Ceramic Heaters: The Classic Space Heater
My roommate has an impressively warm space heater that she grudgingly shares with me while watching TV in our very chilly living room. Nobody told me that being grown up meant freezing in your own home if you didn’t want to pay VERY high heating bills during the winter! However, thanks to my roomie and her space heater, which happens to be made with ceramic elements, I am surviving.
Ceramic heaters are the most common form of space heaters found in residential contexts, such as apartments shared by two college students. In actuality, ceramic heaters are electric heaters that utilize ceramic elements to radiate heat from the heating unit and into the space. The ceramic elements work with aluminum baffles and fans to transfer the electric heat that builds up within the portable heater. Really ceramics are used as insulation to keep the heating coils they cover from catching fire. They are a safety measure as well as serving as a conductor for the heat.
Ceramic elements are also used within other heating systems, such as band heaters and strip heaters, which are more specialized then space heaters. For example, band heaters are used to within extrusion manufacturing contexts to keep the material moving through pipes molten until it reaches the desired mold where it will be free to harden. Strip heaters are like band heaters except they are not wrapped around other objects to transfer their heat, instead resembling long and flat rulers. Other examples of ceramic heaters include some curling iron models, hot glue guns, copiers, dehumidifiers and shrink wrapping machines. All of these machines are considered safer and more effective because they utilize ceramic elements to insulate the actual electric coils. On top of being safe and effective, ceramic heaters are very cost efficient because they utilize so little power while radiating a lot of heat.