Is Radiant Ceiling Heat Safe?

With a heating sensation similar to the sun, radiant ceiling heating is one of the lesser known, but great choices for warming interior spaces. The warmth is radiated through a solid source, using panels to emit infrared heat.

Radiant ceiling heat is considered a very safe option but it does come with its dangers so the technology must be used with caution and be installed by a certified professional.  

Blue and white bedroom

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What Is It?

Radiant ceiling heaters are an innovative and efficient heating solution without the drawbacks of conventional heaters like boilers, furnaces, and blowers. This approach uses a system of panels laid across the ceiling to effectively heat up indoor spaces.

It has a clean, minimal design that takes no additional space and is easy to use. Plus, you get a super warm and cozy feeling in the room even when it’s extremely cold outside. 

Radiant ceiling heat uses infrared heating to warm up the occupants and objects in a room, directly from the panels. This system can use either electricity or water to produce the required heat. It’s a very different feeling of heat, unlike forced air that you can feel on you, radiant heating is more ambient.

Overall, radiant ceiling heat has many benefits including energy efficiency, effortless running, ease of maintenance, and quiet working. If you want to read more, take a look at our guide: what is radiant ceiling heat?

But another important question is: how safe is radiant ceiling heating?

What Are Radiant Panels Made Of?

The panels used in radiant ceiling heat are usually built from copper piping which carries the heat source. The radiant panels have a frame made of a fiberglass insulation board with a solid heating element inside.

Read more in our article: what are radiant ceiling panels?

Is Radiant Ceiling Heat Safe?

Generally, radiant ceiling heat is considered reliable and safe for use in homes, apartments, schools, malls, hospitals, and buildings. The system mostly has passive components that don’t have a tendency to break or become faulty, which makes this heating option very safe. 

However, it is extremely important to have quality professionals to properly inspect the system before installing it and keep a check on it from time to time. This will ensure that your system is always safe to use without posing any serious risks.

Water Leakages In Hydronic Radiant Ceiling Heating

One possible problem can be water leakages in radiant heating panels that use hydronics. The water pipes can sometimes start to leak and damage the ceiling and internal structures, but thankfully, this is very rare. 

The best way to deal with these problems is to take preventative measures and stop them from happening in the first place. As the radiant system works so silently, it can be hard to remember to get it checked. You must remember that like other heating systems, radiant ceiling heating should also get maintenance services annually.     

It is also important to let trained experts fix such leaks as there are many technical aspects of the job.

Short Circuits In Electric Radiant Ceiling Heating

In the case of electric radiant heating, the system is usually safe as most companies cover up the wiring to prevent any health hazards. However, a faulty wire insulation or damaged wires can lead to an electrical short circuit. 

Dangers Associated With Radiant Ceiling Heating

Although it is not likely or common, there is a danger of fire breaking out if your radiant ceiling heat system has malfunctioned. This can happen as a result of a short circuit which can lead flammable objects near the wiring to ignite and catch fire. Wooden structures are especially susceptible in the situation.

Remember, a short circuit in the heating system can even be caused by simple accidents like home repairs, or installing a new fixture. So, it is very important to use the system safely and keep an eye on it and make any repairs when needed. 

If you want to ensure the safety of a particular system, try to find out if it has been approved by the ‘Radiant Electric Emissions Test’ (REET). This is the only non-biased party that independently tests the safety levels of radiant heating systems.   

Overall, radiant ceiling heat is still a generally safe option for most houses. 

Radiant Heat Ceiling Collapse

One issue associated with radiant ceiling heat is the possibility of the ceiling collapsing. Again, this is not a common problem but can become an issue if it isn’t addressed quickly.

In houses where the radiant panels are enclosed in plaster, the constant heat can tear the plaster away from the ceiling joists over time. Without quick action, entire parts of the ceiling can crumble and fall. If you suspect this is happening, it’s best to get it inspected by a professional immediately.

Another potential issue is drywall cracking. This can happen because the gypsum core of a drywall contains some moisture content.

When the radiant heating wires are close to the drywall, this can make some areas drier with uneven heating. Eventually, this can turn into a cracked drywall. This is easy to ignore at first but it can grow and cause entire sections of the drywall to crumble. 


All in all, radiant ceiling heat is an extremely safe option, provided you get it installed correctly and your walls and ceilings are in suitable condition before installing. If you’re still unsure, take a look at our pros and cons of radiant ceiling heat.