Radiant heated flooring is used to bring comfort and energy efficiency to homes all over Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound area. The advantages of radiant heat over forced-air systems are derived from the way they deliver heat.
More Comfort: Forced air-systems disperse heat through vents causing heat to be distributed unevenly near vents and on second stories. Radiant heating systems deliver heat consistently throughout the entire floor, so the temperature is the same no matter where you are in the room or house. Radiant heating is also more comfortable for Seattleites who suffer from allergies because they don’t continually stir up allergens the way that forced-air systems can.
Better Efficiency: According to the Department of Energy, radiant heating is generally more efficient than forced-air systems which tend to let air escape as it travels through the ducts. An important caveat to this statement is that the level of efficiency depends on which type of radiant heating you’re talking about. There are two types of radiant heating commonly used, electric and hydronic, both of which have advantages and things to take into consideration.
An electric radiant heating system uses a mesh of electrical cables to beneath the floor to deliver heat.
Advantages: The main benefits of electric radiant heat are that it’s easy to install and that it can be used to heat rooms individually.
Considerations: While electric radiant heat is great for heating specific rooms, it isn’t always efficient. Depending on several factors, including the size of the room, the thickness of your subfloor, and whether or not your utility company offers off-peak pricing, electric radiant heating systems can be expensive to operate.
Hydronic radiant heat works much in the same way as an electric system but rather than using coils of electrical cable, hydronic systems use tubes of heated water.
Advantages: Hydronic radiant heat systems are far more efficient than electric systems at maintaining the temperature in a room for long periods, offering you considerable long-term savings.
Considerations: Hydronic systems are typically more take longer and are costlier to install. Additionally, they aren’t as responsive as electric radiant heating systems, meaning they may take a bit longer to heat up and cool down than electric systems.
If you have questions about a radiant heating system or any other plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to call Seattle’s Best Plumbing. With over 50 years proudly serving the Greater Seattle area, we’re your locally owned and operated experts. Call or stop by our showroom today!
Photo credit: janeeric, available under Creative Commons CCO.
A clogged drain can be a source of instantaneous dread. Figuring out what and where the clog is can be challenging, especially if your Seattle area home or business has old plumbing. And, even if you know what the problem is, you may not have the know-how or the tools or the to fix it. Fortunately, at Best Plumbing of Seattle, we have over 50 years of experience, and some pretty cool gadgets too. Here’s a quick description of a few of the tools we use to vanquish plumbing woes all over the Puget Sound area.
A drain snake (sometimes called a plumbing auger or one of several other names) is a hand-held device that has a coiled-wire cable with a corkscrew at the end. When a drain is clogged, the cable is inserted into the pipe and rotated until the corkscrew twists itself into the blockage and collects enough of whatever is down there to allow the water to drain.
Because they use a thin, manually powered cable, drain snakes are typically used for smaller jobs in bathrooms and kitchens.
A plumbing rooter uses a machine-turned cable with a special head on the front. It’s basically the industrial-strength version of a drain snake and can be used in the larger pipes found in main lines that connect to the city sewer. With the proper head for the task, rooters are capable of spearing through thick sludge, scraping debris from the side of pipes, and even sawing through roots.
Although they are powerful, plumbing rooters do have some limitations. While they’re great for cutting through tough blockages, they don’t always clean the line very well. This is particularly true in areas around pipe fittings or if the obstruction is composed of greasy materials that clings to pipe walls.
Hydro-jetting is another technique regularly used to clear clogged pipes and sewer lines. As you might infer from the name, a hydro-jet uses water-pressure to cut through obstructions. There are several types of hydro-jet nozzles for use in different situations but they generally all work the same way. A powerful jet of water at the front of the nozzle creates a hole in the obstruction, while more jets at the back push the nozzle forward through the hole, often spinning the nozzle as it goes. The jets can produce water pressure in excess of 2000 lbs. per square inch, allowing the hydro-jet to shred through blockages, essentially pressure wash pipe walls, and flush debris through the line.
Because hydro-jetting machines clean pipes so thoroughly it is recommended to have done every few years (or even annually for businesses in Seattle’s foodservice industry).
If you’ve noticed slow drains in your home or business, it could be a sign that a plumbing emergency is just around the corner. Don’t wait until the situation is out of hand. Call Best Plumbing of Seattle at (206) 823-1652, and get the situation assessed by a professional today!
Photo credit: JWPhotowerks, available under Creative Commons CCO.
On a cold, rainy Seattle day there’s nothing better than a hot shower in a warm home. But, how exactly is all that warmth produced? In regards to water, at least, many people would say that it’s all thanks to a water heater. However, in many cases, especially for older buildings, or those with radiant heating, it could be a boiler system doing all the work. What’s the difference? Keep reading to find out from the experts at Best Plumbing!
Water heaters have a pretty self-explanatory name. It’s a system that heats up water for you to use in your sinks, showers, laundry machines, etc. The most common version is a storage tank full of water that’s heated by gas or electricity. The hot water is then stored in the tank until you want it. After the hot water runs out, the tank goes about warming up a new batch. Another system that’s gaining popularity is the “tankless” or on-demand water heater. In this case, instead of storing pre-heated water in a tank, a high-powered burner is used to rapidly heat up water as it runs through the pipe to its destination.
When you think of a boiler you might imagine the basement of a school, but boilers can be found in a variety of homes and buildings. More versatile than water heaters, a boiler can heat up both water and your home. There are different configurations, but the basic way boilers work is that oil, gas, or electricity heats up fluid in a tank to produce steam. This steam is then used to heat up water for you to use, can be circulated through radiators to warm up your space, or can heat up air for use in a forced air heating system. Once it’s done its job, the steam in the boiler tank returns to a fluid state, ready to be used again.
Although some people may use the two names interchangeably, hot water heaters and boilers are not the same. They are distinctly different systems and serve different purposes in your home. When you have problems with a water heater or boiler system your local plumbing experts are here to help. Give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 785-2360 for all of your plumbing needs! We proudly service greater Seattle, the Eastside, and western Snohomish County!
Photo credit: Ri, available under Creative Commons CCO.