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Posted by snakelass on November 09, 2002 at 04:58:53:
In Reply to: Human vs. Herp Room (a real-life saga) posted by SJL on November 03, 2002 at 08:46:22:
>I turned off the heat vents to my herp room and bought a stand alone room heater. I made a humidity retreat box. I put dimmer switches on the lamps to regulate the heat output.
Suggestion: once the dimmer switches are adjusted, put some transparent tape or masking tape to make it difficult to accidently change the settings. I was lucky that my Kenyan Sand Boas had plenty of room to retreat to a safe temperature when I neglected to tape the dimmer switch for their under-tank heater.
Please be careful with the space heaters (room heaters). The thermostat malfunctions more frequently than you might expect, and doesn't shut off. Too much heat kills herps much more quickly than cold. I've heard directly from two people who lost much of their collections when a space heater didn't shut off. I've also read a number of second and third-hand reports of other similar accidents.
Some heater have variable wattage settings. If you have one with a setting that is low enough that even running nonstop for hours the room doesn't get too hot that is great. 500 or 750 watts may be good, depending on a lot of factors, but unless the room is large, 1500 watts may be too much if the thermostat goes. If not, one good solution is to put the space heater on an in-line thermostat. Set that one at the very highest safe temperature, then if the thermostat in the space heater goes, the external one will keep it from overheating.
My personal preference for heating larger areas is a Pro Products radiant heat panel. If the ambient temperature varies a lot you can put an inexpensive high-end cutoff for safety, but when you buy them the owner will tell you the right size based on your particular setup so it stays in the right range. They also are more efficient at getting heat to the animal than a space heater, although regular thermostats don't do the best job seeing what the temperature of the snake really is.
All the best,