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!
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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.
Seattle business and homeowners naturally want to get the best value for their dollar. In order to reduce costs, some people might consider using an unlicensed handy-worker who’s offering rock-bottom prices. While this might work for basic property upkeep, when it comes to plumbing, hiring an unlicensed contractor isn’t worth the money you might save up front. Here are the top reasons you should only hire a licensed plumber to work on your water and sewer system.
There is no guarantee that unlicensed workers will comply with state requirements and other industry standards. Because of potential health and infrastructure problems that can result from improperly installed plumbing, it is illegal for contractors to do plumbing work in Washington without proper licensing. If damage results from faulty work, you could be facing legal issues from tenants, neighbors, employees, clients or visitors. Using a licensed plumber will ensure that all plumbing work is done to code.
Messed up plumbing can result in an unsafe environment for all who live, work, or visit the property. A slow leak in a wall can aid in the undetected growth of hazardous mold. Damage from rot can ruin flooring or weaken the structural integrity of support joists. A broken sewer line can cause raw sewage to back up into your home or spill over onto surrounding properties. Using the incorrect pipe materials can introduce toxic chemicals to drinking water. A trained and licensed plumber will understand these risks and know what to do in order to keep everyone safe.
Becoming a licensed plumber involves specialized education, training under experienced technicians, and keeping up with state certification requirements. With this knowledge and experience, licensed plumbers are able to quickly identify and resolve your plumbing issues. They also stay up to date with industry developments that will help keep you safe and reduce water and energy waste. Moreover, they are eligible to be hired by bonded and insured companies, such as Best Plumbing, which can help protect you in the event something does go wrong with a job.
It’s hard to put a price on feeling relaxed and at ease during a home repair. Using an unlicensed contractor might save you money in the short term, but only at the risk of facing more costly problems down the road. Get the best value for your money by hiring smart and only working with a fully licensed plumber. To learn more, visit our website or contact the experts at Best Plumbing at (206) 208-0429. You can also check out our Youtube channel. We’ve been Seattle’s trusted local plumbers for more than 50 years!
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