How Do Ceramic Heaters Work?

How Do Ceramic Heaters Work

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A ceramic heater can be a great way to keep your home warm and cozy during the winter. They are most often seen in places where they have been installed permanently, such as offices or residential homes.

A ceramic heater works by using electricity from a wall socket to heat up the heating element inside of it until it begins to emit radiant heat. The area around the heating element gets hot so when you put your hand near it, you’ll feel warmth on that side but not necessarily on the opposite side of the room.

This is because there’s no air flow going through that spot with an electric heater – in contrast, a convection space heater will circulate heated air throughout the room and will evenly distribute heat in all directions.

In this guide, I will explain how do ceramic heaters work so read on..

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How Do Ceramic Heaters Work?

A ceramic heater is a type of heating device that relies on the use of infrared radiation to heat an object. This differs from convective types of heating devices, which rely on air currents or water currents to distribute heat. These are usually used for cooking food in restaurants and homes.

Ceramic heaters are more efficient than other types because they emit less radiant energy in the form of visible light, so their surfaces don’t have to be as thick or reflective as metal surfaces would need to be.

They also allow for greater precision when controlling the temperature at any given point within an enclosed space where they are installed due to this lack of radiant energy being emitted outside their own surface area.

The majority of ceramic heating devices work by passing electricity through a resistive material, typically cordierite ceramics, to create heat.

Some of the energy is then converted into infrared radiation that is passed through an aperture in the device to produce a focused beam of near-infrared light that can reach up to 3100 K (2600 °C) on its target.

As this focused beam moves across the room, its high level of infrared radiation becomes less intense, heating objects in its path by simple thermal conduction. This produces a targeted effect that is useful both for cooking food and for heating the air or carpet on the floor of a room.

Ceramic heaters are generally considered an efficient form of space heater because they can work on the same principle, but require far less surface area to produce a similar amount of heat.

As long as the heater is being used in an enclosed space where infrared radiation will be contained within its surface, they can be more cost effective than other types of heating devices because electricity isn’t being wasted on heating objects that are outside of their focal range.

They are also safer than other forms of heating because they don’t emit dangerous byproducts like carbon monoxide or nitrogen oxide, so they’re preferred in areas where there is a risk for human exposure, such as with children and pets.

When looking for this type of heater to buy, it’s important that the proper cordierite ceramic is being used to ensure the quality of the product.

Ceramic heaters fall under a number of categories, including halogen-based, quartz-halogen led and infrared heaters.

There are also infrared heat lamps that use a gas-discharge element in combination with a reflector to produce an intense beam of near-infrared radiation, but these are less commonly used.

What is the advantage of a ceramic heater?

One of the best advantages of ceramic heaters are that they generate warmth using infrared radiation, which is a form of non-ionizing radiation.

This means that the ceramic heater does not emit such harmful rays as ultraviolet (UV) and microwave (MW), two types of radiation that are known to cause negative effects on the human body.

Another advantage is that ceramic heaters provide localized heating, instead of whole-room heating, which means that the temperature is focused at a specific location.

Therefore, ceramic heaters are highly recommended for people who want localized heating because they can better control the temperature in their homes by pointing the heater towards them.

Because of their non-ionizing radiation mechanism, ceramic heaters do not cause any form of radiation hazard.

This makes them particularly suitable for households with small children and pets, or even if you simply want to step out of the room while it is heating up, without worrying about the heater emitting harmful UV rays!

What are ceramic heaters made of?

Ceramic heaters are usually composed of two parts, namely the ceramic shell (the body of the heater) and the heating element, which is positioned between the ceramic shell and its power cord.

The ceramic shell is composed of ceramics that are highly resistant to high temperatures, such as cordierite.

Additionally, this material also has good thermal insulation properties because it can prevent heat from dissipating into the room.

This means that it is an ideal material to use in a heater, particularly ceramic heaters because it can also help the device maintain its temperature even when not plugged in.

The heating element of a ceramic heater is composed of resistive and nichrome wiring, which are wrapped around zirconia alumina.

This is sealed within the ceramic shell, which ensures that it doesn’t melt at high temperatures.

How do they work?

Ceramic heaters are not powered by electricity because of their infra-red heating mechanism, which means that you will not be exposed to any form of electric current while using this device.

Infrared radiation is created when electricity passes through the heating element, which causes negatively charged electrons to collide with the surrounding atoms.

These collisions cause the atoms’ nuclei to become positively charged, causing them to release energy in an infrared form.

This energy then moves away from its point of origin and travels outwards until it reaches another atom, where the absorption process takes place.

This continues until there are no more atoms left to absorb the energy.

It is this process that creates heat.

What are cordierite ceramic heaters made of?

As mentioned earlier, cordierite ceramics are used in creating ceramic heaters because it’s capable of withstanding high temperatures, and is also able to retain heat.

However, while cordierite can withstand high temperatures it’s still important that you don’t touch the ceramic heater while it’s operating because the surface of the ceramic will get hot enough to cause burns.

How do cordierite ceramic heaters work?

As mentioned earlier, infra-red radiation is produced as a result of electricity passing through the heating element.

This causes negatively charged electrons to collide with other atoms, which results in positively charged atoms and the release of infrared energy.

The ceramic shell of cordierite ceramics contains these cords that are packed tightly inside it, enabling it to absorb and trap infrared radiation.

Because cordierite ceramics are composed of zirconia alumina, they have a high level of electrical resistance , which causes the heating element to heat up when electricity passes through it.

The wires made of nichrome and resistive materials are wound around this zirconium dioxide core, increasing its surface area.

The resulting combination of materials allows the cordierite ceramic to heat up effectively and produce infrared radiation that is then released into the room.

Do ceramic heaters use a lot of electricity?

Ceramic heaters use electricity to heat the element inside, which results in infra-red radiation being released into the room. However, cordierite ceramic heaters only use about as much electricity as a 100 watt light bulb, so they are relatively energy efficient.

How long do cordierite ceramic heaters last?

Generally speaking, cordierite ceramics last for about two years and produce heat throughout the entire time. However, this does depend on how often you use your heater and its wattage.

If you use it frequently then the cordierite ceramic won’t be able to last as long as if you used it occasionally.

How does a ceramic heating element work?

The heating element in a cordierite ceramic heater is made quite simply. It comprises of a zirconia core which has two coiled nichrome and resistive wires wound around it, one clockwise and the other counter-clockwise.

When electricity passes through the wires, heat energy is created from this resistance.

This is then released into the zirconia core and spreads throughout the entire cordierite ceramic heater.

How to maintain a cordierite ceramic heater?

When it comes to maintenance, you should always check that the cordierite ceramic heater has been switched off before inspecting its exterior.

Inspect for any cracks or deformities, after which you should check the cordierite ceramic heater’s electrical cord.

If it is damaged or there are any signs of burning then you should replace the old one with a new one.

However, if there are no problems then you can use your cordierite ceramic heater as normal without having to do anything else.

If you follow these steps, then your cordierite ceramic heater should last as long as possible and provide warmth throughout that time.

Ceramic Heaters use a process that creates heat. This is done by heating up a ceramic casing, which releases infrared radiation into the room.

Cordierite ceramics are the most common material used for making ceramic heaters because it’s capable of withstanding high temperatures, and it’s also able to retain heat as well as being resistant to electricity.

They also need to be well insulated in order to ensure that the heat they’ve absorbed is released in a controlled manner.

You should always switch off the ceramic heater before inspecting its exterior, and you should check for any cracks or deformities.

The cordierite ceramic heater’s electrical cord should also be checked; if it’s damaged or there are any signs of burning then you should replace the old one with a new one.

Ceramic heaters use less electricity than other heating systems, but they’re not as energy efficient if they’re used frequently.

They last for about two years and produce heat throughout that entire time, but this does depend on how often you use your heater and its wattage.

How Do Ceramic Heaters Work


This article has explained how cordierite ceramic heaters work. Vessels made out of cordierite are heated up by an electrical current passing through a wire coil, causing the ceramic to heat up effectively creating infrared radiation that is then released into the room.

These vessels need to be well insulated otherwise the heat that they absorb would be released in a uncontrolled manner. You should always check that your cordierite ceramic heater has been switched off before inspecting its exterior, and you should check for any cracks or deformities.

References : Ceramic heater


I am John Oakley. I love to share tips and reviews on products to keep our homes warm and comfortable.

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