A Heated Floor and a Warm Home

Radiant Heat and Floor Heating Systems

Having a warm floor on a cold winter morning is an attractive idea. So is having an effective way of warming the whole house from the floor up. Whether the goal is to have a warm bathroom floor, or to warm the entire home, learning the difference between radiant heat and floor heating systems can help ensure that the right choice is made.

What is Radiant Heat?

There are different types of radiant heat; air, electric and hydronic. As the first two are not extremely cost effective in residential settings, and are therefore less used, this article will focus on hydronic radiant heat.

Hydronic, or liquid, radiant heat systems pump hot water through tubing laid in the floor. Water is heated in a tank, and sent through tubing to continually circulate and warm the area above it through convection. More efficient than baseboard heating, radiant heat uses heat transfer to warm people and objects in the room, rather than heating the air, and therefore uses less energy, allowing the homeowner to set the temperature lower than with conventional heating methods, while still maintaining comfort.

Radiant heat can be installed under any floor covering, and will make the floor, the room, and the people in it feel warm. The cost of installation will vary depending on the size of the house, the cost of labor and the type of subflooring used.

What is a Floor Heating System?

floor heating system

A floor heating system, such as NuHeat, is a mat inlaid with wires which is laid over the subfloor, but under the final floor covering such as tile. Used primarily to warm a bathroom floor, it uses approximately the same amount of energy as a light bulb. This system will only warm the floor, not the people or other objects in the room.

Many electric floor heating systems are available with a timer which will turn the system on and off during hours of peak use. For instance, if the homeowner typically uses the bathroom at 6:00am and departs the house at 8:00am, the timer can be programmed to turn on the floor heating system at 5:45am and shut itself off at 8:15am. Multiple times of day can be programmed, as the bathroom is used by different people.

The cost of installation is usually lower, as the mat is installed at the same time as the tile floor, and the tile installer will work together with an electrician to wire the system.

When to Choose One System vs Another

It may make more sense to install radiant heating, if a total home renovation or new home construction is underway. Because the subflooring and final floor covering is involved, it makes more sense to undertake this installation if both are already in the process of being replaced or laid. If the home is undergoing an overhaul of the heating system, this may be another instance in which radiant heat should be considered.

Electric floor heating system are easier to install, and therefore can be put in during a bathroom renovation just prior to the laying of the bathroom floor tile, or even just during a floor installation, if a mudroom floor is the desired choice to heat.

Whichever system chosen be sure to use certified installers that have worked with this material before. Many electric floor heating system retailers will have a certification course for installers to take before working with the product. Always ask to see credentials and examples of previous work if unsure.

How To Prepare For A Wet Weather Season

As a home owner you need to prepare yourself for all weather season especially the wet season. This is because during this season your house can incur massive damage due to the harsh cold and rain and it will be hard to go out in the cold and try to make repairs while it is raining. Therefore you are advised to take your time during the dry season and try to make repairs because you can easily access areas that are vulnerable to the elements without disturbance. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this season.

  • Gutter cleaning

Rain gutters are essential part of the roofing system that help to get rid of water that can damage the system. If they are not regularly cleaned they will get clogged and will not carry out their functions as expected. Try and make sure that you clean your gutters a few weeks before the rainy season or else you will incur a lot of expenses for something that could have been prevented easily.

Gutter cleaning isn’t a task that can be completed by just anyone. You need someone who understands what should be done when it comes to gutter cleaning. Perhaps a gutter cleaning professional is the best option. He will first inspect the gutters, estimate the extend of cleanliness required, get the right cleaning equipment, and get the task done.

After cleaning, the professional must inspect the gutters again for any faults that need to be corrected. For example, holes, and cracks must be fixed as early as possible to avoid further damage.

  • Seal holes in your roof

If you don’t inspect your roof regularly you will fail to realize that the shingles get loose and even fall off. Before the rains start to fall you should check that the shingles are tight in place and if there are some missing replace them or use appropriate material to seal the hole to avoid leakage when it rains. Rainwater greatly damage the ceiling because water can spread and lot the ceiling creating a big hole on your ceiling which will be very expensive to fix or even replace if the damage is extensive.

Preparing your home for a rainy season is a simple task which should not be overlooked. This will greatly help you to avoid serious home damage.

Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

repair tools

Tools to Tackle Any Basic Home Repair Project

Hand Tools

repair tools

Screwdrivers Both flat and philips head screwdrivers, in a couple of sizes, will cover most small jobs around the house. These will be used mostly for things like tightening knobs, small electrical jobs, and assembling furniture. In some cases, you can buy one screwdriver that has a reversible “head” with the philips on one end and flat on the other. These are good space savers.

Pliers It’s a good idea to have a slip-joint pliers and a needlenose pliers on hand.

Wrenches A couple of wrenches, one of which is a pipe wrench, will come in handy.

Hammer For hanging pictures, installing mouldings, or even something as ambitious as building a deck, a hammer is a must. Hammers are available with both wood and fiberglass handles. It’s really a matter of preference. Fiberglass-handled hammers tend to be lighter, so you get fatigued less quickly. The best way to choose a hammer is to pick them up in the store and see how they feel.

Hacksaw These are lightweight, inexpensive, and indispensable for many small jobs. Hacksaws can be used for anything from cutting mouldings, to pipes, to tree branches.

Utility Knife A utility knife with plenty of sharp blades is necessary for all kinds of jobs, from cutting drywall to repairing window screens.

Level A basic torpedo level will help you hang artwork and moulding straight, as well as level patio stones or porch railings.

Tape Measure A tape measure is a must-have. Get one at least sixteen feet long.

Power Tools

power tools

Cordless Drill/Driver These are an absolute must! They are such a timesaver compared to manual screwdrivers, and the fact that you can use it as a drill makes this a great tool. They are available at just about any price level. In general, a 14.4 volt drill/driver is good for home use. Anything lower than that may not be strong enough, and anything higher may be overkill, unless you see some pretty big jobs in your future.

Miscellaneous Tools

miscellaneous tools

Plunger When that clog strikes in the middle of the night, you won’t want to be without a plunger. There are a couple of different styles, from your typical “cup” type plunger, to a flange plunger, also called a toilet plunger, to plungers that look like accordians. If you have to just choose one, get a toilet plunger. The flange can be pushed up into the plunger to make it into a “cup” plunger.

Safety Glasses and Work Gloves Safety is important. Have these on hand, and use them.

Storage

tools storage

A typical, metal or plastic toolbox is a good choice for storing your tools. A five-gallon bucket will also do a great job of holding your tools. You can even buy “aprons” to wrap around the bucket to hold tools and removable trays that fit inside to hold screws and nails.

By having these tools around, you’ll be ready for any home improvement, whenever inspiration or necessity strikes. And, if you know someone who is moving into their first home, these tools, presented in a nice toolbox, would make a great housewarming gift!