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!
If you have a shower-tub combination in your bathroom, the shower diverter valve is what allows you to divert the water back and forth between the tub faucet and the showerhead. Though they are typically very simple devices, shower diverters may malfunction and need replacing once in a while. Fortunately, our team at Best Plumbing is here to explain everything a Seattle homeowner needs to know about diverters, whether it involves picking the right new valve or fixing the one you already have.
The water pipe that connects to your tub faucet also extends vertically to your showerhead. When the diverter valve is open, water flows directly through the faucet and into the tub. However, when you want to take a shower, you lift the knob or lever to close the diverter valve. This creates pressure, forcing the water flow upward and out of the showerhead.
If water comes out of both your tub faucet and showerhead when you activate the diverter, then there is something impeding its function. Over time, diverter valves can become worn out or clogged by sediment. If this happens, the valve will not close completely, and so some water will continue to flow out of the tub faucet even when the diverter is activated.
If your shower diverter valve is not functioning properly, contact Best Plumbing! We can help you clean, repair, or replace your shower diverter. Just give us a call to schedule a consultation in the Seattle or Bellevue area.
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It’s important to descale your system at least every two years. When you heat water, you leave dissolved solids behind. This creates a build-up over time in your water heater that can lead to lost efficiency and flow. It can even cause your water heater to overheat and then you could have to call in an emergency plumber for potentially costly repairs.
A System Descaler: This consists of a pump, a bucket, and some hoses.
Descaling Solution: A food-safe, biodegradable cleaning solution.
The Proper Valves: You must have the proper valves connected to your water heater in order to complete this process. If you do not have valves installed on your tankless water heater, be sure to give Best Plumbing or your local plumber a call.
If you are worried about completing these steps on your own, do not have the proper tools, or have any other plumbing concerns, contact Best Plumbing today. We are happy to assist you however we can.