Smart Plumbing & HVAC, HVAC November 2021

Warming Canadian Homes with Watts and Radiant Heat

Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog

Whether you need to heat a room or are looking for a solution for clearing snow, radiant heat offers warmth, efficiency, and safety. Watts offers a full line of floor warming and snowmelt products that makes them the right manufacturer for contractors. With more than two decades of experience in radiant heat, Watts has the expertise and depth to create the products that will make Canadians feel comfortable at home.

Chris Rock, Director of Sales and Marketing at Watts, recently spoke with Wolseley about why he believes Watts is a popular choice for contractors who work with radiant heat. He also offers tips to help contractors integrate heating into more projects by gaining client confidence.

“In-floor [radiant] heating and snowmelt solutions have been around for a long time,” says Rock. “In my experience, the most successful contractors are the ones who work closely with their clients to understand and meet their unique needs.”

Snowmelt Heat Solutions—Not Just a Luxury! 

While the idea of a snowmelt system may seem like a perfect fit for high-end clients looking for an element of luxury and convenience, there are also important safety implications that shouldn’t be overlooked. “Snow removal is becoming an increasingly expensive activity,” continues Rock. “If someone slips on your walkway, it can be devastating – it could bankrupt a business. A snowmelt system adds safety, and it also improves accessibility and eliminates the need for salt, which is better for the environment.”

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Snowmelt systems can even be set up with WiFi-enabled controls that allow building managers to operate and get the snow melting remotely. 

“You can put the system on timers, but we also have a sensor. Those sensors can be very precisely calibrated and start early in a snowfall. The systems can even be set up to respond to RSS feeds from The Weather Network, or, you can build a schedule.” 

Radiant Heat for Comfort and Efficiency

Moving indoors, radiant heat offers efficiency and comfort to any space. When you consider a space with a soaring ceiling, like in an atrium or an airport terminal, radiant floor heat offers efficiency that can’t be beaten. “Let's say you have a 20-foot ceiling,” suggests Rock. “With a traditional HVAC system, you’re going to be heating 20 feet of air. It's a beautiful experience, but it's incredibly wasteful from a heating standpoint.” 

Reducing wasteful heating isn’t just for grandiose spaces either. Where there’s a person indoors, there's an application for radiant heat. Rock points to electric radiant heat as one product that should be getting more attention in residential and multi-unit dwellings.

Rock recommends that contractors introduce solutions, even with something as simple as electric radiant heat. Watts offers a solution that simply plugs into existing electrical infrastructure in bathrooms. 

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“Our electric radiant heat product is called SunTouch,” says Rock. “It's perfect for residential bathroom renovations. Especially here in Canada, in the fall and winter, when the floor can feel a little crisp. Who wouldn’t want a nice warm floor after you step out of the shower?”  

To help contractors understand the benefits and learn how easy it can be to install SunTouch in just about any space, Watts offers five video tutorials, all 10 minutes or less, that takes you step by step through the design, installation, and troubleshooting of the electric system. 

Flexible Heating Solutions for Every Project 

Watts offers a wide variety of products and accessories to meet the needs of every contractor and has also expanded its distribution of products within Wolseley. 

“If you're a contractor who prefers PERT tubing, we have a solution for you. If you're a contractor who prefers PEX B, we have a solution for you. If you're a contractor who prefers electric heating, we have a solution for you. If you're a contractor who has an application for an insulated radiant heating tube, R-FLEX is the solution for you.”

Anatomy of Onix Tubing. EPDM Cover. Braided Fiber Reinforcing. Contour Extrusion Layer. AlumaShield Oxygen Barrier. EPDM Tubing.

Watts even offers Onix Coils, a flexible tubing product that’s perfect for staircases and tight corners because it eliminates problems with pinch points. Showing contractors the innovation of Onix is always exciting for Rock because of the performance level of the product.  

“I like to do a demonstration where I tie a two-foot length of Onix in a bow. With any other pipe, that would create all sorts of kinks and problems. I can tie it in a bow and then untie it, and the pipe is no worse for wear. It's also more resistant to crimping.” 

Radiant Heat Experts Behind Your Next Project

With close to 150 years of experience, Watts has grown into a global leader of quality water solutions for residential, industrial, municipal, and commercial settings. Shop radiant heating from Watts including SunTouch, PERT and PEX on Wolseley Express, or talk to your local Wolseley Branch for more information. 

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