Tag Archives: Electric snow melting

Attract More Customers to Your Car Wash

Increasing Profitability While Reducing Liability

The car wash industry boasts annual revenue of approximately $5.8 billion. That’s a large pie to be sure, but with over 113,000 automated and self-serve car wash facilities vying for a slice, the pickings can often be slim and the competition fierce for owners of these businesses. Unlike most significant markets that are typically dominated by large conglomerates, 90 percent of car washes are owned by small businesses or individuals. Given the limited budget of most of these business owners, it is vital to keep maintenance costs at a minimum while keeping the facility operational at all times.

Outdoor car wash

Abundant Demand and Abundant Competition
According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 8 million cars are washed every day. Of the 113,000 car wash facilities competing for business, 58,000 are in-bay automatics and 36,000 are self-service car wash bays. With so many car wash facilities dotting the landscape, how do you distinguish your car wash and attract the most customers? What are the “selling points” that entice consumers to choose one self-service car wash over another?

First, it’s important to know that the busiest and most profitable time for the car wash industry is during the winter. Thirty-two percent of the annual earnings are realized during the cold weather months while spring and summer seasons each account for 25% of yearly revenue and fall income dips to 18%. With winter being the peak earning season for the car wash business, downtime during the cold season must be avoided at all costs.

The Challenge
The very challenges that threaten your operation in the winter (ice and snow) are also the factors that generate increased business. Consumers are eager to wash the salt and sludge from their vehicles after each winter storm, but if your car wash has ice packed around the entrance and exit, you can be certain that you are losing business as a result. Most owners apply salt or snowmelt chemicals or use other labor intensive means in an effort to keep their bays free of ice and snow. Not only can the icy property hinder business, but the dangerous conditions can lead to personal injury and costly litigation.

The demand for safe car washes has become a serious topic due to preventable accidents and expensive settlements in recent years. In addition to the winter precipitation, the overspray from a car wash often creates dangerous, slick areas in and around each bay. Insurance is a necessity but not a catchall solution, and it can come at a high cost. However, installing a radiant snow melting system can decrease your liability as well as reduce your insurance premiums. When comparing the cost savings for insurance and the decreased chances of an expensive lawsuit, installing a snow melting system makes good business sense.

Selling Points
Certainly insurance is essential for your business, but if you are serious about increasing your profits then you must also be aware of the key “selling points” that influence consumers when searching for a self-service car wash. Perhaps the most important factor responsible for attracting business to your car wash is appearance. Customers look for clean and safe (ice-free) property as well as functional looking equipment. But how do you maintain safe, clean conditions around the clock during the icy winter barrage? And how do you avoid downtime to take advantage of the increase in demand during extreme weather conditions?

The Proven Solution
Car wash owners are discovering the reliability, affordability and effectiveness of electric radiant heat systems. Easy to install and surprisingly affordable, electric radiant heat has proven to be the ideal technology to complement the self-service car wash industry.

Warmzone is one of the country’s leading radiant heat solutions providers, and offers both hydronic and electric radiant snow melting solutions. Hydronic snowmelt systems can be very efficient for heating large areas, but for small, custom areas such as car wash bay aprons, electric radiant heat has proven to be the best answer. Electric snow melting systems can be easily customized, so heating small strips of pavement at the entrance and exit is simple and affordable. There’s no need for a control room and electric systems feature rapid response times so the pavement is heated quickly and efficiently. Warmzone snow melting systems are also maintenance free and fully automated, but can also be controlled manually when needed.

In addition to providing one of the most comprehensive radiant heat information resources on the web (www.warmzone.com ), Warmzone also makes it easy to explore the options for installing radiant heat by offering free quotes and professional consulting. Simply call a representative to discuss the options and costs with no obligation (888.488.9276).

Statistical Sources: MSSP, IRS, Professional Car Washing and Detailing, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Radiant Snow Melting and the Benefits of a Green Winter

Make Life Greener and Cleaner with Radiant Heat

Snow is on its way, and if your resolution for the New Year is to live a greener life, radiant snow melting systems are a great place to start. Electric snow melting is simply kinder to the environment. Clean, silent and compatible with renewable energy sources, electric snow melting doesn’t require harsh snow melting chemicals or additional snow removal equipment, saving your driveway, lawn and surrounding landscaping and your budget.

Radiant snow melting systems use an automatic sensor that automatically activates driveway heat when precipitation is detected and temperatures are below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. System response times are fast, so chances are good that your driveway will be clear long before your boots ever see pavement. There’s no back-breaking shoveling, waiting for a snow removal service, or supplemental snow melting chemicals required.

Unlike electric snow melting systems, snow removal chemicals have a negative impact on your lawn and surrounding landscape. Direct contact from salt spray from roadways, or from salt-laden snow that has been blown or shoveled over them can create yellow, dead patches of grass on your lawn, and cause bud death as well as twig dieback. And salt buildup in the adjacent soil formed by the repeated yearly applications of ice melting chemicals can damage plant roots, rendering them incapable of taking up water.

A high concentration of calcium chlorides can permanently damage your driveway. Heavy application of these products is most often the biggest culprit, which shortens the lifespan of concrete surfaces. In addition to the damage caused by harsh chemicals, chain marks, scratches or gouges often result from the snow removal equipment used by well-meaning commercial snow removal companies. Unlike radiant snow melting systems, there’s also a potential for damage to landscaping that comes with hiring a snow removal service.

Perhaps at this point you’re wondering just how much green a radiant snow melting system is going to cost you. Once you get past the initial cost of installation, operating a radiant heated driveway will literally cost you pennies on the dollar. Once you decide on your heating requirements, Warmzone is there to design a system to suit your needs, whether you’re outfitting a new concrete pour or an existing driveway. Warmzone has the experts and the expertise necessary to come up with an electric heated snow melting solution for your driveway that’s within your budget, without cutting corners on performance. Just think of all of the money you’ll save on lawn repair and snow removal services.

Unlike other snow removal options, outside of that slight tick upward in your electric bill, there’s no snow blower to fill with gas, snow removal service to pay, or snow melting chemicals required. An electric snow melting system is self-contained and virtually maintenance free. Just set it and forget it. The snow will be gone before you even have a chance to warm up that morning cup of joe. And if your goal is to live off the grid to the fullest extent possible, it’s a good idea to include Warmzone radiant snow melting systems in your plans. They’re fully compatible with renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

Find out more about Warmzone radiant snow melting systems and their impact on a greener lifestyle by calling 888.488.9276.

Read Warmzone’s Green Energy Statement.

Of Water and Wires: Hydronic Heated Driveways vs. Electric Heated Driveways

‘Ride the Current’ or ‘Go With the Flow’?

If you’ve finally put down the shovel and decided to purchase a heated driveway system, will you be going hydronic or electric? If you’re a newcomer to the concept of driveway heating, hydronic and electric are both popular, and extremely viable forms of driveway heat, and Warmzone has the expertise, and experience, to help determine which is best for you. What these systems share in common—four key components you should be familiar with before purchasing a heated driveway system:

  • The Heating Element (Embedded in the driveway)
  • Snow Sensor
  • Power Controller Unit (Powers the heating elements on and off)
  • Power Supply (Circuit breaker panel)

Of the components mentioned above, the heating element and the control source distinguish hydronic heated driveway systems from electric heated driveway systems.

Hydronic Heated Driveway Systems: Going with the Flow
The heating element for a hydronic snowmelt system, as you may have guessed, involves water. Specifically, hydronic heated driveways use what is known as closed-loop tubing to heat the surface of the driveway. The tubing is generally made of a flexible (and quite durable) polymer or synthetic rubber to circulate a mixture of hot water and propylene glycol (antifreeze). The fluid is warmed to temperatures between 140 to 180 degrees F to deliver enough heat for snow melting.

Heated driveway with brick pavers

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

Electric Heated Driveway Systems: Riding the Current
Unlike hydronic systems, electric heated driveway systems use hot wires to heat paved surfaces. These wires are surrounded by layers of insulation, copper grounding braid and a protective outer layer of PVC or polyolefin to form a flexible cable about ⅛ to ¼ inch in diameter. What’s great about the heat cables is the flexibility of the application. Cable is available on spools as well as pre-spaced and woven into mats, and can be customized (cut) to suit virtually any type of layout, including odd-shaped driveways, common walkways and sidewalks, etc.

After being triggered by the snow sensor, the control unit then powers the heat cable to warm the driveway. To reduce the power demands (and operating costs), you can install cables in just the tire tracks of a driveway rather than the entire area. Warmzone provides complete system design services to ensure that you receive the best system layout and products for your project.

Radiant Heat for Custom Applications

Finding a Radiant Heating Solution as Unique as You Are
As temperatures plummet and heat bills skyrocket, consumers everywhere are turning to radiant heating systems. As the most affordable and customizable option out there, radiant heating is quickly making a name for itself as a titan in the heating market.

So radiant heating is the latest and greatest, but what exactly is so great about it and what can it do for you? One word: customization.

When it comes to radiant heating, the possibilities are endless. Warmzone can design a radiant heating system completely customized for your home and lifestyle, and it’s as easy as one, two, three!

The first step of your radiant heating revolution is studying the available options and talking with a radiant heat expert to help determine the best radiant heat system for your needs.

Indoor Radiant Heating
Radiant heating can be installed under just about any surface, including tile, carpet, wood, etc. Put it in your bathroom, your kitchen, your living room—anywhere you need heat. Each room, or zone, can be controlled with its own thermostat. giving you great flexibility along with outstanding efficiency. Radiant floor heating is an affordable way to keep your house perfectly warm without racking up the electricity bill.

Outdoor Radiant Heating
You can also enjoy the benefits of radiant heating outdoors. Exterior snow melting systems keep your property safe by preventing pesky snow and ice buildup. There are several outdoor radiant heating products and options, including heated driveways, sidewalks, roof heating, pipe tracing, and portable heating mats; all of which will make your life a little easier in the harsh winter months.

We realize that your radiant heating system isn’t the same as the next customer’s, so we’ll work with you to come up with a radiant heating system tailor-made to your needs.

Example of a Warmzone floor heating AutoCAD

Once we assess your project’s requirements, our team will design a custom radiant heat solution with an AutoCAD of your system, complete with all the technical specs you need so you know all the details prior to any installation taking place.

With radiant heating, your only job is to sit back, relax, and enjoy your custom radiant heating solution. Let your heated floors warm your home evenly and efficiently. Sit back and watch from the warmth of your living room as your radiant heated driveway does the shoveling for you. And sleep in peace knowing that your gutters and pipes are safe from nasty and potentially devastating snow and ice buildup.

Why settle for an out of the box heating solution? Let us help you customize a radiant heating system that meets your needs, fits your budget, and keeps you and your family warm and safe.