© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Demand for efficient terahertz radiation detectors resulted in intensive study of the asymmetric carbon nanostructures as a possible solution for that problem. It was maintained that photothermoelectric effect under certain conditions results in strong response of such devices to terahertz radiation even at room temperature. In this work, we investigate different mechanisms underlying the response of asymmetric carbon nanotube (CNT) based devices to sub-terahertz and terahertz radiation. Our structures are formed with CNT networks instead of individual CNTs so that effects probed are more generic and not caused by peculiarities of an individual nanoscale object. We conclude that the DC voltage response observed in our structures is not only thermal in origin. So called diode-type response caused by asymmetry of the device IV characteristic turns out to be dominant at room temperature. Quantitative analysis provides further routes for the optimization of the device configuration, which may result in appearance of novel terahertz radiation detectors.