As General Contractors, it wasn’t their first installation of infrared heaters in a space. But, when Mighty Energy Solutions’ co-founders, Laura and Doug Elfline, got sick and tired of replacing parts in the electric furnace that was the only source of heat in their West Seattle rambler, they saw it as an opportunity to make their home more energy efficient and more comfortable at the same time.
They chose to upgrade to the two most efficient (and all electric) heating and cooling solutions available: a mini-split ductless heat pump in the open concept space at one end, and infrared radiant heat in the rest of the home. Mini-splits are great for the main space they are installed in. However, without ducting, the architecture becomes the path for the forced air to travel through. Cool air travels low and easily reaches all the spaces. Hot air, on the other hand, rises into the unused space above everyone’s head as it moves into the space. The further away from the mini-split, the colder the rooms become. This makes an infrared radiant solution in the rooms down the hall a perfect addition. And the advantages didn’t stop there. There was no need to heat the bedrooms during the day when they were not in use. And it was never necessary to turn the heat up in the whole house when it was chilly in one room.
From this firsthand experience, it became clear that one major advantage of the infrared radiant products Mighty Energy provides is just how easy it makes replacing an inefficient, ineffective, or broken down heating system.
Avoiding Future Headaches and Expense
One customer already had infrared radiant heat and loved it for years. It was the kind that was installed above the sheetrock in the ceiling. But then a tree fell on the house and ruined it. The home was repaired along with the ceiling. The homeowners could have opted to have the system they loved replaced in the process. Instead, they chose Ducoterra‘s SolaRay II ceiling panels. Why? Because they provide the same cozy, direct, silent heat, are super thin, paintable, and almost as unobtrusive as their previous heating system. Plus, they offer the additional peace of mind that a lifetime warranty combined with simple process to uninstall and replace the panels in the event of failure for any unexpected reason.
Another Disaster Mitigated
Twenty years ago, a high-rise condo went up in Bellevue, WA. The units, which now sell for over $750,000, were fitted out with a hydronic heating system. Hydronic systems provide radiant heat from hot water. Recently, some of the units experienced major failures. In this case, this entailed large volumes of water leaking into the unit and, in some cases, into the unit below. In at least one case, the damage was over $10,000 just to clean up and repair. The heating system in that home was now defunct and the home owner had no intention of trying to repair it only to have it catastrophically fail again.
Had the systems been properly installed, this may never have been an issue. However, it became clear that, since the system was installed by the same outfit in every unit, the risk of more failures throughout the building was mounting. There is no space in the units for a ducted system. There isn’t even the proper space outside the units for a mini-split compressor. The ceilings are covered in can lighting and the tops of the walls house a sprinkler system. This ruled out the Ducoterra ceiling panels and even Radiant System’s Comfort Cove heaters that Mighty Energy also offers. However, BioSmart‘s in-wall solution turned out to be the perfect fit – literally.
These 1000 watt, whisper quiet, infrared radiant heaters fit perfectly into the existing cavities that housed the hydronic heaters. And the risk of flooding is gone for every unit that chooses this option. In addition, in the event that a heater should fail – either in the five year warranty period, or decades down the road, repair and/or replacement will not be complicated or overly expensive. And, in the brief interim waiting for repair, the other heaters will still radiate warmth rather than leaving the homeowner to tolerate an entire home without heat.
Some Solutions are Great – Until They Aren’t
It’s true that our infrared radiant heaters warm up the floor in the rooms they are installed in. They take off that cold edge, which is especially nice in the bedrooms and bathrooms where people are most likely to be barefoot at night and in the morning when the temperature is the lowest. That said, we would be the last people to claim that underfloor radiant heat in a bathroom isn’t awesome. Getting out of the shower onto warmed-up tiles is a simple luxury that is hard to beat. Still, what happens if it fails. Improper installation, the occasional factory flaw, etc. can mean the system stops working or, perhaps, never works properly. There is always the possibility of installation errors or factory flaws with any system or device. With underfloor radiant heat, if this happens, you have to tear up the floor to get at the problem.
Other Solutions are Simply Great
With the installed infrared solutions Mighty Energy offers, many repairs are a simple matter of a part replacement. And if any of our products happens to fail, removing a few screws and wires is all it takes to get at and resolve the issue. And, did we mention that there are no filters to clean, no moving parts, and little to no maintenance whatsoever for decades?
So, when you are choosing a method of heating your home, consider how much of hassle you want to deal with when it comes time to fix, upgrade, or replace it. We doubt you’ll find a great solution that is also as easy to live with as our products.