A. A heat loss analysis is the calculation of how much heating and cooling a house needs. It's important because it helps you determine the right size system.
If you put in too big a system it never reaches its efficiency and is a waste of money. If you undersize the system it won't heat adequately.
Q. What's different about radiant heating today versus in 1991 when you first started working with it?
A. There are more installers out there and it's more competitive. At the same time, the products have come down in price. Technology also has improved.
We have some nice electronic controls where we can measure the outdoor temperature and compare it to what is going on inside and adjust the system to match the load.
Q. Are there common misperceptions about radiant heating?
A. One big misperception is that people think they should walk into a room with radiant heat and feel it coming up from the floor. Actually, it's better if they walk in and don't feel anything. The limit for floor heat is 85 degrees, which is your average skin temperature.
Q. What if you can only afford radiant heat in a few places?
A. Everybody could have some floor heating -- there shouldn't be this all or nothing approach.
We've done a lot of houses where we'll skip the bedrooms. Or, if you have a living room you don't really use, it might not make sense to add it there.
Q. How can homeowners check out a radiant heating installer to make sure they are getting a quality installation?
A. One of the biggest challenges we have is contractors who are not properly trained. There is an abundance of training out there from manufacturers.
You want to ask the installer, "Have you been to training? Have you done a heating loss analysis?"
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