What is a Heating Coil?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2019
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Heater elements come in many shapes and sizes. A heating coil is a special heating device that is shaped in a spiral design. The coil is typically made from ceramic or metal and heated through electrical current. This type of design is often found in hair dryers, space heaters, and electric ovens.

There are many forms of heating elements available today for portable heaters. This includes gas-, solar-, and electric-powered units. Many portable space heaters use a heater coil design. This coil produces heat that is transferred into the surrounding area with a fan.

A heating coil is normally powered by electricity. When the coil is charged with electric power, it becomes red hot. This heat is transferred into the open area by using an exhaust fan. As the fan blows air over the coil, the coil is continually heated, which warms the air.

Portable heaters have an emergency override mechanism to prevent overheating. This is a safety feature that turns the heater off if the fan element stops. Without this safety feature, the heater could overheat the external container, causing the device to melt and catch on fire.


A blow dryer is a portable heating device that is used to dry hair. Most blow dryers contain an internal heating coil. This type of heating device produces extreme heat, but is an expensive form of energy. A hair dryer uses large amounts of electricity to generate the hot air. Most hair dryer elements consume the same amount of electricity as running ten 100-watt light bulbs.

A baseboard heating system design is similar to a heating coil design. These heaters generate heat based on electrical input. The baseboard heaters are typically placed on the floor of a room with a built-in thermostat. The baseboard heating system is made from metal that is heated with an electric charge.

One of the benefits of a coil design is fast, efficient heat. A larger heating coil can generate extreme heat temperatures very quickly. Most electric stoves use this coil design to produce heat for the oven. An electric oven can be quickly heated to a desired temperature.

Many water heaters use a heater coil design. These heaters warm the water supply that runs throughout a home or building. Water heaters keep water at a set temperature. When the temperature drops below the preselected setting, the coil is heated through an electrical charge.


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