Last updated: August 9, 2021

Welcome to our large night storage heater test 2021. Here we present all the night storage heaters that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best night storage heater for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a night storage heater.




Summary

  • Night storage heaters are decentralised storage heaters that convert electricity into heat at a favourable night rate and release it again during the day.
  • When buying a stove, you should make sure that it has the right power rating for the room you want to heat.
  • Intelligent control and regulation technologies in modern night storage heaters enable efficient heating and a comfortable indoor climate.

The Best Night Storage Heater: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a night storage heater

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a night storage heater?

Before you buy a night storage heater, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of this type of heating. This way you can find out whether it is the most sensible alternative for you.

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Warmth is a basic human need. As much as we have always been fascinated by open fires, the expectations of modern heating systems are different: a comfortable indoor climate, easy operation, safe to use and healthy, as little of a burden on the environment as possible, and affordable.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Markus Distelrath)

Night storage heaters are decentralised heating systems that use cheap night-time electricity rates to charge heat storage tanks and then release the heat during the day. The biggest advantage of night storage heaters is their low initial cost and unproblematic installation.

You only need power lines and no piping as with central heating. In addition, you don't need fuel storage or tanks, and you don't need fuel boilers. Electricity is available almost everywhere.

Advantages
  • Low initial costs
  • Unproblematic installation
  • No storage, tanks or fuel boilers
  • Reliable operation
  • Hardly any maintenance required
  • No chimney sweep
  • No risk of freezing
  • Electricity is available everywhere
Disadvantages
  • High operating costs
  • Night storage tariffs not always available
  • Dry room air and dust raised by fans in older units
  • Room climate difficult to regulate in older units

Due to their quite simple mode of operation, night storage heaters are relatively failure-free, have hardly any wear and tear, maintenance is inexpensive and there is no need for a visit from the chimney sweep. Modern, pollutant-free night storage heaters are very safe compared to most other heating systems (coal, gas, oil stoves or radiant heaters). If they do not have a water circuit, there is no danger of freezing.

The biggest disadvantage of night storage heaters is the rather high operating costs. However, you can influence these to a certain extent by using modern control technologies and by your heating behaviour. New, modern night storage heaters are, of course, much better than older heaters in this respect.

Heating type Costs per m² per year
Night storage heating 25 €
Oil heating 14 €
Gas heating 11 €

This also applies to heating comfort: older storage heaters often caused dry room air due to their fan. This is no longer the case with modern technology. The heat output can also be better controlled. Night storage heaters were actually designed to take advantage of cheap night electricity tariffs.

However, the range of such tariffs is now very limited. Since electricity providers can now also offer their tariffs nationwide, you can now find them more easily.

Electricity is an energy source that is available almost everywhere and without any special effort.

To summarise: When using night storage heaters, one-time and longer-term costs must be taken into consideration. Night storage heaters make particular sense if another heating system would otherwise have to be retrofitted in an existing building.

Night storage heaters are also a good solution in buildings or parts of buildings that are rarely used. They do not require any additional space, and electricity is actually available almost everywhere. Depending on the type and location of the building, this can also be a decisive factor.

What is the environmental balance of night storage heaters?

This is quite a controversial topic. Night storage heaters were developed in the 1950s and 1960s as an energy-saving solution. However, they then increasingly fell into disrepute because of the enormous capacity losses that occur when fossil fuels are converted into electricity. Only 30% to 40% of the energy used is actually converted into electricity. Heating with electricity thus causes very high CO2 emissions.

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Electricity companies see night storage heaters as a technology for the transition to the energy system of the future. With renewable energy sources, fluctuations in energy production naturally occur. In order to cushion these, the development of storage solutions is indispensable.
(Image source: unspash.com / Nicholas Doherty)

However, on-site efficiency, i.e. the conversion of electricity into heating energy, is close to 100%. Thus, the decisive factor for the environmental balance of night storage heaters is from which energy sources the electricity is generated.

If wind or solar energy is used to generate electricity, night storage heaters are a CO2-neutral heating method.

Electricity producers in search of storage solutions that can be used to absorb the energy peaks when using renewable energy sources have therefore strongly advocated that night storage heaters continue to be used as heating systems. With natural energy sources, there are always phases of very strong energy generation that can cause the electricity grids to become unstable.

Did you know that the use of night storage heaters was to be restricted under a 2009 law? According to this law, systems installed before 1990 would no longer have been allowed to be operated from 2020, while newer or renewed systems would have been allowed to be operated after 30 years. However, this only applied to houses with more than 4 residential units that did not meet certain insulation standards.

In 2013, the ban on night storage heaters was suspended again. However, newly installed night storage heaters must of course meet the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEv).

What does a night storage heater cost?

Roughly speaking, night storage heaters cost between €600 and €1,500. The exact price depends on the wattage, the construction and any technical options. The following table should give you a rough idea.
kWatt Price range standard construction Price range low/flat/wall construction
7 1.300€ - 1.600 € N.a.
6 1.285 € - 1.330 € 1.380 €
5 1.000 € - 1.200 € 1.230 € - 1.580 €
4-4,3 1.000 € 1.000 € - 1.450 €
3,4-3,6 N.a. 1.000 € - 1.360 €
3 850 € - 950 € 1.000 € - 1.300 €
2,4-2,6 N.a. 850 € - 1.150 €
1,7-2 780 € - 940 € 700 € - 950 €
1,2 N.a. 890 €

What alternatives are there to the night storage heater?

Firstly, you can think about switching to a hot water heating system. Possible options are a gas, oil or pellet heating system or a heat pump. However, the installation of such a system involves considerable costs, about 30 € - 50 € per metre of pipe and 100 € - 150 € per radiator. For example, for a single-family house with 150 m², you will quickly reach costs of 7,500 € - 10,000 €.

It will take a while until you recoup these costs with the lower monthly costs. For a system change, you also have to consider a few factors for each technology, such as special space requirements or access to pipes:

Heating system Special requirements
Oil heating Space required for oil tank, installation incurs additional costs
Gas heating Requires a gas connection in the immediate vicinity for price reasons
Pellet heating Requires a lot of storage space
Heat pump Depending on the type, requires space for outdoor installation or a large, open area, ideal for large, freely accessible properties

If these investments are too capital-intensive for you, there is also the option of switching to infrared heating or supplementing your night storage heater with one. Infrared heaters are also powered by electricity, but they only heat when needed. Infrared rays are used to heat the surface of objects instead of the air. If you choose a green electricity tariff, you can also use them for CO2-neutral heating.

To keep your electricity costs under control, however, the flat should be well insulated. In addition, there are other electric heaters, such as natural stone and surface storage heaters, which store heat and release it again, but because of the shorter storage time, they are not usually powered by night-time electricity.

Decision: What types of night storage heaters are there and which is the right one for you?

First and foremost, you have to deal with the question of the right heating intensity. This requires relatively complicated calculations.

The formula for calculating the kilowatt output of a night storage heater with an 8-hour charging time is: heating requirement x 2.4. This means that you first have to define the room use and type of house, which results in the required watts per square metre. Then multiply this number by 2.4. The result shows you how many kilowatts you need. Multiply the living space by the watts per square metre required for the respective room

How many kilowatts does my night storage heater need for a small room like a bathroom or kitchen?

We define kitchens and bathrooms as small rooms of 8-10 m². Both are rooms that are heated relatively intensively. In a new building, for example, kitchens and toilets need 50 W per m² and bathrooms 75 W. So for a 10 m² kitchen, we would have a demand of 500 W.

Multiplying by 2.4 results in 1.2 kW as the required power for the night storage heater. The following table gives you an overview of the heating power required in small rooms:

House type WC 5 m² Kitchen 10 m² Bathroom 8 m²
Old building 1 kW 2 kW 2.5 kW
New building 0.6 kW 1.2 kW 1.5 kW
Low-energy house 0.4 kW 0.9 kW 1 kW

So for a small room you need a heating capacity of 0.4 kW to 2.5 kW.

How many kilowatts does my night storage heater need for a medium-sized room like a child's room or bedroom?

We define children's rooms, bedrooms and offices here as medium-sized rooms with 12 to 15 square metres. We assume roughly the same heat requirement for children's rooms and offices (slightly more for children's rooms), and slightly less for bedrooms.

House type Children's room 15 m² Office 12 m² Bedroom 15 m²
Old building 3.6 kW 3 kW
New building 2.2 kW 1.8 kW 1.6 kW
Low-energy house 1.8 kW 1.2 kW 1 kW

So for a medium-sized room you need between 1 kW and 3.6 kW. The normal scale for night storage heaters is 2 kW to 7 kW in steps of 1 kW.

So if you can't find a suitable intermediate strength, take a heater for the next higher heat output, i.e. for 3.6 kW, a heater with 4 kW. Modern night storage heaters usually have the option of reducing the kW output.

How many kilowatts does my night storage heater need for a large room, e.g. a living room?

The largest room in the house is usually the living room. Therefore, we will calculate the living room in different sizes to give you an idea of the effects.

House type Living room 30 m² Living room 40 m² Living room 50 m²
Old building 8 kW 10 kW 13 kW
New building 4.5 kW 6 kW 7 kW
Low-energy house 3 kW 4 kW 5 kW

For a 30 m² living room, the requirement is therefore between 3 kW and 8 kW. Here you can clearly see how important it is to estimate the demand correctly. It is best to have a heating specialist calculate the exact demand for your rooms.

An exact calculation of the heating load of a new building is possible according to DIN EN 12831. For existing buildings, you can fall back on previous consumption values. All calculations in this section are based on the formulas and consumption estimates of elektroheizung24.de.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate night storage heaters

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to make a choice between the many possible night storage heaters. You can use the following criteria to compare storage heaters with each other:

Construction and weight

Night storage heaters are available in standard, flat, low, compact and wall-mounted designs. The choice you make here will inevitably depend on the structure of the room for which you are buying the night storage heater. The heaters in standard construction have a constant height of approx. 65 cm to 67 cm and a constant depth of 24.5 cm to 27.5 cm, depending on the manufacturer. The devices differ in length and weight.

Wattage Length Weight
2 kW 60.5 cm - 62 cm 96 kg - 118 kg
3 kW 62 cm - 78 cm 130 kg - 169 kg
4 kW 81 cm - 95.5 cm 174 kg - 220kg
5 kW 100 cm - 113 cm 225 kg - 271 kg
6 kW 100 cm - 130.5 cm 236 kg - 322 kg
7 kW 119 cm - 148 cm 279 kg -372 kg

As you can see, the stoves can be quite heavy. You should also take this into account when making your decision, especially in an old building. The following list shows you the areas of application for the other designs. These are usually a little more expensive than the standard construction for the same performance.

  • Low-profile design: For the installation of appliances, e.g. under a window sill, there are low units that reach deeper into the room in the so-called low design. Their height is typically between 40.5 cm and 52 cm.
  • Compact design: Particularly compact series, which make good use of niches in the room, typically have a depth of 35 cm - 36 cm.
  • Flat design: The particularly shallow units are well suited for using free wall space. The depths of these units range from 17.5 cm to 22.5 cm, depending on the manufacturer and model series.
  • Wall mounting: Smaller units in flat design can usually also be hung on the wall. This can be very helpful in small rooms, e.g. bathrooms.

Charge control

The charge control is the prerequisite for the effective use of the storage function of the unit. It can be used centrally for all heat storage units in the same building or for a single unit. Group controls can be connected between the central control and the units to control all heat storage units in a part of the building.

The purpose of the charging control is to store only as much heat at night as is actually needed the next day.

A well-adjusted charging control system can save a lot of electricity. In any case, it should have an outdoor temperature sensor that records the outdoor temperature on the building wall at night. From this, the device then creates a forecast for the heat demand of the next day. However, since this can ultimately only be a rough guide that leads to too much or too little heat being available the next day, more convenient controls allow manual readjustments. This includes the manual adjustment of the so-called ED control signal.

The charge controller uses this signal to prevent the storage tank from continuing to charge in AC control if voltage is present more than 80% of the time. This is the default value. However, many devices allow this percentage to be lowered, usually to 37%/40% and 68%/72%. Weekly switching programmes also allow a more flexible adjustment of the charge to the actual building use.

There are even controls, e.g. from the company Tekmar, that access the current weather forecasts and adjust the charging amount accordingly.

Additional temperature limiters switch off charging when a certain temperature is reached and the charge controller has not interrupted charging. This additional safety function prevents the system from overheating if the charge controller is defective.

Room temperature controller

Here, too, modern technologies make it possible to use night storage heaters efficiently and conveniently. Temperature controllers allow you to set the desired room temperature. Controllers with timer operation and weekly timer enable even more precise setting with lowered temperatures at night or at times when no one is in the flat. Adaptive controllers "learn" the required heating time themselves.

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Intelligent, adaptive control systems enable very detailed settings and adapt independently to the ambient situation. This allows you to control the indoor climate exactly according to your wishes and save electricity and money at the same time.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Rudy and Peter Skitterians)

The controller should have an open window detection function. Then the heat output is reduced when windows are open in the room. Both the charge control and the room temperature controller are very useful accessories, on the one hand, to use the night storage open as efficiently as possible and, on the other hand, to ensure that the room climate is as pleasant as possible.

Additional heating

Many night storage heaters can be supplemented with an auxiliary heater. In some models it is already integrated, in others it is available as an optional accessory. This gives you the option of additional heating during the day if the stored heat is not sufficient, but then at the more expensive daytime rate. Of course, you can also bridge such bottlenecks with a mobile fan heater or a similar device.

Facts worth knowing about night storage heaters

What about asbestos, chromium and other toxins in night storage heaters?

The good news is that modern night storage heaters are free of asbestos and PCBs. So if you're thinking about buying a current night storage heater, you can do so without worry. Night storage heaters from the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s can contain asbestos, especially in insulation materials. If these are blown into the room via the fan, they can be harmful to health. However, there is no need to panic if you are using an older night storage heater. It is rare that asbestos is actually emitted.

For this to happen, the appliance usually has to have been damaged, or improper modifications or repairs have been made. If you want to dispose of your old night storage heater, you need to know if it contains asbestos so that you can have it disposed of properly if necessary. This also applies if your old night storage heater contains PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

These are chloride compounds that were used as building materials or heat-resistant plasticisers and can be found in night storage heaters, e.g. in capillary tube regulators. After 1989, their production was discontinued. Many night storage heaters also produce chromate compounds over time, which can be toxic. Chromate compounds can be detected with a test. The bricks must therefore also be disposed of as pollutants.

What do the bricks in the night storage heaters do?

The stones are the heat accumulator. Modern night storage heaters normally use a fireclay storage core. This is a man-made "brick" made of alumina and aluminium oxide (10% - 45%). The heat generated by the resistance in the heater as soon as electricity flows is stored by the fireclay core and then slowly released again.

In older heaters you will often also find magnesite, also forsterite, iron ore or basalt. It is important that the bricks are fire-resistant and can withstand high temperatures

How can I reduce the running costs of my night storage heating?

  • Charge control: A modern, well-adjusted charge control is particularly important. This will prevent you from charging unnecessarily, which is then discharged uselessly. You also prevent too little electricity from being charged and having to use more expensive daytime electricity for heating.
  • Heating tariff: Choosing the right heating tariff can also make a big difference. Tariffs for night storage heaters are now also offered nationwide, and switching providers is a very simple matter.
  • Temperature control: You should definitely use the room temperature controller. This will prevent your flat from being heated up to tropical temperatures or for periods of time when no one is at home. Then you can also reduce the amount of electricity you need to charge.
  • Appropriate output: If you buy a new heater, make sure that it is not oversized for your room. Many modern devices also offer the option of reducing the maximum kilowatt output, e.g. from 2 kW to 1.8 kW or 1.6 kW. This saves electricity and avoids an overheated flat.

How does a night storage heater work?

A night storage heater is an electric heater. It draws electricity at night to take advantage of cheaper night tariffs for heating. The electricity is immediately converted into heat energy. This heat energy is transferred to fireclay bricks inside the storage heater via heating coils.

These only slowly absorb the heat, but also only slowly release it again. The heat is then released into the surrounding room either via radiant heat or, if that is not enough, via a fan. The decisive factor for a sensible and efficient night storage heating system is therefore, as already mentioned, that you set how much electricity the device is charged with according to your needs.

How do I set up a night storage heater correctly?

First you need to set up your new storage heater. This is relatively easy according to the instructions. For the electrical installation, however, you need a professional. Then you have to set the charging control. Ideally, you should have an outdoor temperature-controlled charging control.

This should be set up by an electrician the first time. Then set the unit to the highest setting on the charge control knob and let the heating run for 48 hours. If it is too hot, turn the knob down half a notch and wait again. Do this until a comfortable temperature is reached. If you control several devices via a central charging control, start with the room that is to be warmed up the most.

The heaters in the other rooms are ideally adapted to the capacity requirements of these rooms and then provide the corresponding heating output.

Picture source: Lucadp/ 123rf.com

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