I know this has been covered previously albeit quite a long time ago.
We have no central heating and have one wood burner that warms 1 room magnificently. We have several modern paraffin heaters.
I have been reading up on the brick filled accumulator radiators sold in the UK and Spain. I am having problems finding anything similar in France. Indeed there are many specialist companies in the UK offering these products. why is it yet again so difficult to find similar in France?
I want to try one before investing further so I am looking at a fairly basic unit to check that it will do what I require.
I understand that they heat up during the night on the cheap rate electricity and then output the heat during the day. They have some fancy controls and options. I have tried and wasted time and money on the oil filled radiators.
I also do not want anything that weights more than 80 kgs and preferably free standing. Elnur Gabarron look good. Sold in the UK and Spain. Brexit has again complicated things…
Has anyone recently bought any Night storage radiators for use in France?
If so what and where from? Recommendations?
Having lived in a flat with night storage heaters in London I would advise thinking long and hard about installing them. It was my first flat and they were already in situ. This was in the early '80s so maybe they’ve got much better but …
They are pumping out heat first thing in the morning, so I would wake up to a lovely warm flat. But then I went to work - so within an hour of getting up I was out the door and out all day. By the time I came home in the evening they were tepid and so was the flat. So when I wanted to flop down in front of the TV in a nice warm lounge I had to put on an electric heater.
As soon as I could afford it, I got rid of them and installed central heating.
The main reason that the domestic use of storage heaters doesn’t really work in France is the lower amount of power available, or rather, the “puissance souscrite” that people are prepared to pay for.
An average house that uses several storage heaters will find that at 22.00 (when they all start to heat up on “heures creuses” rate) that there will be little, if any, headroom above the maximum 12kVA that you can have on single phase. That heating load will then be constant until the heaters have got up to temperature some hours later.
Woe betide anyone who pops the kettle on after 22.00 & takes the whole supply out
Yes, you could opt for three phase & have up to 36kVA (3 x 12kVA), but you will pay the standing charge for that level of power all year round & have absolutely no use for it in the summer.
The difference between the day and night tariffs is not sufficient to make these worthwhile IMHO. That plus the relative lack of controlability (I think the recent ones have baffles to offer some control but not much, really) means that I suspect they are always going to be more costly than the alternatives. Air source heat pump could be a good option, especially if you have the skills to fit it yourself or know someone reasonable who can fit them. They are not so good on the coldest of days, but you can huddle round the woodstove on those occasions. Paraffin heaters are not a good solution from a health perspective and also can lead to humidity problems.
Don’t entertain them. We had them installed in our then maison secondaire in 2002 thinking that as a ‘dry’ heating system there would be no worries of burst pipes in the colder months. We had the house totally rewired by the village electrician who did an excellent job but was rather non plus about our choice of heating. As @SuePJ has already confirmed following a night of storing heat the house was toastie in the morning assisted by the built in fans spreading the heat far and wide. By lunchtime the same fans were distributing warm air and vy late afternoon were cold air fans. Our meter cupboard was like a power station control panel and as @Badger has confirmed we paid a large KW charge for our supply although I cannot remember how much.
We sold the house complete with storage radiators 12 years ago to a dutch family who thought the heating system was a good idea. I endured 5 years of phone calls from the new owners asking how they could improve the performance of the unusual heating system that none of their french friends could understand. The same family still live there and we continue to be acquaintances but the mention of storage heating never comes up. Perhaps they have now used the many bricks used in the workings of the monster heaters to built a dependency in the garden?
Don’t give electric storage heaters house room.
Thank you for your detailed story and recommendations. I only wanted one to potentially solve the problem of a room that is cold and currently relies on a modern paraffin heater. This is fine whilst running but uses both copious amounts of now very expensive paraffin and also electricity to run it and its fan. I have been looking at the night storage heater option and thought that on paper (screen), it looked quite good. Power up over night on the cheaper electricity and give out the heat as required over the next day. After much searching I have found - Elnur Gabarron - a Spanish company which appear to produce just what I am looking for. The specifications and blurb state that they do the job and the reviews are not bad either. I assumed that it would be akin to a warm radiator in the day and it would use additional electricity if necessary to top up, but still better and more economical than the paraffin heater that easily consumes 10+ litres of paraffin plus electricity when only used sparingly each week. I did speak to the friendly English speaking assistant in my local Brico who advised me to steer clear of their offerings but said instead to scour Leboncoin for an old very heavy storage heater that should weigh up to 200 kgs. He has one of them he bought second hand for less than 200 Euros, new price over 2000. He says this one charges up over night and stays warm all day and heats a lrge open plan room. Maybe your heaters were not up to it?
I have tried 2 of the oil filled radiators from Amazon. They are good at giving out the heat but they rapidly go cold when not supplied with electricity. I sent them both back! They heat things up at night but use several kilowatts of electricity. Like having an electric kettle going continuously. No thank you.
Where are you Greg? We have a couple of old storage heaters that will soon be heading for the dechetterie. They may not have been used for several years and I can’t vouch for their safety, but you can have them. We’ll be at the house (in 71) at the end of April.