How to use your electric central heating

How to use your electric central heating
How to use
your electric
central heating
Repairs Service
For general advice:
% 0117 922 2200 (Option one)
Date published: November 2013
www.bristol.gov.uk
This factsheet explains how you can
control your electric heating and hot
water supply.
Please note, if you have an older
model, your electric heating controls
may be slightly different.
Contents Page
Night Storage Heaters
3
Panel Heaters
6
Hot Water
10
How can I check what electricity tariff I am on?
11
Electric Safety
11
Energy Advice
12
Complaints, comments or compliments
16
How to contact us
16
Customer Service Points
17
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Night Storage Heaters
What are Night Storage Heaters?
Night Storage Heaters contain
a series of heat storing bricks,
which are heated overnight.
During the day, a flap at the top
of the heater can be opened
to let the heat out. The bricks
gradually cool down, releasing
heat into the room through the
outer casing of the heater unit.
The speed at which the heat is
released can be increased by opening the internal damper valve
and allowing air to enter the brick core.
How can I control my night storage heater?
Night Storage Heaters have two control dials, called an INPUT
and OUTPUT.
n The INPUT is on the right and the OUTPUT is on the left.
n The dials will either be numbered or have markings showing
low to high marks or marks gradually getting larger.
n Turn the dials clockwise, from a low to a high setting.
Some Night Storage Heaters may also have a boost feature.
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Input
The dial labelled INPUT allows you to control how much heat is
stored and how much electricity is used. The dial has a number
of settings.
n The lower the setting the smaller the amount of heat will be
stored.
n The higher the setting the more heat will be stored.
We recommend the following settings:
n Lowest setting:
Spring, Early Autumn
n Maximum setting:
Winter
During the summer you may wish to turn the heater off
completely, which you can do using the wall on/off switch.
Output
The dial labelled OUTPUT allows you to control the rate at which
heat escapes into your room by adjusting the damper opening.
The dial has a number of settings.
n The lower the setting the more slowly heat will be released.
n The higher the setting the quicker heat will be released.
We recommend:
n Turn the OUTPUT back to zero (or one depending on the
unit) before going to bed. If you don’t whilst it’s charging up
overnight all the heat will be released.
n Gradually turn the OUTPUT up during the day as needed.
This will prevent you being left without any heat in the
evening, especially on a cold winter’s day. If it gets too warm,
just turn the OUTPUT down.
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Boost
Some Night Storage heaters may have a boost function. This
allows you to charge the heater up. This can be expensive so
we recommend you only use it if your heater has run out of heat.
Tips on using your Night Storage Heaters
Your Night Storage Heaters give heat throughout your home.
If you turn any of them off, you may find the remaining heaters
do not provide sufficient heat. It is therefore a good idea to
leave heaters in unused rooms on minimum settings during cold
weather.
Fire safety and looking after your
Night Storage Heater
n Do not place any items on or over your Night Storage
Heaters. This includes curtains or pushing furniture right up
against them, as this could cause a fire.
n If you wish to clean the heater ensure that it is switched off,
allow it to cool and then use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe
over it. Do not use abrasive cleaning powders or furniture
polish, as this can damage the surface finish.
n You must not paint over them.
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Panel Heaters
What are Panel Heaters?
Panel heaters contain a series of heating
elements. However, unlike Night Storage
Heaters they can provide heat anytime of
the day.
Location of controls
Depending on the model of your heater the controls are located
on the top, either in the centre or on the right hand side. They
may have a cover which can be locked shut using a small bladed
screwdriver. To open the cover insert the blade of the screwdriver
in the small slot and rotate a quarter of a turn clockwise. The
cover can then be hinged backwards.
Thermostat only models
Older models have three controls:
5
3
2
6
Thermostat
Dial
4
Selector Switch
1
*
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ON/OFF
Switch
Turning the heater on and controlling the heat produced
n Turn the Panel Heater on by pressing the ON/OFF Switch
marked O and I.
n I is the ON position.
n O is the OFF position.
n You can choose the amount of heat the heater will produce
by pressing the Selector Switch marked I – II.
n I is half heat.
n II is full heat.
n You can tell the Panel Heater is producing heat as a light
next to the Thermostat Dial will come on.
Setting room temperature
n You can decide what temperature you’d like the room to
be by using the Thermostat Dial. This is the round button
marked from * to 6.
n * will provide a room temperature of 5 degrees centigrade,
with 6 providing a maximum of 30 degrees centigrade.
n All you need to do is:
• Turn the heater on.
• Turn the thermostat dial so that the number 6 is against the
indicator mark. This can be found on the centre right of the
knob.
• Set the selector switch to full heat II
• When the room has reached the temperature you want it
to be turn the thermostat knob back slowly, until you hear a
click.
• The heater will then maintain the room temperature at your
chosen level.
NOTE: Should your heater fail to come on when the Thermostat
Dial is at a low setting this may be due to the room temperature
being higher than the thermostat setting.
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Timer models
Newer models also allow you to control when the heater comes
on and off. If this is the case there will be two extra controls:
5
3
Datum
2
6
Thermostat
Dial
4
Selector Switch Slide Switch
1
*
Setting the time you want your heater to come on and off
You can set the time you want your heater to come on and off
using the Datum which is next to the Slide Switch. The Datum is
numbered just like a clock and contains segments, each of which
represents approximately 20 minutes. To set when the heater will
come on and off:
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n Using your finger tip or the tip of a
pencil push in the segments when you
don’t want heat. You can select as many
as you want within the 24 hour day. If
you want to change the settings simply
either push in or pull out a segment.
Manually controlling when the heater comes on and off
n Move the Slide Switch from
position).
(OFF position) to
(MANUAL
n Set the Selector Switch to either the I (half power) or II (full
power) position.
n Set the room temperature as shown in the “setting room
temperature section” on the previous page of this guide.
Automatically controlling when the heater comes on and off
n Move the Slide Switch from
(AUTOMATIC position).
(OFF position) to
n Set the Selector Switch to either the I (half power) or II (full
power) position.
n Set the room temperature as shown in the “setting room
temperature section” on the previous page of this guide.
Fire safety and looking after your Panel Heaters
n Do not place any items on or over your panel heaters. This
includes curtains or pushing furniture right up against them,
as this could cause a fire.
n If you wish to clean the heater ensure that it is switched off
and then use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe over it. Do not
use abrasive cleaning powders or furniture polish, as this can
damage the surface finish.
n You must not paint over them.
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Hot Water
Hot water for your bath and sinks is created overnight in a tank
which can normally be found in your hallway, though not always.
How can I control how much hot water is created?
The control unit you have may vary depending on when your hot
water tank was installed. Generally there will be:
nA Water Heater Switch. This allows you to turn on and off
when your hot water will be produced.
nA Clock. This allows you to set for how long you want hot
water to be produced. To take advantage of cheaper priced
electricity this should be set between 12pm to 7am during
the winter and 1am to 8am in the summer. The clock has a
dial which will turn once every day.
How can I set my clock?
n On newer models the Clock may have a WINTER and
SUMMER Time line. The time line should be set so that it
is against the WINTER TIME line in the winter or SUMMER
TIME line in the summer.
n You can adjust the Clock by turning the dial clockwise.
What if I need extra hot water?
If you find that you run out of hot water during the day extra hot
water is available by using the Boost Switch. This will either be
part of the same control which includes the Water Heater Switch
and Clock or it may be on its own.
The Boost Switch is made up of a dial which you turn to generate
hot water for a period up to two hours.
If you use this during the day, it will cost you more.
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How can I check what electricity tariff I am on?
It’s important to make sure you are on the right tariff, you don’t
want to be paying more for your electricity than you have to. You
can do this by contacting your electricity company or you may
want a relative, carer, support worker or friend to call on your
behalf.
Company
Tel. Number
Website
British Gas
E.on
EDF Energy
N Power
Scottish Power
Southern Electric
SSE
Swalec
0800 048 0202
0845 301 5793
0800 096 9000
0845 601 1102
0845 270 0700
0845 026 0654
0845 026 0658
0845 026 0656
www.britishgas.co.uk
www.eonenergy.com
www.edfenergy.com
www.npower.com
www.scottishpower.co.uk
www.southern-electric.co.uk
www.sse.co.uk
www.swalec.co.uk
Electric Safety
n Switch off any appliances when not in use and pull out any
plugs.
n Never take electrical items into the bathroom.
n Do not overload sockets.
n Do not touch electrical appliances with wet hands.
n Get to know your fuse box and how it works.
n Report all broken switches, light fittings or exposed wiring
to the Repairs and Maintenance Service on 0117 922 2200
(Option one).
n Keep sockets safe from children by fitting socket covers.
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n You can find more information on the Electrical Safety
Councils website www.esc.org.uk/public and if you
have children the Switched on Kids website
www.switchedonkids.org.uk/house
Energy Advice
The following guidance is from the Energy Saving Trust and
the Home Energy Team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy
in Bristol.
Introduction
Giving your home a bit of love is important. Did you know there
are a number of no-cost and low-cost things you can do around
your home to save money and energy? From some simple
changes to the way you use energy in your home to getting the
best out of your energy supplier.
Tips for lower energy bills
Turn down and switch off
n Always turn off the lights when you leave a room and at
night. If you want to light a child’s room or a landing, use a
low-wattage night light.
n Don’t leave appliances such as TVs and stereos on standby
and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily.
n Switch off your computer and monitor when they’re not
being used.
n Catch ‘em young: encourage your children to switch off
electric toys and lights that they’re not using. They’ll soon
get the hang of saving energy.
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Cooking
n Only boil as much water as you need to, but remember to
cover the metal element at the base.
n Use the kettle to boil water for cooking, instead of heating
a pan on the stove. This is more efficient and takes less time
too!
n When cooking choose the right sized pan for the food and
the cooker, cut food into smaller pieces and put lids on pans
as the food will then cook a lot quicker.
n If you are defrosting food, or just warming things up, then
microwave ovens are ideal as they use much less electricity
than conventional ovens.
n Use a toaster rather than a grill for making toast.
Good housekeeping
n Fit draught excluders to your front door, letter box and key
hole, and draw your curtains at dusk to keep the heat in.
n Recycle anything you are able to, such as newspapers,
bottle and cans. Recycling saves energy. Elements in kettles
and washing machines that are coated with limescale are
inefficient and use more energy. To remove limescale leave a
cup full of vinegar in your kettle overnight.
n Replace your light bulbs with energy saving recommended
ones: just one can reduce your lighting costs by up to £100
over the lifetime of the bulb, and they last up to 12 times
longer than ordinary light bulbs. Seal up any draughts in
doors and windows using draught excluders. For small
draughts use stick on draft excluding tape, available from
most DIY stores.
n Put aluminium foil behind any radiators fitted to outside walls
(with the shiny side facing the radiator). Ordinary kitchen foil
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will do, or you can buy specially designed panels from DIY
stores.
Hot water
n A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week
wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps
and make sure they’re fully turned off!
Fridges and freezers
n Let hot food cool down before putting it in the fridge or
freezer.
n Don’t leave the door open for longer than necessary as cold
air escapes.
n Defrost your freezer regularly to keep it running efficiently
and cheaply as those filled with frost work harder to stay
cold.
n Keep your fridge and freezer well stocked as they need less
energy than empty ones.
n If your freezer frosts up quickly, check the door seals.
n Replace an old fridge freezer with a modern ‘A’ rated one
which will use two and a half times less energy.
You can find more energy saving advice online at
www.cse.org.uk/loveyourhome
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Getting the best from your energy supplier
Whoever you buy your electricity from you need to make sure
you are getting a good deal.
1)Are you on the best tariff?
If your existing fuel supplier hasn’t put you on the cheapest
option (or ‘tariff’) you may be paying more than you need
to for your electricity. You can phone them to check; the
number will be shown on your fuel bill.
2)Paying by monthly direct debit
Energy companies prefer customers to pay a fixed amount
each month and will offer discounts of 5-10% to customers
who do this. If you’re not currently paying by direct debit,
it may be worth doing so. If the amount you chose to pay
by direct debit is not enough to cover the bill, or if you are
being charged too much, you can call your supplier and
request that the amount you pay is changed.
3)Switch to an internet tariff
This can save you another 10%. The only thing that will
change is that you will get your bill by email.
4)Do a meter reading every time
Every time you receive a bill, check your meter. Most bills
are based on estimates, and these are often inaccurate. If
your supplier has under-estimated, you’ll have to pay the
difference at the end of the year. If they have overestimated,
you’ll get refunded, but not for several months.
5)Avoid pre-payment meters if you can
Some people like pre-payment meters because they do make
budgeting easy. But pre-payment customers don’t benefit
from direct-debit discounts, online discounts or promptpayment discounts. So it usually pays to switch to a billed
meter, though there may be a charge to do this.
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Get in touch
If you have a question about saving energy, or you want further
information please contact the Home Energy Team at the Centre
for Sustainable Energy by:
Telephone: 0800 082 2234 (free from a landline)
Telephone:
0117 934 1957 (cheaper from a mobile)
Email:[email protected]
You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter
www.facebook.com/energysavingadvice
www.twitter.com/cse_homeenergy
Complaints, comments or compliments
Bristol City Council is committed to providing a high quality
service to all its’ customers and welcomes your feedback.
You can do this by submitting a complaint, comment or
compliment, about the services you have received.
If you wish to do this you can complete our online form at
www.bristol.gov.uk/faircomment You can also obtain a
Fair Comment leaflet from any Customer Service Point or by
contacting our Customer Services Centre.
How to contact us
If you need to contact the Repairs and Maintenance Service
details are set out below.
General enquiries:
0117 922 2200 (Option one)
Textphone:
0117 357 4444
Fax:
0117 922 2011
By Post:
Repairs, PO Box 595, Bristol BS99 2AW
By Email:[email protected]
By Internet:www.bristol.gov.uk/repairs
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