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Electric Storage Heating

What happens if there’s a power cut?

When people eventually find out that we do not have gas central heating this is usually the first question they ask.

Well, the lights and television go off, but this isn’t quite the answer they want to hear. “Don’t you get cold?” is the question they really meant to ask.

Storage heaters store heat in their core, so provided the core is hot at the time of the power cut the heat is still there.

Daytime power cuts (06.00 - 23.30)

The forty five year old heater in the hall, with no fan and which has had not one penny spent on it for repairs and maintenance for the whole of this time, continues to keep the hall, stairs and landings "nice and warm".

The later heaters, with electric fans, give out little or no heat, as of course will your gas-fired central heating system once the pump has stopped. Like many people I have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for my PC which will power it for long enough to finish a task, save all my work and shut it down safely, although this particular unit would not be suitable for running the fan in a storage heater.

Night time power cuts (23.30 - 06.00)

The heaters draw enough energy each night to become fully charged, the time taken for this will vary from night to night depending on the anount of heat used the previous day.So a power cut of one or two hours at night will not have a significant impact. In forty five years we have only once had a power cut long enough to allow the core bricks (and so the house) to get totally cold - and that was at the time of the 1987 “hurricane,” when on the second day after the storm we had been without power to the heaters for a part of the first night and all of the second.

How many people with gas central heating can say the same?

© Barry Gray October 2023