How does a convector heater work?

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Inside an electric convector heater there is a large heating element similar to - but bigger than - one of the elements inside a bread toaster.

When the electricity is switched on the element gets hot and heats up the air that is all around it.

Because hot air is lighter than cold air, the hot air rises up and comes out, into the room, through the grilles at the top of the heater. Cold air from the room moves in through the grilles at the bottom of the heater to take the place of the hot air, and this process continues for as long as the heater is switched on.

Any movement of air in that way - cold air taking the place of hot air moving up - is called "convection", which is why the appliance is called a convection heater.

Electric fan heaters work in a different way: they have a powerful electric fan inside, which sucks in cold air from the room. The fan then blows the air through an electrically heated element and that hot air then comes out of the fan heater into the room.
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