The Radiant Side of Southern CA

When you think of southern California, what comes to mind? Sunshine, palm trees, beaches, warm weather… and radiant heating? Absolutely! With mild temperatures year round, homeowners and businesses there are enjoying radiant heating in a variety of ways that add additional comfort to their everyday lives.

Mayo Mechanical, from Laguna Beach, CA, is making radiant dreams come true, specializing in custom heating and cooling applications for the past 30 years. David Mayo, owner & operator, said that about 80% of their radiant heating installations are for floor warming. “One of the best things about radiant heating is that it heats the space where people live, instead of where they don’t. Warm air doesn’t work well because it is buoyant. Heat doesn’t rise, warm air does,” he identified.

Dave said select floor warming is more common in southern CA, than whole house primary space heating. The focus is on the places where people spend the most time, such as master bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchens, and recreational areas. With such great weather regularly, people use their outdoor space throughout the year as well. “Outdoor entertaining happens all year long here,” said Dave. “Radiant heating creates a warm, inviting experience outside too.”

With the ability to spend so much time outdoors, outside recreation areas become an extension of their homes featuring kitchens, fireplaces, bars, living areas, and of course, pools and hot tubs. Hydronic radiant heating systems installed under the stone and pavers that floor these areas gives them a warm, comfortable feel that is otherwise invisible. Restaurants utilize it for patio warming, giving their customers an extra comfortable dining experience they can feel, but can’t see.

“The limitations aren’t as narrow as you may think with these low-intensity heating systems,” said Dave. “We install multi-temperature hydronic systems, which will heat two patios running on four different water temps, ranging from 120 – 140 degrees,” he said. They have installed 4-pipe systems that also provided heat for the pool, and a geothermal system that had a mile of piping stretched out of 4,000 linear feet.

Other unique projects Mayo has done includes using hydronic radiant heating to heat a Turkish spa, a stone massage table kept at 100 degrees, staircases, and benches. Dave said in some areas of the state, there are laws that require the use of a snow melt system, such as if a driveway exceeds a certain incline.

If designed and installed properly, hydronic radiant heating systems are virtually maintenance free, easily serviceable, energy-efficient, and built to last. “The mechanics are the engine of a radiant heating system. Encased tubing will live as long as the building if left undisturbed,” Dave shared. “We design our systems to be as efficient as possible, and with great care. And while a good system shouldn’t require much maintenance, they should always be designed to be serviceable,” he said.

Mayo Mechanical has been working with Infloor Heating Systems for the past 20 years. “They have been very good to us over the years,” Dave shared. “They have provided training and support, and supplies we need for the job. Their support has been among their greatest attributes. I owe so much of my experience to Infloor,” he said. “We have a mutual relationship of respect. They value us, and we value them.”

Mayo Mechanical Inc. – 2175 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 – Phone: (949) 494-5038

Mayo Mechanical Project Highlight (pictures shown below):

Shady Canyon, CA: The modern Tuscan villa shown below, with a grand 180-degree view, was adapted with a high-capacity hydronic patio warming system. There are three independent warming zones around the pool utilizing 1/2″ INFLOOR BPEX tubing, spaced at 4″-5″ O.C., with high output aluminum heat transmission plates, and heated by an Elite #EL-220 (220,000 BTU) boiler. A unique aspect of this installation is the integration of the hydronic INFLOOR deck warming system with 50,000 BTUH of waste heat generated by a natural gas fired electric fuel cell unit. Later, the fuel cell and Infloor hydronic deck warming system was configured to divert the 50,000 BTUH of waste heat to an indoor spa when the high-capacity deck zones were not operating. Photos provided by Mayo Mechanical.

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