Rated 5 stars on Reviews.io


Free delivery on all orders


Limitless, free returns


Radiators from £19


Trees planted for every radiator sold

Storage Heaters vs Electric Radiators - Which are Better?

Storage Heaters vs Electric Radiators - Which are Better?

At UK Radiators, we know better than most how difficult it can be to choose the right type of heating for your home. There are so many factors that go into the right choice of primary and secondary heating systems that you’re likely to be asking yourself again and again which is the right call!

But don’t worry, UK Radiators are here to help! In this article, we’re breaking down storage heaters vs electric radiators to help you understand the pros and cons of each, and get you started on your next heating installation project!

To learn more about the different types of electric heating, keep reading, or get in touch with our team of heating experts!

Contact Us Today!

How Do Electric Radiators Work?

Electric radiators work in much the same way as traditional radiators connected to a central heating system, converting electrical energy directly into heat, but without the complex pipework. 

Electric radiators are controlled by a built-in thermostat, which turns the heating on and off to maintain the comfortable temperature you set for your home.

When you switch on an electric radiator (either manually or using a thermostat timer), electricity is passed through the radiator's heating element. This element is made of a high-resistance material and this resistance creates heat as the electricity passes through. This heat is then transferred to the surrounding air in one of two ways:

  • Convection: In convection heating, the air around the element heats up. As the warm air rises, the heater is forced to draw in cooler air from below, creating a constant circulation of warm air throughout the room.
  • Radiant heat: Some models of electric radiators contain radiant heating elements. These emit a completely safe form of infrared radiation that directly warms objects and people in its path.

How Do Storage Heaters Work?

Storage heaters have been used in UK homes since the 1960s. During this time, while the technology used in storage heaters has remained largely the same, there have been significant improvements to make them more suitable for modern homes and modern life. Before 2018, storage heaters weren't required to have electronic thermostats or 24/7 timers, while all newer storage heaters have these features by default.

Storage heaters work by using cheaper night-time electricity rates to generate heat overnight. This cheap electricity heats a bank of ceramic or clay bricks, which stores the heat overnight and then gradually releases it during the day when energy prices are higher. 

Modern storage heaters come with a thermostat and timer - often available via a programmer or mobile app. This allows you to set the times when you want the heat to be released. They are also much more energy efficient and can retain heat for longer periods with better insulation compared to older models.

Comparing the Differences Between Storage Heaters and Electric Heaters

When we’re talking about electric radiators vs storage heaters, it makes sense to do a side-by-side comparison!

Ease of Installation

Both electric radiators and storage heaters are fairly easy to install. They both need to be connected to your home's electrical system but don’t need to be hooked up to the central heating at all.

The labour costs for installation of a storage heater is generally around £700-£1600 per room to install, while the installation and supply of an electric panel heaters is much cheaper, at around £80-£1100 per room.

Control over your Heaters

When it comes to the flexibility of your heating system and the control you have over it, electric radiator heaters are considerably better than older storage heaters.

The playing field is a little more level when we look at storage heaters made after 2018, but we’d still recommend electric heaters when it comes to giving you the most control over your heating.

Energy Efficiency

This answer to the question “are electric radiators cheaper to run than storage heaters” isn’t as simple as it seems - you might think that storage heaters are the obvious energy-efficient choice, as they usually only use cheap, night-time electricity tariffs. 

However, particularly with older storage heater models, the heat distribution system means a lot of wasted energy, often when you don’t need it! If your storage heater doesn’t have timing controls, your heater will send the heat out throughout the day, when many of us are out of the house! By the time you’re home in the evening, the heat will have run out, and you’ll have the choice between sitting in the cold, or using costly daytime energy to heat your room.

Electric heaters, on the other hand, are more energy efficient day to day, as you can choose exactly when you put them on and turn them off. They also have little to no wasted energy, as every watt of electricity is turned into heat which can be sent out into your home.

Designs and Styles

Electric Radiators come in a whole host of different shapes, styles, sizes and colours. From classic white to matte black and metal, our range of electric radiators don’t just fit your decor, they enhance it. Whatever room you’re heating, we have the right electric radiator.

Storage heaters can also come in different colours, but there is considerably less variation. They are considerably larger than electric radiator heaters, as they need to fit the ceramic or clay brick core inside. This means they protrude quite significantly from the wall, so aren’t ideal for smaller rooms. They also need to be mounted against the wall on a flat surface (usually the floor) as they’re so heavy - this means considerably less flexibility on where the heater can be installed, unlike electric radiators which can be placed further up on the wall as well as at floor level.

Electric Storage Heaters vs Electric Radiators - Consult the Experts at UK Radiators 

We’re passionate about helping our customers understand exactly what’s going on with the heating in their homes. Our range of electric heaters and radiators makes finding an electric radiator that fits your home as simple - and enjoyable - as possible!

Of course, if you’re still not 100%, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. With over 30 years of combined experience, we’re here to help. Whether you have questions about energy efficiency, radiator installation, radiator sizing, or even style tips for radiators, we’re on hand for any query!

Get in touch today to discuss your home heating needs.

Contact Us Today!

Related Posts