The heating element is a metal chamber containing a coil of heating wire used to generate heat in an electric dryer. A gas dryer uses a gas heater controlled by a shutter that serves the same function as an electric heating element.
Dryer heating elements contain a coiled wire made from a chrome and nickel alloy. Air being pulled through the chamber absorbs heat that is created by an electrical current flowing through the coil. The heating element is normally housed inside a dryer's cabinet section inside the heater ducts. Failing heating elements are one of the most common reasons for a dryer no longer heating and can be checked using a ohmmeter.