All posts by Jordan Ricks

Timing is Everything

The Benefits of Installing Radiant Heat During the “Off” Season

Although you may feel that you’re still firmly in the cold clutches of Old Man Winter, take solace in the knowledge that spring is just around the corner. And with warmer weather comes the opportunity to start – or finish – those construction projects that you’ve been planning. For professional builders, warmer temperatures thaw out the slow winter business and the trickle of work often turns into a torrent, complete with deadlines, demands, and new challenges.

Get a jump on your radiant heat projects by purchasing your materials early. There’s a good chance that you may be able to take advantage of “early bird” discounts on self-regulating roof deicing systems, floor heating, and ClearZone snow melting system components. And if you’re a homeowner, you’re much more likely to find an available installer at this time of the year. Later in the season – during prime construction time – finding a contractor – let alone, the one you prefer – who can accommodate your schedule can be a real challenge.

Panorama of Chicago during winter

Speaking of contractors and installers, Warmzone maintains a database of experienced, favorably reviewed professionals in your area, so you can be assured that your system is being installed by pros who know about radiant heat systems. And finding these experts early in the construction season is a whole lot easier (and sometimes more affordable) than trying to find one late in the summer.

Warmzone is an industry leader, not only because of the quality of our systems, but because of the wide selection of radiant heat systems and our unparalleled customer services. In addition to one of the largest and most diverse selections of radiant floor heating, roof deicing, pipe tracing, and snow melting solutions, Warmzone provides the industry’s most comprehensive service.

When you first contact Warmzone, our professionals will learn about your needs and then provide you with information about the options that would be best for your needs. Because we carry several different brands we’re not locked into offering just one or two options by one manufacturer. Our experts will carefully evaluate your needs and then recommend accordingly.

Free System Design – We can provide you with a detailed AutoCAD system design that not only covers the layout and materials of the system, but also includes all the technical information necessary for your electrician. This information includes proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and so on. You’ll know all the details prior to any installation taking place.

Rolling out snow melting heating mats.

Free Installation TrainingWarmzone also provides free interactive installation training. This is an invaluable service that can ultimately save a great deal of time and money in the long run. A radiant heat expert will personally cover all the aspects of your installation, and you can ask questions and proceed at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Most training courses take less than an hour, but having this expertise under your belt allows you to install with confidence, and avoid costly or time consuming mistakes.

Free Installation Support – Our support staff is also on hand during the installation. If you or your installers have any questions during the installation, these can be resolved simply by calling Warmzone. Our staff will walk you through the process and help ensure the proper installation – and a happy customer.

Talk with a friendly professional at Warmzone today and get the ball rolling. Radiant heat systems are easy to customize, and our designers are experienced in designing systems that best meet the customers’ radiant heat needs as well as their budgets. Call and learn more about the many affordable options and Warmzone’s industry leading customer services today at 888.488.9276.

February HotNews – Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Radiant Heat – The Heating System of Choice for New Construction Projects

With the emphasis on renewable energy and enhancing the efficiency of our homes nowadays, it’s no wonder that radiant heat is fast becoming the heating system of choice for new home construction. Radiant heated floors boast virtually no heat loss as over 99% of the energy devoted effectively translates into heating the home. Unlike traditional forced-air heating systems where hot air rises quickly and cools in the room (and escapes from closed vents), radiant floor heating systems feature no heat loss and precise control, as each room (or zone) is controlled by its own thermostat.

Heated bathroom floor

In addition to its remarkable energy efficiency, radiant floor heat also provides luxurious warmth. Installing a radiant heat system in your home not only can enhances cost savings and comfort, but can also significantly boost the value of your home.

Radiant floor heating systems consist of three main components: a heating element, a control center and an activation device (thermostat, timer, etc.). Warmzone offers a variety of the industry’s most advanced thermostats with its floor heating systems. The thermostats include simple on/off controllers and 7-day programmable thermostats that can be controlled by an external sensor (embedded in the floor), a built-in sensor, or a combination of the two. By installing heated floors, homeowners can turn a small investment into considerable cost-savings that also increases the value of your home.

The Types of Heating Elements

To accommodate the many different floor types and applications, Warmzone offers one of the largest selections of floor heating systems. The various systems utilize different types of heating elements, each with their own strong points and advantages.

ComfortTile floor heating mat

The most common and popular heating element is thin ComfortTile heat resistance cable. The cable diameter is only about 1/8-inch and has a bending radius of about 1 inch. It is twin-conductor cable with a single point connection to facilitate easy installation. And speaking of easy installation, ComfortTile mats feature heat cable that is pre-spaced on a flexible mesh backing for simple “roll out” installation. With a 25-year limited warranty, and UL listed in the U.S. and Canada, ComfortTile heat cable is one of the most trusted and commonly used floor heating solutions today.

Prodeso floor heating membrane
Prodeso radiant floor heating membrane and cable shown installed on cement base slab to heat a tile floor.

Thin heat cable can also be used with other components, such as the Prodeso® floor heating membrane. The uncoupling, waterproofing membranes come in rolls that are laid out over the subfloor and then the heat cable is installed in the channels of the membrane. This ensures precisely accurate spacing and speeds up the installation process. The floor surface is then installed directly over the membrane and heat cable. The system can be used to heat a wide variety of floor types.

A thicker, highly rugged heat cable is also available for installation in concrete slabs. In-Slab heat cable provides an efficient and highly effective means for heating floors that are installed over concrete slabs. The heat cable is secured to the remesh (with zip ties) and the concrete is poured. In-Slab floor heating systems are ideal for heating basement level floors. The twin conductor, single point connection heat cable features a 10-year manufacturer warranty.

Another heating element features thin FilmHeat (only 0.016-inch thick) that can be cut to length on site and either placed on the subfloor to heat newly constructed floors or stapled up between floor joists to heat existing floors. For new floors, this heating element is installed by floating it on top of an underlayment and floating the floor covering on top of the film. No alarms, special tools, or self leveling compounds are needed. This versatile system is very energy efficient, and because it is so thin there is no floor buildup. The system can be used to heat a range of floor types, including laminate, floating tile, engineered wood, and even bamboo.

Low-voltage radiant heating element.

Thin polymer FloorHeat panels can also be installed to heat a variety of floor types, including hardwood. This low-voltage system is one of the most unique and innovative radiant heat systems, and features self-regulating heating elements. Purchased in rolls, the thin, 12-inch wide heating element can be cut to size and field wired onsite for easy installation.

Another ultra thin FoilHeat electric radiant floor heating system features thin fluoropolymer insulated heating cables that are sandwiched between two layers of specially reinforced aluminum foil. Featuring superior design and quality construction, FoilHeat is another viable option for heating laminate floors.

The watertight heating element is connected to a power-supply cable that exits the laminate mat from one corner. The power lead is a flat, thin two-core flexible cord, consisting of two insulated conductors with a metal sheath and an outer sheath. The uniform spacing of the heating cable, backed by the conductive aluminum foil, ensures that there are no problems of “hot-spots” or localized heating. FoilHeat mats can be cut and shaped onsite.

In addition to the vast selection of electric radiant floor heating systems, Warmzone also offers industry leading hydronic floor heating solutions. For more information about our radiant heat systems, call 888.488.9276 today.

Heated Driveways can be a Reality for Most Homeowners

Explore the Many Options for Heating Your Driveway

For some homeowners who are considering the installation of a heated driveway, discovering the initial price of a snow melting system can be like getting hit in the face by an errant snowball. The immediate response is to retreat to the garage and embrace the snow shovel with renewed, yet reluctant affection and appreciation. Unaware of the many custom – and affordable – driveway heating options that can accommodate a vast range of budgets and layouts, many consumers unknowingly close the door of possibility and relegate themselves (and their families) to a future of manual snow removal.

A heated driveway system in concrete operating during a snowstorm.
A heated driveway system in concrete operating during a snowstorm.

In truth, no two heated driveways are alike, as every system is customized according to the specific demands of the homeowner. Each system is not only designed for the specific layout of each driveway, but other factors are considered as well. In addition to the budget, driveway heating systems are also designed according to ASHRAE standards.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an organization committed to advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world.

Snow melting system requirements vary, depending on the specifics of the project. ASHRAE standards were established to address variances such as the location’s altitude, average snowfall and temperature, etc., to allow designers to optimize each system’s performance for that particular location. Basically, if you want the best snow melting system, it’s a good idea to choose a radiant heat solutions provider that adheres to ASHRAE Standards.

To ensure the best snow melting system for your needs, it’s vital that your radiant heat provider design a custom system in accordance with ASHRAE Standards. This ensures that every system best meets the specific needs of each customer. Adhering to these standards means breaking down the design of the system regionally. This entails careful research of the weather for the region, including the general climate, average snowfall, storm duration, temperatures, and other important factors to ensure that the system’s components and design is going to be best suited to perform ideally in that particular location.

While the price of a heated driveway can often be rationalized by the added convenience and time-saving features – or money saved from paying for manual snow removal – perhaps the real benefit of a heated driveway is added safety.

“It’s a classic example of how you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind,” says Alex Geier, of Hinsdale, Illinois (quoted by the Calgary Herald). Safety is likely the single greatest benefit of a heated driveway system.

Asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks

You also don’t have to heat the entire driveway. Many choose to only heat an 8-foot wide strip up the middle of a driveway, or two 24-inch tire tracks. The options and custom layouts are endless, and so many things can be done to accommodate the budget – without affecting performance.

Snow melting systems can be further customized to accommodate the available power. And don’t worry. You don’t need to be solely responsible for determining the available power of your home. Ultimately it is the electrician who determines this. However, there are some helpful guidelines that may assist you as you work with radiant heat professionals to determine the best snow melting solution.

One 30-amp breaker supplies enough power to heat a 170-square foot area. To heat a driveway of 350-square feet, two 30-amp breakers (or one 60-amp breaker) is needed. You can check your home’s main breaker panel to see the power coming into the house. (Most residences feature either two 100-amp panels or two 200-amp breakers. These are located at the top of the main breaker box, above the main breaker panel.)

If you have limited power there are still options that would allow you to install a heated driveway. Customers with minimal power have installed heated driveways that rely on zoning. This means that only one section of the driveway heats up at a time. For example, if there are three zones, then zone one will first activate. After it clears the area, zone two will then power up, followed by zone three. Certainly this is not as ideal as heating a driveway all at once, but for those with power constraints, this is a viable option. Regardless of your situation and budget, chances are that there is a custom driveway heating solution that will fit your needs.

Call Warmzone for more information (888.488.9276), or visit us online at www.warmzone.com.

Automated, Maintenance-free Snow Melting Systems

Custom Heated Driveways, Sidewalks and more

Warmzone has been designing snow melting systems for a wide variety of applications for almost two decades. From commercial parking structures and residential driveways to sidewalks, steps and even runaway truck ramps, we’ve provided a radiant heat solution for just about every application imaginable.

Warmzone customers choose to install snow melting systems for several reasons. Some are for commercial applications and are installed to eliminate the need for manual snow removal as well as to enhance safety for patrons. Being fully automated, radiant snow melting systems provide reliable snow removal, regardless of the hour. This way, customers are assured of having clear walkways to and from the business.

Some clients are unable to manually shovel the snow due to physical/medical limitations. Others need to heat their driveway because it is on a steep incline. Doctors and emergency response personnel need to be able to exit driveways quickly, regardless of the weather, and radiant heat has proven to be ideal under those circumstances. And of course, there are some projects that fall into the “luxury” category.

Regardless of the customer’s need, each Warmzone snow melting system is customized specifically to best meet the needs of the customer. We do not take a “one size fits all” approach. Every Warmzone system is designed to ASHRAE standards to ensure that customers receive the most effective and efficient snow melting solution for their location, layout, and snow melting needs.

Warmzone provides industry leading system design services. Our detailed AutoCAD drawings not only show the layout of the cable and components, but include all the necessary electrical information, such as the proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, etc.

Fully Automated

Warmzone snow melting systems feature the industry’s top controls. Most driveway heating systems utilize the WS-2C aerial-mount snow sensor (activation device). The unit features an interleaved grid “moisture” sensor at the top and the brass cylinder protruding from the bottom of the unit is the temperature sensor. When the controller detects precipitation and the temperature is below the designated set point, the unit signals the contactor panel and power is sent to the heating cable. The UL listed panels are available with or without GFEP included. (This is an excellent cost – and time – savings option for electricians.) The resistance cable then warms the driveway surface.

Aerial mount snow sensor
A WS-2C aerial mount snow sensor for automated snow melting systems.

The advanced snow sensor is mounted out in the open where it has a clear view of the sky and is exposed to the weather. To ensure that the sensor is able to make accurate temperature readings, make sure it is not mounted near furnace vents, dryer vents or any other source of heat.

Maintenance Free Snow Melting System

Because the system has no moving parts it requires no routine maintenance; however, it is recommended that the sensor be powered down and the small sensor grid be wiped clean with clear water once every 4 months.

Radiant heated driveways and snow melting systems can be easily customized to accommodate the homeowner’s layout, snowmelt needs, and budget. While every snow melting system can be tailored for each unique installation, some common layout options include:

Heat the most trafficked areas – Rather than heating the entire driveway, some owners choose to heat only the areas that receive the most traffic. An 8-foot strip in the middle of the driveway or a 2-foot strip down the middle of a sidewalk may be all that the customer needs/wants. This still allows clear access for vehicles and/or pedestrian traffic, but brings down the installation cost as well as operational costs.

Heated tire tracks – Another affordable option (that also requires considerably less power) is to heat two 24-inch wide tire tracks. This is a popular solution for customers with limited power or a limited budget. Not only does this make the installation more affordable, but the layout also demands less power, making it more affordable to run.

Heated driveway on incline with heated tire tracks

Heat Specific Areas – Some areas are prone to ice buildup or are on a steep incline. Radiant heat can be installed to keep the incline (or shaded areas) clear of snow and ice to enhance safety as well as convenience. This is especially beneficial for those with driveways that run downhill and into a busy road.

Because Warmzone radiant snow melting systems are fully automated, business owners can be assured that parking areas and walkways are kept clear at all times during snowy days. There’s no need to have employees arrive early to shovel or go outside periodically to clear and salt the walks. When a snowstorm hits, the radiant heat system will activate and keep the walks clear. Once the storm abates, the system remains on for a short time to dry the area (to prevent ice buildup) and then shuts off. Because this “after run” feature provides dry, safe walking areas for customers, it greatly reduces the chances of business owners being hit with dreaded personal injury lawsuits.

Industry Leading Support Services

Don’t forget, Warmzone is the innovative leader when it comes to customer service. Installers not only receive a detailed layout with all the technical information, but can talk with a radiant heat expert any time and receive technical support whenever they have a question during the installation. (See Warmzone’s December Newsletter below for more information about Warmzone’s system design services.) Warmzone also hosts a library of helpful installation videos on its website. Check out Warmzone’s Installation Videos here.

Warmzone also provides free installation training. Installers receive personal training and can complete the installation course at their own pace. Electrical and design experts are on hand to assist you during the training and/or the installation. Warmzone stands by its customers to ensure that the system is installed correctly and the customer is satisfied.

For more information, or a free quote, contact Warmzone today at 888.488.9276.

December HotNews – Roof Heat Trace Systems

Roof Gutter Trace Systems

Self-regulating Heat Cable for Gutters, Downspouts, Valleys and More

During the winter months many homeowners scramble to find a way to protect their roof gutters from heavy ice buildup. Icicles can also form, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians below. Not only does falling ice present a danger, but melting icicles drip onto the sidewalk below and the water refreezes in the evening, creating a thin sheet of slick ice. Needless to say, these conditions are a nightmare for business owners.

The most popular and trusted method for keeping roof gutters and downspouts free of snow and ice is installing a heat trace system. These affordable systems are easy to install and are fully automated. The reliable, maintenance free roof deicing systems rely on durable self-regulating heat trace cable.

Self-regulating heat cable

Self-regulating heat cable automatically adjusts its power output to compensate for temperature changes. The cable’s irradiated conductive core increases the heat output as the outside temperature falls and decreases the heat output as the temperature rises. This unique construction makes it durable, safe, and extremely energy efficient.

The UV stabilized, flexible thermoplastic elastomer overjacket protects the durable carbon core for wet applications and exposure to the sun. These features provide more consistent performance, longer lifespan, and easier installation in cold temperatures that most other cable brands. In addition to providing ideal protection for roof and gutter applications, the heat cable can also be used for pipe tracing applications.

The other key component to Warmzone’s industry leading roof deicing and gutter trace system is the WS-8C aerial-mount snow sensor. This advanced sensor is designed primarily for gutter, downspout, and roof ice melting and small satellite antenna deicing. The totally sealed, low voltage, remote mount precipitation sensor allows the user to install the small sensor head in a downspout, the back of a gutter, or at the end of an antenna boom, up to 10 feet away, while keeping the main controller in a more convenient or protected outdoor location.

Warmzone roof heat tracing systems are affordable and effective. And once installed, you never have to worry about it. The system automatically operates when needed.

In addition to installing the cable in roof gutters, downspouts and valleys, the cable can also be zigzagged along the roof’s edge to help break up ice dams. The heat cable prevents water from pooling up behind ice dams by providing channels for the runoff to reach the gutter.

However, if your roof is consistently dealing with ice dams, that may be an indication that your attic is poorly insulated. Certainly, a roof deicing system can be installed at your roof edges to eliminate ice dams, but it is also recommended that you check your attic to ensure that it is properly insulated as well.

Roof in need of a roof deicing system

Ice dams form as a result of warm air rising from the home and escaping into the attic where it warms the roof and causes runoff. The melted snow reaches the colder roof overhang and refreezes. Eventually a ridge of ice forms and then subsequent runoff pools behind the ridge of ice. Water can seep under shingles and when it refreezes damage may occur.

Warmzone can provide a variety of custom roof heating solutions for you. Call today and see what options would best suit your needs. Any system can be customized to meet your specific roof heating needs and budget. Call 888.488.9276 today.

Features and Benefits of Warmzone’s Roof Heat Trace Systems

  • Will not overheat or burnout when overlapped
  • Superior quality outer jacket and carbon core
  • Features advanced technology that results in highly effective, energy efficient operation
  • Can be cut to length in the field
  • Fully automated
  • Maintenance free
  • Protects roofs by preventing ice dams and ice buildup

What Makes Warmzone’s Design and Support Services the Industry’s Best?

Unmatched Support and Design Services – Reasons why Warmzone Heated Driveway Systems are Better than any Other

When shopping for a radiant snow melting, floor heating, or roof deicing system, there are several factors to take into consideration to ensure that you install the best system for your needs and that it will perform the way that you want it to. With so many options out there, it can be difficult for homeowners to narrow down the field of potential system providers. So when it comes to installing a heated driveway or floor, what are the key factors to look for? What factors distinguish one system over another?

Certainly you’ll want reputable, proven system components. For a heated driveway / snow melting system this includes the heating element (cable), snow sensor, and the contactor panel or controller. A quality system begins with quality components. This is an area in which Warmzone excels.

Snow melting system heat cable and components

But a few providers may offer some components of similar quality. So, to further separate the “great” from the “good”, we need to take some other factors into consideration. If you’re sure that you’ve found the highest quality system components, you’ll next need to find out what services are included with those quality components. What role will your provider play in regards to the installation of those top quality components?

Genuine Customer Service versus Customer Service Hype

When it comes to service, too many radiant heat system providers deliver lip service rather than genuine customer service. Few businesses have a trained, dedicated support staff, so installers often end up speaking with sales people or whoever else happens to be free at the time of the call. But radiant heat customers deserve better. Great customer service not only means friendly, technical installation support, but includes accurate system design and layout services.

Example of Warmzone radiant heat system AutoCAD
Example of a snow melting system design drawing.

It is vital that you have a detailed layout of your system. This not only includes a “road map” of how your heating cable is laid out, but also where and how it is wired to the contactor panel and activation device (snow sensor). The system layout must be created by an experienced designer and electrical expert. Professional system designs should also contain all the technical information for your electrician. Every aspect of the snow melting system should be included so that your electrician and installer know every detail prior to installing any heat cable.

Warmzone offers an AutoCAD drawing of the layout with all the technical information necessary to move forward with the installation. System layouts should include proper layout and materials, proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, etc. We make sure that your installer and electrician have all the information necessary to begin the install with confidence. And that includes free installation training.

Honestly, what makes Warmzone Different? 

Warmzone’s pre- and post sales support is unmatched. We won’t abandon you after the sale. We answer your questions, evaluate your project needs and then assist you before, during, and after the installation. Here are some specifics that identify why we’re so different:

Pre-sales system designWarmzone provides pre-sales system design services. This is offered to ensure that the system meets all of your requirements. There’s no need to purchase a system and then worry whether it will perform adequately for your specific application and layout. If you choose to move forward with the purchase, Warmzone will include an AutoCAD layout at your request.

Free Installation Training – Knowing how vital the proper installation is, Warmzone provides free installation training for installers and electricians. We’ll cover all the aspects of your specific installation, and we’ll be available if you have any questions during the install. This training is invaluable for installers and a great benefit to homeowners.

Technical Support – While installing a radiant heating system is relatively easy, and the installation manual covers all aspects of the install, sometimes it still helps to talk with an expert. Warmzone has a dedicated staff of support personnel available to answer your call. If an installer or electrician has questions during the installation, he/she can call and speak with an expert who will work with them to resolve the issue at hand.

Programming the Controller – We assist in programming the controller based on ASHRAE standards. (The settings depend on the ASHRAE standards mandated for the specific area where your system is installed.)

Commissioning Large Systems for ServiceWarmzone support experts are also available to assist customers in the startup and commissioning of large systems for service. For example, for a heated runaway truck ramp in the Northeastern U.S., a Warmzone expert not only provided technical support onsite, but commissioned the system after the installation to ensure optimum performance.

Special Equipment – On rare occasions, an installer’s helper may accidentally damage the cable during the installation, but then not mention it so as to avoid repercussions. Then the concrete is poured but the system doesn’t perform as it should. Warmzone has the equipment to locate and repair the cable fault, so there’s no need to tear up a large portion of the driveway. This is a service that few – if any – other providers offer.

Large heated paver driveway

Warmzone installation experts are available to walk installers through the installation process, and they continue to be available after the system is installed. This ensures that all the customer’s questions are answered and the automated system is ready for the first snowfall.

Warmzone focuses on the long term goal of making customers happy rather than just selling snow melting systems. For customers to be satisfied, they need to be treated with respect and work with a friendly support staff that goes the extra mile. With our staff, we can provide consumers with expertise and genuine, personal support services that make them feel more like a partner than a customer.

For details about our products and services, contact a friendly professional today at 888.488.9276.

October HotNews – What Makes Warmzone Snow Melting Systems Better than Others?

A Look Behind the Making of a Great Snow Melting System

Radiant heat snow melting systems are easy to customize and can be installed in just about any time of medium and application. Snowmelt systems are versatile and can be custom designed to heat driveways, loading docks, ramps, bridges, steps and more.

But did you know that Warmzone custom designs your snow melting system according to a wide range of variables, including the specific weather trends in your region? That’s right; the design process goes way beyond the basics of square footage, available power and budget.

Your heated driveway is carefully tailored to provide the best and most cost-effective snow melting results according to the typical weather conditions in your area. Some of the factors considered when designing a system include the average winter temperature, average annual snowfall, project application, layout demands, and the medium used (i.e., concrete, asphalt, pavers). Just like the snowflakes they melt, each heated driveway system is unique. Despite having the same general layout, a snow melting system at the top of a ski resort is going to differ from a heated driveway down in the city.

Heated paver walkways at outdoor mall

After the snow melting components have been selected and the system has been carefully designed, the next step is to make that design come to life with a proper installation. NOTE: It’s important to understand that no matter how brilliant the system design may be, the performance of the system hinges on the correct execution of every aspect of the installation.

Knowing that the proper installation of these systems is so important, Warmzone provides free installation training and installation support services. We stand by our customers throughout the installation process to help ensure that the system is properly installed.

Prior to the installation training, it’s helpful for installers to take advantage of the information available on our website. In addition to a wealth of online product documentation and illustrations, Warmzone hosts a vast resource of instructional videos. This valuable resource can help installers gain a better understanding of the systems, how they are installed, and how they function.

Next, the installer should sign up for training. Warmzone’s free installation training courses can be scheduled through our website. Installers can sign up for a time that is convenient for them and then receive personal instructions via WebEx. Installers are also welcome to attend free training courses at our Salt Lake City facility. The course takes less than an hour and the attendee can ask as many questions as he/she sees fit.

When laying out the heat cable for the system, it is vital to maintain proper spacing so that the cables never touch or cross over each other. Typical spacing for a heated driveway is either 4 or 3 inches (37 or 50 watts per square foot). For concrete pours the cable should be secured to the remesh using zip ties. Mesh-Up plastic supports should be placed under the remesh to keep the cable elevated in the cement slab. Ideally, the heat cable should be about 2 inches from the surface of the driveway or area to be heated. The cable’s power lead is then run to the control panel. (The splice must remain embedded in the concrete.) Because electric snow melting systems feature no moving parts, they require no maintenance.

Snow sensors for automated snow melting system
An aerial-mount and a ground-mount snow sensor activation device.

When snow is detected the sensor signals the controller which then sends power to the heating cable, warming the driveway surface. After the storm, the “afterrun” function keeps the system running for a short period to dry the surface so that no ice forms.

Radiant snow melting systems have proven to reliably and efficiently provide snow melting around the clock. Owners can rest easy, knowing that the snow melting system is keeping the driveway and/or walks free of snow and Ice.

For more information about Warmzone snow melting, roof deicing or floor heating systems, contact a radiant heat expert today at 888.488.9276.

Take Care of Your Roof

Helpful Roof Information

Most weather related issues for a home begin – or end – with the roof. So, it’s no exaggeration to state that the single most important physical characteristic of a house may be its roof. Trouble areas or a poor quality roof can result in expensive water damage within the house so it’s vital to catch these problems before any damage can be done. As homeowners it’s important for us to inspect and maintain the quality of the roof and consistently ensure the integrity of the roof.

A mountain lodge in dire need of a roof deicing system

Some important factors to keep in mind are:

  • Multiple-layer roofs (shingles laid over shingles) will have a shorter lifespan.
  • An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof can shorten the life of roof shingles.
  • Severe weather such as hot summers and harsh winters can affect your roof. Weather fronts that introduce dramatic temperature swings within a 24-hour period can also shorten lifespan because of the rapid expansion and contraction of the roof materials.

What’s the Best Way to Heat My Roof?

Warmzone offers several options when it comes to heating your roof. And each system can be customized to further meet your specific needs.

Roof deicing system installed to heat roof edges

One of the most popular systems for heating roof edges is the RoofHeat STEP system. This system features thin, low-voltage heating element that is installed directly under the roof shingle. (The system is also safe to install under metal roofs.)

The semi-conductive polyethylene heating element comes in 12-inch wide rolls and can even be nailed or stapled through and cut on site. Other widths are available for heating gutters and downspouts. The heating element is polypropylene fused during fabrication to achieve water proofing and protection from alkaline or salt damage.

Heating Gutters and Downspouts

The ideal solution for heating gutters and downspouts is self-regulating heat cable. The heat cable is effective for heating roof edges, gutters and drainpipes to help prevent costly ice and water damage, frost erosion and dangerous falling ice.

The self-regulating roof and gutter heating cable is extremely effective and energy efficient. The UL listed cable meets the requirements of the NEC (National Electric Code) Section 426. The durable cable features an irradiated conductive core that increases the heat output as the outside temperature falls and decreases the heat output as the temperature rises. This proven construction makes it tough, safe, and extremely energy efficient.

Most residential automated self-regulating heat trace systems consist of the heating element and a thermostat or snow sensor (activation device). (Larger systems may require another contactor, depending upon the power requirements. Heat trace systems rely on the thermostat to activate and keep the gutters and downspouts clear of ice.

Warmzone roof heating systems are fully automated and maintenance free. Warmzone roof deicing systems have been installed in Denver and most other cold regions around the country and are still the most effective and discreet for roof deicing and gutter trace applications.

Roof heating systems can be customized to accommodate just about any roof type and configuration. Warmzone self-reg roof and gutter heating cable may also be combined with other recommended roof heating systems, such as the RoofHeat STEP deicing system to create an optimal solution for you. We’ll work with you to create a customized system to best accommodate your specific snow melting needs as well as your budget. For more information, call 888.488.9276 today.

July Newsletter – Efficiently Warming Your Home

Radiant Floor Heating

Nowadays consumers are not only concerned with saving money, but about doing their part to minimize their carbon footprint and help protect the environment. Perhaps it is these factors that have contributed to the steady growth of radiant heat – in addition to the luxurious warmth that it offers.

Radiant heat systems provide the most efficient way to heat homes and businesses. Unlike forced air systems, radiant heated floors have virtually no heat loss, so there’s no wasted energy. And the systems operate on renewable energy. (Hydronic floor heating systems are also available. These systems utilize a boiler to heat the specially treated water that is pumped through a series of PEX tubing.)

Traditional home heating systems use a series of vents and a blower. While standing over a vent in the winter time can be a nice way to warm up, unfortunately that comfort doesn’t spread evenly across the whole room or last very long. Most of the room can warm quickly, but it cools equally fast. The heated air blown from the vents rises to the ceiling and dissipates, abandoning the floors and lower levels of the home. This is known as stratification – a situation where the top levels of a room are warm and the lower levels are colder, oftentimes by as much as 10 degrees. The cooler temperatures at “knee level” are especially uncomfortable for children who spend a lot of time playing on the floor.

Heated tile floor

Most forced air heating systems use natural gas to produce a flame that heats air. The warm air is then distributed throughout the house through a series of conduits. Some ducts may run through cold basements, causing heat loss in the air being blown from the furnace. In addition to the air cooling slightly as it travels through the house, warm air can also escape wherever there are small openings in the ducts and closed vents. When combined with stratification the inefficiency of forced air heating systems becomes glaringly apparent. Simply put, transferring heat through the air is not an energy efficient solution.

Recognizing the lack of sustained warmth and cooler temperatures at lower levels in the rooms, most parents frequently bump up the thermostat to blow more warm air from the vents. This eventually raises the temperature, but significantly raises the monthly heating bill as well. There’s no escaping the fact that a great deal of heat loss occurs with traditional blower systems. And though vents in some rooms can be closed in an effort to drive more heat to occupied rooms, hot air continues to escape, whistling from the closed vents. When the thermostat is cranked high enough the environment can be warmed, but forced air systems are notorious for heat loss and wasted energy.

Unlike transferring heat through the air, radiant heat warms a surface directly by expanding out from the heat source. This is the most efficient form of energy transfer. Heat radiates through objects via infrared radiation, warming objects and people in the room.

Radiant heat systems offer a significantly more efficient means for heating homes and businesses. In addition to being at least 30 percent more efficient, the floor heating systems provide an even, continuous level of warmth. And since radiant heat originates at the floor, you’ll enjoy the natural benefits of heat rising, minimizing heat loss due to dissipation.

Installing floor heating cable mats

Both electric and hydronic floor heating systems are available. Most electric radiant floor heating systems utilize a network of resistance heating cable that is installed under the floor surface. Because there are no moving parts with electric heated floors, the systems are maintenance free. Warmzone offers a wide variety of electric floor heating systems, including ComfortTile heat cable, Prodeso® floor heating systems, FloorHeat STEP low-voltage systems, In-Slab heating, FoilHeat, and FilmHeat/RetroHeat, which is used for both new construction applications and retrofitting existing floors with radiant heat. Visit our Floor Heating Systems Overview webpage.

Hydronic floor heating systems with RAUPANELs utilize an efficient boiler to heat specially treated water that is then circulated through a closed loop of PEX tubing by a series of pumps. Hydronic systems require a special ‘mechanical room’ for the equipment. Because hydronic radiant heat systems can operate on natural gas or other fuel, the operational costs may be lower than those of its electric counterpart. But both electric and hydronic systems offer the luxurious and energy efficient benefits of radiant heat.

March News – Warmzone Prodeso Floor Heating Systems

Advances in tile manufacturing in the past few decades have improved the quality and choices available to consumers. New colors, new materials, larger format, thinner tiles and digital printing have all contributed to a steady growth of the use of tile as a surface. When compared to other flooring options such as carpeting and wood floors, ceramic tiles are normally preferred because they are easy to clean, resilient, and hygienic. Unfortunately ceramic tile and natural stone, if not installed properly, are subject to cracking, delaminating, and are cold to the touch. Use of electrical floor heating can minimize the cold, but can submit the tile assembly to additional stress that can lead to cracking and delaminating.

Traditionally most electric floor heating, and anti-fracturing membrane manufacturers have recommended covering the electrical heating cables with a self-leveling cement layer or a thin-set layer followed by an uncoupling crack isolating membrane and then finally installing the tiles. This process needlessly increases time, difficulty, thickness, height differentials, weight, and cost of the overall installation.

Prodeso floor heating membrane

In keeping with our commitment to offering the finest and latest radiant heat technologies, Warmzone announces the offering of Prodeso® membrane floor heating systems. The Prodeso membrane is a polypropylene uncoupling, crack isolation, waterproofing membrane, with rounded square shaped reliefs. These reliefs form channels specially designed to embed and hold the ComfortTile heat cable – and is an excellent choice for heating tile floors.

ComfortTile floor heating mat, cable and thermostat

The heat membrane features a polypropylene thermo welded woven underneath to increase the bond between the subfloor and the membrane, and comes in rolls that can be laid out directly over the subfloor prior to the ceramic tile or other floor surface being installed. The design of the membrane provides an innovative uncoupling and waterproofing system for heating floors and other surfaces without movement or expansion joints in the screed.

Simplifying the installation process, the uncoupling membrane is laid directly over the entire surface intended for the installation. The electric heating cable can then be installed in the channels formed between the rounded square reliefs of the patented membrane, resulting in quick, easy, and accurate cable placement. It is NOT necessary to use self-leveling cement to cover and protect the heat cable before starting a tile installation. This results in significant savings of material, time, cost and overall weight. The floor surface can be immediately installed over the membrane and cable.

The membrane is versatile and can be used on all types of indoor and outdoor applications. And the Prodeso system is safe under all conditions and weather, and can be used to heat a wide variety of floor surfaces. It even waterproofs the substrate in the case of overlaying on cracked or imperfectly cured floors with a risk of vapor stress.

Some Benefits of Warmzone Prodeso

Warmzone’s Prodeso® Heat System combines the benefit of an underlayment membrane with the comfort and convenience of electrical floor heating.

The Prodeso Heat Membrane can be installed over the entire subfloor as an uncoupling, crack isolating and waterproofing membrane.

Prodeso floor heating membrane
Prodeso radiant floor heating membrane and cable shown installed on cement base slab to heat a tile floor.
  • The innovative and patented Prodeso® heat system is a time saving, cost effective system to install a warm and comforting floor.
  • The floor heating cable is then installed in the channels of the membrane, ensuring quick and accurate cable placement.
  • Once the heat cable is installed you can begin installing the flooring immediately; no waiting is necessary. This allows you to install an underlayment membrane, the floor heat and tile (or other surface) all in the same day.
  • The Prodeso heat system will add only 5.5mm to your overall installation. That’s less than a ¼ inch, which is considerably less than many other leading systems.
  • There is virtually no heat loss, making this floor heating system extremely effective and energy efficient.
  • The patented Prodeso heat system allows you to have the comfort and convenience of under floor electrical radiant heating at an affordable cost.
  • Prodeso heat system thermostat allows you to program and control your floor heat cycles to accommodate your schedule, optimizing comfort and minimizing operating costs. The system gives you the pleasure of under floor heat where you want it, when you want it.
  • The Prodeso heat system is an easy to install floor heating solution, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

ComfortTile Heat Cable

To ensure the maximum benefit from your Prodeso floor heating membrane, it is recommended to use ComfortTile floor heating cable. ComfortTile heat cable is a premium, proven heat cable that is used for a wide range of radiant floor heating applications. The quality manufacturing is evidenced by the twin conductor heating cable that is matched with premium materials, enabling the ComfortTile heat cable to withstand the harshest conditions while providing superior floor heating performance and fast response times. The heat cable is only about 1/8 of an inch in diameter, and can be quickly and easily placed in the channels of the Prodeso membrane.