Real Estate Journal — Green Buildings — January 30 - February 12, 2015 — 15B


M id A tlantic

G reen B uildings By Robert Kilroy, Jewel Electric Supply Co.

Warm the home, warm the heart


here is something to be said for installing radiant heat in existing

is often more efficient than forced air heat and always better for allergy sufferers. Electric radiant floor heating is by far a more efficient way to warmfloors than other heat- ing systems. It is a common misconception that electric heated floors will substantially increase the energy bill. While there can be increased cost in the electric utility these cost are often offset by the fuel saved by decreasing the cost associated for the main heating system for the house. Unlike forced air systems, radiant electric floor heating systems do not waste heat in the ducts and radiant electric heat is customarily better at uniformly distributing heat throughout a space than many of its counterparts and always makes a living space more comfortable. When planning a radiant heating project the key is to plan early. Once the flooring is installed or the walkways

are laid it becomes an ex- pensive addition, sometimes almost tripling the cost of the installation. Radiant electric heating is an area where it helps to think outside the box when planning the project, look for areas not just with an eye towards indoor effi- ciency and comfort but also for convenience to the end user. Look past the usual bathroom, kitchen and living room areas when installing radiant elec- tric heat in floors to make the home comfy and cozy. During the planning process take note of the entranceways, walk- ways, driveways and roofs, areas where adding a layer of heat becomes as much of a convenience to the home owner as an added layer of safety by helping to avoid hazardous slip and falls. Additionally in today’s competitive housing market there is a need to identify the enhancements that will set properties and units apart

from that of the competition. Preventing water damage from frozen gutters or not having to clean the entrance walkway af- ter a winter’s snow or freezing rain can sometimes be enough to convince a buyer to choose your property over the property your competition has to offer. With such a large variety of options for heating floors and walkways how do you choose the right one for you? Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options. Hydronic systems consist of running tubes under the floor. These systems operate efficiently but require a more complex installation and have the risk of broken pipes which can cause water damage; re- quiring costly repairs should that happen. Typical wire mesh mats are readily available and can often be molded in the field by cut- ting the mesh mat and folding the wires over to conform to

the space. These systems risk nicked wires which can cause open or short circuits requiring expensive repair cost. So while there are plenty of good systems to choose from many of which are easy to in- stall and virtually maintenance free once installed my top pick was a mat system. With a 1/60” in depth it does not require any adjustments to connecting floor heights. Having the ability to cut the mat to shape in the field and the ability to nail or staple the mat without the risk of creating an open or short circuit simplifies the installation. Overall the Carbonic Heat offers a product that is user, owner, contractor and buyer friendly. It is an affordable product with a low installed cost, available in multiple mat sizes and voltages add the 35 year warranty; I found Carbonic Heat to be extremely impressive. Robert Kilroy is the VP of Jewel Electric Co. n

living spac- es and new c o n s t r u c - tion projects. The warmth of a heated floor is price- less. It helps to create a warm, invit-

Bob Kilroy

ing and relaxed environment. Imagine the comfort of walking barefoot on your heated carpet, tile, wood, vinyl, linoleum or floating floors. With your floors feeling warmer because of the installation of electric radiant floor heat the thermostat con- trolling the main heat supplied by the existing furnace can be set to a lower temperature for overall greater energy ef- ficiency and comfort. The US Department of En- ergy recognizes the value of radiant heat sources as being energy efficient. Radiant heat

Insight. On Site.

Keith Brubacher President

We share our expertise and creative solutions in site contracting to reduce stress and mitigate risk for you. The analysis and planning we do before the bucket hits the dirt makes us different from any other company you’ve worked with.

• Construction Survey • Land Clearing • Drilling and Blasting • Mass Earthwork

• Utilities • Paving • Natural Gas Well Pad & Pipeline Construction

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