LeDUC & Dexter Inc. - The Premier Plumbing Contractor In The North Bay



We've Got Radiant Heating & Cooling For You

THE COMPANY

LINE

Tom Schefer is the manager of LeDuc & Dexter's new Hydronic Department.

Tom Schefer is the manager
of LeDuc & Dexter's
 new Hydronic Department.
(click image to enlarge)

LeDuc & Dexter recently unveiled their new Hydronic Department headed by Tom Schefer. Schefer had been in business for himself in a four generation, 58-year-old company specializing in boilers and Hydronic. Coming to LeDuc & Dexter along with Schefer is his wife, Laurie, and son, Brad. Laurie operates in an administrative capacity within the Hydronic Department focusing on schedules and assisting with project management. Brad is working in the field for the Hydronic Department.

Schefer is excited to be a part of a bigger operation that affords him the resources he needs to run numerous projects simultaneously, "This is great - because of the manpower we have at the company I can request the people I need to meet the schedules and take on more work." Laurie Schefer is equally impressed with her new surroundings, "I'm very happy and excited to be here. The support is incredible."

LeDuc & Dexter is now in better position to take advantage of new opportunities in winery cave and cellar construction along with high-end homes where most radiant Hydronic heating and cooling is used. Tom LeDuc thinks the Hydronic Department could increase the company's sales by as much as 15%. As for Tom Schefer, LeDuc had this to say, "I've known him for years. We've been friendly competitors and we've worked together. We've had him do Hydronic heating and cooling in wineries for us as a subcontractor."

Laurie Schefer works in the Hydronic Department office assisting with project  management.

Laurie Schefer works in the
Hydronic Department office
assisting with project management.
(click image to enlarge)

Unlike many trends in business in the U.S., the western states including California are somewhat behind in the emergence of radiant heating in homes. In France, for example, half of the new homes being built have radiant heating in their floors. In the eastern region of the U.S. many homes are built with radiant snow melting systems in their roofs and this has led to more homes in those colder climates being built with radiant heating in their floors. With energy concerns always looming in California residential radiant heating could be a consideration in the near future for track homes.

LeDuc & Dexter has once again moved progressively ahead by offering a new service to its customers. Radiant Hydronic heating and cooling is a fairly new trend in wineries and custom homes in California. For everyone else - it could be the next big thing.
 

Radiant Heating In The Home

RESIDENTIAL

LINE

"If you've ever had radiant heating in your home, you can't go back," vows Tom Schefer, manager of LeDuc & Dexter's newly formed Hydronic Department. By going back, Schefer is referring to central or forced air heating, which is found in most homes. "Radiant heating has no fans, there's no dust, no pollen and it's silent. It's like standing in sunshine, the heat radiates directly to you. It's total comfort."

In effect you are standing on the heating element, the floor, where the heating tubes are embedded. Most new construction uses a lightweight concrete over pour on the tubing layout to create a heated slab floor. A boiler heats the water, which is circulated through the tubing by the manifold box or boxes. The floor is heated and in turn the entire room receives the radiant heat that rises evenly from its source. Thermostats and timers can control the temperatures of rooms or sections of the home while other areas or rooms are set at a different temperature or can be shut off entirely with zone valves or actuators.

This quick track radiant heating sub floor will be covered with a finished hardwood floor.

This Hydronic manifold has valves that the homeowner can shut off and open to distribute heating to different areas of the home.

This quick track radiant heating
sub floor will be covered with a
finished hardwood floor.
(click image to enlarge)

This Hydronic manifold has valves
that the homeowner can shut off and
open to distribute heating to different
areas of the home.
(click image to enlarge)

"Radiant heating is very energy efficient," says Schefer, "it's more expensive to install than forced air heating but there is a 25% savings in energy cost to operate an average sized system. It would cost about $20,000 to install radiant heating throughout a 3,000 square foot home with 6 thermostats to control it."

The pre-packaged mechanical module, hot water tank and square boiler supply the radiant heating source for this residential application.

The pre-packaged mechanical module, hot water tank and square boiler supply the radiant heating source for this residential application.
(click image to enlarge)

About 50% of the local residential radiant heating market is in remodeling and retrofit projects. Baseboard and under floor systems are used for these applications, such as the quick-track method, which is prefabricated plywood with a groove through it and an aluminum reflector under it. Typically it is laid on top of the sub floor with tubing and it replaces an over pour. The quick-track method can also be used in new construction when the structural environment will not support a concrete slab. The quick-track method is actually more expensive than the over pour method.

Most of the radiant Hydronic heating systems are being installed in custom homes. Schefer and his Hydronic Department are presently starting a high-end residential project in Rutherford in the Napa Valley that employs a geothermal radiant heating system, which heats well water to supply the heating source.

In the end, of course, it's not any one of the many innovative methods or systems that sells the idea of radiant Hydronic heating. The selling point is the level of comfort that the system delivers to the homeowner. As Schefer reminds, "Once you've had radiant heating, you'll never go back."
 

Radiant Heating & Cooling In Businesses

COMMERCIAL

LINE

Hydronic layout before lightweight cement floor is poured in the tasting room at Stryker Sonoma.

Hydronic layout before lightweight cement floor is poured in the tasting room at Stryker Sonoma.
(click image to enlarge)

Radiant Hydronic heating and cooling is spreading through the commercial sector including wineries, wine caves and other businesses that are taking advantage of its benefits. Tom Schefer had previously done Hydronic work for LeDuc & Dexter as a subcontractor at wineries like Stryker Sonoma in Alexander Valley and Nickel & Nickel Vineyards in Oakville in the Napa Valley.

Schefer points out that other commercial businesses are seeing the potential in radiant Hydronic heating for expansive areas such as an aircraft hangar, which has a floor area of over 10,000 square feet. Schefer is currently bidding that project, "The mechanics and maintenance workers would have a much more comfortable work area and the energy savings to heat the hangar would be considerable."

As apposed to the residential radiant heating market that is currently aimed at upper end homes Schefer sees the opportunity to expand the commercial market to more mainstream businesses, "The automotive industry is a possible growth area for radiant heating. Most auto repair companies have cement slab floors that are very cold to stand or work on during the winter months. Radiant heating is ideal for that industry."

Zone Pumps control the hot water to each radiant heating zone.

Zone Pumps control the
hot water to each radiant heating zone.
(click image to enlarge)
 

 

The wine cave trend is a focal point for LeDuc & Dexter's Hydronic Department. Along with their plumbing expertise in new construction, retrofitting and remodeling of wineries, LeDuc & Dexter now offers radiant cooling installation for wine caves. The economic outlook for the wine industry indicates a rebound this year after two years of flat sales and overproduction of wine and vineyard plantings. Since many wineries add wine caves to existing wineries LeDuc & Dexter is now in a better position to approach those project with their new Hydronic Department.

Prior to coming aboard at LeDuc & Dexter Schefer installed a number of radiant cooling systems for wine caves. Lower energy costs along with a minimum of barrel evaporation, normally caused by cooling fans are major benefits of radiant cooling in wine caves. Now it's time for other business sectors to discover and reap the many benefits of radiant Hydronic heating and cooling.
 

 


NEWSLETTER


MARCH 2004
Featured Stories

The Company
We've Got Radiant Heating & Cooling For You

Residential
Radiant Heating In The Home

Commercial
Radiant Heating & Cooling In Businesses

Newsletter Archives
 

Credits


Editorial Credits
and
Contributors

The Company
LeDuc & Dexter Inc.
Tom LeDuc, President & CEO
Tom Schefer, Hydronic
  Manager

Residential
LeDuc & Dexter Inc.
Jim Kempers, Residential
  Manager
Tom Schefer, Hydronic
  Manager

Commercial
LeDuc & Dexter Inc.
Bill Zeeb, Commercial
  Manager
Tom Schefer, Hydronic
  Manager

Writer
Mark Dommer
Dommer & Associates

Editor
Tom LeDuc
LeDuc & Dexter Inc.
 

Contact Us


LeDuc & Dexter Inc.
2833A Dowd Drive
P.O. Box 11157
Santa Rosa, CA  95406
TEL (707) 575-1500
FAX (707) 575-1276
CL 548129

EMAIL
Tom LeDuc

WEB SITE
leducanddexterplumbing.com
 

Message
from
LeDuc & Dexter


Our monthly newsletter is an opportunity to share information, education and promote our industry and customers. We feel that it is beneficial to provide a profile of the working relationships we enjoy with our customers and help to build new relationships for all of us in the construction industry. Bookmark our web site at leducanddexterplumbing.com and click on Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter, then fill in name and e-mail address and that's it!
 

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