Radiant heat is becoming a popular energy-saving device in homes, but the expense of fitting the system often makes people concerned about how much it would cost to repair radiant heat systems if they were installed. Much of the price of installing a radiant heat system can be blamed on the expensive concrete needed to shield rooms from cold, but the cost of repairing a radiant heat device, or the whole system, can also be quite high.
Radiant heating repair costs can involve fixing the heating system itself, or part of the device. This can be complex if you are using a ceiling radiant heat, for example, tiles alongside the source of warmth. Ceiling tiles can often be damaged by the heat, so this is one area in which good maintenance is a requirement. Not only will the ceiling tiles have to be replaced with ones which can absorb radiant heat, but with older models you may need to have the tiles analyzed for traces of asbestos or other harmful materials. You may also need to have repairs performed to the heating unit which will involve removing it from the ceiling for a period.
On the other hand, there are many repair costs which will not now be part of your annual bill. Radiant heat systems do not require bleeding, as most convection radiators do, and they also will not have air bubbles form and prevent the heater from doing its job. These sorts of problems are common in the convection heater, but do not need to be considered here.
One of the biggest side effects of using a ceiling radiant heat system is that it can cause cracking and peeling in the ceiling above. Radiant heat can sometimes over-dry plaster and ceiling tiles, meaning that it comes away from the board above it. It can also cause damage to ceiling pipes above, and these may need replacing more frequently than before. It is a good idea to have your ceiling checked and even re-plastered before the radiant heat unit is installed, as this will prevent it from sagging and cracking once the heating system is in use.
Ceiling Repairs to Avoid
One of the commonest mistakes in making radiant heat ceiling repairs is simply to re-plaster over the old damage, without correcting the cause. Plasterers and ceiling repair experts often see this kind of damage, as the new plaster or cover-up does not prevent the ceiling from splitting and becoming damaged.
Another form of radiant heating, known as underfloor tubing, can sometimes become damaged through excessive pressure from the floor above, although this is exceedingly rare. The damage is in fact easy to repair, and can be done in around an hour. The actual cost of the repair tubing will be around $6-7 each. How much you can expect to pay the repairman is dependent upon your area, but you may need to pay no more than around $25 to get the system working again. This form of radiant heating is actually very resilient to damage, and will probably need less repair over its lifetime than a radiator or central heating unit.