All posts by Benson Ricks

Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part I)

Radiant Heated Driveways can be Installed in a Variety of Applications

Radiant heat snow melting systems can be designed, engineered and installed in any size, shape and type of driveway. From large parking lots to small driveways, steps or sidewalks, radiant snow melting systems can accommodate virtually all your snow melting needs. But the custom options don’t just stop there. You have a variety of options to choose from to fit your budget. You can heat your entire driveway area or just a strip down the middle, or perhaps just two 2-foot wide tire tracks. When you work with a trusted leader like Warmzone, your system will be designed and engineered so that it is the best customized radiant heat solution for your needs.

The ClearZone radiant heat system is one of the most proven snow melting systems on the market, which is why it’s not only a favorite among homeowners, but construction professionals as well. The heat cable can be installed in a variety of applications, including concrete, asphalt, and under pavers.

Concrete Heated Driveways and Sidewalks – New Pour

Heated driveway in Denver

For years the ClearZone snow melting system has proven itself to be one of the most versatile and reliable radiant snow melting systems on the market. It is installed in numerous mediums, but concrete is the most common application for ClearZone heated driveways. The rugged heat cable is designed to withstand the stress of heavy concrete pours. During the installation, the ClearZone cable is laid out and then zip tied to the wire remesh. The concrete is then poured over the cable.

New Asphalt Construction Heated Driveways

Asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks

Hot asphalt can damage some lower quality heat cables, but ClearZone cable is designed to withstand both the extreme temperatures and stress (from the compression) of newly poured asphalt. The radiant heating cable is laid out on the base surface (usually compacted sand), and the asphalt is then hand shoveled on top of the cable and then compacted.

For asphalt applications, it is recommended (but not required) to install 1-inch rigid insulation underneath the base surface. The insulation can be installed underneath the base surface or it can be laid on top of the base surface and the snow melting cable can then be secured on top of the insulation.

Brick Paver Driveways – Installation

Large heated paver driveway

ClearZone radiant snow melting systems are the most effective systems for heating under pavers. Installing a radiant snow melting system under brick pavers is also one of the easiest radiant heat installation methods. The heating cable is laid out on the base surface and the pavers are installed as normal, directly over the cables. Because the ClearZone cable has been tested and approved for wet conditions, the cable can come in contact with moisture without its performance being affected.

Continued – Go to Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part II).

Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part II)

Repaving and Retrofitting Asphalt Driveway with Radiant Heat

Continued from Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part I).

The ClearZone snow melting system is unique because it isn’t limited to new construction applications and can withstand the rigors of concrete pours and hot asphalt. If you have an existing asphalt driveway and intend to re-pave it, you can retrofit your driveway with a ClearZone snow melting system. The heat cable is secured to the existing asphalt with clips and nails and only needs to be embedded under just ½-inch of asphalt. The new asphalt is hand shoveled onto the cable and then compacted. ClearZone cable is simple to install and provides the best performance for heating asphalt driveways.

Fully Automated

The heat cable is wired to the master controller, which is usually mounted on a wall in the garage. An aerial or pavement mounted snow sensor is wired to the controller. When the sensor detects precipitation and the temperature is below a set point (usually 39°F.), it signals the controller, which then sends power to the heat cable to warm the driveway. While the system is fully automated, the controller also features manual override capability for times when you may need to melt a snow drift or ice that formed in a shady spot.

Heated concrete driveway for mountain lodge

In addition to the many different types of surfaces that the ClearZone snow melting system can be installed under, you have many custom configurations that you can choose from. Warmzone will work closely with you to keep within your budget while providing the optimum snow melting system for your needs. As a leading provider of radiant heat solutions, Warmzone will provide a detailed design of your snow melting system so that you know all the electrical and layout requirements prior to any installation. Warmzone also provides you with technical support during the installation.

Once installed, radiant snowmelt systems are virtually maintenance free, and in addition to helping preserve the quality of your concrete/asphalt driveway or sidewalks, it also eliminates the damage caused to surrounding grass and vegetation from salt and corrosive snow melting chemicals. With your radiant heat snow melting system, there’s no need to apply salt or harsh snow melting chemicals to your driveway. So enjoy those snowy mornings from the warmth of your living room and admire your clear driveway as you sip your hot coffee. The days of shoveling and salting are over.

When it comes to installing a snow melting system, it pays to work with the best. In addition to Warmzone’s competitive pricing, you’ll receive top-notch customer service. Call and talk to a radiant heat expert today (888.488.9276) to learn more about heated driveways and snow melting systems. You can also send Warmzone your project information and receive a free radiant heat quote. There’s no obligation.

Go back to Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part I).

Heated Driveways and Snow Melting Systems (Part I)

Whether you’ve been living comfortably in your house for years or you are building a new home, installing a radiant heated driveway is a viable option for you. Certainly it is more practical to install a radiant snow melting system during the initial construction phase of a driveway, but unknown to some homeowners is that both asphalt and concrete driveways can be retrofitted with electric radiant heat systems.

Hydronic Snow Melting Systems

There are two types of driveway heating systems available today: hydronic systems and electric systems. Hydronic snow melting systems utilize a mixture of water and propylene glycol (anti-freeze) that circulates through a closed-loop network of flexible polymer (Pex) tubing that is installed in the concrete or asphalt. The liquid is heated by a water heater/boiler and then circulated through the Pex tubing by a pump to heat the driveway and melt snow. The condensing boiler (water heater) can be powered by any energy source, including natural gas, electricity, oil, wood, or even solar collectors. Because of this, hydronic snowmelt systems can offer a slightly lower operating cost than electric systems, especially for large snow melting applications.

Warmzone hydronic systems feature highly efficient condensing boilers with an Energy Star Rating as well as industry leading pumps, valves and tubing. Unfortunately, when it comes to retrofitting a driveway with hydronic radiant heat, the only way to accomplish this is to tear out the old driveway and install a new one.

Electric Heated Driveways

Electric radiant snow melting systems are easier and cheaper to install than their hydronic counterpart. Both existing concrete and asphalt driveways can be retrofitted with electric radiant heat.

Heated sidewalks being installed

Electric snow melting systems utilize specially engineered ClearZone heat cable that is available on spools or pre-spaced in mats that can be easily rolled out during installation in concrete, asphalt or under brick and stone paver driveways and sidewalks. The ClearZone cable is UL listed and consists of a twin conductor with FEP/XLPE insulation and polyolefin jacketing that provides flexibility and excellent UV protection. The heat cable is rated at 220°F and has a minimum 10-year warranty. Designed to produce 30-50 watts per square foot, ClearZone radiant heat cable has the quickest response time (time to heat the driveway upon system startup) of any snow melting system on the market. Because electric snowmelt systems do not rely on heating water heater before pumping the liquid through PEX tubing, the response time is considerably less than that of hydronic systems.

Fully Automated Snow Melting Systems

The fully automated driveway heating system features heat cable, a control unit (controller), and a high-performance snow sensor (activation device). One of two types of sensors (aerial or pavement mount) can be installed, depending on the project. Aerial mount sensors are typically used for residential heated driveways while pavement mount snow sensors are more commonly used in large commercial snow melting applications.

When the snow sensor detects precipitation and temperatures are below a designated set point (usually set at 39 F), the sensor signals the master control unit, initiating startup of the snow melting system. While the driveway snow melting system is fully automated, it can also be activated manually. The controller includes a manual override function for times when snowdrifts or ice forms because of wind or shaded areas. Another especially attractive feature of electric heated driveways is that the systems do not feature any moving parts, so they are virtually maintenance free and extremely reliable.

 Read Heated Driveways and Snow Melting Systems Part II

Heated Driveways and Snow Melting Systems (Part II)

Continued from Part I

Installing an Electric Radiant Snow Melting System
To install a ClearZone snow melting system in concrete, the driveway is first prepared for the concrete pour, including the placement of rebar or remesh. The durable heat cable is then secured to the wire remesh or rebar with zip ties and then the concrete is poured. Concrete seats or “Mesh-Ups” are often used with wire remesh to ensure proper positioning of the cable.

In addition to the heavy stress of fresh concrete pours, ClearZone cable is also designed to withstand the extreme temperatures of hot asphalt applications. The cable is laid out and then the asphalt is applied on top and then compacted, resulting in a discreet, maintenance free asphalt heated driveway. You can lay out the mats or space the cable yourself, but it’s important that a qualified electrician connect the wiring for the snow melting system.

Retrofitting Existing Driveways with Radiant Heat
To heat an existing asphalt driveway, the process is surprisingly simple. The cable is laid on top of the old asphalt and then the new layer of asphalt is applied on top and then compacted. Retrofitting a concrete driveway with radiant heat is a more tedious affair. Grooves are cut in the existing concrete, using concrete saw-cut technology, and the heat cable is then placed in the freshly cut grooves. An epoxy topcoat is then applied over the newly embedded cable sealed to seal the heating cable. A sand broadcast can be applied to the surface before the epoxy cures for additional traction and safety. Saw cut technology can also be used for retrofitting asphalt driveways if desired.

Retrofitting a truck ramp with radiant heat snow melting system

Radiant Snow Melting System Options
There are several options when it comes to installing a radiant snow melting system. For example, you can heat the entire area of a driveway, or perhaps just an 8-foot strip in the middle or just a pair of 2-foot-wide tire tracks. Radiant heated driveways and snowmelt systems can be tailor made for virtually any of your snow and ice melting needs. The applications are limited only by your imagination, and the experts at Warmzone will work closely with you to determine the best system for your needs.

Eliminate the need for the use of harsh snow melting chemicals and prolong the life of your driveway with an environmentally friendly radiant snow melting system. Not only can installing a radiant snow melting system increase the value of your home, but it will also increase pedestrian safety. So enhance your safety and peace of mind by calling Warmzone and learning about the options of installing an automated snow melting system today.

Retrofitting Your Driveway with Radiant Heat (Part I)

It’s Not Too Late to Heat Your Driveway

Are you considering a radiant snow melting system for your driveway or sidewalks? Perhaps you’ve seen some heated driveways in action and wondered how nice it would be to never have to worry about shoveling snow again.

What some folks don’t know is that existing driveways can be retrofitted with radiant heat. That’s right! Snow melting systems are not just for installation in new construction jobs; you can upgrade your existing driveway so that you too can enjoy the benefits of a radiant heated driveway.

Of course, a great deal depends on the type of driveway that you currently have. Asphalt driveways are the easiest to retrofit with radiant heat, but fear not, concrete driveways can also be modified to incorporate a state-of-the-art radiant snow melting system.

How is it Done?
The ClearZone snow melting system features rugged heat cable that is designed to withstand the extreme temperatures of hot asphalt applications. So if you are looking to heat your asphalt driveway, the process may be easier than you imagined. The cable is laid on top of the old asphalt and then the new layer of asphalt in installed and compacted on top.

The ClearZone heat cable is available on spools or pre-spaced in mats that can be easily rolled out during installation. Simply roll out the heat cable like a sleeping bag over the existing driveway and then apply the new layer of asphalt directly on top. (While you can do much of the cable installation yourself, it is important that a qualified electrician connect the wiring for the snowmelt system.)

The ClearZone heating cable is UL listed and features single point connection with FEP/XLPE insulation, polyolefin jacketing design (for flexibility and UV protection), allowing the radiant heat system to consistently provide top performance during harsh winter conditions. The ClearZone cable is rated at 220°F and is designed and built to outperform all competing products.

In addition to the heat cable, the driveway heating system also consists of an activation device (snow sensor) and controller. When the snow sensor detects precipitation and the temperature is below a set point (usually set at 39 degrees Fahrenheit), it triggers the controller which then activates the system. It is fully automated, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. The controller also features a manual timer to melt snow in case of snow drifts or ice forming in shady areas.

The process of retrofitting a concrete driveway is considerably different than that of asphalt retrofit applications. By using concrete saw-cut technology, grooves are cut in the existing concrete, and the heat cable is then placed in the grooves and then sealed, using an epoxy topcoat. (This process can also be used for asphalt driveways.) If desired, a sand broadcast can be applied to the surface before the epoxy cures for additional traction and safety.

Continued (Read Part II)

Retrofitting Your Driveway with Radiant Heat (Part II)

It’s Not Too Late to Heat Your Driveway (Part II)

Read Part I

The methods outlined in Part I are the least intrusive for retrofitting your driveway with radiant heat. However, there are those particularly ambitious consumers who opt to remove portions – or even all – of their existing driveway. Obviously, the ideal situation is to install a snow melting system during the original construction, but if you have a driveway on a steep hill or have extreme snow melting needs, removing portions of existing concrete to install a radiant heat system is still a worthwhile venture.

Heated driveway on incline with heated tire tracks

As shown in the photos, the old concrete is removed and then new rebar is installed in anticipation of the new concrete. The ClearZone heat cable is secured to the rebar and the concrete is then poured. Much of the cable can be installed by handy “do-it-yourself” types, but all the electrical work should be completed by a qualified electrician. (An important thing to remember is that a heated driveway / radiant snow melting system is only as good as the installation. The cable must be properly spaced and wired in order to accomplish the desired results.)

The Many Benefits of an Electric Snow Melting System
Radiant heat snow melting systems eliminate the need for manual snow removal –such as plowing – that can damage the driveway. Furthermore, there is no need to use salt and other abrasive snow melting chemicals that are harmful to grass and nearby vegetation.

Grass damaged by snow melting salt

The ClearZone electric radiant snowmelt system features an unparalleled, rapid response time when compared to other radiant heating systems. The fully automated systems are energy efficient and maintenance free.

So kick back on those cold mornings and enjoy a cup of coffee instead of shoveling snow from your driveway before you head to work. Installing a snowmelt system is a great investment that adds value to your home and is a great way to save your back from the aches and pains of shoveling heavy snow. It’s also a nice way to ensure safety for your loved ones and guests by eliminating slick ice from your walks and/or driveway.

Adding Heated Tile Floors to Your Home

Installing New Heated Floors or Retrofitting Existing Floors with Radiant Heat

Ceramic tile floors are one of the most popular floor surfaces in American homes. However, one common complaint is that they are cold to walk on. Although tile is sturdy and beautiful, the “coldness factor” does carry some legitimacy. Let’s explore a way to resolve this issue and create an ideal flooring surface.

We sometimes get conditioned as we walk around the house, making mental notes that it is uncomfortable to walk into this room or that room. Before long, we find ourselves avoiding half the rooms in our home. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. A radiant heated floor can turn a room from one that you hesitate to walk in to, to one that you look forward to visiting. And these electric floor heating systems are surprisingly easy to install. After a radiant heated floor is installed it won’t take long for that conditioning to transition from an unpleasant one to one of considerable enjoyment. You won’t be avoiding the family room with the cold tile floor. Instead, you’ll be reveling in that room as your feet soak up the warmth from the heated tile floor. Heated floors are the answer to providing inviting warmth to tile floors.

Radiant heated tile floor

Installing a heated floor is not that difficult and it really beats the comfort of portable heaters or electric panel heaters. In some cases, you don’t even need to tear out the existing tile floor to install radiant heat. If you can access the floor joists from below, then you can retrofit your tile floors with luxurious radiant heat to create the beautiful, warm home you always envisioned. Warmzone offers two outstanding floor heating systems that you can retrofit your floors with, FloorHeat and RetroHeat. Call a radiant heat expert today to learn about these two systems and find out which one would be best for heating your tile floors. Of course, if you want to redo the tile floors in your home, then you can choose from a variety of other radiant floor heating systems to install with your new tile. The bottom line this: you don’t have to live with cold floors or cold feet. Radiant floor heat is an affordable option!

For remodeling jobs, you won’t find a better floor heating option than ComfortTile radiant heat systems. Install the ComfortTile heat cable (or mats) over the subfloor and apply your finished surface over that and you have a room that you will look forward to visiting. Sensors in the floor will communicate with the thermostat in the wall and keep that room just the way you like it. Not only does radiant floor heat eliminate “cold feet”, but the efficient heat rises from the floor to provide comfortable warmth for the whole room. Radiant heat is truly a luxurious heat that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

And each room can be controlled separately by its own thermostat, making radiant in-floor heating extremely energy efficient. The thermostats can also be fully programmable, so they can be programmed to warm the home just before you get up each morning and/or when you get home from work, or however you see fit. Radiant floor heating is here to stay, so don’t hesitate to learn more about your many options, and increase your comfort as well as the value of your home. Just make sure that you work with a reputable company that has truly earned the reputation of being among the best. And also, be sure to work with a provider that also includes full radiant heat system engineering and design services – like Warmzone. After all, a radiant floor heating system is only as good as its installation.

Reviewing Electric and Hydronic Radiant Snow Melting Systems – Part I

What are the Best Options for Keeping Your Driveway Clear of Snow and Ice?

Every year it comes, and every year we fight it. I’m talking about snow . . . lots and lots of snow. Sure, it’s pretty and helps to put us in a festive, holiday mood, but the truth is that snow can drain our wallets, sap our strength and even impose on our sleep or leisure time.

Most folks who live in cold climates have become somewhat accustomed to getting up a little earlier or staying up a little later in order to shovel snow from their driveways or clear their roofs and gutters. Usually the shoveling of snow is followed by the disbursement of salt or other snow melting chemicals. Some homeowners – and businesses especially – opt to pay someone else to manually remove the snow. But is manual snow removal really the best way to rid our sidewalks and driveways of snow and ice? There is, in fact, another option – radiant heat.

Radiant heat snow melting systems are fully automated, so once they are installed, there’s no need to worry about snow removal ever again. Electric snow melting systems consist of three components: The heat cable, a snow sensor (activation device), and controller. (Hydronic systems also include a boiler and pump.)

Heated driveway in concrete

The heat cable features a thick wire that is surrounded by layers of insulation, copper grounding braid and a protective outer layer of PVC or polyolefin to form a flexible cable about ⅛ to ¼ inch in diameter. Cable is available on spools as well as in mats. These mats have the heat cable that is pre-spaced and attached to a mesh backing, and can be customized (cut) to suit virtually any type of layout, including driveways, ramps, common walkways and sidewalks, etc.

The activation device for the snow melting system activation device can be either an aerial-mounted or pavement-mounted snow sensor. These sensors activate the system when there is moisture present and the temperature is below approximately 38 degrees. Most systems also include a manual timer to preheat an area before a large storm to curb snow and ice accumulation or to eliminate snow drifts.

When the snow sensor detects the right conditions, it signals the control unit which then sends power through the heat cable. The system warms the surface quickly so that the first snowflakes melt immediately as they land on your heated driveway.

Electric and Hydronic Radiant Snow Melting Systems

What are the Pros and Cons of each Method of Radiant Heating?

First of all, it is important to clarify that one method of radiant heat cannot claim universal superiority over the other. Both types of radiant heat are popular. That being said, each system does possess distinct attributes and advantages.

Electric Radiant Snow Melting Systems

Electric snowmelt systems utilize rugged heat cable that distributes heat evenly across the surface of the driveway or sidewalk. The heating cable is durable enough that it can be installed in new concrete pours, under pavers and even in harsh, high-temperature new asphalt construction projects. It is secured to the remesh and generally spaced at 6 inches while being embedded within about 2 inches of the surface.

The Top Advantages of Electric Radiant Snow Melting Systems

Ease of Installation – Electric radiant heat systems are fairly easy to install. (Handy do-it-yourselfers can do most of the installation. It is important, however, for a qualified electrician to install the wiring.)

Energy Efficient – Electric radiant systems boast a rapid response time, heating the area quickly and efficiently (99% of all energy goes to snow melting, so there is virtually no wasted energy).

Lower Installation Costs – Because electric systems can be installed quickly and easily, the installation costs are minimal.

Maintenance Free – Electric radiant heat systems do not use any moving mechanical parts, so the system is virtually maintenance free.

No Mechanical Room is Required – Electric systems consist of three main components: the heat cable, a snow sensor (activation device), and the controller. So, unlike hydronic systems that utilize a boiler and pump, there is no need for a mechanical room.

SUMMARY: For small to medium sized snow melting applications, electric radiant heat is generally the best choice.

Continued: Read Part II

Reviewing Electric and Hydronic Radiant Snow Melting Systems – Part II

Hydronic Radiant Heat

Continued from Part I

Hydronic heating was the first form of radiant heat, used by ancient Chinese civilizations and further developed by the Romans. Today’s hydronic floor heating systems feature PEX radiant tubing that is usually installed in concrete. For interior applications, the tubing is sometimes installed in a concrete mass called Gypsum Concrete or “Gypcrete,” or, more commonly in the grooves of the advanced aluminum panel system. The pre-cut panel method is known as a low-mass or modular board underlayment system, and is ideal for remodeling as well as most new construction projects.

Hydronic floor heating system being installed
Hydronic heated floor with Pex tubing inserted into Rau Panels.

The heating element for a hydronic system involves flexible tubing and specially treated water. Hydronic heated driveways use a closed-loop tubing system to heat the surface of the driveway. The tubing is generally made of a durable polymer (PEX tubing) or synthetic rubber to circulate a mixture of hot water and propylene glycol (antifreeze). The fluid is warmed to temperatures between 140 to 180 degrees F to deliver enough heat throughout the snow melting system.

The PEX tubing can be installed under a variety of mediums, including concrete, asphalt, stone pavers, etc. Successful operation of a hydronic heating system depends on proper tubing spacing and layout. Tubes are usually laid out in a spiral or serpentine pattern for even heat distribution, making initial installation a bit more challenging than that of electric radiant heating systems.

A water heater (boiler) is the heat source for a hydronic heated system, which can be powered by any energy source that satisfies the btu requirements, including natural gas, electricity, oil, wood, or even solar collectors. A circulating pump and supply and return manifolds, installed in an easily accessible location, transfer the liquid between the heat source and tubing.

Flexible Power Source Options (Low Operating Costs) – Because the boiler of a hydronic radiant heat snow melting system can utilize natural gas, oil, wood, or other cheap fuel, the operating cost for large hydronic systems can be lower than that of an equally sized electric radiant heat snow melting system.

Snow melting mats laid out to heat asphalt driveway
Retrofitting an asphalt driveway with radiant heat. Snow melting cable is placed on the original surface and new asphalt is then applied over the heat cable.

Electric heated driveway systems are generally more efficient than hydronic systems. Electric cables heat up instantaneously, whereas the liquid within hydronic tubing takes a while longer to be heated up before the snow begins to melt. Installation of electric systems is fairly simple for the “do-it-yourselfer”, and heat cable is also available in mats that can be rolled out for simple installation. The mats feature cable that is pre-spaced, attached to a durable fiberglass mesh backing. They can be easily rolled out to heat tire tracks or an entire driveway. This flexibility is invaluable in retrofit applications, where hydronic system installation is more evasive, and costly.

With both radiant snow melting systems, you have great flexibility in terms of the installation configuration (even more so with electric systems). Instead of heating an entire driveway, you may want to install heat cables to only melt snow in the tire tracks of the driveway. The heat cable for radiant snowmelt systems can be customized to heat just about any type of odd shaped area, large or small.

Radiant Heat Offers Flexibility in Terms of Options

If you are considering installing a heated driveway, there are three general driveway heating solutions that are typically recommended:

  1. Install radiant heating cable under the entire driveway pavement.
  2. Install only an 8-10 foot wide strip of heating cable up the middle of your driveway or main traffic area.
  3. Install two 24-inch wide tracks of radiant heat cable up the middle of your driveway.
Heated tire tracks in driveway
Electric heated driveway with heated tire tracks in concrete.

Electric radiant heat systems usually cost less to install, and are much easier to install in small spaces. The installation of a hydronic system is much more labor intensive and costs more for materials. However, for larger systems, you will probably save more money on the heating bill compared to electric warm flooring.

Make sure you work with experienced professionals who also provide system engineering and design services, included detailed CAD drawings. Warmzone is one of the best radiant heat providers that you could hope to find. They will work closely with you to ensure that the radiant snow melting system you install is the absolute best system for your specific needs.

Read Part I of this article

Radiant Heat Has Arrived in Earnest

Electric Radiant Heating Comes in Many Flavors

Although radiant heat has been around for many years now, new technology has paved the way for it to arrive in earnest. There’s no cleaner form of heating than radiant heat. A wire grid (heat cable) installed in the floor provides a totally clean and quiet heat that radiates upward to all those lucky enough to be in the room. There is no blower cycling on and off or the noise that goes with it. And no dust or allergens are blown around either. What there is is clean, silent, comfortable heat. Time marches on. Just as cars today are equipped with more than just an AM radio with big dials, heating systems have advanced to a point where this form of clean, quiet and efficient heat is making a move to become the standard.

Another large advantage of radiant heating is that it is easily zone able. Each room or “zone” can be controlled separately, so if you have rooms that are not used regularly you can turn the heat off or down in those rooms, adding greatly to the efficiency of these systems. This is not something at which a forced air system excels. Radiant floor heating systems typically have thermostats in every room.

ComfortTile floor heating mat, cable and thermostat
ComfortTile floor heating cable in mat and on spools, shown with thermostat.

One of the great things about radiant heating is that technology has provided for its use in many different facets. Did you know that there are radiant roof heating systems that will melt the snow and ice off the roof and gutters? In addition there are driveway snow melting systems that will quietly and efficiently melt the snow and ice off your driveway. Modern technology isn’t just for iPods and iPads. These systems utilize the same type of technology, using low-voltage or line-voltage electric current that runs through heating cable and provides the desired result. These systems are also automated and programmable, and can do their duties when you aren’t even home. There are so many conveniences available to us today at which our parents and grandparents would marvel. Radiant heating is making inroads and it is easy to see why. People are discovering the comfort and efficiency of radiant heating and are adopting it with open arms.

Radiant heating systems can also be installed over existing floors as well. Just because the almost dream home you bought doesn’t have the heating system that would make it the dream home, don’t despair. Heating cable can be installed over the existing floor and a new surface poured over that, thus transforming your almost dream home in to your real dream home. RetroHeat radiant heat systems can also be installed in the floor joists under an existing floor.

With winter knocking on our doors, it’s the season for a snow melting system. Anyone with a snow melting system installed has experienced the joy of driving in to a driveway that has no snow on it when there is snow all around. One might have to try to suppress a smile when your neighbor’s are all snow bound. If you live in an area where snow is a regular concern you can appreciate the convenience of a snow melting system. Perhaps the ultimate dream is that you arrive home from work during a major snow storm and pull into your driveway where all the snow has melted away when it is piling up everywhere else. You park and walk on a sidewalk heated with a snowmelt system, you don’t worry about the ice cycles on the roof above because there aren’t any thanks to a roof snow melting system. You then walk in to the house and take your shoes off and instantly feel the comfort of a warm radiant heated floor. Life is good.