Marin – Heat - Radiant

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35 Mark Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 689-6585
(707) 219-8213

Serving the Entire Bay Area

Services includes boiler and radiant heat installation, solar integration with radiant heat, geothermal heating and cooling. Brands include Bosch...
License 951610 | DCID6896585
Map of these Diamond Certified companies
Cities: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, Sausalito, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Tiburon
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Why Trust Diamond Certified Radiant Heating Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a radiant heat system installer that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified radiant heating contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated radiant heating service and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
Marin County Warms Up with Radiant Heat

You’ve heard about this radiant heating, and you are wondering if it’s for you.

What exactly is radiant heating? Will it help improve your home? Just how much work and cost is involved in installing radiant heating, and over time does it pay for itself? Why would you even be interested in having radiant heating in your house?...

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You’ve heard about this radiant heating, and you are wondering if it’s for you.

What exactly is radiant heating? Will it help improve your home? Just how much work and cost is involved in installing radiant heating, and over time does it pay for itself? Why would you even be interested in having radiant heating in your house?

Radiant heating has been around for thousands of years, and California and the Bay Area have a close association with it, given the tracts of Eichler houses constructed here in the 1950’s that introduced hydronic radiant heat systems.

Marin County Homeowners can Benefit from Radiant Heating
Radiant heating systems impart infrared radiation to warm spaces. Heat is passed to elements set in the walls, floors, or ceiling. The heat then radiates out from the surface and warms the people and objects in the room.

This is different from forced-air systems, in which the air in a room is heated. Air does not hold heat very well, and the movement of air can cause drafts and cold spots. Moving air also carries dust, pollen, other allergens, and possibly mold spores, along with other airborne pollutants. In contrast, since radiant heating systems don’t move air around, they are popular with people concerned about air-borne contaminants.

Since radiant heating systems for homes often have fewer moving parts than forced-air systems, they are often quieter, as well. Homeowners in Marin County, including San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Fairfax, and Ross appreciate that fewer moving parts can also mean fewer repairs.

You can find several types of radiant heating systems. There are some air-heated radiant heating systems, but they are very inefficient. Air does not hold heat well, and there are almost no residential applications of air-heated radiant systems.

Electrical radiant heating systems use cables or mats to send heat throughout the space. Electrical radiant heating systems use electricity as their power source, so are relatively expensive to operate. In the Bay Area, and in Marin County, the hydronic radiant heating system is recommended.

In a hydronic system, water heated with a boiler or hot water heater is passed through tubes. The water gives off its heat as it travels around the house, warming the area where the radiant heating is installed. Hydronic radiant heating systems are the most cost-effective of three.

You should be aware of a specific of the California building code. Title 24, Part 6 of the Building Energy Standards says that electrical radiant heating or electrical radiant floor warming can only be used as a supplemental heating system.

This means that there must already be a primary heating system that directly services the area where the electrical radiant heating system is being installed, and that the primary heating system must be able to condition the space on its own, before any supplemental system is added.

The reason for this is that electrical radiant heating is pretty efficient when it comes to using electricity to power the radiant heating system. However, the process of creating and transporting electricity itself is quite inefficient. California considers the actual source of the energy – the electricity itself – when evaluating the efficiency of the system. So, you will need to take this restriction into account when using electrical radiant systems. You still have lots of room to play with hydronic radiant heating systems, though.

How can I get Radiant Heating in my Marin County Home ?
Depending on the type of radiant heating system you are installing, there are different requirements. Radiant heat is often installed in the floors, so that the heat is released into the room. Convection, or the normal action of air in the room, then causes the heat to rise up and warm the people or objects in the room. But radiant heating systems can also be installed in ceilings or in the walls, if desired.

Panels that contain water-carrying tubes or electrical cables can be attached inside the walls or ceilings so that radiant heat is sent out from the wall or ceiling. Radiant heat from walls tends to perform best in line-of-sight, meaning that you’ll feel warmest when you can see the wall with the radiant heating panel in it.

Radiant heat installed in the ceiling sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable, as they feel the heat more on the head and shoulders, which people often like to feel a bit cooler than the rest of the body.

The basic operating method of all radiant heating systems is the same. A tube that carries water or electric cabling is looped around to cover the area where the heating system is being installed.

With a hydronic system, the most common approach for a floor installation is to put loops of tubes into a concrete slab. The slab is used as a way to store the heat, since it has a high heat capacity. If your house is in Marin County, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Sausalito, Corte Madera, or Ignacio or another area, and  does not have a slab foundation, the tubes can be set into a thin layer of concrete or other material that sits on top of a subfloor. In some cases, if tile being laid, the tubes can be set into the mortar used for the tile.

You can also install radiant heating without a concrete slab. In this case, the cables or tubing can be installed between the floor joists – the cables are attached to the underside of the floor. In this method, a reflector must be placed under the cables so that the heat travels up into the floor, and not down into the crawl space. Aluminum is highly recommended as reflector material because of its ability to retain heat.

It’s also possible to install the tubes or cables between two layers of a subfloor. One company makes a plywood subfloor offering that has grooves for the tubing and reflector or diffuser plates built into the plywood. The idea is that this makes construction go faster.

Your Marin County House – New or Remodel?
New construction makes it easy to add radiant heating. It can also be installed in existing structures, but you will have to weigh the benefits vs. the costs. If the house already has radiant heating, and you are adding on, it’s pretty easy to extend radiant heating to the new addition. However, if you are adding radiant heating where none exists, you need to really consider the proposition.

Can your home benefit from radiant heating? One of the key considerations is floor height. Especially if you are installing a concrete slab for a hydroic radiant heating system, you need to consider that the floor height will be raised by the addition of concrete layer.

This means that everything on the floor – cabinets, toilets, tubs, etc., will also be raised. There are some electrical radiant heating products that promise to add virtually no height to a floor – these are usually mats that the manufacturer says can be installed under carpet. So depending on what you are installing, the impact of adding radiant heating to an existing structure can be very significant or not.

What Radiant Heating System Does my Marin County House Need?
You may have some ideas of the kind of radiant heating system you want. However, you have to be sure that it will perform well – heating where and when you want it to heat. You also have to be sure that it meets the code for your particular area. You should look for a radiant heating company that will make sure you get what you need.

Many companies will help you by drawing up plans using computer-aided design programs. You need to check with the company about who is responsible for making sure the heating system meets local building regulations. A few companies may help with this, but it is often the responsibility of the architect or you, the homeowner, to be sure that the system meets the requirements.

You may have to work with both your radiant heating system supplier and the local building inspectors.

Radiant heating companies offer different levels of service. Some are full-service firms that will help with the design of your heating system, will install it, and will service, test, and maintain it after installation. Other firms offer the materials and kits, along with DVD’s or other instructional materials.

Most offer the materials need to build the radiant heating system, or can advise on the products to choose. A talented, confident do-it-yourselfer may be able to install most of a radiant heat system, but everyone will need an electrician to connect the system to the device that controls the system.

Some companies work with building inspectors to get the final installation approved, while others place the entire responsibility for that on the customer. If you do decide to go on your own, remember that you will be responsible for trouble-shooting if the system doesn’t work, for any installation failures, and the like. You need to seriously consider whether or not you are up for the task.

Design a Radiant Heating System for Your Marin County Home
For the best service, many benefit from working with a full-service shop. They can really help you design the proper system for your property and circumstances. Part of this design will consist of defining zones within the house.

A zone is an area that is separately controlled with its own thermostat. Broad guidelines say that each storey of your house should be its own zone. Also, 700-1,000 square feet is a typical zone. You may also want to consider zoning based on how the rooms are used. A bedroom might be kept cooler than a general living space, for example.

Usually, a thermostat per room is not a good idea, since it can cause the boiler or other energy source to cycle on too frequently. Also, in general, rooms in a radiantly heated house tend to have the same general temperature. It’s also good to note that the temperature you set your thermostat to is often lower with a radiant heating system, though you will feel as warm as you would with a higher thermostat setting on a forced-air system.

You don’t have to worry too much about floors when you use radiant heat. You can use a radiant heating system installed in the floor with almost any kind of floor covering – carpet, stone, tile, marble, etc. Just remember that a material that insulates will also insulate the heat that the system is trying to send up through the floor.

Some manufacturers recommend that you not put mattresses, inflatable mattresses, etc., on top of radiant heating systems since they will absorb the heat. If you are in any doubt about your floor covering’s ability to work with a radiant heat system, ask the radiant heat system supplier.

Marin County Finds Use for Radiant Heating Systems
A central heating system is not the only thing that radiant heating can be used for. Customers like to have warm floors, especially if the floors are made of marble, tile, stone, wood, or other materials that are cool to the touch. Radiant floor warming is popular, especially in rooms like the bathroom. In general, radiant heating systems are not installed under things like cabinets or bathtubs, but some customers like a heated tub, and a radiant heating system can be used in the bathroom to warm your bathtub or for a towel-warmer.

In Marin County, including Belvedere, Ignacio, Larkspur, Sausalito, Novato, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Mill Valley and other areas, we generally don’t have to worry much about snow and ice. But radiant heating products can also be used to warm driveways and sidewalks, melting snow and ice.

Similarly, anyone with a vacation home above the snow line may want to remember that radiant heating products can be used on roofs and gutters to melt snow and ice, preventing a snow from placing a heavy load on the roof and preventing ice and snow from forming in the roof valleys.

What is the Cost of Radiant Heating in Marin County?
It depends. Of course, the costs vary based on the size of the house, the lot, whether it is a new construction or a remodel, etc., etc. However, as a broad generalization, you can figure that a new construction radiant heating system will cost about 10%-25% more to install than a forced-air system.

The costs are mostly associated with the additional work required to place the tubing or cables during construction. In general, a hydronic radiant heating system is very efficient and will cost less to run over time than a forced-air system, but again, the actuality will vary with the implementation.

A radiant heating system should not take too much to maintain. With most systems having fewer moving parts, there can be less to break. If you use a water heater or boiler for a hydronic radiant heating system, you should have the device inspected regularly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

In some cases, the tubes can spring a leak. This most often happens when the tubes were places inappropriately and subjected to stresses of a moving floor, a join, or other structural element. A properly placed tube should be insulated from these stresses. A good radiant heating system company should be able to test your system for leaks.

They also should be able to identify when the electrical circuit is broken, in an electrical radiant heating system. Testing for unbroken tubes and circuits should be part of the installation procedure.

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Know What You Want
Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Radiant Heating Company in Marin County

Ask yourself a few questions before you dive into a radiant heating solution for your Marin County home. Answering these questions will give you a good idea of your own situation, what you are looking for, and what you need.

In many cases, as you consider radiant heating for your home in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Ignacio, Belvedere or another area of Marin County, you are starting from scratch. Get the basics down, then you will feel more comfortable as you describe what you want to your radiant heating system provider....

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Ask yourself a few questions before you dive into a radiant heating solution for your Marin County home. Answering these questions will give you a good idea of your own situation, what you are looking for, and what you need.

In many cases, as you consider radiant heating for your home in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Ignacio, Belvedere or another area of Marin County, you are starting from scratch. Get the basics down, then you will feel more comfortable as you describe what you want to your radiant heating system provider.

Questions you might want to ask could include the following:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified radiant heating installation service that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Where do I want the radiant heat to be installed – walls, ceilings, floors?
  • Do I want to perform any part of the installation myself? Am I comfortable working from a kit and installation guidelines?
  • Am I considering installing radiant heating all over my house? Or just in a specific room or area?
  • Am I dealing with new construction or a remodel/retrofit?
  • If I am looking at electrical radiant heating products, do I already have a primary heating system installed and servicing the area where the electrical radiant heating will be installed as required in California?
  • What benefits do I want from my radiant heating system? Fewer allergies, reduced energy costs for running the system?
  • Do I have specific wants, like a heated bathtub or towel rack?
  • Do I want the system to provide heating for my house, or am I just looking for warm floors?
  • Do I have any interest in using radiant heating outdoors – for a patio or pool, for example?
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What to Ask on the Phone
Talking to Marin County Radiant Heating System Providers on the Phone

You will probably have many questions as you take your first steps into working with a radiant heating provider. It can be a good idea to start on the phone.

Doing so will give you a good overview of the services offered. It will also allow you to test the radiant heating company’s customer service skills. You’ll be able to see how responsive the company is if you have questions that they need to get back to you on....

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You will probably have many questions as you take your first steps into working with a radiant heating provider. It can be a good idea to start on the phone.

Doing so will give you a good overview of the services offered. It will also allow you to test the radiant heating company’s customer service skills. You’ll be able to see how responsive the company is if you have questions that they need to get back to you on.

No matter where in Marin County your radiant heating provider is, you can save yourself some time by doing some research by phone first. It may help to have a list of questions already prepared, so that you can compare the responses you get.

Those questions might include some of the following.

  • Has your radiant heat installation company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  • Will you help me design my radiant heating system? What tools will you use?
  • Will you work with my contractor if I want my existing contractor to install the system?
  • How will you ensure my radiant heating system complies with local codes? Whose responsibility do you consider compliance to be?
  • Do you offer diagrams, kits, DVD’s or other instructional material if I want to do some of the installation myself?
  • Once the heating system is installed, what maintenance services do you offer?
  • Do you offer hydronic radiant heating systems? Electrical radiant heating systems? Both?
  • How long have you worked on radiant heating systems? How experienced is your crew?
  • Do you install radiant heating systems on remodels or retrofits as well as new construction?
  • Will you install my new radiant heating system for me?
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What to Ask in Person
Talking to Marin Radiant Heating Contractors in Person

There are a couple of occasions when you might meet your radiant heating provider in person. The heating system company might come to your property to examine the space. In many cases, though, the company will ask for details and prepare detailed drawings.

You might meet with the company in person to go over these drawings. Or your architect or other representative might meet with your heating system provider....

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There are a couple of occasions when you might meet your radiant heating provider in person. The heating system company might come to your property to examine the space. In many cases, though, the company will ask for details and prepare detailed drawings.

You might meet with the company in person to go over these drawings. Or your architect or other representative might meet with your heating system provider.

In any case, a personal meeting should be a chance to ask questions that are specific to your project in Marin County, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Ignacio, Belvedere, or Tiburon.

Writing down the questions beforehand can help you focus on the conversation, knowing you always have your notes as a reminder.

Consider the following questions:

  • What kind of radiant heating system do you recommend for this particular space?
  • Can I use electrical radiant heating in this space?
  • How will you manage installing radiant heating in my existing floor?
  • Can you install radiant heating so my bathtub is heated?
  • Do you have recommendations for heating this outdoor space? My pool?
  • Do you think the ceilings are too high for radiant heat to be effective in this room?
  • How many zones would you recommend installing in this house?
  • Can the radiant heating product you are recommending be used with my particular floor covering?
  • If I get a radiant heating panel installed in this wall, would recommend changing the furniture layout? Will radiant heat really keep me warm regardless of the furniture position?
  • How will you be able to tell if my hydronic radiant system leaks?
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What to Ask References
Speak With References of Local Radiant Heating Companies

It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified radiant heat provider because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a radiant heat provider in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company....

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It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified radiant heat provider because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a radiant heat provider in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

If you can’t find a Diamond Certified radiant heat provider within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your radiant heat provider. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the radiant heat provider are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process.

That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the providers will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

  • What kind of radiant heating system did you have installed – hydronic or electrical?
  • How big was your radiant heating installation – the whole house or just a room or two?
  • Did you have any problems getting your radiant heating system approved by the building inspection? Who was responsible for complying with the building codes?
  • Did your radiant heating system provider help draw up the plans to design your heating system?
  • Did your radiant heating system provider install the system? Did they test to see that it worked and there were no leaks or broken electrical circuits?
  • Did your radiant heating system provide show awareness of the California rules for installing electrical radiant heating?
  • Did you do any of the work yourself? If so, did your radiant heating system provider offer installation guides,, and were they useful?
  • Were you satisfied with the quality of the work and the way in which it was done – did the workers show up on time and leave the area clean when done?
  • How long have you had the system installed? Have you noticed any effect on your utility bills?
  • What was the purpose of your radiant heating installation? Were you using it as the main heating system, for floor warming, for a specific use like heating a bathtub or towel rack?
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Review Your Options
Hire Good Radiant Heat System Installers in Marin County

Before deciding on the best radiant heat provider in Marin County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions....

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Before deciding on the best radiant heat provider in Marin County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

  • Is the radiant heating system provider knowledgeable about the rules in place in California for electrical radiant heating systems?
  • Does the radiant heating provider offer design services so that a proper radiant heating system can be successfully installed?
  • If I am interested in doing part of the work myself, does the radiant heating provider offer support like kits and instruction guides?
  • Does the radiant heating provider have experience in working with the type of radiant heating system that I need installed – hydronic or electrical?
  • Does the radiant heating provider demonstrate knowledge of how to test the system during installation, looking for leaks or breaks in the electrical circuit?
  • Does the radiant heating provider work with my specific situation – remodel, retrofit, or new construction.
  • Does the radiant heating provider provide clear information about the costs of the equipment and of the installation, if they are providing the labor?
  • Can the radiant heat provider tell me how they will protect the tubes or cables from being damaged by structural stresses?
  • Can the radiant heat provider tell me why they are recommending a particular material, for example, using copper for the tubes in a hydronic radiant heating system?
  • Do the radiant heating provider and I agree on who has the responsibility to ensure that the heating system matches local building ordinances?
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How to Work With
Before you Decide to Hire a Marin County Radiant Heating Provider

Think about what you want before you hire a radiant heating provider in Marin County:

Are you working on a retrofit or remodel or new construction? What do you want the radiant heating system to do for you? Are you looking to warm a few floors around the house? Or are you looking for a full-house heating system?

Or are you looking to warm a bathtub or towel rack? Are you dealing with a house that already has radiant heating? Or do you want to add radiant heating to an existing structure?...

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Think about what you want before you hire a radiant heating provider in Marin County:

Are you working on a retrofit or remodel or new construction? What do you want the radiant heating system to do for you? Are you looking to warm a few floors around the house? Or are you looking for a full-house heating system?

Or are you looking to warm a bathtub or towel rack? Are you dealing with a house that already has radiant heating? Or do you want to add radiant heating to an existing structure?

The more you narrow down exactly what you expect your radiant heating system to do in your Marin County house, whether in San Anselmo, San Rafael, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Belvedere, Ignacio, Corte Madera, Tiburon, or Ross, the more equipped you will be to speak with your radiant heating system provider.

Even if you are just exploring the possibility, knowing what you want helps you have the right conversation.

Once You’ve Settled on Your Marin County Radiant Heating Provider
Once you’ve discovered a Marin County radiant heating provider, be prepared to work with them. You may have to supply measurements and similar details so that they can design the heating system.

Or you may have to work with both your radiant heating provider and an architect or other person to get the heating system designed.

Make sure you understand what your radiant heating provider will and will not do. It may fall to you to help bridge the gap between the heating company and an architect or building inspector. The most important thing is to be clear about what the radiant heating provider accepts as his responsibility during the process.

Then you or your general contractor can arrange to cover other parts of the process.

Making the Job Go More Easily for Your Marin County Radiant Heating Provider
You are important in making the job go well. For a well executed project, it’s important that you understand who all the players are and what their responsibilities are. If you don’t know who is covering a specific area, be sure to ask.

You may delegate the running of the project to a contractor who will manage the whole process. It is still worthwhile to know who bears which responsibilities when working on your house in Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael, Novato, or San Anselmo.

For example, do you need to get the designs approved before they are executed? Do you need to have a building inspector inspect after the installation is complete? Who will guarantee that the design and installation meet all applicable rules?

It’s important that you should also keep track of milestones in the project, so that you know when portions of the project are completed. Some tasks may have to be completed before the next task can be started, so you or your delegate should know how the project is progressing each day, to avoid delays. Keep yourself or your delegate available to answer any questions that come up.

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Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good Radiant Heat Customer?

It's the radiant heat provider’s responsibility install a quality radiant heating system using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the successful installation of your new radiant heating system, too.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Marin County radiant heat provider....

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It's the radiant heat provider’s responsibility install a quality radiant heating system using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the successful installation of your new radiant heating system, too.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Marin County radiant heat provider.

  • Be clear and upfront with the radiant heat company. Let them know what you want from your radiant heat, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
  • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way.
  • Before you hire a radiant heat provider in Marin County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the radiant heat provider’s representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local radiant heat providers occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your radiant heat provider if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
  • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re installing radiant heat. The work will move along more smoothly if your radiant heat provider can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
  • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the radiant heat installation on schedule.
  • Pay for the radiant heat provider’s work promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Radiant heat providers in Marin County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check the Work
Verify the Radiant Heating Installation Against the Estimate and Contract

Never start a radiant heating system installation without a written estimate and contract.

The estimate and contract should include the materials that will be used, the labor costs and time it will take to complete the project, any subcontractors used, and all testing that will be performed to make sure the system is working correctly....

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Never start a radiant heating system installation without a written estimate and contract.

The estimate and contract should include the materials that will be used, the labor costs and time it will take to complete the project, any subcontractors used, and all testing that will be performed to make sure the system is working correctly.

You can use the written estimate and contract as a way of monitoring that the project is proceeding as planned. A reasonably detailed estimate and contract is more valuable than a contract that just lists a lump sum, since it will not be clear what the lump sum covers.

It’s important to write down any changes that are made in the terms of the contract when they occur.

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Written Warranties
Asking Marin County Radiant Heating Providers for Guarantees

Be sure to ask your Marin County radiant heating provider for warranties. Often, the radiant heating provider is installing devices manufactured by others, like tubing, boilers, etc. In such a case, you should ask for the manufacturer’s guarantees.

In other cases, the radiant heating provider may be selling their own products, in which case you should ask for the product guarantee. When design services are provided, you should ask if there are any guarantees....

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Be sure to ask your Marin County radiant heating provider for warranties. Often, the radiant heating provider is installing devices manufactured by others, like tubing, boilers, etc. In such a case, you should ask for the manufacturer’s guarantees.

In other cases, the radiant heating provider may be selling their own products, in which case you should ask for the product guarantee. When design services are provided, you should ask if there are any guarantees.

A typical guarantee might be that the designs will meet all applicable code requirements. If the radiant heating provider also installs the system, ask for warranties on the workmanship.

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Top 10 Requests
Popular Radiant Heat Services in Marin County

Radiant heat systems supply comfortable surroundings for the entire family. However, radiant heat systems are not only used for indoor heating, they can also be useful for some applications outside, as well. Radiant heat companies in Marin County, whether in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Novato, or Mill Valley, are likely to get requests for the following kinds of radiant heat systems.

Radiant Wall Panels
Radiant heating systems can be installed in walls, as well as in ceilings and floors....

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Radiant heat systems supply comfortable surroundings for the entire family. However, radiant heat systems are not only used for indoor heating, they can also be useful for some applications outside, as well. Radiant heat companies in Marin County, whether in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Novato, or Mill Valley, are likely to get requests for the following kinds of radiant heat systems.

Radiant Wall Panels
Radiant heating systems can be installed in walls, as well as in ceilings and floors.

Under-floor Radiant Heating
One of the most common types of radiant heating, under floor heating can be installed under almost any kind of floor covering – rugs, hardwoods, etc., and with almost any kind of underlying foundation.

Ceiling Radiant Heating
Radiant heating can be installed in the ceiling, though this is less popular than radiant heating underfoot. One reason is that as a rule, people prefer that their heads and shoulders feel more cool than their feet. Heat from the ceiling can be slightly uncomfortable.

Snow Melting Systems
For entryways, sidewalks, loading docks, and other outdoors areas where snow can accumulate and become hazardous, a radiant heat system can be installed to melt snow without forcing you to rely on chemicals, heavy equipment, or manual labor to clear the snow.

Heated Driveways
Heated driveways can make shoveling a thing of the past. Systems are designed to allow the user to control when the system goes on and off and to reduce energy consumption as possible.

Retrofit Radiant Heat
Your house may have been built without a radiant heat system. However, you can retrofit your house so that it accommodates radiant heating.

New Build Radiant Heat
You may know before you build your house that you want to use a radiant heat system, so you may call on your radiant heating system contractor as part of the new build.

Radiant Roof Deicing
When snow and ice form and stay on a roof, they place an additional burden on the structure. To prevent snow building up and icing, radiant heating systems can be set up for the roof.

Radiant Floor Warming
Many modern materials like slate, marble, stone, or wood look great on the floor, but can be cool to the touch. Floor warming allows the floor to feel warm. It is popular in bathrooms.

Gutter Melting Systems
Gutters can be places where snow and ice build up. You can prevent this with a radiant heating system.

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If Things Go Wrong
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee for Radiant Heating Systems

Diamond Certified radiant heat providers are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the radiant heat contractor you’ve hired is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138....

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Diamond Certified radiant heat providers are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the radiant heat contractor you’ve hired is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Easy Methods To End Conflict with Marin County Radiant Heat Providers
Of course, you should always try to work out a conflict with your radiant heating provider. The contract can be a good way to prevent or resolve disagreements. If you cannot find resolution on your own, you can make a complaint against a contractor on the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website.

Be aware that the CSLB focuses mainly on issuing citations or possibly fines to contractors who are not doing their jobs properly. The CSLB may require a firm to complete a job or may require a firm to pay someone else to complete a job.

In general, though, the CSLB does not focus on restitution and recommends small claims courts for such cases.

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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Radiant Heat Terminology

We're not all contractors or born with an innate knowledge of radiant heat. When you speak with your radiant heat company, don't let yourself feel buffaloed by a new vocabulary. Some of the terms below may help you reach an understanding with your radiant heat provider.

activation device
Something that is used to turn the heating system on or off. It could be a thermostat or sensor, for example....

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We're not all contractors or born with an innate knowledge of radiant heat. When you speak with your radiant heat company, don't let yourself feel buffaloed by a new vocabulary. Some of the terms below may help you reach an understanding with your radiant heat provider.

activation device
Something that is used to turn the heating system on or off. It could be a thermostat or sensor, for example.

AFUE
Refers to the ratio of output energy to input energy, per year. It is a measurement used for hot water heaters, boilers, forced-air heaters, or other combustion heaters.

Also known as: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

alternating current
An alternating current is an electrical current that varies in polarity and magnitude. It typically appears as a sine wave, which is usually the most efficient for transferring energy.

ambient temperature
The temperature of the air surrounding the device that is measuring the temperature.

Also known as: AMB

amp
A unit of measurement for electricity. It refers to the amount of coulombs, or charge, used per second.

Also known as: ampere

anchor plug kit
The materials needed to install wire on a concrete surface. Once holes are drilled into the concrete, a wooden rod or dowel is inserted. Wire clips are then nailed to the wooden dowels.

asphalt
A petroleum-based material used for waterproofing and paving, it is thick and black.

AWG
The measurement used to define a wire's diameter. Higher gauge numbers indicate finer wires.

Also known as: American Wire Gauge

backer rod
A foam substance that is used so that caulking and sealant have the proper depth.

back plate
A device that is used to strengthen and support the wall as well as to serve as an attachment point for components of the heating system.

BTU
A measure of energy. It is often used to denote the power of heating and cooling systems. In such cases, it really refers to the amount of energy used per hour (BTU/h), though this ratio is often just referred to as the "BTU."

Also known as: British Thermal Unit

building code
Refers to the rules the govern the minimum acceptable safety level for constructed objects.

castle chair
When welded wire fabric is being used as the heating device and is being installed in concrete, the castle chair is a device that is used to lift the heating element higher off the wire fabric and closer to the concrete's surface.

Also known as: chair

cathode ray tube
A technique that uses magnetic fields and electrons to display images.

Also known as: CRT

caulk
A substance used for sealing and making water-tight. In radiant heating systems, it is used to seal concrete or asphalt after retrofitting a radiant heating system into them.

chalk line
A technique for marking straight lines over a long distance. In the technique, a string saturated with chalk is held down at the start and end points of the surface to be marked. The middle of the string is then snapped against the surface, creating the chalk line.

cold joint
Cold joints are used in concrete to allow for expansion and contraction of the concrete. The joint should not be used as a place to install the tubing for a radiant heating system, since the tubing may be crushed.

Also known as: cold mark

cold lead
Used to conduct electric current from the control unit to the heating element in a radiant heating system. It's low resistance minimizes the loss of power during travel time.

combustion efficiency
Refers to how efficient a device like a hot water heater or boiler is. It measures the potential heat output, not the actual heat output.

concrete
A mixture of water, cement, and aggregate, or small rocks or other small particles. The water chemically reacts with the cement to make a very hard, durable substance.

conduit
A shield, or housing, that prevents wires and cables from being damaged or being made wet.

continuity
Refers to an electrical circuit where there are no breaks or other interruptions in the electricity's path.

drip edge
Flashing, or thin metal, that is placed on the roof's front edge. It prevents water from seeping into the roof.

eave
A portion of a roof that overhangs a house. It is designed to prevent weather damage to the building, though it can be prone to icicles, which can inflict water damage on the building.

element test
An element test may be recommended as part of installation. It checks to see that the system has electrical continuity and that no damage occurred during installation.

elevated sleepers
Used in conjunction with hardwood floors, these devices elevate hardwood floors or provide a place for nails to be attached. The space they create allows the radiant heating system's tubing to be installed.

flashing
Flashing refers to the material that is used to prevent water from entering buildings.

heatsink
A material that transfers heat from one medium to another. A heatsink has high thermal conductivity - it may consist of sand, concrete, asphalt, mortar, etc.

slab-on-grade
A kind of foundation that consists of a concrete slab set directly on the ground.

transformer
A device used to move electrical energy between circuits by means of magnetic coupling with no motion between the parts. It often consists of coupled windings and a core that concentrates magnetic flux. The number of turns in the windings influences the ratio of the input and output voltages, so the voltage is accordingly increased or decreased between circuits. The voltage is applied to one of the windings, which then creates a magnetic flux in the core that sends voltage to the other windings.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Radiant Heating FAQ

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified radiant heat provider?...

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Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified radiant heat provider?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a radiant heat provider with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only radiant heat providers rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies cant pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoingresearch and ratings. And your purchase is backed by theDiamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you'll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified radiant heat provider.

Q: What exactly is radiant heat?
A: Radiant heating is a kind of heating in which an element is heated and then emits that heat energy to warm people or other objects in the room. This is different from forced-air heating systems, for example, which actually increase the temperature of the air in the room.

Q: Tell me more about California's stance on electrical radiant heating?
A: California's most recently ruling on radiant heating comes from the Building Energy Standards, Title 24, Part 6. The code says that electrical radiant floor warming and electrical radiant space heating systems may be used as supplemental heating. That means that for electrical radiant heating to be used, there must be a primary system already installed. The primary system must directly service the space where the electrical radiant system will be installed and must be capable of conditioning the space on its own. In such situations, electrical radiant heating may be installed.

The reason for this is that when California determines efficiency, the state uses source energy as its measurement. This means that though the electrical product itself is very efficient, generating and delivering the electrical energy is very inefficient.

Q: Is electrical the only kind of radiant heat system available?
A: No. You can get electrical systems in which mats or tubing are spread out under the surface to be heated. Electricity is then used to create the heat that warms the space. You can also get hydronic radiant heat systems in which a liquid is passed through tubes that have been laid down in the floor, ceiling, or wall. Hydronic systems are the most popular and cost-effective kind of radiant heating where climates demand heating. There are also air-heated radiant floors, but they are very inefficient because air does not hold heat well. The air-heated radiant floor is sometimes combined with a solar panel, but even then, they tend to still be inefficient. (This does not mean that solar-power cannot be used to power non-air-heated radiant systems.) Air-heated radiant floors are not generally used in residences.

Q: What kind of floor covering can I use with a radiant heat system?
A: If your radiant heat system is installed in the floor, you can use virtually any floor covering n carpet, hardwood, stone, tile, etc. However, you should be aware that anything that insulates will also insulate against the heat coming through the floor n thus reducing its ability to warm. Most radiant heating providers have explicit information and recommendations for which products to use with which types of floor coverings, and you should discuss the appropriate application with your radiant heating system provider.

Q: Can I install my own radiant heating system?
A: Almost. You can do things like run the cables for the heating system, or lay the mesh pads. In fact, some radiant heating system companies will give you DVDs or other tools to self-install. However, when it comes to actually connecting the heating system to the controller, you will need a licensed electrician.

Your ability to install the system will also depend on your comfort level with doing the actual work. You should also consider that problems or re-doing the work may raise costs.

Q: What is a zone?
A: A zone refers to an area that has its own thermostat for controlling the heat within that region of the house. Some basic recommendations are that every story of the house should be its own zone. Another recommendation is that every 700-1000 square feet be its own zone. When zoning, you may also want to take into account what the rooms are used for n you may want bedrooms cooler than living spaces. The kinds of floor covering may also influence zone decisions.

Q: Which costs more n forced-air or radiant heat systems?
A: In plain fact, this can only be answered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the project being worked on, the equipment selected for installation, and all the other factors that go into building or remodeling a home. In shorthand terms, though, installing a radiant heat system for new construction tends to cost slightly more (10-25%) than installing a forced air system for new construction. This is usually because the radiant heating system requires more labor, since the tubing must be installed throughout the heating system, in contrast to the forced-air system that only requires a few ducts.

Q: Why do people like radiant heat systems?
A: Radiant heat systems are popular because they are quiet, they don't send air and air-borne pollutants like dust, pollen, and other allergens throughout the house. They may have fewer moving parts than forced-air systems, leaving them less vulnerable to breakdown and repair. They do not cause drafts the way heated air systems can. And, for most users, a radiant heating system is run at a lower temperature than a forced-air system, though the perceived warmth of the people in the house is the same as it would be with the higher-temperature forced-air system.

Q: Can I add radiant heating to a house that doesn't have it already?
A: It is considerably easier to add radiant heating to a house that already has it. However, it is possible to add radiant heating during a remodel or retrofit. You will have to ask yourself if the cost is worth the benefit. Some things to consider include the possible effect on floor height. If you are installing a hydronic system where the tubes carrying the water are set into concrete slabs, you may have to consider the change in floor height and the effect it can have on cabinets and everything else that rests on the floor. Of course, there are other radiant heating systems that can be added under a floor between the floor joists without affecting the floor height. So you can add radiant heating to an existing house, but much will depend on the kind of heating system you install.

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Consumer Agencies
Consumer Resources for Santa Clara County Radiant Heat Installation Services

America Institute of Architects (AIA) (www.aia.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov/)
Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) (www.energysavers.gov/)
Hydronic Heating Association (HHA) (www.comfortableheat.net/)
International Code Council (ICC) (www.iccsafe.org/)...

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America Institute of Architects (AIA) (www.aia.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov/)
Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) (www.energysavers.gov/)
Hydronic Heating Association (HHA) (www.comfortableheat.net/)
International Code Council (ICC) (www.iccsafe.org/)

National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) (www.nahb.org/)
National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) (www.nwfa.org)
Portland Cement Association (PCA) (www.cement.org/)
Quality Service Contractors (QSC) (www.qsc-phcc.org/)
Radiant Panel Association/ Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) (www.radiantprofessionalsalliance.org/)
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (www.usgbc.org/)

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