The Benefits and Custom Options of Heated Driveways and Snow Melting Systems

Radiant Heat Can be Tailored to Your Specific Needs and Budget

Heated driveway systems are surefire ways to enhance safety for businesses located in cold weather climates. From grocery stores to restaurants and car washes, business owners are turning to radiant heat to ensure safety and protect themselves from liability claims.

Warmzone radiant heat systems are fully automated, so there’s no need for business owners to show up at the workplace early to shovel snow. The automated systems activate when an aerial or ground-mount snow sensor detects precipitation and temperatures are below a set point (typically 39°F). The energy efficient snow melting systems operate only when needed, and are also maintenance free – another favorite feature among business owners.

Easy to Customize

Radiant snow melting systems are easy to customize. Electric snowmelt systems can be installed to heat unique shapes and areas, and can be tailored to best meet the client’s budget needs. In addition to heating entire driveways and sidewalks, some other popular layout options for heating driveways include:

Heating tire tracks: Rather than heating an entire driveway, install two 24-inch wide heated tire tracks.

Heated driveway with two heated tire tracks

Heating the Center Strip or High Traffic Areas: Heat only an 8 or 10-foot wide strip up the middle of the driveway. Or install heat cable only in the most trafficked area of your driveway. Heat trouble spots such as inclines or where shade often causes ice buildup. Instead of heating an entire sidewalk, just warm a 3-foot wide strip in the middle; or heat the steps and heavily trafficked areas of entry points and porches. Businesses often install radiant heat to melt snow and ice in parking areas and walkways near the store front as well as in loading docks and ramps.

Custom heated driveways and sidewalks

Heating specific/custom areas: Many consumers install radiant heat only for specific needs. For example, heat dog runs or kennels to keep outdoor pets comfortable, or only heat the sloped areas of a sidewalk or just the steps. The options are virtually limitless when it comes to installing heated driveways.

Heated cement steps

Visit Warmzone’s heated driveway web page for more detailed information. The information includes sections on how heated driveways work, determining the operating cost, how heated driveways work and more.

From small, custom snow melting projects to large commercial applications, radiant snow melting systems have proven to be the reliable, cost effective solution for homeowners and business owners alike.

Heated driveway and walks

Unlike other providers of radiant heat systems, Warmzone offers free installation training courses for installers, as well as complete system design and layout services and installation support. Dealing with Warmzone makes the process of finding and installing the best system easy for customers.

Information Resources:

Radiant Heat Online Information Resources

Illustrations, How-to Videos and More

Installing a radiant snow melting system is not especially complicated, but there are some important steps to remember to ensure that the system is installed and performing correctly. In addition to Warmzone offering technical support for installers as well as free installation training, Warmzone provides a wealth of information online. Some resources include helpful illustrations as well as informative installation “how-to” videos that are posted online. Below are samples of snow melting system illustrations and radiant heat videos.

Sectional view of CZ snow melting systems.

Click on image to enlarge.

Another helpful illustration for heated driveway installations outlines how to embed the cable splice for the heating cable. The example below shows a snow melting system installed to heat a concrete driveway.

Embedding the cable splice

Click on the image to enlarge.

The illustration below provides a general overview of an electric radiant snow melting system and its components.

ClearZone snow melting system and components overview.

View the ClearZone Snow Melting System Overview (above). Click on the image to enlarge.

Also, check out Warmzone’s online instructional installation videos. Topics range from reviewing and filling out warranty information to proper cable installation techniques and wiring of the system components.

Instructional radiant heat installation videos.

View additional radiant heat documents and illustrations.

View our Installation Overviews web pages.

Power Requirements and Operating Costs of a Heated Driveway

Understanding the Power Requirements for a Heated Driveway

Are you looking to install a radiant heated driveway for your home or business? If so, one of the first questions you need to answer is whether you have the necessary power requirements. In most cases, having the power needed to run an efficient radiant snow melting system is not a problem. However, prior to any installation, customers must ensure that they do meet the power requirements for heating their driveways and or walks.

Heated driveway with four heated tire tracks

So, just how does one go about determining the power requirements for heating a specific area and how does one know whether the necessary power is available? First of all, you don’t have to figure this out by yourself. Warmzone’s experienced reps are happy to work with you to not only help you determine the necessary power requirements, but to design a system that best meets your specific snow melting and budget needs.

But homeowners should be aware of some basic guidelines when shopping for radiant heat. For example, one 30-amp breaker supplies enough power to heat a 170-square foot area. To heat a driveway of 350-square feet, two 30-amp breakers (or one 60-amp breaker) would be needed. Homeowners can check their home’s main breaker panel to see the power coming into the house. (Typical homes feature either two 100 amp panels or two 200 amp breakers. These are located at the top of the main breaker box, above the main breaker panel.) But the bottom line, in terms of power requirements, is that an electrician is ultimately the one to address all power issues. If you have questions about available power, talk with Warmzone as well as a qualified electrician to make certain there are no issues should you choose to move forward with the installation.

If you’re unsure of the square footage of your driveway, no worries; Warmzone can calculate that for you too. In most areas, using a special state-of-the-art technology, Warmzone can measure the area of your driveway while talking on the phone with you. Our helpful staff will work closely with you to ensure that the square footage of the area is measured correctly and the power requirements are therefore calculated properly.

Zoning Your Driveway Heating System

On rare occasions when there is insufficient power available to operate a large driveway heating system, the radiant heat system can be laid out in zones. Each zone is powered separately. As a storm first hits, zone 1 would power up and melt the snow in that area of the driveway. After zone 1, zone 2 would then activate to melt the snow in that area of the driveway. Click here for more detailed information about zoning your heated driveway.

Determining the Operating Cost of an Electric Heated Driveway

Homeowners are also keen to know the general operating costs of a heated driveway. Because radiant snow melting systems are specially designed for the specific demands of the average temperature and snowfall of their location, no two radiant heat systems are exactly alike. However, there is a formula that can be used to help you determine the approximate operating cost of a snow melting system.

General Guidelines to Determine a Heated Driveway’s Operating Cost

  1. Determine the total square footage of the area that will be heated. (The average American home has an 800 square foot driveway.)
  2. Multiply the square footage by the heat required (37 watts per sq. ft. for residential). This will give you a total for the watts per square footage required.
  3. Divide this number by 1,000 to convert to kilowatts.
  4. Look up the kilowatts-per-hour rate from the local power utility company.
  5. Multiply the kilowatts by the kilowatt rate. This gives you the cost-per-hour of usage for the snow melting system.

EXAMPLE for heating an 800 square foot driveway:
800 (sq.ft.) x 37 (watts) = 29,600 (total watts).

29,600 divided by 1,000 = 29.6 kw per hour. (This is what the power company will charge you per one hour of operation.) The average utility rate is .12 cents, therefore: 29.6 x .12 = $3.55. The cost of operation would be $3.55 per hour.

The operating cost of an automated snow melting system is typically less than that of hiring a professional snow removal service. And radiant heat can help to extend the life of concrete driveways and keeps them from being subjected to abrasive snow removal methods or harsh snowmelt chemicals or salt. Safety is particularly important for business owners who wish to avoid costly litigation due to personal injuries caused by slick ice. For more information on driveway heating systems, call Warmzone today at 888.488.9276.

Other helpful, informative web pages:

  1. ClearZone snow melting
  2. Heated Driveways
  3. Installing a Heated Driveway
  4. Snow Melting System Installation Tips

Timing is Everything

Don’t get Caught Holding the Shovel next Winter — Install a Radiant Snow Melting System and Beat the Rush!

With summer just around the corner, it’s a good time to spring for a new radiant heated driveway or walkway. Buying and installing your radiant heated snow melting system early in the summer puts you at a distinct advantage. In the fall, contractors generally rush to get their projects done before winter, and their availability is limited. Hiring someone now could save you the heartache of putting off that heated driveway or walkway project for another season. Shopping contractors before the fall rush also allows you to take your time interviewing and selecting a professional.

Whether you’re pouring a new concrete or repairing existing pavement, radiant heat installation is an excellent way to enhance, preserve and protect your driveway or walkway from harsh snow melting chemicals or damage from snow removal equipment. It’s a smart home investment that not only preserves and protects your property, but can also prevent slip and fall accidents, as well as injury from shoveling. Snow melting systems can also save you the time, and over time, the added expense of hiring a contractor to plow your driveway. With radiant heated driveways and walkways, you get “on-demand” snow removal, and the opportunity to experience dry pavement all year round. And the systems operate silently on renewable energy and are fully automated.

Heated paver driveway

As you shop, be leery of the contractor who offers limited solutions that come with a high price tag. Radiant heat applications are extremely flexible and adaptable, offering homeowners many options to achieve their goals. You don’t have to tear up your entire driveway to enjoy the benefits of radiant heat. Rolling out pre-configured mats on top of an asphalt driveway and applying a new layer of asphalt over the cable, or cutting grooves in concrete for the heat cable (which are then filled with an epoxy) are just some of the ways to get around a new heated driveway installation.

To help you sort out your options you may also want to consider contacting Warmzone for a free snow melting system estimate. They have the knowledge and the know-how to put together a snow melting solution that will meet or even beat your performance and budgetary requirements.  Partnering with professional installers across the country, Warmzone works diligently to come up with solutions for the most discriminating customers. As they say, knowledge is power, and getting initial estimates from Warmzone before you shop can help you identify all of your options, and the right person for the job, to avoid the “sticker shock” that comes with choosing the wrong one. And remember, a radiant heat system is only as good as its installation, and Warmzone can recommend experienced, reputable installers in your area.

Among the many home improvement projects on your to-do list, a radiant heated snow melting system is the gift that just keeps on giving from the moment you see that first snowflake fall. Winter may seem a long way off, but the window for hiring a contractor to install your snow melting system is small. Whether you lack the motivation or need more information, it’s always a good idea to give Warmzone a call at 888.488.9276 for free professional advice and support.

So Happy We Invested in Radiant Heated Floors

Solution: RetroHeat Floor Heating System

I just wanted to let you know how our living room/dining room retrofit with radiant under floor heat went.  The RetroHeat system has been wonderful.  Of course, we are out of the cold season now, but it totally changed the ambiance in our living room/dining room.  The floor was warm and  the room was warmer and we are so happy we made the investment in doing this.  And it is not even our main source of heat, but it has been so inexpensive to operate and makes the living space so comfortable.

RetroHeat floor heating systems can be installed to heat existing floors

I want to thank you so much for hanging in there with us thru the design and all the little things that are bound to happen with an installation like this.  You were always so quick to get back to me/us, and so helpful in getting the glitches get worked out when they happened.

I cannot recommend you, Warmzone and the product too highly.  We would do it again in a heartbeat.  Thanks so much!

Your very satisfied and grateful customer,

Betsy W.

An Easy, Affordable Solution for Ground Fault Protection Requirements

Warmzone Continues to Listen to Contractors and Serve the Needs of Homeowners

Electric snow melting, roof deicing and outdoor pipe heating systems installed in the United States and Canada require ground fault protection for safe operation. In many cases, when installing a snow melting system, these breakers can be expensive and difficult to find. However, thanks to Warmzone, this is no longer an issue.

In addition to offering contactor panels with ground fault protection, Warmzone also offers separate ground fault protection units with snow melting systems and activation devices. These units provide an inexpensive, easy-to-integrate solution to meet the NEC requirements for ground fault protection equipment.

The GF-1 unit provides single circuit protection and the GF-2 provides dual circuit protection (for 120/208/240VAC circuits up to 60A). Unlike highly sensitive GFCI breakers, Warmzone’s GF unit maintains a 30mA fault trip point to reduce nuisance tripping. The unit’s unique design allows installation of standard, off-the-shelf overload breakers into the customer load center. Size the breaker and wiring for the system (15A to 60A), then install the GF unit between the load center branch circuit and the sensor/controller and heat cable. The overload breaker protects the wiring while the GF unit provides the ground fault protection.

The unit is housed in a rugged, NEMA 4X/IP65 rated enclosure, suitable for indoor or outdoor installation. The enclosure features a gasket-sealed front access door for easy testing and reset. All internal electronic components are specified for -40°C to +60°C operation. The enclosure can be easily surface mounted near the load center or near the snow melting system, depending on the installer’s preference. Numerous knockout locations on the enclosure provide flexibility for installation and wiring. The enclosure base can accommodate standard ½ and ¾-inch conduit hubs. Four mounting holes outside the enclosure gasket make mounting a breeze while assuring weather-tight performance.

Ground fault protection unit enclosure
Enclosure for ground fault protection equipment

Features

  • Easy installation; convenient access for wiring
  • Works together with inexpensive, off-the-shelf overload circuit breakers
  • Provides true 30mA trip point GFPE protection
  • Meets NEC Article 426.28, 427.22, and CEC 62-300 requirements
  • Protects 120/208/240VAC systems up to 60A (#14-#6 CU-only conductor capacity)
  • Not Compatible With 277VAC or L-N-L 240VAC
  • UL listed (U.S. and Canada) NEMA 4X enclosure for indoor or outdoor installation
  • Latching, sealed, hinged front cover for easy testing and reset access
  • No overload rating means just two part numbers for simple stocking
  • Weatherproof and corrosion resistant enclosure
  • Operating temperature range of -40°F/C to +140°F/+60°C

The GF-1 and GF-2 can be used directly with Warmzone’s WS-2C, WS-5C and WS-8C aerial mount snow sensors. They can also be used with contactor panels, switches, and any system up to 60A. Since the overload protection is provided by the load center breaker, only two GF models are required to cover the full range of 15A to 60A, one or two circuits. This allows ground fault protection with kitted systems without the requirement of identifying the customer’s load center type or need to research if a combined overload/GFPE breaker is available and how long it will take to receive.

Including a GF unit completes the snow melting system and makes it ready to install. And the GF unit provides a ready-made solution when installing or retrofitting a snow melting system in an older facility that was wired well before the term “GFPE” was coined. It’s an easy upgrade to help bring an existing system into compliance with modern code requirements.

Including a GF unit completes the snow melting system and makes it ready to install. And the GF unit provides a ready-made solution when installing or retrofitting a snow melting system in an older facility that was wired well before the term “GFPE” was coined. It’s an easy upgrade to help bring an existing system into compliance with modern code requirements.

As your radiant heat partner, Warmzone makes the process of installing a snowmelt system as easy as possible. For more information, call 888.488.9276 today.


Finding the Right Roof Heating System

Keeping your roof free and clear of ice and snow comes down to proven radiant heating elements, proper system design, and proper installation. A good radiant heat solution is one that addresses all of the potential problem areas of your roof.  Warmzone offers a variety of roof heating solutions designed to not only melt snow and ice, but to keep the runoff flowing from your roof before it has a chance to freeze. Warmzone products are specifically designed to target all aspects of a roof, including gutters, downspouts, roof lines, roof eaves and edges—the places icicles, ice dams, and snow build-up are most likely to occur. To keep your roof free of ice and snow, it’s important to target the typical problem spots.

Heating Gutters, Edges and Problem Areas

Warmzone self-regulating heat cable is an extremely effective and energy efficient way to prevent ice dams and keep water flowing through gutters and downspouts. Comprised of a rugged, durable outer construction and an irradiated conductive core that responds to variations in temperature, this durable cable is the affordable choice for heating problem areas of your roof.

Heating Roof Edges

The single greatest snow and ice problem for roofs is due to ice dams. Snow and ice buildup occurs when runoff reached the colder roof eaves and refreezes. Over time, the buildup increases, resulting in large dams of ice near the roof’s edge, causing water to pool behind it. As that water seeps under the shingles and refreezes, damage can occur, and may eventually lead to costly water damage inside the home.

Low-voltage roof heating element

Low-voltage RoofHeat STEP systems can be installed discreetly under the shingles to keep roof edges completely free of snow and ice. This advanced system utilizes a thin, semi-conductive polymer heating element that can be nailed or stapled through to make installation quick and easy. The self-regulating heating element is polypropylene fused during fabrication to achieve water proofing and protection from alkaline or salt damage.

A 24-inch roof heating panel for heating roof edges.             An 18-inch roof heating panel

Attractive roof deicing panels can also be installed to eliminate the possibility of ice dams. Available in a variety of sizes, these aluminum panels feature channels of self-regulating heat cable that effectively heats the aluminum to keep roof edges free of snow and ice. The panels have an attractive Kynar finish and can be used in new construction and on existing roofs with most types of roofing materials, including asphalt, wood shake shingles, tile, slate or standing seam metal. Visit our roof deicing panel documents page to learn more.

Heating Roof Valleys

Four and six-inch RoofHeat deicing panels are also available to heat roof valleys. Keeping these channels free of snow and ice facilitates runoff and helps to protect your roof by eliminating potential trouble spots. The Valley Panel system will create an open area (up to 10 inches) for water to safely flow from the roof through the valleys without the possibility of water refreezing over unheated portions of the roof. The Valley Panel roof heating system provides an aesthetic look to any structure while keeping a more efficient and cleaner method of eliminating ice dam issues in a valley or dormer.

Eliminating Icicles

For areas of your roof where gutters are not present heated roof edges can be used to channel water away from the structure. Heated Drip Edge systems are extremely effective in battling icicle build-up while maintaining the aesthetic look of the original roof. This is a common, reliable solution for businesses to ensure the safety and convenience of pedestrian traffic. These Kylar-finished edge lines are offered in a wide variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum and more, so they’re great for concealing wiring along the drip line to create a more attractive, polished appearance.  An existing metal roof can also be retrofitted with roof heating panels, which can be laid on top of the old metal roof, in direct contact with the self-regulating heat cable to prevent icicle formation.

Still not sure what you need for your roof? Our radiant heat experts work with customers to evaluate project challenges and determine an affordable roof deicing system that is best for your unique circumstances. Warmzone roof heating experts are also available to walk you through the process, from system selection to installation. Call 888.488.9276 for more information today.

Contractors Benefit from Working with Warmzone

Proven Radiant Heat Installers Gain Repeat Business from Warmzone

Warmzone Connects Experienced Contractors with Customers to Deliver Top-notch Radiant Heat Installations

As a contractor, are you interested in increasing your business? Are you looking for a radiant heat solutions provider you can trust? As a premier provider of radiant heat services, Warmzone has a longstanding reputation for connecting the best talent with their customers, generating more business for contractors, and greater peace of mind for consumers. So radiant heat installers benefit by partnering with Warmzone and customers benefit by having a proven, experienced contractor install their system.

Warmzone keeps track of radiant heat installers and their performance; thereby maintaining a map of the top independent installers throughout the country. This assists customers in identifying the most reputable professionals in their area to install radiant heat. Initially, professional builders teamed up with Warmzone because of its trusted products and unmatched customer support. Now, knowing that they can gain additional jobs adds even more incentive for installers and also benefits consumers as well. Currently, Warmzone can recommend preferred installers in virtually any region of the country.

Heated sidewalks being installed

Warmzone’s extensive catalog of proven products, awareness of current trends and profound industry knowledge currently supports a vast network of installers across the country. These resources provide impressive technical support, including complete system design and layout services, free installation training, “how-to” videos, and personal installation support. These resources are supplemented by the vast instructional documents and diagrams provided in Warmzone’s library of system manuals and technical guides residing on Warmzone’s website. Installers can put this wealth of online information to work for them and allow them to install radiant heat systems with confidence.

In addition to the online information, customers can utilize Warmzone’s free consulting services so they can make the best decision when it comes to purchasing and installing a radiant heat system. Warmzone is more than a provider of radiant heatWarmzone is a partner that is committed to offering the best customer service in the business. We are determined to see that your snow melting, roof heating or floor heating system is installed properly and performing as expected.

Applying hot asphalt over heat cable mats

Contractors and installers have come to particularly appreciate Warmzone’s free installation training courses. Here a radiant heat expert covers all the aspects of installing a radiant heat system. Again, this benefits the installer and the customer. If the installer still encounters any questions during the installation process, he can speak to one of our dedicated support staff to assure that the installation goes off without a hitch. Installers are never left out in the cold when they work with Warmzone. Our goal, of course, is to give construction professionals the resources and the confidence they need to add radiant heat installation to their menu of services and provide the best service to our customers.

When it comes to all things radiant heat, Warmzone is the perfect partner. If you’re a contractor, it’s a great time to team up with professionals who have your back, and improve your bottom line. As a homeowner, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you have a trusted installer and team of experts working for you. To learn more, call Warmzone at 888.488.9276.


Visit Warmzone.com for all things Radiant Heat

If you’re currently contemplating a radiant heat solution for your home, Warmzone can help you stay on top of your radiant heat installation with a comprehensive library of online resources. Whether you choose to purchase that top shelf solution from your local big box hardware store, or enlist our help, these online resources are absolutely free and available whenever you need them.

Rather than mucking blindly through a home improved project, it is the informed consumer that makes the best decision. And keep in mind: a radiant heat system is only as good as its installation, so it pays to work with a professional who will walk you through the entire purchase and installation process.

The prospect of researching a radiant heat project can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look. Warmzone.com takes a deep dive into all aspects of radiant heat, allowing you to research and compare systems efficiently, including individual components and applications. The site helps you begin the process of discovering and weighing all of your options to help you make better decisions when you shop. It will also open you up to the realm of creative possibilities a radiant heat system home improvement project provides.

Beyond the initial shopping experience, we’ve made it easy for consumers by providing free consulting and an extensive library of online resources available whenever you need them. You’ll find high level overviews of radiant heat systems including their benefits, how they operate and current applications. You’ll discover an extensive archive of articles on a range of topics, as well as technical guides, installation videos, installation manuals and system component specs to suit your project needs. Here’s a sampling of the many topics you can expect to see the Warmzone archives:

In addition to this information, Warmzone offers instructional videos you can watch in real time to help you move through all aspects of a radiant heat project, whether you are installing a heated bathroom floor, a gutter-trace system or installing heat cable for your heated driveway.

Choosing Warmzone products yields big dividends for do-it-yourselfers and the most conscientious customers. By tapping a premiere provider, you benefit from the best in radiant heat technology and services available. Warmzone invests years of deep industry knowledge and experience into finding high-performing, cutting-edge radiant heat solutions for customers backed by impressive resources. Their professional design services team custom designs each radiant heat system to ensure it meets your project’s specific needs in terms of performance, installation complexity and price. You’ll know what to expect, every step of the way. Simply bring your creativity and budget requirements to Warmzone. Once you have a system design in place, our dedicated staff of experts are there to assist you throughout the purchase, design and installation process.

Whether you’re researching, shopping, or elbow-deep in an installation, you can call our technical support team or reference Warmzone.com, which is always available. We take pride in offering the most comprehensive library of information available on all-things radiant heat related to help make your project a success. Call today for more information: 888.488.9276.

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