Electric heaters convert electricity directly into heat energy. They are commonly used for space heating, cooking, water heating and industrial processes.
All electric heaters have an internal electrical resistor that operates on the principle of Joule heating (electric current passing through a resistor produces heat energy). Modern resistors are typically composed of metal alloy wires supported by ceramic insulators.
Most of the electric heating devices Thomas sells are designed to provide heat for comfort purposes in a residential environment. Some, however, are industrial process heaters such as those used in the heating of lubricating oils and other fluids.
When choosing an electric space heater, look for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) mark which indicates that the unit has been independently tested to US safety standards. Many other marks are also available, including CSA (Canadian Standards Association) and Intertek (European Union). Look for the presence of a tip-over switch that cuts out power to the unit should it fall over, as well as an overheating sensor that shuts off the motor should the unit get too hot.
Because they do not require a gas connection, electric heaters offer a number of advantages over other types of home heating systems. They are usually less expensive to install, and do not require any pipe-work, making them a popular choice for retrofits into older homes. However, they are generally slower to create heat than gas furnaces, and may be more costly to operate in the long run. electric heater