1. A wire mesh heater comprising:a wire mesh element having a surface area comprising a non-contact area and a contact area along at least 50% of a wire mesh element length;
a primary conductor comprising a slit having a contact surface;
a heating cavity comprising a first surface defined by the non-contact surface of the wire mesh element; and
a heat shield disposed in the heating cavity,
wherein the heat shield is disposed adjacent to the primary conductor to reflect a majority of the heat radiation generated by the non-contact surface away from the primary conductor,
wherein the contact area contacts the contact surface to provide an electrical connection between the wire mesh element and the primary conductor.