Central to the space heater’s functionality is the heart of its operation – the heating coil. This vital component morphs electrical energy into valued warmth, weaving a sign of comfort even as the mercury falls. The heating coil is more than just a bundle of metal; it’s the bearer of warmth, the essence of homely comfort amidst the biting cold. As we endeavor to unravel the science and the art behind space heaters, understanding what is the coil in a space heater becomes imperative. This exploration leads us into a realm where physics meets comfort, ensuring our abode remains a sanctuary even when winter’s icy grasp reaches forth.

Space heaters are versatile and efficient devices designed to provide localized heating in homes, offices, or other enclosed spaces. They offer an excellent solution for supplementing central heating systems, heating specific rooms, or providing extra warmth during colder seasons. The heating coil is one of the critical components that enable these heaters to generate heat.

Types of Space Heaters and the Crucial Role of Coil In A Space Heater:

  1. Ceramic Space Heaters: Ceramic space heaters utilize a ceramic heating element (often called a PTC or Positive Temperature Coefficient heating element). These elements consist of ceramic plates with embedded heating wires. When electricity passes through them, the resistance generates heat. Ceramic heaters are known for their rapid heating, energy efficiency, and heat distribution.
  2. Infrared Space Heaters: Infrared heaters emit infrared radiation, which heats objects and surfaces in their path directly. Further They do not heat the air like traditional convection heaters. Moreoevr Infrared heaters are efficient and provide quick, directional warmth. They are ideal for spot heating and outdoor use.
  3. Oil-Filled Radiator Heaters: Oil-filled radiators contain a heating element, typically made of metal coils like nichrome, immersed in oil. Further  The oil heats up when electricity passes through the waves, and the heat radiates into the room. These heaters are known for their steady and consistent heat output, making them suitable for long-term heating.
  4. Fan-Forced Space Heaters: Fan-forced heaters use a heating coil or element to heat the air, and a fan blows the warm air into the room. Moreover They efficiently distribute heat quickly and are available in various styles, including tower and compact heaters.
  5. Convection Space Heaters: Convection heaters, often portable, use a heating element (coil) to warm the air around it. Furthermore Cooler air is drawn in as the heated air rises, creating a natural convection current. They are effective at heating larger spaces and maintaining a consistent temperature.

The Central Role of Coil In A Space Heater:

The heating coil, also known as a heating element or heating element coil, is the essential component responsible for generating heat in electric space heaters. These coils are typically constructed using materials like nichrome, which have high electrical resistance. When an electric current flows through a ring, it generates heat due to its opposition to the current, following Joule’s law.

The heating coil’s temperature can reach high within seconds, rapidly warming the surrounding air. This heated air is circulated throughout the room by a fan (in fan-forced heaters) or allowed to rise naturally (in convection heaters), providing the desired warmth.

Thus, what is the coil in a space heater, each with its unique heating method and advantages the heating coil, a critical component in electric space heaters, generates the heat required to make these devices effective. Understanding the different types of space heaters and the function of heating coils can help you choose the right heater for your specific heating needs while ensuring a warm and comfortable environment.

Comparison of Heating Coil Types in Various Space Heaters

Space Heater TypeHeating Coil TypeDescription and Characteristics
Ceramic Space HeatersCeramic Heating Element– Rapid heat-up.
– Energy-efficient.
– Even heat distribution.
– Commonly used in portable heaters.
Infrared Space HeatersInfrared Heating Element– Directly heat objects and surfaces.
– Energy-efficient and fast heating.
– Ideal for spot heating and outdoor use.
Oil-Filled RadiatorsMetal Heating Element– Slow and steady heat distribution.
– Long-lasting and durable.
– Often used in oil-filled radiator heaters.
Fan-Forced Space HeatersMetal Heating Element– Quick heat distribution due to a fan.
– Suitable for larger rooms.
– Found in various styles, including tower heaters.
Convection Space HeatersMetal Heating Element– Heats the air, suitable for whole-room heating.
– Energy-efficient and even heat distribution.
Infrared Space HeatersInfrared Heating Element– Emits infrared radiation to heat objects directly.
– Efficient and ideal for zone heating.

Definition and Composition of a Coil In A Space Heater

A heating coil is an electrical component that produces heat when a current passes through it. It is fundamental to various heating devices, including space heaters, ovens, toasters, electric stoves, water heaters, and more.

Heating coils are typically constructed using materials with high electrical resistance, which means they offer significant opposition to the flow of electrical current. This resistance converts electrical energy into heat energy, resulting in the desired warming effect.

Variety of Materials Used:

Several materials are commonly used to construct heating coils, each with its unique properties and applications:

  1. Nichrome (Nickel-Chromium) Alloys: Nichrome is one of the most widely used materials for heating coils. It consists of a mixture of nickel and chromium, often with small amounts of iron and other elements. Nichrome is valued for its electrical resistance, corrosion resistance, and high-temperature tolerance. It comes in different grades, such as NiCr80/20 and NiCr60/15, denoting the alloy’s percentage of nickel and chromium.
  2. Kanthal Alloys: Kanthal is another popular choice for heating elements. It is an iron-chromium-aluminum alloy known for its high-temperature resistance, long life, and excellent oxidation resistance. Kanthal is often used in applications requiring extremely high temperatures, such as industrial furnaces and kilns.
  3. Copper-Nickel Alloys: Copper-nickel alloys like Constantan (CuNi44) are used when lower resistance and higher current-carrying capacity are needed. They are often employed in precision resistors and thermocouples.
  4. Tungsten: Tungsten is used for heating elements in applications requiring extremely high temperatures, such as incandescent light bulbs and certain types of industrial heating.

Today, heating coils are manufactured using advanced materials and technologies. They are used in various consumer and industrial applications, contributing to energy-efficient and precise heating solutions. In conclusion, heating coils are essential in numerous electrical heating devices, offering efficient and controlled heat generation.

Their historical evolution has been marked by the development of materials like Nichrome and Kanthal alloys, which have greatly improved the efficiency and reliability of heating elements across various industries and applications.

How Does a Coil In A Space Heater Work?

Heating coil systems are widely used in various applications, from heating elements in household appliances to industrial processes. These systems rely on the principle of electrical resistance to generate and distribute heat while allowing precise temperature control through thermostatic mechanisms. Let’s delve into how a heating coil system works:

1. Electrical Resistance:

The concept of electrical resistance is at the core of a heating coil system. Electrical resistance is the property of a material that opposes the flow of electrical current. Materials with high resistance, such as nichrome or Kanthal alloys, are commonly used in heating coils because they efficiently convert electrical energy into heat energy.

When an electric current is passed through a heating coil, the electrons in the material encounter resistance, causing them to slow down and collide with atoms and ions within the material. These collisions generate heat energy, which raises the temperature of the coil.

2. Heat Generation and Distribution:

The process of heat generation in a heating coil system can be broken down into a few key steps:

  • Current Flow: When the system is turned on, an electric current flows through the heating coil.
  • Resistance: The high-resistance material of the coil resists the current, leading to the generation of heat.
  • Temperature Increase: As the resistance causes the coil to heat up, the surrounding environment (air or a medium) is also heated through conduction and radiation.
  • Heat Transfer: The generated heat is then transferred to the surrounding air or the medium in contact with the coil. Conduction occurs when the coil directly heats nearby objects or air molecules in contact with it. Radiation involves the emission of infrared radiation from the hot coil, which heats objects and surfaces within its range.

3. Thermostatic Control:

To maintain a desired temperature and prevent overheating, heating coil systems often incorporate thermostatic control mechanisms. A thermostat is a device that senses the system’s temperature and regulates the power supplied to the heating coil accordingly.

Here’s how thermostatic control works:

  • Temperature Sensing: The thermostat monitors the system’s temperature through a sensor or thermocouple.
  • Setpoint Comparison: The sensed temperature is compared to a pre-set temperature (setpoint) that the user desires. If the temperature deviates from the set point, the thermostat takes action.
  • Control Action: If the temperature is too low, the thermostat increases the power supplied to the heating coil, producing more heat. Conversely, if the temperature exceeds the setpoint, the thermostat reduces or cuts off the power supply to prevent overheating.
  • Feedback Loop: This process creates a feedback loop, ensuring the heating coil system maintains a relatively stable temperature within the desired range.

A heating coil system uses electrical resistance to generate heat efficiently. This heat is distributed through various mechanisms, including conduction and radiation, to warm the surrounding environment. Thermostatic control is crucial in managing and regulating the temperature, ensuring the system operates safely and maintains the desired heat level.

Different Types of Coil In A Space Heater

Heating coils come in various types, each designed for specific applications and offering distinct benefits and drawbacks. Here, we’ll explore three primary categories: Open Coil Elements, Closed (Sheathed) Coil Elements, and Specialty Coils.

1. Open Coil Elements:


  • Rapid Heating: Open coil elements heat up quickly due to their exposed design, making them suitable for applications where fast temperature rise is essential.
  • Efficient Heat Transfer: Their open design allows for efficient heat transfer to the surrounding medium, which is ideal for convection heating.
  • Cost-Effective: Open coil elements are often more cost-effective to manufacture and replace than closed ones.


  • Susceptible to Contamination: The open design makes them easy to contamination from dust, debris, or moisture, which can affect their performance and durability.
  • Safety Concerns: There is a higher risk of fire hazards and electrical shock when using open coil elements in some applications due to their exposed nature.
  • Shorter Lifespan: They may have a shorter lifespan than closed coil elements because of their vulnerability to corrosion and other environmental factors.

2. Closed (Sheathed) Coil Elements: ( Coil In A Space Heater)


  • Safety: Closed coil elements are safer because they are enclosed in a sheath that protects them from physical damage and moisture, reducing the risk of fires and electrical hazards.
  • Durability: The sheath provides corrosion resistance, prolonging the lifespan of the heating coil.
  • Contamination Resistance: Closed coil elements are less susceptible to contamination, making them suitable for applications where cleanliness is crucial.


  • Slower Heating: Closed coil elements typically heat up more slowly than open coil elements due to the insulating effect of the sheath.
  • Lower Efficiency: The sheath can reduce heat transfer efficiency, making it less efficient for some applications, especially those requiring rapid temperature changes.

3. Specialty Coils:

Moreover Specialty coils are design for specific applications and often incorporate unique features or materials to meet specializ heating needs. Some examples include:

  • Microwave Coil Elements: Designed for microwave ovens, these coils are specially construct to generate heat when expose to microwave radiation.
  • Infrared Heating Elements: These coils emit infrared radiation, which heats objects directly without heating the surrounding air. They are commonly use in infrared heaters and curing processes.
  • Immersion Coils: Immersion coils are design to immerse in liquids to heat them, making them suitable for applications such as water heaters and industrial tanks.
  • Ceramic Heating Elements: These coils use ceramic materials to achieve fast and even heating. They are commonly found in space heaters and some industrial applications.
  • Tubular Heating Elements: Tubular heating elements are versatile and can customize for various applications. They are use in ovens, industrial furnaces, and process heating.

In summary, heating coils come in various types, each with advantages and disadvantages. Open coil elements offer rapid heating but may be less safe and have a shorter lifespan. Closed (sheathed) coil elements prioritize safety and durability but heat up more slowly. Specialty coils cater to specific applications and incorporate unique features to meet specialized heating needs, offering versatility and efficiency for particular tasks. The choice of heating coil depends on the application’s requirements, safety considerations, and efficiency needs.

Benefits of Coil In A Space Heater

Heating coils offer several benefits, making them popular in various heating applications. Here are some of the critical advantages of heating coils:

1. Rapid Heat-Up:

  • One of the most significant advantages of heating coils is their ability to provide rapid heat-up. When an electric current is applied to the ring, it quickly reaches the desired temperature, offering immediate warmth in the surrounding area.
  • This rapid heat-up time is precious in applications where quick heating is essential, such as space heaters, ovens, or industrial processes requiring precise temperature control.

2. Energy Efficiency:

  • Heating coils are know for their energy efficiency. These devices are create to transform electrical energy into heat energy with minimal wastage.
  • Efficient heat transfer mechanisms like conduction and radiation allow heating coils to warm up spaces or substances effectively without wasting excess energy.
  • The energy-efficient nature of heating coils makes them a cost-effective heating solution, reducing electricity consumption and utility bills.

3. Durability:

  • Materials known for their durability and wear resistance are use to construct heating coils.
  • Alloys like nichrome or Kanthal are commonly use in heating coils because they can withstand high temperatures, resist corrosion, and have a relatively long lifespan.
  • This durability ensures that heating coils can withstand the rigors of continuous use in residential and industrial settings, making them a reliable heating solution.

4. Precision and Control:

  • Heating coils allow for precise temperature control, crucial in various applications, such as cooking, industrial processes, and scientific experiments.
  • Thermostats and temperature controllers can integrate with heating coil systems to maintain a constant and specific temperature range, ensuring accurate and consistent results.

5. Versatility:

  • Heating coils are versatile and can be customize to suit different heating requirements. They are use in various applications, from space heaters to industrial furnaces.
  • Different heating coils are available to meet specific needs, whether rapid heating, heat distribution, or high-temperature applications.

6. Clean and Odorless:

  • Heating coils produce clean and odorless heat, making them suitable for heating indoor spaces without releasing harmful fumes or emissions.
  • This cleanliness is essential in residential heating, where indoor air quality is a concern.

7. Safety Features:

  • Modern heating coils often have safety features like overheat protection and tip-over switches, which reduce the risk of accidents or fires and provide extra safety for users.

In conclusion, heating coils offer a range of benefits, including rapid heat-up, energy efficiency, durability, precise temperature control, versatility, cleanliness, and safety features. These advantages make heating coils indispensable in various heating applications, from household appliances to industrial processes. Their ability to provide efficient and controlled heat makes them a reliable and cost-effective heating solution.

Selecting the Right Heating Coil for Your Space Heater: Size, Efficiency, and Safety Factors

When choosing a heating coil for your space heater, several important considerations come into play to ensure efficient and safe heating. These considerations include:

1. Assessing the Size of the Area to Heated:

  • Room Size: Determine the size of the room or space you intend to heat. Different heating coils have varying capacities, and selecting the appropriate size is crucial for achieving efficient and effective heating. An undersized loop may need help to provide sufficient warmth in a larger space, while an oversized coil can consume unnecessary energy.
  • Heating Capacity: Look for a heating coil that matches the heating requirements of your space. The heating capacity is typically measure in British Thermal Units (BTUs) or watts. Ensure that the coil’s capacity aligns with the size of the room for optimal heating performance.

Coil In A Space Heater

2. Understanding the Energy Efficiency of the Heating Coil:

  • Energy Source: Consider the energy source used by the heating coil. Most space heaters utilize electric heating coils, which are generally energy-efficient. A substantial amount of the electrical energy is transform into heat. However, alternative fuel sources like propane or kerosene may be more suitable in some cases, depending on specific requirements and availability.
  • Efficiency Ratings: Investigate the energy efficiency of the proposed heating coil models. Look for certifications such as Energy Star or other energy-efficiency ratings indicating higher efficiency. Opting for an efficient heating coil can reduce energy consumption and lower heating costs over time.
  • Control Features: Ensure that the heating coil is equip with adjustable controls, such as a thermostat, to regulate precise temperature. This feature prevents overheating and maximizes energy efficiency by maintaining a consistent temperature.

3. Considering the Safety Features Available with the Heating Coil

Safety FeatureDescription and Benefits
Overheat Protection– Automatically shut off the heating coil if it becomes excessively hot, reducing the risk of fires and damage to the heater and surroundings.
Cool-Touch Housing– Features a cool-touch exterior to prevent burns or injuries, making it safer, especially in households with children or pets.
Safety Certifications– Ensure that the heating coil and space heater are safety-certify by organizations like UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek) to confirm adherence to rigorous safety standards.
Timer and Auto-Shutoff– Allows you to set a timer or auto-shutoff feature, ensuring that the heating coil turns off after a specified duration. This enhances safety and conserves energy, particularly if you tend to forget to switch off the heater.

Moreover To understand what the coil in a space heater consider these considerations, you can confidently choose a heating coil for your space heater. However that aligns with your heating needs, maximizes energy efficiency, and prioritizes safety, ensuring a warm and secure environment in your home or workspace.