How to Operate Storage Heaters

Updated March 23, 2017

Operating a storage heater is a good way to save money by using off-peak electricity. Storage heaters are usually made from brick, ceramic or clay to store up heat overnight when energy rates are lower. During the day, the stored heat is used to heat the house without having to run the heater during peak hours.

Contact your local utility company to sign up for an off-peak energy plan. This may require the installation of a special electric meter to keep track of the off-peak energy used.

Adjust the storage heater's input switch to limit the amount of heat stored overnight. The ideal setting for your home will vary based on the weather in your region and how many hours you will be home and using the heater during the day. If your home is poorly insulated and does not retain heat well, you may need to use a higher setting on your input switch to be sure you have enough heat to offset the loss.

Set the output switch to regulate the heat expelled from the storage heater during the day. If you will not be home for a while or are going to bed, lower the output switch to its minimum setting to keep the heat in storage. Even on the minimum setting, enough heat will usually leak out of the storage heater to keep the room from becoming frigid.

Program the thermostat (if your unit has one) to maintain a set temperature in the room. Some storage heaters have a thermostat that can be programmed with specific schedules for weekdays and weekends. Take advantage of this feature to keep your storage heater from running while your family is asleep or gone from the home during the day for work or school. This will prevent the heater from wasting your stored heat and switching over to the more expensive on-peak electricity to make up the difference.


All storage heaters have a maximum amount of heat that can be held in the unit. Even when the output settings are at their lowest setting, the excess heat must leak out into the room. If you find this happening frequently, lower the input settings so the heater cannot build up as much heat overnight.

Things You'll Need

  • Storage heater
  • Instruction manual
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About the Author

Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.