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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.

The very oldest heaters, without a fan, go on giving out heat exactly as before.

Later heaters, with a fan, still give out heat, just more slowly. A Quantum heater will give out almost no heat, as of course will your gas-fired central heating system once the pump has stopped. However the fan and electronic controls of a Quantum heater use a lot less than a PC, so the sort of UPS (uninterruptible power supply) which many people including myself have for their PC would be more than adequate to power the fan and controls for one heater for several hours. Of course you could also fit a UPS to your gas central heating system, and you would only need one for the whole house.

In forty years we have only once had a power cut long enough to allow the core bricks 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.


© Barry Gray November 2019