Nov. 6, 2023

HVAC Contractor Adds Radiant Heating to Headquarters, Keeping Employees Warm through Rugged Wisconsin Winters

by Alex Gross

In 1998, Pat McNamee was looking for a new heating solution to help keep the headquarters of his contracting business warm and dry through the rugged Wisconsin winters. After experiencing first-hand the benefits of radiant heating on an Uponor factory tour in Apple Valley, Minn., he was convinced Uponor would be the best solution for his project.

McNamee decided to install a radiant system in the new, 8,000-sqaure foot, slab-on-grade facility he was erecting for his rapidly expanding contracting business. When planning the space, he prioritized a comfortable working environment during the cold winter.

Uponor radiant heating offers a responsive, powerful, and efficient method for conditioning commercial facilities, which is precisely what Pat McNamee was seeking when planning the construction of his company’s new facility.

When considering radiant heating for his new facility, McNamee was frequently reminded of his tour of the Uponor factory. “I remember noticing that all the warehouse doors were wide open, it was the middle of winter, but the space inside still felt comfortable. It was obvious the radiant heating system in that warehouse had a quick recovery time, even with the doors opening and closing all day.”

His company’s existing warehouse, heated by a gas-fired, forced-air system, did not provide a comfortable working environment in the winter. McNamee knew Uponor radiant heating would be a solution that would ensure physical comfort of his employees and improve overall performance.
The facility utilizes radiant systems in the main office and warehouse. The floor coverings in the office are tile and carpet, with concrete in the warehouse. The radiant system provides powerful heat under the different flooring applications, keeping the warmth at floor level where people walk and work.

Even with overhead doors open, both the warehouse and the office space remain comfortable. Enhanced comfort and increased efficiency foster a strong bottom line for McNamee’s company.

When the facility’s overhead doors open, heat does not quickly escape to the outside, as is the case with a forced-air heating system that heats the surrounding air. When the exterior doors close, recovery time is shorter, resulting in dramatic cost savings on utility bills.

During the first month of operation, a forced-air heating system was installed in McNamee’s facility as a backup. The monthly gas-heating bill was $903.10. The following month, the radiant system was implemented. The gas bill was $406.50, dropping 55%.

Uponor radiant heating has revolutionized the commercial HVAC industry. Its responsive, powerful, and efficient comfort have made it a superior solution for business owners like McNamee. The project showcases the benefits and cost savings, especially in cold climates, where traditional solutions can be inefficient and costly.