What Are Heating Elements? Find Right Element

Heating is essential to your home – it gives you that warm and cozy feeling after a long day and allows you to feel comfortable in the colder months. But have you ever wondered how it works? Some radiators, including towel rails and designer radiators, require a heating element to work efficiently, and it’s not just radiators; you’ll find heating elements in ovens, toasters, and many other electrical appliances. Read on to learn more about their different forms and how they work. 

What is a heating element? 

A heating element converts energy from electricity into heat. This happens through a process called Joule heating. This heating type occurs when an electric current passes through an element and encounters resistance. As a result, the element heats up due to the electrical current passing through it. Different electrical conductors are used for different elements and, depending on the element’s material, are used in various appliances that require heat. Below, we’ll look at a few different types of heating elements and their usage. 

What type of heating elements do radiators use? 

You’ll find your radiator heating element inserted into the radiator’s side or bottom. Using a heating element means that you can switch between using dual fuel or electricity to power the radiator, with dual fuel working with your central heating system. Radiator elements consists of a range of different metals, such as stainless steel, which is popular because it doesn’t rust.

Air process heaters 

As its name suggests, this heating element heats up flowing air. Air process heaters are tubular and look like a pipe that from one end carries in cold air and from the opposite end produces warm air. The process works as the inside of the tube is lined with coils of heating elements which warm the air as it passes through. They are often insulated by ceramics and can be used for laminating, baking, and drying. 

Strip heaters 

These heating elements are often flat and rectangular so that they can fit well to a surface and ready to for heating pocess. They sometimes have finned surfaces so they can be used to heat air as well as fluid for indoor appliances. The insulating materials that help a strip heater work are fibreglass and magnesium. 

Cartridge heaters 

This heating element is popular in immersion heaters and for surface heating. It provides a controllable heat source to a local source and effective heat transfer. The outer cover of this element is often made from a material that cannot corrode, such as stainless steel. While for the inner side, a ceramic core with coils wrapped around and situated close to the walls of the outer cover, allowing heat to transfer. 

Choosing the correct element 

When choosing the right heating element, there are a few important factors to consider, such as the heat delivered per unit area to the temperature that the heating element needs to achieve. 

Watts: Watt density is the heat that an element gives out per unit area. It is important that you get the proper watt density for your heater, as high-density elements produce high levels of heat, which can result in your element failing. Therefore, checking the recommended watts for your appliance is beneficial. 

Power supply: It is important that when choosing a heating element, you consider how it will operate with the power supply available, whether is a generator or else. Check your voltage rating to see how much power supply your element can take so that you can avoid tripping. 

Temperature: When choosing a heating element, you must first decide on the temperature of your appliance. Then you can select the number of watts your element needs to achieve this. 

Corrosion: When choosing your heating element, you should consider that it may begin to corrode. Choosing a design or material that can reduce corrosion means your appliance can maintain its function. Stainless steel, brass, and copper are common to protect the inner workings of the element. 

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