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May I use a space heater?

Views: 3926 Created: 05/31/2011 06:06 pm Last Updated: 08/22/2012 05:06 pm 0 Rating/ Voters

Space heaters are not prohibited at UC Davis. The campus Fire Department permits the use of space heaters that meet campus guidelines. (See Fire Net: Portable Space Heater Fire Regulations.)

However, space heaters are very costly in terms of energy use and the maintenance issues that they create.

Before you get a space heater, please carefully consider the following:

  • Do you really need one? If your office is consistently too hot or too cold, your first call should be to Facilities Management. If there is a problem with building heating or cooling, they will resolve it and restore the building to the campus indoor temperature standard (68 to 78 degrees year round). If your building heating and cooling system is working properly, and the room temperature is a matter of personal preference, then talk to your supervisor about using a space heater.
  • Who will pay the costs associated with the space heater? Any expenses related to the space heater will be departmental expenses, including the purchase of the space heater. If your department pays for utilities, the space heater may add to your energy bill. Unforeseen expenses associated with space heaters are blown electrical circuits, which must be reset -- on a recharge basis -- by campus electricians. It may be necessary to rewire your facility to handle space heaters, which would also be a departmental expense.
  • Are you willing to blow a fuse? The electrical requirements for space heaters are incredibly high, and fuses blown by space heaters are daily occurrence at UC Davis. Circuit breakers must be reset by campus electricians, and this will be a departmental expense.
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