If you have ever used a heated driveway or seen it in action, you already know how valuable the system is. It eliminates the need for snowplowing or shoveling, saving the property owner money, time, and back-breaking labor. Heated driveway systems work by heating the driveway from below and melting all the snow on the surface. An electric heating cable can effectively withstand extremely high temperatures, unlike plastic tubing. This makes it an ideal option for asphalt and concrete driveways.
Depending on your preferred controls and options, you can set the snow melting system to turn on when the air temperature falls below a certain level, or the controller senses a certain level of moisture on the ground. The system radiates about 50 watts per square foot upward to keep the entire driveway dry. For any property owner, a snow melting system is a crucial element as it creates the necessary convenience to keep them safe.
In addition to the snow melting system cost, the amount of energy used by a snow melting system is a crucial factor to consider before installing it in your home. To determine the cost of running a heated driveway system, you should first determine the total wattage of the system (multiply 50 watts – per square by the square footage of the area to be heated) then divide the results by 1000 (to get kilowattage). If you know the current kWh rate in your area, multiply it by the total kilowattage (required to heat the entire driveway).
Alternatively, you can heat the driveway tire tracks. It’s more affordable than heating the entire area. For instance, assuming your driveway is 20 feet long, you need at least two sets of tire tracks, each 2 feet wide. You need approximately 160 square feet of heated driveway area. Apply this number to the formula discussed above. The estimated hourly cost is $0.64.
You can apply this formula when calculating the energy requirements and cost of snow melting systems for patios, outdoor stairs, and walkways. For any property, there’s nothing more treacherous than a driveway or sidewalk to the front door during the winter weather. It’s an area where snow can easily increase the risk of slip and fall. Thus, instead of being an aspect that adds value to your home, such walkways become a liability and a property owner’s worst nightmare.
This is the reason driveway heating is an important investment for all residences and commercial properties in regions associated with harsh winter weather. Other snow removal solutions such as hiring someone to shovel snow or purchasing snow removal chemicals aren’t as cost-effective as a snow melting system. A snow removal company might be unreliable and you will need to buy chemicals every winter season. However, with a heated driveway, the system can serve for many decades.
Whether you plan to heat a patio, driveway, an outdoor staircase, or a walkway, a snow melting system creates a hassle-free, safe space for everyone within your home or commercial space.