Night Storage Heaters/ Radiaters

Can we get night storage heaters here? If yes how efficient are the french ones ? We have looked at the volcanic rock radiaters but they don't seem to be man enough for the job , no one in the two shops we visited seemed able to give a rate of output or general idea of how long the heat would last.Any experiences? Thanks.

Hi CLaire

I assume your parents are subscribed to an appropriate EDF electricity scheme, delivering the low tariff (about 1/3 mostly during the night) hours and normal / higher tariff hours. And that your electricity panel is equipped with a switch / wire that allows the usage of those different hours (fil de pilote). If not, than this type of heating has no advantages over electric radiators. If you then consider the costs of one, let alone seven units...... And this type of heating is only advantageous in case you need a permanent heating in a room.

For a rule of thumb you need a 1.5 Kw classic heat radiator to heat rooms of that size comfortably 24/24

This translates to a storage heater capacity of about 4-4.5 Kw. It heats up during 8 hours in the night and releases the same level of heat during the remaining 16 hours. If you've got 7 of those running at the same time you might also want to check the capacity of your electricity system.

Ben, Thank you for your reply.

Right to answer you properly.

These heaters are for my parents who have not long arrived here, they intended to put in oil fired central heating but they think now they are on day and night electric that night stores will be the answer.They have two wood fires; one in the lounge and one in the dinning room and the rest of the house is on electric radiators. Each room (they have 7 to heat) is about 20m² with a ceiling height I would estimate at about 2m50, 2m80 max. Insulation is medium at the moment but will be improving. Yesterday we looked at several types but as I said no one wanted to say how long the heat would last for, we were looking at 1.5Kw models in Weldom. They are due to visit the Uk soon so will look at the Uk ones there. the french ones were nice looking but we weren't convinced by the bricks as they looked small we could see them inside the radiator.

Thanks Ben. You are an angel! I was worried that it was "charging" during normal hours. Went down last night after midnight, and it was making a noise - I know! Not very scientific of me, but it doesn't do that during the day, and doesn't feel as hot during the day. So looks like me, my fledgling French, and a bit of common sense got it right. So am very reassured.

The Marche / arrêt Ventilateur switch operates the fan and the thermostat that measures the temp in the room. If switched off your Monaco will only heat the bricks inside and heat the room by radiation rather than ventilation. In the case of some heaters of this type it acts as the general on/off switch.

The switch marche/arret relanche de jour is used when it's very cold outside. Normally these heaters run on the EDF-scheme of "heures creuse" (less costly) and "heures pleines"(normal tariff, to save money. This means normally that they switch on during the night period and switch off during the day. Due to the heat-storage capacity of the stones the heater will cool down just a little bit during the day.Turning this switch on bypasses that and your heater will be heating no matter what the tariff is. Which might for example with a 6 Kw/h installation become a little costly.

Thermostat d'ambiance is the dial to set the value for the ambient temperature in the room.

The thermostat de charge dial allows you to regulate the actual temperature inside the heater i.e. the heat stocked in the bricks.

You need to find a balance between heat on stock inside the bricks and given off to the room by the ventilation

(But hey, I'm only a vineyarder LOL)

Hi Ben. We have a Monaco storage heater here, but not sure how to operate same. There are two switches and two dials. One says marche/arret Ventilateur, Thermostat de ambience, and the other says marche/arret, relance de jour, Thermostat e charge. Any clues? Thanks. Sheila

Some key questions: what is the volume you're trying to heat up? Is the place well insulated? Is this the only source of heat (for example an unheated bedroom in a converted barn that's only heated by a wood-stove), what will you use it for etc. Output doesn't mean anything if you haven't answered these questions before.

In our bedroom (45m2, on average 3,2 m height, well insulated) I use one heater. This is a 2 Kw unit, filled with " briques réfractaires", (a very heavy type of condensed bricks, the unit weighs in at about 220 kilo's), equipped with a thermostat and a small fan to dissipate the accumulated heat into the room).

It takes 2 days for the unit to warm up, but then it heats the room up to 19 degr.C, and maintains it, even when it's -15 outside. Once heated up, the unit uses a lot less energy to maintain it's temperature.