Electrical energy changing into thermal energy

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Converting electric energy to thermal energy is a process called resistance heating.  Electrical current runs through a copper wire until it reaches a heating element which is basically a resistor.  The current meets resistance in the heating element and much of it gets converted into heat.  Most heating elements are made of a nickel/chromium mixture.  This is how all electrical appliances work.  Electric stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, and dishwashers all utilize heating elements to heat up.  Even electrical heat pumps use resistance heat as an auxiliary heating boost on very cold nights when the compressor is not enough to heat the air.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team