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Inspecting HVAC Systems Topics include heating, venting, and air conditioning inspections.

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  #1  
Old 3/20/07, 6:13 PM
bmargiotti bmargiotti is offline
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Default Radiant ceiling heat?

i am inspecting a house thursday with a heating system im not familiar with, maybe someone can help. apparently all there is is wiring sandwiched between 2 pieces of drywall. separate thermostat for each room (zone). seems like a very simple, maintenance free system, i just want to be more familiar when i get there.

anyone got any thoughts? what to look at? look for?

thanks in advance
Bob
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  #2  
Old 3/20/07, 6:48 PM
Charley L. Bottger's Avatar
Charley L. Bottger Charley L. Bottger is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmargiotti
i am inspecting a house thursday with a heating system im not familiar with, maybe someone can help. apparently all there is is wiring sandwiched between 2 pieces of drywall. separate thermostat for each room (zone). seems like a very simple, maintenance free system, i just want to be more familiar when i get there.

anyone got any thoughts? what to look at? look for?

thanks in advance
Bob
Bob; Wished I could hep ya but I don't have a clue what you are referring to Radiant ceiling heat can come in numerous forms what are we talking here.



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  #3  
Old 3/20/07, 7:08 PM
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Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmargiotti
i am inspecting a house thursday with a heating system im not familiar with, maybe someone can help. apparently all there is is wiring sandwiched between 2 pieces of drywall. separate thermostat for each room (zone). seems like a very simple, maintenance free system, i just want to be more familiar when i get there.

anyone got any thoughts? what to look at? look for?

thanks in advance
Bob
Just above this letter is the word search put in (Radiant ceiling heat ) You shouget a lot of recent posts. If not take out the word ceiling and you can be lept busy for a while and learn a lot .
All the best
Roy Cooke



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  #4  
Old 3/20/07, 8:35 PM
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rromoser rromoser is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Ceiling cable heat is manufactured in lengths relating to output wattage. In is stapled to a layer of drywall working back and forth across the room parallel to ceiling joists making sure to leave joists open. A layer of drywall mud is then put on and immediately put a 2nd layer of drywall mover the first. The mud sandwiched in between the drywall needs to fill the voids completely or the cable may fail in an air pocket. It overheats without the heatsink effect of the mud.
It is a very even warmth when operating. It is very slow recovery when the room gets a quick chill. Watch out for homes with things hanging from the ceiling. It is repairable from above by cutting out the top layer of drywall butt splicing the break and carefully mudding in the repair. The wet mud can possibly be energized until it's dry. The hard part is finding the break. Tic Tracers work the best.
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  #5  
Old 3/20/07, 8:38 PM
Jae Williams Jae Williams is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Electric radiant ceiling heat was a popular option in new homes from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s in the region. It is, like all electric resistance heat baseboards, fan-forced wall heaters, electric furnaces 100 percent efficient in converting electricity into heat.
Unfortunately, many radiant ceiling heating systems were installed when electricity was considerably less expensive than it is now. As the cost has risen, so has the cost to heat a home using any kind of electric resistance heat. Radiant ceiling heat is no exception.
Radiant systems produce a very comfortable form of heat, similar to being warmed by the sun on a cool day. As long as the radiant heat source can "see" an object in the room... occupants, the furniture, the floor and walls... it will transfer heat to it. Radiant heating systems, whether they are in the ceiling, a panel on the wall or in the floor, will heat the objects in the room, no
Electric radiant ceiling heat was a popular option in new homes from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s in the region. It is, like all electric resistance heat baseboards, fan-forced wall heaters, electric furnaces 100 percent efficient in converting electricity into heat.
Unfortunately, many radiant ceiling heating systems were installed when electricity was considerably less expensive than it is now. As the cost has risen, so has the cost to heat a home using any kind of electric resistance heat. Radiant ceiling heat is no exception.
Radiant systems produce a very comfortable form of heat, similar to being warmed by the sun on a cool day. As long as the radiant heat source can "see" an object in the room... occupants, the furniture, the floor and walls... it will transfer heat to it. Radiant heating systems, whether they are in the ceiling, a panel on the wall or in the floor, will heat the objects in the room, not just the air in the room. The air will get warmer the longer the heating system runs because as the objects in the room warm, they heat the surrounding air.
Warm air rises, but heat moves from warm to cool. So regardless of where the radiant heating system is located, as long as the objects in the room are cooler than the temperature of the radiator, they will receive heat. t just the air in the room. The air will get warmer the longer the heating system runs because as the objects in the room warm, they heat the surrounding air.
Warm air rises, but heat moves from warm to cool. So regardless of where the radiant heating system is located, as long as the objects in the room are cooler than the temperature of the radiator, they will receive heat.



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  #6  
Old 3/20/07, 8:50 PM
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rromoser rromoser is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Here in central Indiana electric is now cheaper than heating w/gas.
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  #7  
Old 3/20/07, 9:42 PM
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Mike Nelson Mike Nelson is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

As far as I know, most of these systems started malfunctioning relatively soon as heating systems go, and they were simply not very efficient generally as most of these systems were placed in the attic, between joists, with the insulation laid on top of them. I have some of these types for my students in the Rochester NY school, every house I have inspected with this type of system, has had them disconnected.



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  #8  
Old 3/21/07, 12:32 AM
jking2 jking2 is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

I would imagine that an infra-red thermometer would be a must for verifying operation.

Jim King
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  #9  
Old 3/21/07, 1:37 AM
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Russel Ray Russel Ray is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jking2
I would imagine that an infra-red thermometer would be a must for verifying operation.
Or a laser thermometer.

Probably half of my condo inspections have radiant ceiling heating.



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  #10  
Old 3/21/07, 8:55 AM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rray
Or a laser thermometer.
Sorry Russel, the laser has nothing to do with measuring the temperature. it is only the targeting device of a laser equipped infrared thermometer.
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  #11  
Old 3/21/07, 11:02 AM
Harold E. Miller's Avatar
Harold E. Miller Harold E. Miller is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jking2
I would imagine that an infra-red thermometer would be a must for verifying operation.

Jim King
That is what I use. I take an initial reading, then crank up the heat and come back an check in an hour, or so. They are so slow to respond, but the thermometer can identify wether they are working or not, .....better than touching the ceiling to see if it is warm .....
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  #12  
Old 3/21/07, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Radiant heating is one of the first things I look for as I'm doing the layout of the house. If I find one, I get out my trusty laser thermometer (which I've had since day one), check the temperature of the ceiling with several sweeps, turn it on, and then check it again as one of the final items I do before leaving (turning off lights and locking doors and windows are the other items).

Those that are still working seem to work fine. However, a great supermajority of people disconnected theirs during the pseudo-power crisis manufactured by Enron and others in 2000-2001.



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  #13  
Old 3/21/07, 1:12 PM
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Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlarson
Sorry Russel, the laser has nothing to do with measuring the temperature. it is only the targeting device of a laser equipped infrared thermometer.
Long before I had my first infrared measuring device .
We used a spray bottle with water.
Heat dried shortly, stayed wet broken wire .
Did one the other day 40 years +or- and they all worked great.
They can be slow to heat the home if you have been away for some time .

Roy Cooke



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  #14  
Old 11/24/11, 9:37 PM
Anthony DeLosa Jr. Anthony DeLosa Jr. is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

I'm an owner of a 12-unit apartment building that uses radiant ceiling heat as it's only source of heat for the winter, so I decided to hop online to find some information about it because I'm having a problem with one of the units on the top floor. I like the system and would like to keep it, and you guys obviously know alot more about then I do.

I have changed all the thermostats ( with the help of the utility company and their contractor electrician ) and all has been fine except for this one top unit that appears to be drawing excess electricity in both the living room and the bedroom, or at least more so than is indicated on the thermostat. ( zero to five waves appear on the display to indicate amount of wattage being drawn? ) My question is: When I have visited the apartment the thermostats are set at 70 degrees, yet the ambient temperature is 76 and no waves appear on the thermostat. So could the thermostats for just that one apartment be bad, or is there a short in one of the panels? Or am I completely off base and it's possible something else?
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  #15  
Old 11/25/11, 5:32 AM
An HI An HI is offline
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Default Re: Radiant ceiling heat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony DeLosa Jr. View Post
I'm an owner of a 12-unit apartment building that uses radiant ceiling heat as it's only source of heat for the winter, so I decided to hop online to find some information about it because I'm having a problem with one of the units on the top floor. I like the system and would like to keep it, and you guys obviously know alot more about then I do.

I have changed all the thermostats ( with the help of the utility company and their contractor electrician ) and all has been fine except for this one top unit that appears to be drawing excess electricity in both the living room and the bedroom, or at least more so than is indicated on the thermostat. ( zero to five waves appear on the display to indicate amount of wattage being drawn? ) My question is: When I have visited the apartment the thermostats are set at 70 degrees, yet the ambient temperature is 76 and no waves appear on the thermostat. So could the thermostats for just that one apartment be bad, or is there a short in one of the panels? Or am I completely off base and it's possible something else?
Don't know if you have a better quality thermostat or not but I have seen a cheap thermostat controlling electric heat baseboards that was off its original calibration by 8-9 degrees F.

Is it possible that the thermostat is being influenced by some cooling source such as drafts, etc?
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