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High Altitude Electric Heaters

I am building a cabin at 8,500 feet elevation in Utah. I want to use electric heat to supplement our wood burning stove and to keep the cabin above freezing during the winter months. I have installed wall heaters in a bathroom and the laundry room. It turns out that they over heat if I wire them for the maximum wattage, apparently because of the high altitude. Do you have wall and/baseboard heaters suitable for that altitude or any suggestions.

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Re: High Altitude Electric Heaters

I have never heard of altitude effecting the electric. Watts amps and volts are different than burning a gas, like propane. The high altitude has less oxygen thus requiring the combustion to be effected. If your wires are over heating when you use maximum wattage (amps) you need to install larger wire with the correct size breaker. Look up ohms law. Its a basic electrical formula and will help you get this right.

Posted on Dec 26, 2007

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I am getting ready to buy baseboard heat for a 800-900 squarefoor open area, old GArage, And I am looking at 3 8' 2500W sections of base board. is this enough. And How much better is the units you have...

First, those of us on FixYa don't sell any products or appliances. Just information.

But to answer your question about electric baseboard heating ... It's the most inefficient and costly heating source you could use. With that said, a lot depends on the cubic footage of the area, as well as how well that area is insulated. This applies for electric, gas or oil heating. You rae not just heating square footage, you're wanting to heat cubic footage (i.e. Width x Length x Height = Cubic Footage). Assuming you have an 8 ft ceiling, the Cubic Footage would be (assuming a 9 ft ceiling) 7200 Cubic Feet. Based on that and if it was my home, I'd be installing a 20,000 - 25,000 Btu Vent-free (Flue-Less) Gas Heater, with built-in thermostat control. It could either be as a Free Standing, Vent-free Gas Fireplace System or simply a Wall Mounted Heater. One is decorative, as well as efficient and the other is simple and efficient. Plus, gas heat is a warm, moist heat that you feel very quickly and it's more comfortable than electric or oil heat. As a matter of fact, Vent-free Gas Heating Appliances are 99.9% efficient. And will work without electricity. Which is great during a Winter power outage. If you currently don't have Natural Gas at your home, then LPG (Liquid Propane Gas) is readily available.

So, by now, you figured out that my preference is gas. I have three Vent-free gas heating appliances in my 3000 square foot home (2-Vent-free Remote Controlled Gas Log Sets in existing wood burning fireplaces & a Vent-free heater in my 2-car garage). Our primary heat source is an electric heat pump. Which doesn't work well, when the temperature reach 32 degrees F or lower. We use the gas heaters only as a supplement heat source or as primary source, if the power goes out.

I hope you'll take a little time to research this, because in the long run, it can save you $$$. Below, is a link to Empire Comfort Systems. They have excellent supplemental and primary heating products in all looks, shapes and sizes. This will give you an idea of what's out there.

I hope all of this helped you. Please let me know. Thanks.

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It probably overheated and the overheat module shut the heater down. It may reset itself once it cools down. Or the heating element has burned out. There are a host of issues with these electric fireplaces (not just Dimplex). They are sold as a decorative, supplemental heat source, but in fact, if you get more than a years use out of it without a problem, you're probably the exception. The heaters just aren't meant to run for a long period of time. It's like turning on a blow drier and letting it run for an hour. Nine times out of ten the blower driver will overheat and burn out.

I really wish I had better news for you (I answer this type of question at least 5 to 6 times a week), but I don't.

The only good news would be, if it's still under warranty (one year), have your Proof of Purchase and contact Dimplex USA. Technical Service: 1- 888-346-7539. Customer Service: 800-668-6663

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Are these safe to heat a cabin without worrying about carbon monoxide?

If the unit is burning correctly then you should not have to worry. The unit does have an oxygen depletion sensor that must be pretty sensetive because you cannot use the unit above 7500 ft elevation. Of course it would probably be smart to also buy a cheap CO detecter to install in the cabin. What 40 or 50 bucks to save a life??
You can also check out a review of this product here

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