Electric ceiling heat uses resistance wires, placed between layers of sheetrock on the ceiling to provide radiant heat in a room. The system is relatively simple, consisting of the resistance wire and a thermostat and requires little maintenance.
In most systems, there is a single wire, installed in a non-crossing pattern. Other options for ceiling heat include panels added after construction of a home. Occupants control the temperature using a thermostat that allows power to flow through the heating wires as necessary.
Each room or zone has its own heating wire and thermostat. The home occupant sets thermostats in rooms that typically need less heat, including the kitchen and bedrooms, to a lower temperature and seating areas to a warmer one. This type of zone heating improves the efficiency of resistance heating.
While radiant heating systems are quick to warm a room, a delay in warming occurs. When starting to increase the temperature in the room, EWEB recommends setting the thermostat to the desired temperature and waiting. Setting the thermostat to a higher temperature does not increase the heating speed and increases the chance of over-warming the space and wasting energy.
If units are not heating, the thermostat is the most common issue. Thermostats have a 10-year life expectancy. Replacing the thermostat with a programmable digital unit helps to reduce energy consumption further.