether you want heat the next day or not, without knowing what the outside weather will be like.
Night storage heaters also tend to be bulky and heavy, often needing feet to support their weight on the floor.
Both Fischer and Novo Rad heaters are slimline and relatively lightweight in comparison, only needing two simple wall brackets and no extra weight support.
Their design is aesthetically pleasing and allows the user to fit them in with their existing decor, rather than having to rearrange their home for installation.
Unlike many night storage heaters, which have to be installed on internal walls to limit heat loss through the back of the heater and in to the outside world, the purpose built convection chamber creates a heat blanket, preventing any heat from escaping, meaning they can be installed anywhere in your home. This is also down to the fact the source of heating is towards the front of the heater, not the back, thus reducing this type of heat loss.
Find out more about Fischer and Novo Rad heaters https://storageheaters.co.uk/#product