Thank you for the replies. Both were very helpful.

Some follow-up questions:

- Will using linear elements still allow me to get an accurate solution?

- In general, why would I choose linear elements over quadratic elements, or quadratic elements over linear elements?

- The elements in my simulation tend to have a large temperature gradient across them (one side of the element is significantly hotter than the other). Is this causing (or contributing to) the element distortion that I am seeing?