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1. Originally Posted by Reach4
Suppose he had used the word continually rather than continuously-- would that work for everybody?
Suppose he had used the word continually rather than continuously-- would that work for everybody?

I suppose that if he used it continually operating under a continuous load it wouldn’t much matter because it wouldn’t last very long but if it could operate non-continuously it would continue to last for a while.

To be able to do what he is questioning would take a math wizard and the unit would be drawing current continuously.
Through this statement he shows the understanding that should the heat be sized to low that the heat would never shut off.

Originally Posted by Commonground
I read somewhere that installing too much capacity would induce the heaters in more cycling. It seems to make sense to me. If the capacity is small the heaters tend to be always on if it's get really cold.
The answer to his question if he was living here in NC would be about 10 watts per square foot but where he lives it is possible it could be much more. But he makes this statement;
Originally Posted by Commonground
The question is how small can I go to achieve my aim of keeping the plumbing from freezing. It is obviously quite a different approach than trying to achieve 20°C (68F) throughout the building with 10W/sqft.
Is there a rule of thumb to apply with the variable being the ambient temperature to achieve, in my case 5°C (41F)? Can someone answer that question?
Here the only correct answer is to not control the temperature by sizing the heat lower than what would be required but instead use thermostats to control the temperature unless you are just wanting to burn up baseboard heaters one after the other.

2. The bigger the temperature difference, the bigger the heater required to maintain a temperature if left on continuously. Since most of these things aren't variable, that means turning on and off. Then, throw in wind and air infiltration, and it becomes more variable. As has been said, the things tend to burn out when run continuously, so sizing them so that they can turn on and off as required, is the prudent thing.

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