All posts by Amanda Goldsberry

Introducing the RetroRoof De-icing System

December is finally here. That means temperatures are dropping and snow will soon be falling. As beautiful as snow can be, it can also pose problems for homeowners. Perhaps the most prominent and troublesome challenges are those you can’t see – up on the roof.

The greatest potential for problems comes as a result of ice dams. An ice dam forms when snow melts at higher points on the roof, runs down, and refreezes when it reaches the colder eaves. Warm air that has escaped into the attic warms the bottom layer of snow on the roof, which runs down to the eaves. This water refreezes because there is no warm air under the eaves, causing a ridge of ice to form.

As the ridge of ice grows, water reaches the “dam” and pools behind it. When it refreezes and expands, tiny imperfections in the roof can be exploited. This is why ice dams have the potential to cause problems both to the roof and inside the home. Water may eventually seep inside the house, leading to interior water damage. If undiscovered, this can even be the cause of mold and mildew developing in the home. This is worst case scenario, but homeowners should be aware of potential problems so they can take steps to reduce or eliminate the need for costly repairs.

RetroRoof heating elements under shingles

One preventive measure includes checking your attic insulation. Do what you can to prevent heat from escaping from the home into your attic. Also, inspect your roof every spring and fall. Keep the gutters and downspouts free of obstructions, such as small branches and leaves. If you notice snow and ice buildup in the same place every year, it may be time to consider installing a roof de-icing system.

Warmzone offers a variety of proven roof de-icing systems. The latest technology to be added to Warmzone’s reputable line of roof heating solutions is the RetroRoof de-icing system.

RetroRoof is one of the most advanced roof de-icing systems available today. It affords homeowners the option of discreetly adding a roof de-icing system to an existing roof. The thin heating panels feature adhesive strips on the top and bottom of the element, so it can be safely secured under the existing shingles. The system can also be installed in new construction applications, making RetroRoof an excellent solution for ice dam prevention on both new and existing roofs.

RetroRoof systems are designed to make it easy to add heat to existing roofs. The system’s modular design allows the installer to plug the heating panels together to keep entire areas free from snow and ice buildup. To install the heating panel, no nailing is required. Simply lift the shingle slightly, remove the underside release liner and secure the heating element underneath. Then remove the top side release liner and press down to seal the element to the next course of shingles. The innovative de-icing panel is now permanently and discreetly attached to the roof.

RetroRoof’s ease of installation and efficient performance makes them an excellent choice for any roof de-icing project. And remember, the RetroRoof system can be installed in new construction as well as retrofit applications. The heating elements effectively warm areas to keep them free of snow and ice. Installing the system under shingles along the roof edges is an ideal way to prevent ice dams and other ice/runoff problems from forming. RetroRoof offers a quick solution to any roof snow or ice problems.

RetroRoof panels are ETL Intertek listed and come with a 15-year limited warranty. The panels are easy to work with, and weigh less than 7 ounces per foot. RetroRoof de-icing systems are available in 120V and 240V, as well as various standard lengths. Certified to stand up to 110 MPH winds, and completely waterproof, RetroRoof panels are designed to weather Mother Nature’s worst storms. The flexibility and performance make RetroRoof panels an outstanding choice for heating almost any area of the roof.

RetroRoof heating element
A strip of the RetroRoof de-icing panel.

RetroRoof systems are also compatible with Warmzone’s other industry-leading roof de-icing systems. Warmzone offers self-regulating heat trace cable that can be installed along roof edges or in gutters and downspouts to prevent freezing and gutter damage. These cables are easy to install, flexible, and affordable. The low-voltage RoofHeat STEP system is another outstanding option for homeowners. This premier system features a thin, self-regulating polymer heating element available in multiple widths. RoofHeat STEP is ideal for heating roof edges, and also a popular choice for heating roof valleys. It can be cut onsite and stapled or nailed through.

Warmzone’s RoofHeat aluminum panels feature attractive aluminum panels with pre-engineered channels for self-regulating heat cable. While not as discreet as RetroRoof, these panels are available in multiple finishes to boost the curb appeal of any home. The aluminum design also allows for maximum heat transfer across the entire panel. Warmzone de-icing systems also include an automated controller to safely and efficiently clear snow and ice before problems arise.

Combining any of these systems with Warmzone’s advanced RetroRoof de-icing panels allows home and business owners to create a comprehensive de-icing system specifically for their needs. A Warmzone professional will help you create a roof de-icing system that considers every aspect of your project and your budget. From professional design to installation training and support, customer service is all-inclusive at Warmzone. If you have more questions about Warmzone roof de-icing systems, call a Warmzone professional today at 888-428-9726.

Questions About Installing a Snow Melting System?

Installing a snow melting system is one of the best ways to give any home or business a much-needed upgrade this fall. An industry-leading snow melting system from Warmzone is an investment that will enhance safety and convenience each winter. Without the hassle of back-breaking shoveling, any homeowner can stay warm and toasty during winter storms, while pedestrian traffic remains safe.

With multiple options suitable for any application or medium, making the right choice can be tough. At Warmzone, exceptional customer service means anticipating questions and concerns that customers have. If you’re thinking about adding a radiant heated driveway to your home or business, please call a friendly radiant heat expert today at 888-488-9276. Also, check out these frequently asked questions about snow melting systems.

How do heated driveways work?
Heated driveways are an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly way to keep any driveway free of snow and ice. Warmzone’s heated driveway systems are fully automated, and include a heating element, activation device, and controller. This means that the snow melting systems only operate when weather conditions warrant. When the activation device (either a pavement-mounted snow sensor or an aerial-mount sensor) detects moisture, and the temperature is below the set point (usually 39°F), it signals the system controller. The controller then sends power to the heating element that is embedded in the driveway. The heated area will begin to warm, preventing any snow accumulation.

What are my layout options?
Warmzone has an array of trusted products and endless customization options to suit the needs of any home or business owner. Based on your budget and performance needs, Warmzone’s professional designers will create a custom configuration, utilizing the best components for your project. ClearZone heat cable is the trusted option for keeping driveways, sidewalks, ramps, steps, and more clear of snow and ice. The versatile heat cable is available off spools or pre-spaced in mats for quick and easy “roll-out” installation. ClearZone snow melting systems are proven systems that have been installed in residential and commercial applications throughout the country.

Heated driveway

Warmzone professionals can customize your snowmelt system to meet virtually any layout requirement, as well as accommodate your budget. When working with Warmzone, you have a wide range of options for your snow melting needs. For example, instead of heating your entire driveway, you may prefer heating only an 8-foot wide strip in the middle of the driveway. Or you can install two 24-inch wide tire tracks for the length of the driveway. You may also choose to only heat trouble areas, such as inclines, or a section of the driveway that is always shaded, or areas with high-traffic. Warmzone professionals have decades of experience designing custom radiant heat systems that meet the specific requirements of our customers. Whatever your snow melting needs and budget are, Warmzone professionals will create the ideal system for your project.

Is installation difficult?
Snow melting systems are not difficult to install, but it is vital to have a qualified electrician wire the system (to ensure that the warranty remains valid). Keep in mind that a snow melting system is only as good as its installation, so take advantage of Warmzone’s industry leading customer support services, such as the free installation training and technical support. Radiant heat experts are available anytime for questions, and instructional videos are also available online to assist you during installation. Taking advantage of these services will prevent stress and save time during installation.

Following proper installation techniques help to ensure that radiant heat systems perform as intended. Here are some basic guidelines when installing a snow melting system:

Never cut or alter the heating element.
ClearZone snow melting mats may be cut to size and trimmed on-site, but do not cut the actual cable. If there is extra cable, utilize it by decreasing spacing (minimum spacing is 2-inches) or routing cable around the perimeter within the heated area. To make turns, cut the tape backing of the mat (not the cable) and then route the cable accordingly.

Heat cables must never touch, cross, or overlap.
Touching cables will cause cable burnout due to excessive heat. Always maintain a minimum spacing of at least 2 inches.

Use special care when working around the heating cable.
Tools such as trowels, shovels, or rakes can damage cable. If possible, avoid using steel trowels, and take care when using shovels during concrete or asphalt installations.

When working with concrete, heat cable must be attached to remesh with zip ties or cable strapping.
Use Mesh-Up support chairs for the remesh and then secure the heat cable to the remesh. This helps to prevent the cable from being pushed down by the weight of the concrete pour. The heat cables should be about 2-inches below the driveway surface for optimum performance.

Heating cable should never pass through or cross an expansion joint.
Heat cable must be ¾ to 1-inch from the bottom of a control joint and isolated to a single pour area. When installing in concrete, never run the cable through an expansion joint.

What are the power requirements?
Warmzone’s automated snow melting systems only run when conditions warrant, so they are very efficient. Prior to the installation, have a qualified electrician evaluate the available power. Typically, homes have either a 100 or 200 amp breaker panel. For most snow melting systems, one 30-amp breaker is enough to heat a 170 square-foot area. That means heating 350 square feet requires two 30-amp (or one 60-amp) breakers. If the power at your home is insufficient, it is still possible to reap the benefits of a snow-melting system.

Warmzone designers can employ a technique called zoning. The area to be heated is divided into individual zones. Power is sent to each zone separately to optimize available power. Warmzone also offers a new sequencer that will “bounce” power from zone to zone. This sequencing allows larger areas to be heated almost simultaneously with a minimal increase in melt time. This technology is far more efficient than traditional prioritized zoning. With Warmzone’s industry-leading technology, any home or business can enjoy an automated snow melting system.

How much do heated driveways cost, and what are the operating costs?
Warmzone designs snow melting systems according to ASHRAE standards, whereby the average temperature and snowfall of each location is taken into consideration. This ensures that Warmzone snow melting systems are effective and cost-efficient. For an average snowstorm, the operating cost of a radiant heat system is usually less than what you’d pay for a professional snow removal service. Keeping areas free and clear of snow each year is no longer a chore, and can save you a great deal of time and stress. Radiant heat for snow melting also extends the life of concrete driveways and walkways. Abrasive snow removal methods, chemicals, or salt are no longer necessary, keeping concrete looking new for years to come. Determining approximate operating costs can also be done with a simple calculating operation costs formula.

What kind of support services does Warmzone offer?
Warmzone prides itself on its premier customer service offerings. Working with Warmzone starts with professional design services for every client. An experienced radiant heat system designer will work hard to consider every aspect of your project in order to meet your snow melting needs and your budget. Customers will receive a detailed AutoCAD that provides all the necessary information needed before installation. The layout, materials, and all electrical information such as load calculations, number of breakers, and breaker sizes are all included.
Warmzone also offers free installation training and technical support for installers. Professionals are available to answer questions anytime and training is available online via web conference, or in person. You can also access the wealth of online resources Warmzone has available. Whatever you need, Warmzone’s dedicated and trusted experts will provide superb customer service through every step of the process.

For more information, call a friendly radiant heat expert today, at 888-488-9276.

Keeping Your Roof Safe, and in Good Condition

Roofs are an integral part of any home or business, but maintenance during the hazardous winter months can be difficult. Cold weather, snow, and ice can lead to many dangerous liability issues for homes and businesses. Dripping water can cause icicles and black ice on walkways, leading to injuries and liability issues. And ice dams along roof eaves can eventually lead to roof damage.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms when snow and ice melt and then refreeze on a roof. Heat from the attic can warm the roof and melt the bottom layer of snow. The runoff trickles toward the roof’s edge where it hits the cold eaves that cause it to refreeze. As it freezes, it forms a small ridge of ice. As addition water reaches this ridge, it also freezes, resulting in an ice dam that prevents water from draining properly. Once the dam is formed the melted snow is trapped, and pools behind the dam. The water can seep underneath your shingles and freeze again, threatening the integrity of your roof. Over time, roof damage can result, which may lead to additional problems inside the home. Seepage can find its way into the house where it may bring about costly problems, such as mildew or mold.

Heated roof edge

The most efficient solution for ice and snow problems on any property is a roof de-icing system. Warmzone offers two of the industry’s most efficient and trusted de-icing solutions: the RoofHeat STEP low-voltage roof de-icing system and the RoofHeat self-regulating heat trace cable. Both systems are operating in residential and commercial structures throughout the country.

When looking for roof de-icing options, determining the best products depends on the size, type, and construction of the roof, as well as regional weather conditions and performance requirements of the system. Taking these factors into consideration will help to ensure that correct components are used and installed correctly.

Warmzone’s self-regulating heat trace cable is an industry-leading product that is an affordable option for any home or business. Its superior construction makes it safe, effective, and energy efficient—the three key qualities of any roof de-icing system. Warmzone’s self-regulating heat trace cable is UL recognized under appliance classification file E 76498 and meets NEC codes section 426a, and also comes with 10-year warranty against manufacturer defects. The self-regulating cable features a durable UV stabilized outer casing built to withstand harsh winter weather conditions. The heat cable has an irradiated conductive core that regulates the heat output, increasing output as the outside temperature falls, and decreasing output as the temperature rises. Roof de-icing systems with self-regulating heat trace cable offer homeowners an affordable solution for heating roof edges, gutters, downspouts, and more. Installing a heat trace cable system is the ideal choice for those with a tighter budget.

Each self-regulating heat trace cable system consists of cable, a thermostat, and an activation device so that owners can operate the systems manually or set them to be fully automated. Running the heat cable along gutters and downspouts provides an excellent means for facilitating runoff, while keeping gutters free from the damaging effects of heavy snow and ice buildup. Using heat trace cable to heat specific trouble spots and roof valleys is also a cost-effective choice that will facilitate proper drainage. Warmzone’s roof heating cable is also consistently recommended for heating roof edges to prevent damage from ice dams and frost erosion. Heat cable is easily installed on roof edges. It is attached with special roof clips in a zigzag pattern along the entire edge of the roof eave. To create drip channels, the cable is installed to overhang an extra 5-inches on roofs with gutters, and 2-inches for roofs without gutters. Heat trace cable is also a great choice for pipe tracing in commercial or industrial applications to prevent pipes from freezing.

Heat trace cable system overview

The RoofHeat STEP low-voltage system from Warmzone is the premier roof de-icing solution for almost any application – including metal roofs. Not only is it one of the most trusted and comprehensive roof heating systems available, but it is a perennial favorite of roofing professionals. Rather than cable, RoofHeat STEP’s heating element is a thin (3/64-inch thick), semi-conductive, polymer heating panel that is polypropylene fused during fabrication to increase its durability, making it waterproof and protecting it from alkaline or salt damage. The element is a discreet, flexible panel that is installed directly under shake, asphalt shingles, or even metal roofs. The lightweight (.23 pounds per foot) heating element can also be cut onsite, nailed and stapled through, and is also available in multiple widths (3, 6, 9, and 12 inches). All these factors make installation quick and easy for any rooftop. RoofHeat STEP also comes with a 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

The low-voltage system is also self-regulating, and utilizes transformers to operate the system. Each section of the roof is connected to a transformer that will step down from high to low voltage (60 volts or less), and monitor the heat output to the self-regulating heat element to allow for optimal performance. An automatic sensor will detect precipitation and temperature to trigger the control panel, which then sends power to each section. This system setup will assure any roof is heated accurately, evenly, and cleared of snow and ice, while being extremely energy efficient. RoofHeat STEP is a great choice for any home or business, but is better at clearing snow from large areas or entire sections of the roof than self-regulating heat trace cable. It is especially effective at preventing ice dams, and will also keep roof eaves, valleys, or trouble spots completely clear of snow and ice.

The preferred activation device for this de-icing system is the advanced STEP Touch Thermostat. This industry-leading advanced thermostat has a beautiful, modern design sure to please any homeowner. Simple to use with only two-control functionality, it is maintenance free and will work perfectly with the low-voltage system, or any radiant heat system from Warmzone. It has a 3-digit LED display, interfaces with smart-home systems, and has a permanent memory that will recover all settings in the event of a power failure.

An automated roof de-icing system like RoofHeat STEP is key for effective and efficient roof de-icing and preventing hazards at homes and businesses. When working with Warmzone, each de-icing system is custom designed to meet the customer’s budget and de-icing needs. Professionals will consider each aspect of your roof, such as layout, roof medium, budget, and other factors to find the solution that gives you the best roof de-icing system.

In addition to providing a professional layout/design of the roof heating system, Warmzone also offers free installation training and technical support during installation. Customer service professionals from Warmzone are available to assist with any questions to assure installation goes off without a hitch.

If you would like more information about Warmzone’s roof de-icing systems, reach out to us today and speak to a customer service professional at 888-488-9276.

Electric and Hydronic Snow Melting Systems

Spring is here and now is a great time to install a radiant heated snow melting system to prepare for the winter ahead. By installing a system now, rather than during the fall rush, you may receive some added discounts.

There are two types of snow melting systems, and it helps to understand the two technologies. Both electric and hydronic systems provide clean, efficient radiant heat, but one is likely to be more ideal than another for your specific needs.

Heated paver driveway
An electric ClearZone snow melting system installed under pavers for a heated driveway.

Hydronic radiant heat works by heating specialized liquid that consists of water and propylene glycol (anti-freeze). This liquid is circulated though a closed loop of special PEX tubing installed underneath the surface. The PEX tubing is flexible, and can be installed in common applications, including concrete, pavers, and asphalt. The tubing is designed to resist chemicals and corrosion, making it extremely durable and long lasting.

The liquid is heated by a traditional water heater or boiler. Because a boiler can operate on natural gas, hydronic systems have the potential for lower operating costs than electric systems, especially if you are heating a large commercial area. Like electric heated driveways, hydronic systems are triggered by an aerial or in-ground sensor that activates the system when it detects the temperature is at or below the set-point (usually 39°F), and precipitation is present, allowing for automated snow melting to keep driveways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice. When considering a hydronic snow melting system, it’s important to consider that the system requires its own dedicated mechanical room. Hydronic radiant heat systems are considerably more complex than their electric counterparts, and as such, these systems also have a much higher installation cost.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free system for heating a residential driveway, steps, or sidewalk, an electric ClearZone snow melting system may be the right fit for you. Electric snow melting systems have become the most popular choice for homeowners and businesses in recent years. In fact, some contractors estimate that over 90 percent of homeowners choose an electric snow melting system for their needs.

ClearZone electric snowmelt systems heat the driveway or sidewalk with a rugged line-voltage cable that is available in individual lengths or pre-spaced in mats. Depending on the system layout, the heat cable is generally spaced 3 or 4 inches apart. The cable is connected to a power source as well as the aerial or in-ground sensor that triggers the system.

ClearZone heat cable can be installed under any medium, including asphalt, pavers, and concrete. (A special asphalt heating cable is available for installation in hot asphalt applications.) Warmzone ClearZone systems are relatively easy to install. Because of the simple design of the system, and the single-point connection cable, it can be installed quickly and easily.  ClearZone snow melting systems also have one of the fastest response times on the market, and produce 35-50 watts per square foot (depending on your system). Any sidewalk, driveway, or walkway with a ClearZone system will remain clear as soon the snow falls.

Another great advantage of an electric snow melting system is that they require no maintenance. While other radiant heat systems may have moving parts and require maintenance, a Warmzone ClearZone system has no moving parts, making it extremely reliable as well as maintenance free. Electric systems do not require a separate mechanical room like hydronic, making them a good choice for those who may not have extra room. Electric systems also have a lower initial cost than hydronic systems.

Whatever system you choose, an electric or hydronic snow melting system from Warmzone will be carefully designed to meet your specific layout and snow melting needs. Both hydronic and electric radiant heat systems are fully automated, so they only operate when needed. This adds to the efficiency of the systems. A snow melting system can also add value to your home or business and protect you and your driveway from any costly damage – while greatly enhancing safety. Using chemicals and salt can cause damage to your driveways and walkways, as well as surrounding landscapes. A snow melting system is a long term investment in safety and and convenience.

When working with Warmzone, you’ll receive top notch customer service. Every snow melting system from Warmzone is custom designed for you by a design professional, and can be configured in any way. If you would rather heat only high traffic areas, tire tracks, or certain steps or walkways, a Warmzone professional will assure that the system is designed for optimum performance and efficiency.

Free installation training is provided as well as expert technical support if you need. If you’re ready for a snow melting system, or would like assistance in making an informed decision on which system is best for your home, contact a Warmzone professional today at 888-488-9276.

About Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is an amenity that can increase comfort and convenience in any home. With its ever growing popularity, many people are looking to see if radiant heat is a good fit for their home or business. Like any home improvement, there are pros and cons to consider when considering radiant heat.

To understand the pros and cons of radiant heat, it’s important to understand what radiant heat is, and how it works. Radiant heat comes in two forms: hydronic and electric. Hydronic radiant heat sends specially treated hot water through durable Pex tubing underneath the floor. Electric radiant heating systems use a network of conductive material placed underneath the floor to heat the room.

Heat hardwood floors with Warmzone's FilmHeat
Heated hardwood floor with cutaway showing the FilmHeat floor heating element.

Electric radiant heat is becoming an increasingly popular choice. These systems are much easier to install and are ideal for heating specific areas or rooms. Electric floor heating systems generally use a heating cable (off the spool or pre-spaced cable in mats) or thin heating panels. The heating element is connected to a thermostat, and each room or zone can be controlled separately, giving you precise, efficient control over your heating system.

Radiant heat differs from conventional heating because it heats objects (like the floor) as opposed to air. The room warms from the floor up. The floor heat spreads to objects in the room, such as furniture and fixtures, which ultimately provides comforting warmth for the room. This dispersal method allows for consistent heat throughout any room.

A Few Advantages of Radiant Heat

Energy Efficient

Radiant heat is an extremely energy-efficient choice, especially when compared to traditional HVAC systems. All the heating in the home radiates upward from the floor, keeping more of the heat where you need it most. With a radiant heating system, you can lower the temperature by a few degrees and still enjoy a nice warm room, reducing the utility budget. Unlike forced-air systems, there is no hot air being wasted by blowing from vents and rising to the ceiling. Radiant heat systems are also room specific, and there is virtually no wasted energy. Heat transfers efficiently from the floor through to other objects. Each room can be heated according to your precise needs, allowing for even greater savings on monthly utility bills.

Consistent, Even Heating

An HVAC system blows warm air throughout the home, but this warm air doesn’t heat the home uniformly, leaving cold and hot spots. With radiant heat, the heat rises evenly from the flooring, warming the entire room. This uniform heat provides luxurious warmth throughout the room, eliminating cold spots.

Hypoallergenic

Radiant heat is also hypoallergenic. HVAC systems not only blow air, but also blow dust, allergens, and other particles that may be trapped in the ducts. With radiant heat, this is not a concern. This advantage is great for the small children, the elderly, or those who struggle with allergies or other health issues.

Easy Installation

Radiant heat is a great choice for new construction homes or homes undergoing a remodel. Simply purchase a radiant heat system, and install before laying flooring. A professional at Warmzone can help identify the best system and layout for any home’s needs. Electric floor heating systems are also very easy to customize, so they can be installed to heat small rooms and areas if you’re looking to supplement your existing heating system.

RetroHeat installed to heat existing tile floor

If considering radiant heat for an existing home, options like RetroHeat from Warmzone are available to keep installation quick and simple. Many homeowners don’t realize that radiant heat can be installed under existing floors – without the need for major remodeling. If you have asses to the floor joists (through a basement or crawl space), you can install the RetroHeat floor heating system. The thin panels are stapled up between the joists and then batt insulation is stapled up over the heating elements to direct all of the heat upward to warm the floor. This is an affordable option for heating existing floors without the need of replacing or tearing out any flooring. RetroHeat can be installed under almost any existing flooring by accessing the floor joists.

Quiet

Radiant heat systems are not only energy efficient, but also almost completely silent when operating. HVAC systems create noise when turning on and off to regulate temperature, but radiant heat makes no noise at all, making it a great choice for any home.

If you’re wondering what the catch is with radiant heat, here are a few more aspects to consider when before installing a radiant heat system.

Other Considerations

Depending on the system you install, one possible disadvantage is that it may result in some floor build up (raising the floor slightly). Several electric systems cause no floor buildup, but this is not true of all systems. Most radiant heat systems are extremely low profile, so the buildup is virtually unnoticeable. However, it is important for your contractor to know the specifics of the floor heating system you are considering. There are many floor heating options available from Warmzone that cause little or no floor build up, so talk with a Warmzone floor heating expert to learn what options are best for you.

Perhaps the biggest question for home or business owners is how much does radiant heat cost? While the initial cost of radiant heat can seem high, it is a great investment that can save money over the life of any home by reducing utility costs. (Learn more about How Much a Radiant Heated Driveway Costs.)

Radiant heat is also a great way to increase the value of a home. If cost is a concern, radiant heat can also be custom installed to only heat certain rooms that could use some additional heat. A Warmzone customer service professional can help you find the right system to best meet the needs of your household, as well as the budget.

If you have questions and would like to see if radiant heat is right for you, call Warmzone and speak to a customer service professional today at 888.488.9276.

Clear the Way with ClearZone Snow Melting Systems

Snow melting systems are popular options for both home and business owners in cold weather climates. Warmzone’s ClearZone snow melting systems are energy efficient, and easy to customize and install in almost any area. Each system has a heating element, a contactor panel, and an activation device. These three components work together when cold weather hits to prevent ice and snow buildup. The activation device senses the ambient temperature and precipitation, and when conditions warrant, it triggers the controller and power is sent to the embedded heating cable, ensuring the heated area is clear 24/7. A ClearZone snow melting system will assure that winter is safe and hassle-free for any home.

ClearZone snow melting systems provide many benefits. Not only will driveways and walkways be clear, but time and money can be saved. There is no longer a need to shovel snow or pay to have snow cleared. ClearZone snow melting systems are also fully automated, so they only operate when necessary, and the system is designed so that operates until the snow is cleared. An “after run” function keeps the system on for a short time after a storm to dry the driveway or walks, and then it will shut down. ClearZone systems also have a rapid response time, so it heats the surface quickly to prevent snow from accumulating on the heated area.

Heated paver driveway

ClearZone systems are extremely versatile and can be installed in almost any application and medium. Whether you are looking to heat concrete, under pavers, or bricks, or even freshly poured asphalt, a ClearZone snow melting system is the best option available on the market. With its industry-leading heating elements (available pre-spaced in mats or individual lengths off the spool), ClearZone systems can be custom designed to fit any area, providing endless custom options that allow each customer’s needs to be met. While the most popular choice is often to heat an entire area, custom installations are just as easy. Whether you want to heat two tire tracks, a strip in the middle of the driveway, a high traffic area, or even a small area such as an outdoor kennel, ClearZone snow melting systems can make it happen. Custom ClearZone systems can be installed in both residential and commercial applications. Here are just a few of the applications where ClearZone snow melting systems have been installed:

  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Outdoor steps
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Shopping centers/malls
  • Churches
  • Winter resorts
  • Loading docks and ramps
  • Pedestrian bridges
  • Public transit stations
  • Runaway truck ramps

Warmzone also offers industry-leading customer service that includes professional design services that will ensure the system is designed for your specific snow melting needs and budget. Warmzone’s customer service also includes free installation training and installation tech support to assure that each system installation is straightforward and painless.

ClearZone snowmelt systems also offer safety benefits that can’t be beat, especially for business owners. An investment in a ClearZone system can protect customers from wet feet and slipping on ice, and help to protect business owners from costly litigation that can result from onsite injuries. Snow melting systems can also keep truck ramps, loading docks, and other areas of commercial businesses clear of snow and ice, keeping workers safe and assuring that business can continue operating at optimum levels, even when the weather gets cold. Clear walkways will help to keep your business steady and safe during the harsh winter months.

If cost is a concern, ClearZone’s customization options can also accommodate the budget. A radiant heat expert will ensure that the perfect snow melting system is designed to meet snow melting needs in the most efficient way possible. Customers also wonder about operating costs of a snow melting system, but with an automated system operating only when needed, cost remains relatively low. The operating costs of a ClearZone snow melting system are often less than hiring a snow removal service, and 99 percent of energy used goes towards snow melting, making ClearZone systems extremely energy efficient. On average, an 800-square-foot area may be heated for around $3.55 for each hour of continuous operation. (This may vary depending on local utility rates.) Snow melting systems are also easy to install. ClearZone systems have a single-point connection, allowing for them to be installed quicker and cheaper than other available systems―without sacrificing quality. Electric snow melting systems from Warmzone also avoid costly maintenance, as they have no moving parts, making them reliable and virtually maintenance free.

With all the benefits of a ClearZone snow melting system, it’s easy to see why home and business owners choose Warmzone. The perfect system can be designed to meet your snow melting needs and your budget to make sure your winter is easy and hassle free. Warmzone’s experienced system designers will help you find the best products and layout to accommodate your needs, and provide real-time installation support and training. If you are looking for an electrician for your project, Warmzone also maintains relationships with top rated installers all over the country and may be able to recommend a reputable installer in your area. A snow melting system from Warmzone ensures that an affordable, durable, top-of-the-line, energy efficient system will be installed and operating at peak efficiency in no time at all.

If you have questions about customizing a snow melting system for your home or business, call Warmzone today at 888-488-9276.

Finding the Ideal Roof De-icing System

Roof de-icing systems are a great investment that can save homes from the damage that melting ice and snow can cause in the cold winter months. If you’ve been considering a de-icing system for your home or business, fall can be the perfect time to get one installed.

Roof de-icing systems can be used to heat your whole roof, but it is more common to heat specific areas. The most common application is heating roof edges, but heating problem areas, roof valleys, or even your gutters and downspouts are also popular options. Heating these areas can prevent ice dams that can be created by warm temperatures in the attic that can cause snow or ice to melt and trickle down the roof. When the cool water hits the freezing eaves, it refreezes, eventually creating a ridge of ice along the roof eave. This causes subsequent runoff to pool behind the ice ridge, and that’s when problems can occur. The water seems into every tiny crevice and when it refreezes, it expands. As this process repeats, the expanding ice can threaten the integrity of the roof. Damage from ice dams can be hazardous and costly to repair, and can also lead to interior water damage inside the home. Radiant roof de-icing systems are proven to prevent ice dams from forming to allow runoff to reach the gutters, helping to prolong the life of your roof.

Roof with ice damage to gutter
Gutter damage caused by heavy ice buildup.

No matter which area of your roof you are looking to heat, don’t forget that a system is only as good as the installation and components that are included. Each Warmzone roof de-icing system consists of the industry’s most advanced and proven components. Warmzone offers multiple options for heating elements that allow you to customize your system to fit the needs of your home or business.

One of the most popular and reliable heating elements available is Warmzone’s self-regulating heat trace cable. RoofHeat self-regulating heat trace cable is an easy to use roof de-icing option that is affordable and great for a wide variety of applications. Self-regulating heat cable has an irradiated conductive core that increases the heat output as temperatures outside drop, and decreases output as temperatures rise. Cable is available in different lengths and can be installed to accommodate just about any configuration, including custom or oddly shaped areas. The cable is UL recognized, flexible, and has an extremely rugged outer jacket of UV stabilized thermoplastic elastomer, making it perfect for harsh outdoor conditions. Self-regulating heat cable from Warmzone also comes with a 10-year manufacturer warranty.

Self-regulating heat cable is the first choice for installing in gutters and downspouts, and can even be used for pipe trace applications to prevent freezing. Installing the heat cable is simple. It is installed in the gutter and into the downspouts, and ended below the frost line. When installing cable on the roof itself, it is attached to the roof with roof clips in a zigzag formation. Installing heat cable in these areas is extremely efficient at providing channels for runoff to prevent ice and snow damage, and the best choice for most customers. Most customers use self-regulating cable to heat roof edges, but it is also effective for keeping roof valleys clear of snow and ice buildup. Self-regulating heat trace cable has been installed in most of the coldest areas of the country, and still remains one of the most efficient and discreet options for gutter trace applications and roof heating today.

Self-regulating heat cable
Self-regulating heat trace cable for roof de-icing applications.

Wamrzone also offers pre-terminated 120V, 6-watt self-regulating heat cable. This option is affordable and convenient, as it comes pre-assembled and can be plugged into a standard outlet. This cable is also available with a GFCI power plug, and comes in 50, 75, or 100-foot lengths. Pre-terminated cable allows for easier installation, as it does not require any special skills or tools. It can be used in almost any application, even industrial environments – including hazardous and corrosive environments.

Another option available from Warmzone is constant wattage cable. This type of cable is a good choice for quick, easy, and general roof de-icing projects, where customization may not be necessary. Constant wattage cable has outstanding electrical and thermal properties, with a parallel heating core that will produce uniform thermal output over its entire length, meaning that the power output remains the same across the whole cable. (It is unaffected by ambient temperature, unlike self-regulating cable.) Constant wattage cable uses a single power point making it easy to configure and install heat tracing systems anywhere. Constant wattage cable comes pre-assembled, and can be installed to eliminate problem spots along your roof edges, gutters, or downspouts. The cable can also be used for pipe freeze prevention, as well as for process heating, and velocity flow control for viscous materials in industrial applications.

If cable isn’t the right option for heating your roof, Warmzone’s low-voltage RoofHeat STEP de-icing system may be the ideal choice. This system also features a self-regulating heating element. This system utilizes a thin polymer element that can be nailed through and cut on site. The semi conductive polymer heating element uses individual control boxes to monitor monitor power and output for each section of roofing. The transformers will step from high voltage to low voltage (60 V or less) to assure safe and efficient performance. The low-voltage element can be safely installed under shingles and metal roofs, and is ideal for heating entire eaves and problem areas.

Warmzone’s versatile self-regulating heat cable is an industry leader that is the perfect choice for most home or business owners. A roof heating professional from Warmzone can help you determine which heating element is best for your particular application, whether you need to heat valleys, edges, downspouts, or even your whole roof. Warmzone professionals provide industry leading customer service, including professional system design, free installation training, and tech support. If you still have questions about roof de-icing systems, contact a Warmzone professional today at 888.488.9276. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Heating a Driveway with Limited Power

Zoning Your Driveway Heating System

Radiant heat is one of the most efficient ways to keep any driveway or walkway free of hazardous snow and ice. When considering installing a heated driveway, many wonder if they have enough power to run the radiant heat system. For most situations in homes or businesses, the answer is yes, as most have more than enough amperage to operate an average sized radiant heating system. However, in the cases where amperage may be lower, or the driveway larger, Warmzone has options to ensure that a radiant heat snow melting system can still be installed, and effectively provide the snow melting performance you expect, safely and efficiently.

Heated driveway installation
Zoning is often used to heat large areas that typically require more power.

The first step when purchasing a snow melting system is deciding the area needs to be heated. At Warmzone, professional design services are included top help you. Warmzone representatives can even assist you in determining the square footage of the area you want heated. By using a special software program, they can view your property and help you determine an estimate of the square footage of your driveway. After determining your snow melting needs and available budget, Warmzone designers will design the system that best meets your needs. Each snow melting system is designed according to ASHRAE standards, taking into account the average winter weather conditions in your area. Your system layout will not only include the ideal layout of the system components, but also include all the electrical information necessary for your electrician, such as proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, as well as the power requirements of the system.

If you want to get an idea of available amperage in your home, power can be checked by accessing your home’s main breakers. In most homes, there is either a 100 amp, or 200 amp breaker panel. When considering a snow melting system, there are few basic guidelines that homeowners should consider when checking the power in their home. One 30-amp breaker typically supplies enough power to heat a 170-square-foot area. That means to heat a driveway that is 350 square-feet, two 30-amp (or one 60-amp) breakers will be needed. If you have questions, it is always best to have a qualified electrician come out and asses the power at your home.

If the power requirements at your home or business are insufficient, you may still be able to enjoy the benefits of a snow melting system when working with Warmzone. The heated driveway can be designed to use a technique called “zoning”. The principle behind zoning is simple: the area to be heated is divided into zones, and power is sent to each zone separately. For example, if you only had two 30-amp breakers available but wanted to heat your driveway, front sidewalk and parking apron, the snow melting system could be divided into 3 zones. Power would be used to heat each zone separately, thereby optimizing the available power. Warmzone now offers a new sequencer that allows the system to “bounce” power from zone to zone, allowing a large area to be heated almost simultaneously. While this technique requires slightly more time to heat the entire area, it also ensures that snow is melted from the driveway, sidewalk and apron.

Old zoning systems relied on zones being heated separately in their entirety. Separate sensors were installed in each zone to enhance the efficiency of the system, and each zone was prioritized. After zone 1 was cleared, zone 2 would then heat, and then zone 3 would heat, and so on. However, the new sequencer eliminates the need of melting snow from one zone before moving on to melt snow from the next zone. “Pulsing” the power from one zone to another makes the system much more efficient – and gives homeowners with minimal power the opportunity to heat larger areas.

Snow melting system divided into zones for power usage
When faced with a limited power supply, snow melting systems can be installed to heat by zones, shown in this illustration.

Snow melting systems from Warmzone are designed for optimum efficiency and cost-effective operation. Installing a radiant snow melting system is a great investment in your home, and systems typically clear the area during a storm at a cost less than hiring a snow removal service to clear your driveways and walkways. An automated snow melting system can help to ensure safe access to your home or business for years to come.

Zoning is a great way to make your dreams for a safe, efficient snow melting a reality – even when dealing with low amperage. Warmzone’s design professionals will help create the ideal system to operate within the power requirements of your home or business. If you have questions and would like to discuss the options that are available, contact Warmzone today at 888.488.9276.

Trusted Floor Heating Options

Warmzone’s Vast Offering of Proven Products is Unmatched

Radiant heat is becoming more popular each day, given its luxurious comfort and remarkable energy efficiency. The versatile heating technology can be used in many applications, whether you are heating your floors, heating a driveway, or melting snow and ice from your roof or gutters. Warmzone offers industry leading products and customer service that make adding radiant heat to any home or business a simple, pain-free process.

Radiant heat differs from traditional forced air heating systems as it heats objects as opposed to air. With radiant heat, the air comes into contact with the heated object, such as the floor, and produces warmth that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. The room warms evenly from the floor up, adding to the efficiency while creating a particularly comfortable environment for small children. Using radiant heat to warm your floors helps reduce heat loss and keeps the temperature steady throughout the heated area. Radiant heated floors also offer other benefits. Because there is no blowing air through ducts and dusty vents, the transmission of dust and allergens in the home is greatly reduced.

Dog and cat on warm floor

To achieve this clean, even and efficient heat, all radiant heat systems have three main components. The first component is a heating element. The heating elements can be electric or hydronic (water based), and provide heat to the object they are in contact with. To begin this heating process, the element is triggered by an activation device/thermostat that utilizes either an ambient temperature sensor or an in-floor (embedded) sensor. The thermostat sends power to the heating element to warm the floor.

There are two main types of radiant heat systems – electric and hydronic (water-based systems). Electric systems typically use a thin resistance electric heating cable (the heating element). This cable is typically installed in thinset directly under the flooring, such as tile, vinyl tile, or stone, etc. Hydronic systems use a boiler to heat a mixture of propylene glycol and water, which is then pumped through special PEX tubing. Because of the need for a boiler, manifold and pumps, hydronic systems require a dedicated “mechanical” room for the system, and installation is quite complex.

Warmzone offers a number of radiant heating systems that can be installed in almost any area and medium of flooring in the home. Both electric and hydronic systems are available for floor heating, but electric heating is preferred by most homeowners. Any surface in the home can be heated, but choosing a system that best fits the flooring in the area to be heated is crucial to an efficient and safe heating system. Here is a general outline of different systems that are best suited for specific types of flooring.

ComfortTile floor heating cable and mats

Warmzone’s ComfortTile floor heating system is perhaps the most popular and versatile option for heating floors in your home. The heating element is UL listed single-point connection, twin-conductor cable that is durable, and safety approved for wet locations. ComfortTile cable is flexible and is available on spools or pre-spaced mats. The ComfortTile floor heating system can be used with many mediums. From luxury vinyl tiles, to ceramic tile, marble, or stone, ComfortTile is an option that can be customized for any room, and will heat any flooring efficiently and evenly. If using ComfortTile in areas that may be susceptible to water, a membrane system such as Prodeso can be used to house the cable can be installed underneath the flooring to house the cable and protect the flooring and cable from water, as well as shifting and cracking that can come with tile, marble, or stone.

Beautiful wood floors, whether engineered or hardwood, are also great candidates for radiant heat. When choosing a system for wood floors, make sure to know whether the floor is floating or nailed, to ensure matching it with the right radiant heating system. For floating floors, FilmHeat is the most recommended option. (Low-voltage FloorHeat STEP and FoilHeat are also popular options, with the low-voltage system being particularly effective for heating hardwood floors.) These systems utilize three unique heating elements. The FilmHeat system features a near paper-thin “film” heating element that is laid out directly under flooring. FoilHeat features fluoropolymer insulated heating cables that are sandwiched between reinforced layers of aluminum foil. Low-voltage FloorHeat STEP utilizes thin, flexible polymer heating panels. All of these systems are proven, and easy to install, and a great value for heating floors.

Another great choice for heating wood flooring are HeatShield insulation panels combined with ComfortTile heat cable. These lightweight heating insulation panels consist of a ½-inch thick polystyrene insulation panel covered with thin, specially profiled aluminum that reflects heat from the ComfortTile cable installed inside the pre-formed channels. HeatShield Panels are a great choice because they ensure accurate spacing and quick, easy installation, and the reflective panel maximizes the heat cable’s performance. For nailed floors, the FloorHeat STEP low-voltage system is an excellent choice because it requires no floor build-up, and the thin self-regulating polymer heating element can be nailed or stapled through.

Heated hardwood floor in living room.

For laminate flooring there are many proven options. FilmHeat, FloorHeat, FoilHeat, and HeatShield Panels are great choices for laminate, but RetroHeat is also available. RetroHeat’s thin heating element panels feature thin “film” elements like FilmHeat, but this system can be used to add heat to existing flooring. If you can access the floor joists from below, the heating element can be stapled up between the joists so you don’t have to tear out your existing floors. RetroHeat panels can be cut onsite to ensure proper length, and simply nailed or stapled to the underside of the subfloor. Batt insulation is then stapled up over the RetroHeat to direct all the heat upward to warm the floor.

Radiant heat can also be installed in concrete flooring. In-Slab heat cable from Warmzone is a heating cable especially designed for installation into concrete slabs. The cable is secured 1 to 2 inches below the surface. Hydronic heating systems can also be used in concrete, and are ideal for heating larger areas.

With all the options available to heat home flooring from Warmzone, finding the right system for your system is easy. Check out the guidelines below to find out which systems are recommended for your type of flooring.

Floor heating systems chart
Different floor types and the recommended radiant floor heating systems.

Roof De-icing – A Smart Investment in Your Home

Roof De-icing Options

Radiant heat is a great solution for many areas inside or outside your home. From floors to driveways, almost any area in your home can be heated with radiant heat. One great and often overlooked spot to install radiant heating is your roof. Inspecting your roof and installing a roof de-icing system during the warmer months is a great way to ensure your home or business is prepared for the cold winter ahead. With Warmzone, top-of-the-line roof heating systems make dealing with winter hazards like snow, ice dams, or icicles hassle a whole lot easier. Warmzone offers a variety of versatile roof de-icing systems that can fit the needs of any home or business owner and keep property safe from costly water damage during the winter.

Radiant heating systems work using three components: a heating element, an activation device, and a contactor panel / power source. The heating element is installed on your roof, valleys or gutters, or in specific areas where de-icing is needed. Once the heating element is installed, the activation device triggers the system to send power to the elements. The activation device is designed to detect specific weather conditions and then signal the contactor panel to send power to the heating element. The system then safely and efficiently keeps your roof clear of hazardous snow and ice.

Heated roof edge

Depending on the needs of the area to be heated, de-icing systems can be installed in a number of places. If you are looking to install radiant heat in gutters and downspouts, Warmzone’s self-regulating heat cable is an affordable, efficient solution for roof de-icing. (Constant wattage and pre-terminated self-regulating cable is also available.) Self-regulating heat cable automatically adjusts to temperature changes, increasing or decreasing its heat output, making it extra efficient, safe, and maintenance free. Warmzone’s self-regulating heat cable features a UV stabilized flexible thermoplastic elastomer over-jacket that protects its core making it extremely durable for wet locations, and protecting it from sun damage. This cable can be installed in gutters, downspouts or even zigzagged along the roof eaves to provide channels for the runoff (and prevent ice dams). Installing cable in these particular areas helps prevent icicles and hazardous ice dams from forming, protecting your home and roof from water damage that often results from ridges of ice that form along the roof eaves. Water can pool behind the ice and seep into tiny cracks in the roof or shingles. Warmzone’s versatile self-regulating cable can also be used for pipe tracing applications to prevent pipes from freezing.

Warmzone’s industry leading self-regulated heating cable is also used in attractive roof heating panels. These aluminum panels feature pre-engineered channels where self-regulating heat cable is routed, resulting in maximum heat transfer. These panels are engineered to be extremely energy efficient as well as an attractive addition to your roof. The aluminum panels are coated with a durable finish that adds to the aesthetic value of your home, and are available in a wide variety of colors to match your existing roof. Warmzone’s RoofHeat panels are extremely versatile and are also a great option to heat the valleys of your roof. These panels are effective at controlling ice buildup and dams with just a 4-6 inch heating panel that will clear both sides of the valley between 6-10 inches. This method of roof heating allows runoff to safely flow down the valley and assures that no water is refreezing on any other part of your roof. These premium quality panels offer an aesthetically pleasing option that is both highly efficient and affordable.

Another great roof de-icing option is Warmzone’s low-voltage RoofHeat STEP system. This innovative system features a thin polymer heating element that can be installed under metal or shingle roofs. It is easy to install and versatile, as it can be cut, stapled or nailed through during installation. RoofHeat STEP is also a self regulating system, so you can be sure that the system will efficiently keep your roof clear of snow and ice in any cold weather condition. This system can be installed to heat roof eaves, valleys, or even the entire roof. Each transformer controls a specific section of the roof de-icing system. This allows for the system to step down high voltage to low voltage (less than 60V ) when necessary, providing safe and efficient heat to clear your roof. The low-voltage system is one of the most effective and highly recommended roof de-icing systems on the market.

Low-voltage radiant heating element.

Because Warmzone’s roof de-icing systems are so versatile, they can be used separately or combined. This is helpful to meet the specific needs of each roof. If there is a tricky area, or an especially problematic spot Warmzone professional system designers can create a roof de-icing system to meet your exact specifications and snow melting needs.

Purchasing a roof de-icing system is a smart way to protect one of the most important aspects of your home – the roof. Damage to a roof can lead to costly water damage in the home, which can even lead to serious health problems if mold develops in the home. Ice dams are the number one problem when it comes to water or costly roof damage. As snow melts on the roof, it can reach the ridge of ice along the eaves where it pools. This pooled water can seep into tiny cracks and refreeze in every nook and cranny of your roof, expanding and eventually causing damage and threatening the integrity of your roof. If water seeps inside walls, it may not be discovered for a considerable time, whereby it can eventually cause mold and mildew inside the home – which is every homeowner’s nightmare.

A quality roof heating system is an investment that can pay off every winter, preventing damage and eliminating stress. Installing one now during the summer months is easier, and will assure your winter is safe and hassle free. If you’d like to learn more about the many roof de-icing options that are available, please contact a roof heating expert today at 888.488.9276.