Common causes of problems with radiant ceiling heat include issues with wiring connections, broken heating elements and trouble with thermostats. Older radiant heating systems are more susceptible than newer ones.
If the installer did not correctly wire the system, it does not provide adequate heat. Bad wiring connections prevent electricity from moving through the circuits and heating the room. Homeowners should inspect all possible connections. They should remove the wire connectors and clean any loose connections before reinstalling the connectors.
A multimeter is handy for checking for continuity in radiant heating systems. In older systems, the heating elements sometimes break. Bubbles in the plaster surrounding the wires allow them to overheat and burn out. Drywall that sags and cracks may result in breaks in the heating element. Residents who drive screws carelessly into the ceiling sometimes damage the elements.
The thermostats on radiant ceiling heaters operate differently than with central heating systems. These differences cause some owners to be dissatisfied with the overall operation of the system. Most have an operating window of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, starting 5 degrees Fahrenheit below the set temperature and heating to 5 degrees Fahrenheit above the temperature. If the window is larger, the thermostat setting requires adjustments. A broken thermostat often prevents the system from cycling on and leaves the room cold.