All posts by Jordan Ricks

Construction Pros Trust Warmzone

Installing a Radiant Heat System with Trusted Professionals

Technology was supposed to make our lives easier and less stressful, right? But some days I question that. Don’t get me wrong; technology is not a bad thing, despite our occasional mouse-slammin’’, monitor-slappin’ frustrations. Technology has afforded us a steady stream of upgraded conveniences and benefits, but in terms of cutting out most of the stress from our lives, well, that’s a different story. (But, we’re human, and as such, we’ll always find something to stress about.)

For all the good that technology offers, too much of a good thing does not always make for better business. Sadly, some companies – motivated by potential cost savings – become enamored with technology and automation. For example, they may start by replacing receptionists and support staff with an automated phone system. “Just think of all the money we can save if we don’t have to pay people to answer the phones and troubleshoot problems! We’ll simply provide a list of common problems and then include a recording of the fixes.” BOOM, just like that, the perpetual telephonic merry-go-round is born, single-handedly infuriating countless numbers of customers in a single loop. Through the wonders of technology, businesses can now offend people quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

But others take a more prudent approach to the advancements in technology. Warmzone embraces the latest technology of the industry’s most proven products, such as their line of advanced snow sensor activation devices, IoT controllers, etc. But then Warmzone backs up those radiant heat system components with good old fashioned personal customer support. When it comes to customer service, Warmzone does not compromise.

An asphalt driveway being retrofitted with a radiant heat snow melting system.

For a business to enjoy long-term success, it has to build trust and establish relationships with its customers. In short, success can be summed up with one word: trust. Trust is the foundation of every good relationship, and gives customers the confidence to engage with, and commit to a business.

Trust is the reason why so many contractors and construction professionals conduct repeat business with Warmzone. Installers not only know that they are receiving trusted, industry-leading products, but they have come to rely on Warmzone’s professional system design and layout services, free installation training, and technical support.

Warmzone establishes trust through its comprehensive support services. Those services begin with providing prospective customers with unbiased information through online resources, as well as free consulting. Warmzone representatives are happy to talk with you about your project, and offer the best recommendations for your heating or snow melting needs. Because Warmzone offers a wide range of system components from various manufacturers, you can be assured that only the best component for your specific needs will be recommended.

Once you determine that you’d like to move forward with an installation, Warmzone system designers will create a detailed custom layout and design of your system. This will serve as the roadmap for your installers. You’ll know the proper layout and materials, load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and all the necessary information needed prior to any installation taking place.

Warmzone also provides free installation training to installers. This valuable service is another way that Warmzone builds trust with its customers. Instructors cover every aspect of your installation, so your contractor and installers will know exactly how and where to install the system’s heating elements and components.

Despite the system design and free installation training, sometimes installers encounter unique challenges. Not to worry. Warmzone installation experts are always available if an installer wants to call and talk with a radiant heat pro. Warmzone stands beside its customers, and offers technical support throughout the installation process.

Contractors have come to rely on Warmzone for all their radiant heating and snow melting needs. By dealing with Warmzone, they know what to expect, and that they can trust that all the legwork has been taken care of. Working with Warmzone helps to assure that the customer is happy and satisfied with the end product.

If you’re looking to install heated floors, or a heated driveway, or roof de-icing system, contact the pros you can trust. Call Warmzone today at 888-488-9276.

Warmzone is one of the largest providers of floor heating, snow melting, and roof de-icing systems, as well as luxury home heating amenities. For more information about Warmzone radiant heat systems or luxury amenities, contact a friendly Warmzone representative today, at 888-488-9276.

Warmzone Automated Snow Melting Systems

Nothing can beat the convenience and efficiency of an automated radiant snow melting system. Waking up to a clear driveway after a snowy night can start your winter day off on the right foot. Instead of reaching for your snow shovel and gloves, you can grab your slippers and coffee mug. Automated snow melting systems reliably operate as needed, so you can be assured that regardless of the storm conditions, the system will keep your driveway or walks free of snow and ice 24/7.

Automatic radiant heat systems rely on rugged, high-tech activation devices (sensors) that detect precipitation and temperature. Two basic types of activation devices can be used: in-ground (pavement-mounted) sensors and aerial-mounted sensors. The in-ground sensor is installed in the surface of the area being heated, such as the driveway or parking apron itself. These rugged sensors are typically used for large, commercial snow melting applications, and installed where they are open to the elements. Aerial-mount sensors are typically used for residential snow melting systems such as heated driveways, sidewalks, steps, etc. The aerial sensor is mounted near the roofline, extending out where it is exposed to the weather.

When precipitation is detected, and the temperature is below the adjustable setpoint (typically set at 39°F), the sensor will send a signal to the controller. (The controller is usually mounted on a wall in the garage.) Upon receiving the signal from the snow sensor, the controller then sends power to the embedded heating element.

Radiant heated driveway installed

Warmzone’s energy-efficient snow melting systems feature the renowned ClearZone heat resistance cable. The versatile ClearZone heating element can be installed in a variety of applications, including concrete, asphalt, and stone pavers. The cable is available in various lengths off the spool, as well as in mats that can be rolled out for quick and easy installation.

After almost two decades of performing in a variety of snow melting applications throughout Northern America, ClearZone heat cable has built a reputation as a trusted industry-leader. The proven cable is made with superior workmanship and materials. The twin-conductor ClearZone cable is cCSAus listed, and designed with fluoropolymer insulation and polyolefin jacketing (for flexibility and UV protection), which allows the snow melting system to consistently provide top performance during harsh winter conditions. The heat cable comes with a 20-foot cold lead, and carries a 10-year manufacturer warranty.

Warmzone Continues to Update its Line of Radiant Heat Products

Warmzone snow melting system sensors (activation devices) and contactor panels (control devices) feature the latest proven technology, and are designed for durability and robust performance throughout the years. Warmzone constantly researches, develops, and tests the most advanced technology. The latest addition to Warmzone’s product line is the EcoTrace IC thermostat (controller). This IoT (Internet of Things) thermostat uses proprietary algorithms to process weather data and adjust the snow melting system’s power output according to storm conditions.

“IoT” refers to the Internet of Things, and is an important new technology that allows us to embed sensors in objects around our homes that can then be connected to the internet. The embedded sensors allow us to measure environmental parameters, and the data is then transmitted through a communications network. This way we can connect to our home lights, the hot tub, the heated driveway, etc., which makes seamless communication possible between people, processes, and things.

The EcoTrace IC Thermostat’s “smart” capability also allows the radiant heat system to ignore light storms, provide optional preheating, and the ability for dynamic heating after the storm, all to improve overall system performance and reduce energy use and operating cost. The user is able to choose from a selection of weather-based control algorithms, for heated driveways, roof de-icing, and gutter heat tracing systems.

Warmzone snow melting system sensors (activation devices) and contactor panels feature the latest proven technology, and are design for durability and robust performance through the years. A wide selection of options is available. To learn more about automated snow melting system controls, call and speak with a radiant heat expert, at 888-488-9276.

In addition to automated snow melting systems, Warmzone also provides premier floor heating and roof de-icing solutions, as well as luxury home heating amenities. For more information about Warmzone radiant heat systems or luxury amenities, contact a friendly Warmzone representative today, at 888-488-9276.


A Look at one of the most Innovative Floor Heating Technologies

Warmzone® offers one of the largest selections of radiant floor heating products in the business. Carrying a wide variety ensures that customers receive the best system for their specific floor types, budget, and heating needs. One popular floor heating system is Warmzone’s FilmHeat™ radiant heat system.

Designed for installation under laminate and floating floors, the innovative FilmHeat floor heating system features heating panels that are just .016-inch thick. That’s thinner than a credit card. The paper-thin heating element is so lightweight that it will not affect weight loads, and because it is so thin, installing the system will not cause any floor buildup.

The heating element is applied over an underlayment, and the floating floor is then installed. There is no need for mortar or self-leveling compounds, alarms, or special tools. This remarkable system is quickly and easily installed, and the heating mats come with the cold leads attached.

FilmHeat floor heating element installed.

The FilmHeat floating floor heating system consists of three major components: the heating elements, the wiring, the control device. These components work together to create a system that provides comfortable, energy-efficient floor warming as either a primary heating system, or as a supplement to the existing home heating system. FilmHeat can be installed on any standard, flat sub-floor, but care must be taken that the subfloor is smooth and free from protrusions such as nails or screws that may damage the heating element.

Features and Benefits

  • Energy Efficient: The efficiency of the FilmHeat system makes it one of the most affordable to operate.
  • Easy To Install: Apply the underlayment over the subfloor. Lay the heating panels over the area to be heated, and cut to length if needed. Install the floating floor. No self-leveler or mortar is needed. There is no need for an alarm or repair kit.
  • Apply the underlayment over the subfloor. Lay the heating panels over the area to be heated and then install the floating floor. No self-leveler or mortar is needed. The heating element is easily cut to length onsite. There is no need for an alarm or repair kit.
  • Smart Controls: Touchscreen 7-day, four settings per day, programmable thermostat with floor sensor. The Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat allows the user to program or set the thermostat from their smart phone.
  • Safety: GFCI Protected. ETL, CETL Certified.
  • Best In Class Warranty: 25-year warranty with no maintenance required

Heat Existing Floors with RetroHeat®

A variation of the FilmHeat system (called RetroHeat) is also available to heat existing floors. If you have access to your floors joists from below, either through a crawl space or basement, you can enjoy the comfort of radiant heat, without having to replace your current floor or undertake any major remodeling.

FilmHeat for heating hardwood floating floors.

The UL listed RetroHeat panels are stapled up between the joists, and then batt insulation is then applied to direct all of the upwards to warm the floor. The RetroHeat system provides comfortable warmth for a wide variety of floor types, and is extremely efficient, with virtually no heat loss. The heating elements provide 10 watts per square foot, and can be cut onsite.

Thin, flexible, ultra-efficient FilmHeat and RetroHeat floor heating systems are engineered to deliver the ultimate in thermal comfort. The heating panels can be used to warm a variety of floor types, with low energy consumption at affordable prices. These systems are commonly used to complement the existing home heating system by providing extra comfort to the most popular rooms in the house. The systems are configured with factory connections, and all products are suitable for either new construction or renovation projects.

For more details about the many radiant floor heating options that are available, contact Warmzone today, at 888-488-9276.

Warmzone is one of the largest providers of floor heating, snow melting, and roof de-icing systems, as well as luxury home heating amenities. For more information about Warmzone radiant heat systems or luxury amenities, contact a friendly Warmzone representative today, at 888-488-9276.

New IoT Controller Offered

Warmzone Adds Advanced Controller to its Impressive List of Product Offerings

Over the years a growing number of consumers have come to rely on Warmzone for all their radiant heating needs. Knowing they can count on Warmzone’s industry-leading products and customer support services, homeowners and construction professionals alike turn to Warmzone for their snow melting, home heating, and roof de-icing needs.

As an established industry leader, Warmzone has focused on two basic philosophies: Provide unmatched customer support services, and a large selection of the industry’s most proven products. This emphasis on selection and service is why Warmzone has grown to be a favorite among building professionals.

In keeping with Warmzone’s commitment to offering the largest selection of the best products, Warmzone recently added the EcoTrace IC controller to our line of snow melting controls. This advanced device is a single-circuit IoT heat trace controller for use in snow melting, freeze protection and temperature maintenance applications.

What is IoT?

“IoT” refers to the Internet of Things, and may be one of the most important technologies of this century. It allows us to connect everyday objects such as roofs, driveways, kitchen appliances, etc., to the internet via embedded devices. These devices (or sensors) can be added to objects to measure environmental parameters, and the data is then transmitted through a communications network. IoT technology makes seamless communication possible between people, processes, and things.

EcoTrace IC Controller for snow melting and heat trace applications.
The new EcoTrace IC Controller for snow melting and heat trace applications.

How does the Controller Use This Technology

The advanced controller uses its proprietary algorithms to process weather data and adjust the system’s power output according to storm conditions. In addition to activating the heating system, the controller’s “smart” snow melting capability includes optional preheating, the ability to ignore light storms, and dynamic heating after the storm, all to improve overall system performance and reduce energy use and operating cost. The versatile controller allows the user to choose from a selection of weather-based control algorithms, which include, roof de-icing, gutter heat tracing, and heated driveways and snow melting systems.

Pipe Heat Trace

For pipe trace applications, the EcoTrace IC controller can be used for freeze protection and temperature maintenance. A temperature sensor can be connected, allowing you to use either ambient or pipe sensing modes to prevent pipes from freezing. Hybrid freeze protection uses weather forecast data in combination with the local sensor to control freeze protection systems up to 40 percent more efficiently. The temperature sensor can also be used for process temperature maintenance, grease waste lines, and hot water maintenance lines (HWM).

Eliminate Silent Failure with 24/7 Monitoring

Heat trace failures can result in frozen pipes, leaks, and damage to critical equipment. With the comprehensive 24/7 system monitoring and automated fault notification, you can rest easy knowing your systems are working. The device’s cloud platform allows you to manage all of your heat tracing systems in one place, even if you are somewhere else.

Connect from Anywhere

The advanced controllers connect to the Frio Cloud via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Cellular. When connected to the cloud, the controller will upload system status and receive operational commands. Multiple devices can be joined together in the Cloud platform, allowing centralized control of multiple heat tracing systems. Users can access their control device remotely via the Cloud platform to check status, activate the system or run a diagnostic test, eliminating the need to physically check the heater control system.

Front view and internals of EcoTrace IC Controller.

Two models of the controller are available: one with Modbus and BACnet connectivity, and the other, which accepts a thermistor only. Both controller models support Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections. The devices are designed to use 802.11n Wi-Fi operating in the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band. Both units are compatible with older 2.4GHz 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a networks. The ethernet connection supports 10Mbps and 100Mbps operation. See the user manual for firewall information.

The controller can drive up to a 30A resistive load to control electric heat trace systems operating between 110 VAC and 277 VAC. The IC (Internet Controller) comes in an outdoor-rated enclosure, tested to IP67 standard.

The controller also allows for the user to manually activate the device for a set period of time. Manual override can be set from the device’s Cloud platform, or through Modbus for BMS connected systems.

Warmzone is one of the largest providers of floor heating, snow melting, and roof de-icing systems, as well as luxury home heating amenities. For more information about Warmzone radiant heat systems or luxury amenities, contact a friendly Warmzone representative today, at 888-488-9276.


Adding Radiant Heat to Asphalt

I still remember last year’s biggest snowstorm. It was a doozie. The snowfall made it impossible to see where the yard stopped and the driveway – or even the street – began. It seemed that the whole world was buried under a downy blanket of snow. It was beautiful – and intimidating. I had to go to work.

Knowing I’d be spending much of the morning clearing the driveway and walks before going to work, I got up early and fried some eggs and bacon. I sat down and began seasoning my eggs. I was gently tapping the salt shaker when my wife barged into the kitchen, franticly mumbling something about her “stupid” alarm clock.

“Have you salted the driveway?” she asked, pulling her blazer up over her shoulders.

Wait, what? It took a moment for my early-morning brain to stretch beyond the simple thought of a tasty breakfast. I’m salting my eggs. Why would I want to salt the driveway? I’m not THAT hungry.

I looked up at her as my upper lip stretched into an Elvis-esque sneer. “Say wahhh?” I winced.

“Have you shoveled the driveway and salted? You know how slick it gets.”

“Oh, uh yeah. I mean, no. No, not yet. I was just gonna eat first,” I gestured to my plate.

My wife eyed the omelet like it was my old girlfriend.

“Well, I have to go in early today, so I hope I can get down the hill alright.”

In other words, breakfast can wait. Time to trade my fork for the snow shovel. (Thank goodness for microwave ovens.)

Our driveway is on an incline, so if the car starts sliding, it will slide right into the road. If a car happens to be passing at the time, well, let’s just say there’s no ‘merging’ lane.

After working up a considerable sweat – and appetite – I was able to safely see my wife off to work. I wouldn’t be far behind, but first, I’d warm up some bacon and eggs.

Most mornings aren’t quite this hectic, but we’d grown accustomed to altering our schedules in order to deal with the weather. But if a surprise storm hit, or we didn’t get up early enough to deal with the snow, well, it seems that we’d spend the entire day trying to catch up.

Heated tire tracks in asphalt driveway.

Given the layout of our driveway, and how it spills out onto the road below, I can’t think of a better solution than that of installing a radiant heated driveway. Truth is, some neighbors of mine have a heated driveway. Every morning after a storm, I drive past their house and I envy their clear – dry – driveway. Apparently, they also have radiant heat installed under their front steps and porch. It sure stands out in the neighborhood. I’m sure that Jared enjoys watching everyone else shovel and plow their driveways. Yeah, while everyone else is salting and shoveling their driveway, he’s probably salting his eggs and shoveling them into his mouth.

After talking with Jared about his heated driveway, I was convinced that my wife and I needed to install one. In addition to being fully automated, heated driveways are also maintenance free. The efficiency, and everything else about these systems sounded too good to pass up. And given our driveway incline, it seemed like an obvious solution to an obvious problem.

I also learned that heated driveways can be customized to meet whatever needs we have. Whether it’s for layout needs or budget constraints, these systems can be tailored explicitly to match the precise needs of each customer.

Initially, I wasn’t sure how to best heat the driveway, but Warmzone gave us some great money-saving options. My wife and I were excited to find an option that still made the driveway safe during the winter, but also resulted in a lower installation cost as well as a lower operating cost. We chose to install heated tire tracks.

The heated tire tracks extended along the length of the driveway. (Each heating mat heated an area 24-inches wide. The mats feature pre-spaced heat cable that is easily rolled out during the installation.) Near the end of the driveway, near the road, we heated most of the area.

Having an asphalt driveway made it pretty easy for us to retrofit our existing driveway with radiant heat. The ClearZone heating mats were laid out over the area to be heated, and then secured to the asphalt. Then a new layer of asphalt was applied.

Warmzone provided all the technical support and training we needed. If there was ever a question, the electrician could immediately call Warmzone and get the issue resolved. The free installation training was especially beneficial. This was one of the best home upgrades we’ve done. Since installing the heated driveway, my wife and I have enjoyed eating our breakfasts together. I no longer get a raised eyebrow when I’m enjoying my bacon and eggs. And as for the salt, well, it just stays on the eggs.

My Experience with Installing a Heated Driveway

Knowing What to Look for When Shopping for a Radiant Heat Snow Melting System

This winter I’ve been enjoying my heated driveway like a little country boy enjoying a Red Ryder BB gun on Christmas morning. This is the gift that keeps on giving, and every snowy day seems a little like Christmas. I feel like a proud father as I watch my heated driveway distinguish itself from all the other driveways in the neighborhood. Oh, and there’s Bob, shoveling snow from his driveway. ‘Atta boy, Bob.’ I nod and acknowledge him with a raise of my coffee cup. I know he can’t see me, but still, this is oddly satisfying. Ah, but I’m not here to gloat over my snow-free driveway.

I’ve learned a lot about radiant heat this past year. As a homeowner, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about driveway heating systems. Perhaps some of my experiences can be beneficial to others who are exploring the possibility of installing a radiant heat system.

When my wife and I first decided that we wanted a radiant heated driveway, we knew very little about the actual systems. I figured that the driveway gets warm, the snow melts, and boom, there it is. But the reality of it is that there are certain components and support services that make a big difference. I was fortunate in dealing with Warmzone. With that being said, I guess my first piece of advice to homeowners is to make sure that you deal with experienced, established pros. (There are cheap options out there, like buying generic heat cable from some home improvement store, but when you don’t have customer support services, it ultimately costs you more in the long run.) A heated driveway is a significant investment. Don’t cut corners.

These systems are touted as fully automated and maintenance free. This almost sounded too good to be true, but it is actually the case. Once installed, you really don’t have to worry about it. However, I like to wipe down the snow sensor every now and then. During the year, wind storms can kick up dust or leaves that may end up on the small sensor. To be honest, I haven’t had a leaf land perfectly on the sensor, but one never knows. Regardless, I like to wipe the sensor plate down now and then, just to avoid any dirt buildup.

Heated driveway shown after a snowstorm.

In addition to the snow sensor, automated heated driveways also feature a heating element and control panel. Make sure the components for your system are proven products. Warmzone uses ClearZone heat cable, which has been around for decades, so I know it’s a cable I can trust. It also carries a top manufacturer warranty. The contactor panel, or controller is what kicks the power to the heat cable. The sensor detects snow, signals the controller, and then power is sent to the heating element that’s embedded in the driveway. It’s a simple system with no moving parts. Gotta love that.

Before I looked into getting a heated driveway, I didn’t realize that heat cable can be purchased in individual lengths off a spool, as well as in mats. I chose the mats. These are available in different lengths as well, but the cable is already pre-spaced, so they can simply be rolled out during the installation, and then secured. Boom! Pretty quick and easy. I was even able to help install them.

I’m really not much of a “do-it-yourselfer”, but this was something that even I could do. (I had my wife take a couple of photos of me “installing” the driveway, just for posterity’s sake – and to document my diverse skills.) Yeah, it was a proud moment, unlike the time I tried to show off my handyman skills by switching out a water facet in my wife’s apartment before we got married. (Be sure to always turn off the water supply beforehand.) But hey, she still married me. I guess I might still be trying to redeem myself for that one.  

Anyway, to heat our concrete driveway, thin remesh was laid out and then the cable mats were placed over the remesh and then secured with plastic ties. (Did I mention that I did this part?) Little plastic supports, called Mesh-Ups were used to keep the remesh from resting on the ground. This ensures that the heat cable is ideally positioned about 2-3 inches from the surface of the finished driveway. Then the concrete was poured.

I also learned that heated driveways are designed according to ASHRAE standards. (Don’t worry, I had no clue what this meant either.) In other words, your driveway heating system will be designed specifically for the winter conditions in your area. If you have an average winter temperature of 24°F, with annual snowfall around 70 inches, then the designers create a system that is specifically designed to handle those conditions. This helps to determine the watts per square foot that your system needs to effectively keep the driveway clear of snow and ice. Each system is custom tailored to deal with the customer’s unique demands.

Heated driveway with overlay of components.
The typical components of an automated Warmzone radiant heated driveway.

As you’re shopping for a system, ask questions. I’m glad I did. And be sure to have your electrician find out about the power requirements. (This usually isn’t a problem for most homeowners, but for those who are looking to heat massive areas, you should definitely find out what your available power is, and confirm the system’s power demands.)

Fortunately, snow melting systems can be customized to the hilt, so you can install radiant heat exactly how you want. If you don’t want to heat your entire driveway, then you can heat two 24-inch wide tire tracks, or just an 8-foot wide strip in the middle. Heck, you can install radiant heat in a checkerboard pattern if you want. It’s all about you and what works best for your layout and budget.

Also, perhaps the most important services for customers are the support services such as free installation training, technical support, and system design. The free installation training was invaluable. The instructor covered every aspect of the installation, so the electrician and installers knew everything they needed, prior to installing the system. Warmzone also provided real time technical support. When the electrician had a question, he called and spoke with an expert. Also, prior to any work taking place, Warmzone created a detailed layout / design of the system. We knew exactly how and where to install the heat cable and every component. These support services are what made the difference. I can’t stress enough that you deal only with a company that provides these types of services.

My advice to you is to call and talk with a radiant heat expert and explore your options. (Oh, and remember to always turn off the water supply before changing water facets.) Warmzone radiant heat experts are friendly professionals who will ask you about your project and then explain the best available options. There’s no rush, and no pressure. I talked with these guys for months before my wife and I decided to do the installation. They were always there to patiently answer any questions or address any concerns. Given their quality products and remarkable support services, I couldn’t imagine working with any provider other than Warmzone.

Warmzone is one of the largest providers of floor heating, snow melting, and roof de-icing systems, as well as luxury home heating amenities. For more information about Warmzone radiant heat systems or luxury amenities, contact a friendly Warmzone representative today, at 888-488-9276.

Upgrading my Driveway

I did it! I Installed a Heated Driveway. (Part II of “My Summer Projects“)

This summer I committed to installing a heated driveway. After my wife slipped and fell last winter, I knew the jig was up. (Now, before you rush to any judgement, I DID shovel the driveway earlier that morning, but I guess I missed a spot. Dang snow shovel must have had a manufacturing defect.)

Most ladies’ shoes don’t go well with ice, and my wife’s field research emphasized this point. After years of close calls, she had finally had enough. I had to do something. Of course, I was also motivated by the ultimatum she gave as she writhed in pain on the cold pavement. It was either the driveway, or it was me. According to her, one of us had to go.

That may sound a bit harsh, and perhaps it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but you catch my drift. I’m not sure if she intended for me to dig up the driveway and throw it in the dumpster out of spite, or revenge, or what. All I knew was that I was going nowhere.

I guess you could say that I was a victim of friendly fire after the accident, but I can’t blame her for her tirade. In the heat of the moment, my wife unleashed a salvo of profoundly creative expletives, weaved into an almost poetic series of imaginative stanzas. Being the first one on scene, I took the brunt of the assault. I discovered that under the right conditions, she can make my old drill sergeant sound like a substitute first-grade teacher. But, enough about that.

I bypassed marriage counseling and reached out directly to Warmzone. I had checked out a couple other radiant heat providers, but I liked the way Warmzone approached things. These guys were consummate pros, and their customer support was impressive. They answered my questions and explained the options that would work best for us.

One option was for us to use saw-cut technology that would allow us to heat the existing driveway. To do this, small grooves are cut into the concrete and heat cable is placed in the grooves. Then a special epoxy is applied to seal the heating cable. A light coating of sand can then be applied to provide traction. This is an effective and affordable way to heat an existing driveway that’s otherwise in good condition. But, with visions of my wife laying on the icy pavement still fresh in my head, I determined that none of my old, crumbling driveway should be spared. We had other plans for that wretched concrete.

The original driveway was never a selling point for our house. In fact, when my wife and I bought the home, we knew that eventually, we’d need to replace the driveway. I also wanted to make a small change to the driveway’s layout. So, instead of heating the existing concrete, we decided to redo the poorly installed driveway. After all, it was either me or the driveway that had to go. Adios driveway!

Warmzone system designers created a detailed layout of my new heated driveway. The AutoCAD® included the complete layout of the system and every component, as well as all the information needed by the electrician. Thanks to the layout and free installation training, the system was installed quickly and easily, without any major issues or surprises. A couple of times, the electrician called and spoke with a technical support expert at Warmzone to ensure we were doing things right. That was nice because it allowed us to proceed with confidence. Overall, the process of installing the system went quicker than I thought.

In December, we got a significant early snowstorm. Wow, what a joy it was to look out the window on Saturday morning and see a serene, white landscape with a beautiful, snow-free driveway in the foreground. The automated system cleared – and dried – the driveway! Now that’s a safety feature we can live with. I tried to get my wife to make a donut run so she could appreciate the clear driveway, but instead, we stayed inside and admired the sight.

We were both exited with this accomplishment. I figured that it earned me a day or two of skiing – minimum. I’d have my wife join me, but her doctor said it would be best for her to avoid winter sports activities for awhile. But at least I redeemed myself and exacted revenge on that old driveway for her. (I also threw my defective snow shovel back into the tool shed.)

I think our “post-heated driveway” life looks bright. Now, if I could just get the old basement pantry rewired so the lights don’t keep flickering off unexpectedly. All in due time. For now, I’m going to have lunch and savor the success of this heated driveway.

“Hey honey, can you run downstairs and grab a can of chili for me?”

Yeah, life is good.

Read Part I, My Summer Projects.

Warmzone is one of the largest providers of floor heating, snow melting, and roof de-icing systems, as well as luxury home heating amenities. For more information about Warmzone radiant heat systems or luxury amenities, contact a friendly Warmzone representative today, at 888-488-9276.

Radiant Heated Floors and Thermostats

Warmzone’s Advanced Thermostats Ensure that your Heated Floors Operate at Peak Efficiency

When it comes to residential heating systems, homeowners have many options from which to choose. Traditional systems that use a furnace, blower, and ductwork (known as forced-air systems) are still commonplace in homes today, but the advance of technology is paving the way for new, and increasingly efficient options for homeowners.

Radiant heat has long been the most efficient heating technology for decades, but today’s systems continue to push the envelop – both in terms of comfort and efficiency. A wide variety of electric floor heating systems are available, as well as hydronic systems. (Hydronic floor heating systems heat specially treated water that is circulated through a closed loop of special PEX tubing that is embedded in the floor.)  

In addition to offering hydronic heated floors, Warmzone carries one of the largest selections of electric floor heating systems in the industry. The systems range from thin heat cable to low-voltage polymer panels, near-paper-thin “film” heating panels, and more. Whether you have hardwood, tile, vinyl, or any other type of flooring, Warmzone can match you with the ideal system to meet your heating needs as well as your budget.

ComfortTile floor heating system installed under tile floor
Ceramic tiled floor heated with ComfortTile floor heating system.

Warmzone Floor Heating System Products and Offerings Include:

ComfortTile: As the most popular floor heating option, this versatile system features thin heat cable (available in mats and spools) is effective for heating a wide variety of floors.

FilmHeat: This remarkable heating element is thinner than a credit card, and is regarded by flooring professionals at the best option for heating laminate and floating floors.

In-Slab: The sturdy In-Slab heat cable is designed for installation in concrete slabs. In-Slab heat cable is ideal for heating basements, or other floors over concrete.

FloorHeat STEP: Thin, low-voltage polymer FloorHeat panels are ideal for heating hardwood floors.

RetroHeat: The ultra-thin heating panels allow homeowners to heat existing floors, without having to undergo any major remodeling. The panels are designed to be stapled up between the floor joists.

FoilHeat: The FoilHeat system features thin heat cable that is sandwiched between two layers of specially reinforced aluminum. The system is designed for heating laminate, engineered wood, and even carpeted floors.

Prodeso: The flexible underlayment membrane provides an innovative uncoupling and waterproofing system for heating floors and other surfaces without movement or expansion joints in the screed.

In addition to the many advanced radiant floor heating technologies, Warmzone also offers the industry’s most advanced control systems. Warmzone’s newest thermostat offering is the LED WiFi Touch Thermostat.

LED WiFi Programmable Floor Heating Thermostat
The advanced LED WiFi programmable floor heating system thermostat.

This attractive, technologically advanced touch-screen thermostat allows users to remotely adjust and monitor their floor heating system. The thermostats can be accessed locally through Bluetooth® and virtually anywhere when connected to the Cloud service through WiFi. Users can also control the thermostat using their voice with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled devices. The advanced thermostats include an intuitive installation wizard that guides installers and end-users through the setup process.

To ensure security, the LED WiFi thermostat transmits encrypted data securely via TLS 1.3. This latest state-of-the-art encryption technology allows faster and more secure connections. For your WiFi connection, take advantage of the secure and comprehensive WPA3 protocol.

A variety of other thermostat options are also available to homeowners. The controllers range from programmable “TOUCH” thermostats to simple control devices for those on a tight budget.

Radiant heat is the home heating technology of today, and the future. Start enjoying luxurious warmth and unprecedented efficiency by installing your radiant floor heating system. With Warmzone’s expertise and vast product selection, homeowners are assured of finding the ideal system and thermostat for all of their home heating needs.

Warmzone is also a customer service leader. Warmzone’s support services include radiant heat system design and layout services, personal installation support, and FREE installation training. Our goal is to provide customers with the best, most complete floor heating solution possible. For more information about radiant floor heating systems or customer services, call a friendly radiant floor heating expert today, at 888-488-9276.

The Versatility of Radiant Heat

Keep Your Favorite Outdoor Spaces and Walkways Clear of Snow During the Winter Months

Radiant heated driveways are becoming commonplace in upscale neighborhoods nowadays. The efficiency and convenience of these automated systems make them attractive options for homeowners. In addition to operating on renewable energy, the systems eliminate the need for salt and harmful snowmelt chemicals. For environmentally conscious consumers, these traits are strong selling points. The features and benefits of these reliable systems ensure that they’re here to stay, but radiant heat is often called upon to do much more than heat driveways. These systems are used for a wide variety of other snow melting applications – as well as roof de-icing and home heating applications.

Given the nature of Warmzone’s versatile ClearZone snow melting system, radiant heat is easily customized to accommodate a range of consumer demands. In addition to heated driveways, some other demands include heated dog runs and kennels, heated outdoor steps, sidewalks, loading docks, and accessibility ramps. The systems are also frequently designed and installed to keep favorite, or heavily trafficked outdoor areas clear of snow as ice, such as pathways to a jacuzzi, or to the garbage cans, etc. The systems can be installed to heat concrete, asphalt, brick and stone pavers, and more. Warmzone snow melting systems have also been installed in a variety of large commercial applications, such as train platforms, bus stops, airport aprons, parking ramps, and more.

Customers are often surprised to learn that radiant heat can be installed to keep outdoor steps free from snow and ice during the winter months. Aside from heating driveways, heating steps is another popular request from home and business owners.

Heated steps being installed.
Radiant snow melting system being installed to heat outdoor steps.

We all know how treacherous steps can be during snowstorms. Some of us (with bruises, scars, or a limp) know better than others. Installing a radiant snow melting system is one sure way to greatly reduce the chances of slip and fall accidents during the winter. Needless to say, the enhanced safety provided by a radiant heat system is a godsend for business owners.

Most Warmzone heated step systems utilize ClearZone heat cable. ClearZone heat cable is a premium heat-resistant cable that is available off the spool or pre-spaced in mats. For heated step installations, cable off the spool is recommended. To prevent snow and ice from forming on outdoor steps, three or four runs of heat cable are installed along each step (depending on the depth of the step), including one run near the bullnose edge of the step. The cable is then run to the next step and laid out in a similar fashion.

Warmzone system designers are also frequently called upon to design systems to keep loading docks and accessibility ramps safe during winter. The heat cable is easily installed in concrete (as well as other mediums), and the system activates only when needed. If a snowstorm hits during the night, you can be assured that the ramp will be clear and safe for pedestrian traffic in the morning.

Heated entryway
A radiant heated accessibility ramp after a snowstorm.

Warmzone snow melting systems consist of the best available components, which include an activation device (snow sensor) and controller. When the sensor detects snow, it sends a signal to the control unit, and power is then sent to the embedded heat cable. The heated surface prevents snow from accumulating during the storm. A safety feature, called the “afterrun” function allows the system to remain on for a short time after the snowstorm. This allows the heated concrete (or other medium) to dry, ensuring that no water is left on the surface, and preventing thin sheets of “invisible” ice from forming. In addition to the automated features of the snow melting systems, Warmzone systems also include a manual override feature, so it can be activated if needed. (Sometimes wind may blow snow onto the driveway, or snow has melted and pooled in the driveway.)

Every radiant heat system is backed by the best customer service in the business. In addition to providing customers with a detailed design/layout of the system, Warmzone also includes free installation training and technical support. To learn more about radiant snow melting systems, or Warmzone’s industry-leading support services, call and talk with a radiant heat expert today, at 888-488-9276.