Last updated 11/02/2013
If you have storage heaters you should have an Economy 7 electricity meter. This means your electricity meter should have two dials, one for on peak electricity (day time) and one for off peak electricity (night time).
Your electricity supplier can confirm the times of your off-peak tariff, but usually this will operate between 12.30am until 07.30am (7 continuous hours throughout the night).
Remember, where possible try to fit timer plugs to use appliances throughout the night making use of your off-peak electricity.
Input Dial – (can also be called Charge or Auto-set Control). The input dial controls how much electricity is absorbed and stored by the heater during the night, ready to warm your home the next day. The first time you use your heating system, set the input control to between 4 and 6.
You will then be able to gauge if you have stored enough electricity throughout the night to last right the way through the day. If the heating runs out throughout the day, you will know to set the dial to 6 for the next night, as more electricity will need to be stored to enable heating to last throughout the day.
If on the first day of heating you find that there is plenty of heating to last throughout the day, turn the input dial down slightly. Continue to do this until you find the correct input level for your lifestyle. There is no point paying for the heater to absorb electricity throughout the night if you are not using all of it.
This is the setting that controls the level of heat released into the room. Typically this should be set at number 1 during the day when not so much heat is needed, then turned up in the evening to release more heat if it is required. When the output control is set at 1 the storage heater will gradually release heat throughout the day. Turning the output dial up will release more heat. When leaving the home throughout the day always return the dial back to 1.
This will ensure that the heater will retain enough heat to be released through until the end of the evening. Try to ensure by the end of the evening the storage heater has completely run out of heat. When the heat runs out and the heater has no more heat to release, before going to bed return the output dial to 1. This means that the settings will be set to work correctly the following morning.
The aim is heat as much water as possible with cheaper night-time rate electricity (off-peak) to minimise the use of the more expensive daytime rate electricity (on-peak) to top up the hot water supply.
The best thing that you can do, to ensure that your hot water retains its heat, is to have a hot water cylinder insulation jacket fitted to your hot water tank. These can be purchased cheaply at most DIY stores.
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