Radiant floor heating has steadily gained popularity as an efficient and comfortable way to heat your home. While forced air systems push heated air to the top of the room, radiant floor heating warms the area closer to the floor, making the space more comfortable for the human body (and especially bare feet!). But there are multiple ways to achieve radiant floor heating: both electric and hyrdonic (water-based) heating systems can be installed under floors.
Which one should you choose? Here’s a side-by-side comparison from our experts to help you decide.
Electric radiant heat works by running electric cables or mats of conductive plastic under the floor. This system is ideal for homes that already use forced air heating.
Electric radiant heating is quick and easy to install, so homeowners can save money on labor costs. It’s also easy to customize your system so that specific rooms can be heated on demand, and the system can be set on a timer to heat at certain times of day. The drawbacks of electric heating include the high cost of electricity, which can drive up your energy bill. It’s also worth noting that electric radiant heat is designed for making cold floors more comfortable, but may not be sufficient as a primary heat source.
Hydronic heating relies on hot water. In this system, heated water is pumped from a boiler through a network of tubes beneath the floor, so it’s ideal for homes that already use a water heater.
Hydronic radiant heat is considerably more energy efficient than electric. Once the floor is heated, the structure of the house helps maintain and hold in the heat for long periods of time. This can help save energy costs in the long term. However, hydronic heat is more complex and costly to install, and it cannot be precisely timed like electric heat.
Want an expert opinion on radiant heating for your home? The Best Plumbing team has years of experience installing radiant floor heating throughout the Seattle and King County area. Give us a call, or come visit our Seattle showroom!
Here at Best Plumbing in Seattle we often get questions from homeowners about radiant floor heating. Radiant heating has become increasingly popular around Seattle, the Eastside, and across the country. Today we are going to answer a few common questions about radiant heating.
The heat from radiant floors comes from electric coils or water heated pipes that are installed under your home’s floors. A radiant floor heating system is able to warm everything it touches, which allows heat to “radiate” around a room from the ground up. Generally, radiant heating provides a more constant air temperature than the traditional forced-air system.
Generally, we would not recommend that homeowners attempt to install radiant floor heating on their own. This is largely due to the fact that some of the most common errors end up being more expensive to repair than the original installation. One of these mistakes is running the loop length too long for the pump that has been planned out. If the concrete has already been laid when this mistake is discovered, the only way to fix it is to take a jackhammer to the floor. This repair is both costly and time-consuming. Essentially, you’ll be starting from square one.
One of the main ways to save money on radiant floor heating is by only installing it in a couple of rooms in your home. The most popular place for this is usually the bathroom. Heated tile floors feel great underfoot when you get out of bed on a cold winter morning. Another way to save money on your radiant heat flooring is by using the same heat source that heats up the domestic hot water in your home.
There are a lot of things to consider before installing radiant floor heating in your home. If you live in the Seattle area, contact Best Plumbing to learn more about our services. If you’re looking for more info about radiant heating, plumbing, or sewer problems, be sure to check out our blog and Youtube channel.
If your business is part of Seattle’s amazing culinary scene, it’s important to understand the role of grease traps in commercial kitchens. Fortunately, Best Plumbing Seattle is here to explain everything you need to know. The large amount of fat, oil, and grease (often called “FOG”) generated by restaurants can clog drains and wastewater systems. For this reason, local government requires that commercial kitchens install grease traps — also called grease interceptors. Located between the business’ drain and the main sewer line, the traps filter out FOG for easy collection and disposal. This helps prevent problematic levels of FOG from reaching the municipal wastewater system.
Grease traps intercept and filters out the FOG while allowing the remaining water to pass through to the wastewater system. They work by slowing the movement of (and thereby cooling) the water in the drain. Water and FOG do not mix, so as both begin to cool, the FOG coagulates on the water’s surface where it is easier to skim off and remove.
You can be fined if your grease traps are not working correctly. This generally happens when FOG build up in the traps over time, decreasing their effectiveness. One preventative step your business can take is instructing employees to throw away fat, oil, and grease into the garbage instead of washing it down the drain. You can also schedule a regular cleaning for your grease traps to remove build up before it becomes a problem
Best Plumbing Seattle offers a variety of services to ensure your grease traps function properly and meet government guidelines. In addition to grease traps, we provide regularly scheduled plumbing maintenance and repairs. Whether you are a new or long-time commercial food establishment, our expert team can help you manage your plumbing needs. Visit our website to learn more about our plumbing services or call us at (206) 785-2360!
Photo credit: jarmoluk, available under Creative Commons CCO.