Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) has been in the United States since the early 70’s, and has been utilized in Europe since the 1940’s. This technology has been proven in many areas across North America to deliver great comfort; and, when combined with an off-peak, Time-of-Day or other preferential rate, low operating costs to make it the best cost heating option.
ETS is a technology whereby off-peak electricity is stored as heat which is used for heating 24 hours a day. Many power companies offer an off-peak electric rate option that provides as much as 50% or more savings off of the standard electric rate for energy used during off-peak hours. ETS equipment utilizes the low off-peak electric rate to store a sufficient amount of heat to meet comfort requirements. Steffes ETS equipment available today includes room heaters, whole house forced air and hydronic heating systems, water heater controls, and commercial hydronic heating systems. Contact your power supplier to find out if off-peak electric rates are available in your area.
You can recess the heater; however, the specified minimum clearances must be adhered to. The 2100 Series room heater clearances are 2” from the sides, 1.5" from the back (wall support bracket provides this clearance), 4” on top, and 15” in the front. Failure to comply with stated clearances may cause operational difficulties resulting in a risk of fire.
A 12" clearance is recommended on the right side for accurate room temperature sensing and ease of service. If a clearance of 12" is not available on the right side, Steffes recommends a remote room temperature sensor.
You are likely experiencing odor amplification. The ETS system will draw room odors through the hot brick core. When the air containing odors is heated, the smell is amplified. It is suggested not to operate the ETS heater when painting, varnishing, or doing anything else which causes a higher-than-normal level of airborne fumes or aerosols. The air should be completely free of these odors before operating the heater again.
If the odor you are experiencing is electrical in nature at all, power the heating system off at the breaker panel and contact a local dealer to have the system serviced. Utilize the Steffes Dealer Locator to find a dealer in your area.
Moving your Steffes heating system is not recommended; however, it can be done as long as the heater is not one of the old-style S or EXT heaters. The longer the heater has been in use, the more fragile the insulation will be. Caution must be taken not to damage any heater components or insulation during the move. Keep in mind that the brick core of the heater will get up to 1,200°F in normal operation. Therefore, damage to the heater’s insulation package can result in an air leak which can result in a fire.
An electrician should move the heater for you to ensure the electrical wiring is being disconnected and reconnected properly. The bricks, when at all possible, should be left in the heater during the move. Generally, the heater can be moved with an appliance cart. Consult the specifications for the approximate weight of the heater to make sure the contractor doesn’t overload the lifting/moving equipment.
The heater must remain upright at all times and great care should be taken so bricks do not shift inside the heater. If you need to remove the bricks, you do so through the front of the heater. When removing the bricks, leave the bottom row of brick in place as the bottom micropore insulation can adhere to the bottom of the brick in normal operation. By removing the brick, you risk the chance of removing some of the insulation. If this insulation is damaged in any way, the heater is not useable as this bottom insulation is not field replaceable. Also, the top of the heater should never be removed. If the top of the heater is removed, the heater cannot be placed back in service for safety reasons.
If bricks are removed for the move, the front painted panel would be removed first. The galvanized front panel is exposed. Behind this panel is the brick/element core. Extra care should be taken when removing the galvanized front panel. There is a delicate insulation panel adhered to the inside of the galvanized front which can easily fall out due to heater age when taking this panel off. The insulation is a powdery substance. If this insulation is damaged in any way, it must be replaced. Replacements are still available for 2100 Series heaters and would need to be ordered in conjunction with the galvanized front panel as we would adhere the two at the factory.
Again, Steffes does not recommend moving a heater; however, if doing so, make sure to involve a local dealer for safety purposes.
Steffes has manufactured multiple heating systems since 1987.
During the manufacturing process, the order in which the components are placed into the cabinet of the heater ensure an excellent fit and seal of the insulation components. If the top of the heater is removed, that insulation package is disturbed and cannot be reassembled in the field due to safety concerns. The internal core temperature reaches approximately 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit in normal operation, so it is extremely important that the insulation package is not altered. Having an air leak at these high temperatures would constitute risk of fire, property damage, and/or death.
Selling or purchasing a used ETS heater can be hazardous and is not something Steffes recommends for the safety of the user. During regular operation of the room heater, the brick core of the heater will get up to 1,200°F. The longer the heater has been in use, the more fragile the insulation will become. Caution must be taken not to damage any heater components or insulation. Damage to the heater’s insulation package can result in a high-temperature air leak, which can result in a fire, property damage, personal injury, and/or death.
Before purchasing or selling an ETS heater, the following precautions should be taken:
If the heater has not satisfied all of the above conditions, it cannot be put back into service for the safety of the user. In addition to the requirements stated above, please consider the following criteria when a heater is moved:
The bricks, when at all possible, should be left in the heater during the move. Generally, the heater can be moved with an appliance cart. Consult the specifications page in the appropriate Owner’s & Installer’s Manual for the approximate weight of the heater to make sure the contractor doesn’t overload the lifting/moving equipment. If the contractor does need to remove the brick, they must leave the bottom row of brick in place as the bottom micropore insulation can adhere to this row in normal operation. If the bottom row of bricks is removed, there is a high risk of removing some of the insulation. If this insulation is damaged in any way, the heater cannot be put back into service as this bottom insulation becomes a significant safety concern and is not replaceable.
It is extremely important to have an electrician make sure the electrical wiring is disconnected and reconnected properly. The electrician should also inspect the heater to ensure there is no insulation damage inside the brick core to confirm the heater can safely be put into service.
Room Heaters: Regularly vacuum around all sides of the heater. Check the back of the heater to make sure no objects have fallen behind it and the grill area to make sure there isn't anything obstructing air flow. Check all sides of the heater to be sure the required clearances are not being violated.
NOTE: Objects should never be placed on top of the heater.
No additional routine maintenance is required; however, having a professional service technician clean the blower periodically will decrease the likelihood of undesirable blower noise due to dust accumulation.
As with most heating systems, air borne particles and odors in the room may be drawn into the heating system and oxidized. Since the room air passes directly through the hot brick core of the ETS heater, the oxidation process will change the properties of these particles and odors. Odors can be amplified; thus, it is recommended not to operate the heating system if odors such as those from paints, varnishes, or chemicals are present in the air. Allow the area to be completely aired out before operating the heater.
As for air borne particles, after they have been oxidized, they are expelled back into the room and may accumulate on the heater or other surfaces. Over time these particles may appear as a black residue commonly referred to as soot. High concentrations of air borne particles from such things as aerosols, dust, candles, incense, pet hair, high humidity, smoke, or cooking can contribute to poor indoor air quality and accelerate this process. To minimize the black residue build-up, clean the outer surface of the heater on a regular basis. Wash the cabinet, only when cool, with a nonabrasive household cleaner. Do not use scouring powders or furniture polish. Steffes recommends using Soft Scrub with Bleach ™ brand cleanser or an equal.
4100 Series: Steffes forced air heating systems are easily maintained. The air filter in the return air duct of the system should be replaced on a regular basis to ensure proper operation and to maintain overall efficiency. No additional routine maintenance is required.
If utilizing a heat pump or air conditioning system with the 4100 Series, the indoor coil of the device should be cleaned periodically as dirt accumulation may reduce system efficiency. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and cleaning recommendations for these devices.
5100 Series: General cleaning of the system's cabinet should be conducted at the user's discretion. It is important to monitor water levels/pressure (PSI) as low water levels cause poor performance and possible damage to the system. Ask the installer of the equipment for information on how to measure these levels.
If utilizing the Steffes Air Handler with the 5100 series, periodically check and replace the air filter.
If a heat pump or air conditioner is interfaced with the Comfort Plus Hydronic, the indoor coil of these devices should be cleaned periodically, to maintain system efficiency. Follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendation for these devices. Regular replacement of the air filter and cleaning of coils will provide better air flow and optimum efficiency and performance.