Every storage heater that has ever been made works in exactly the same way. They consist of a core of ceramic blocks which are heated by electric elements. These blocks were originally similar in size and shape to ordinary house bricks (which is why they were and still are called bricks) except that they had grooves in them for the heating elements and to allow circulation of air through the core. Over the years the size and shape of the bricks and the material from which they are made have changed slightly, although they have always been of a size and shape and weight which allows them to be easily handled by just one person.
Once the power to the heating elements comes on the bricks start to heat up, and a few hours later they will be very hot indeed. This core is surounded by a layer of a very good insulating material to ensure that the outside of the heater never gets more than warm and that very little of the heat in the core is lost through it: most of the heat is released into the room by air circulating through the air passages in the core.
A modern storage heater has only two very simple controls. The first control automatically turns the electric power to the heater off when the core has reached the right temperature. This is set when the heater is installed and should never need to be changed; it cannot be changed without the use of a screwdriver.
The second control regulates the rate at which the heat stored in the core is released into the room. On a modern storage heater an ultra-quiet low speed electric fan blows warm air from the core into the room. This fan is normally controlled by a room thermostat, but it could be controlled by a timer, even a PC or mobile phone.
Modern storage heaters also contain a conventional convector heater for use at times when no heat is stored in the core, for example during the summer - this is further discussed later on another Page.