Tag Archives: Radiant heat costs

Calculating the Operating Costs

Estimating the Cost of a Radiant Heat System

One of the most common questions among prospective buyers of radiant heat systems is: “How much will it cost to run the system?” While there are many factors that contribute to the answer of this question, we still can offer a formula that will help you determine what you can expect in terms of operating costs.

Keep in mind that the operating cost of a snow melting system will depend on the specifics of the system. Warmzone custom designs each snow melting system to ensure peak performance and energy efficiency. Radiant snow melting systems are designed specifically for the winter conditions in your area. Everything from altitude and average snowfall is considered as well as average winter temperatures. Before using the formula shown here to calculate the operating cost of your snow melting system, you’ll first need to know the kilowatt per hour rates of your local power utility company. These rates vary from region to region, so we used the average kilowatt per hour rate for the formula attached.

Operating cost calculation for radiant heat system in asphalt

Warmzone’s experienced design team configures your snow melting system to best meet your snowmelt needs in the most efficient manner possible. The ClearZone snow melting heat cable is a proven industry leader that is available on spools or pre-spaced in mats for simple “roll-out” installation.

While systems vary, residential snow melting systems typically operate at 37 watts per square foot while commercial snow melting systems operate at 50 watts per square foot. The formula shown here would therefore change accordingly and you would multiply the square footage by 50.

Estimating the Cost for Operating an Electric Snow Melting System

 ❶ Determine the total square footage of the area that will be affected.
 ❷ Multiply the square footage by the heat required (e.g., 37 watts per square foot for residential). This will give you a total for the watts per square footage required.
 ❸ Divide this number by 1,000 to convert to kilowatts.
 ❹ Look up the kilowatts-per-hour rate from the local power utility company.
 ❺ Multiply the total watts-per-square-foot by the watts-per-hour.
 ❻ This gives you the cost per hour of usage for the snow melting system.

To find out more about Warmzone’s industry-leading snow melting systems, call 888.488.9276 and speak to a Warmzone professional today.

Warmzone to Release Instructional Videos

On Tap – Online Resource for Instructional Radiant Heat Videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words – as the saying goes – how much is a video worth?

“Invaluable”, said Troy Lindsay, general contractor and owner of PAE construction in Denver, Colorado.

While installing a radiant heat system is a not an extremely difficult task, it is still crucial to follow the correct procedures to ensure the system performs as intended. Considering the importance of proper installation, Warmzone extends the industry’s most extensive customer services. These customer offerings include personal installation support, detailed system design / layout services, and free installation training courses. These valuable services give professional builders distinct advantages when it comes to purchasing and installing radiant heat. The addition of an extensive online resource of instructional videos will further benefit contractors and simplify the installation process.

A veteran installer of commercial and residential radiant heat projects, Lindsay understands the value of instructional videos. “Having access to training videos will be an asset to installers everywhere,” he added. “It’s great being able to talk with electricians and designers at Warmzone during the installation process, but sometimes it really helps to be able to SEE what is being explained. Videos help to make things clear and can help keep Warmzone and installers on the same page and on track during the installation. Ultimately, the videos can save us time and money in the long run, and every contractor likes the sound of that!” he concluded.

How to videos for installing radiant heat from Warmzone

Warmzone senior training and support specialist, Jim Sage, reiterates the value of the soon-to-be-released video library.

“Many installers take advantage of our free installation training program, and after they complete our course and receive a certificate of completion, we can refer additional business to them. But sometimes we work with construction personnel who have not completed one of our training sessions. It’s one thing to explain a process over the phone, but going over the procedure and then having them view it online clarifies things and gives installers the knowhow to proceed with confidence. And the videos are not only advantageous to us and installers, they can also protect homeowners by providing clear methods and procedures that can help ensure the proper installation of their radiant heat systems.”

Watch for Warmzone’s new online video library launch, and take advantage of the information provided by Warmzone. In addition to our superior customer services, Warmzone radiant heat systems are at the top of their class and can be customized to accommodate virtually any type of radiant heat application. For more information on installing an interior or exterior radiant heating system before next winter, call a Warmzone pro at 888.488.9276.

Back on Track with a Heated Driveway

Heated Driveway System in Illinois Paves the Way to Big Savings for one Warmzone Customer

When a Warmzone customer in rural Illinois found he did not have the resources to heat his entire driveway as originally planned, Sales Manager, Bryan Morris, offered a reasonable alternative. “Tire tracks were a great option in this scenario,” he explained, “because you can still get a heated portion that allows you to drive in and out, without breaking the bank. After consulting with the customer and our design team, we laid out the options (verbally and with drawings) before deciding on a more cost-effective, two-track heated driveway solution. Ultimately, heating two tire tracks (500 sq.ft.), as opposed to heating the entire 1,250 sq.ft. driveway, resulted in a $3,900 cost savings.”

Retrofitting asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks-1      Retrofitting asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks-2

Another consideration was the lack of available power. “To heat an entire driveway would have required a large number of amps from the home’s electrical power panel,” Morris stated. “Most homes only have a 200 amp panel, yet it takes approximately 180 breaker amps per 1,000 square feet to heat an entire driveway.”

The two-track radiant heated driveway system required installation of four Warmzone ClearZone snow melting mats, a 200-amp Warmzone electrical timer panel, an aerial mounted moisture/temperature snow sensor, a remote manual control unit and an NEC marker plate. Tire tracks were easily installed by rolling out the mats like sleeping bags. A protective asphalt layer was then raked over the tire track mats (photo 2) before the final surface coat was applied. “We use an asphalt machine that straddles the heating element to prevent damaging the heat cable,” offered Morris.

Asphalt driveway being retrofitted with heated tire tracks - 3      Heated asphalt driveway retrofitted with heated tire tracks.

The great news is that you don’t have to pour a new driveway to benefit from a heated driveway. Warmzone can customize your system to fit your needs and budget. “On this project,” said Morris, “the customer was paving the whole driveway anyway. Some customers pick other install methods, such as saw cutting, to achieve their goals.”

Saw cutting is cutting grooves or paths and inserting the heat cable in areas where heat is desired. With certain driveway heating systems, it is also possible to pave over the mats and create the appearance of a seamless transaction. “You can cut out the area you want to heat and then pave only that area,” Morris added. ClearZone is used under cement, asphalt and pavers on a regular basis.

Flexible options make heated driveway solutions a very popular equity booster for homeowners, and are becoming a popular home improvement option. “On average,” Morris stated, “the overall materials (cable, electrical and auto sensors) cost $6.00 per sq.ft. for 1,000 sq. ft., and the operating cost per 5-hour storm is $18.00, or $3-4 per hour depending on the state the heated driveway system is installed in and the power company’s cost per kilowatt hour.”

While the initial cost of installing a radiant heated driveway system may seem a bit daunting, the benefits of driveway heating are well worth the initial investment, the most obvious being convenience. Heated driveways don’t require shoveling, harmful salt and chemical applications or expensive snow removal services. Instead, driveway heating systems provide a safe, thorough snow removal solution with curb appeal, solving snow  removal challenges posed by problematic driveways, steps, and other heavy traffic areas.

Heated driveway systems are fully automated, so they will automatically turn on or off when needed. “If it snows at 3 a.m.,” Morris smiled, “our customer will wake up to a clear driveway. He now has a reliable, efficient snow removal solution.”

Project Spotlight – Colorado Homeowners Install Solar Powered Radiant Floor Heating System

When two Colorado homeowners decided to build a new home from the ground up, they had two main objectives in mind. They wanted a home just for them and they wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible. One of the components they chose in their new construction was to install radiant floor heating through the 1600 square feet downstairs and 900 square feet upstairs.

After doing some research and finding Warmzone online they were pleased with the many options available for various applications and the customer support offered during the entire process.

These Rocky Mountain homeowners had several great reasons for wanting to go the radiant heat route. A major consideration was allergies and how forced air systems exacerbate this condition. Cost was another concern, as was the noise of a running furnace and the desire for a comfortable, even-air temperature throughout the home. Many customers are finding their way to radiant floor heating for some of the same well thought-out reasons.

Installing radiant floor heating cable

In order to accommodate the necessary electricity needs for a radiant floor, they installed 28 solar panels to meet the demand of the electric heat. This means they are using electricity solely produced by them, helping to keep costs down and mother earth smiling.

This project called for ComfortTile heat cables and a low-voltage floor heating system laid under a variety of flooring throughout the home. The Colorado couple chose tile, wood laminate, and carpet in various parts of the home. The radiant flooring systems were chosen because of their particular capabilities and installed throughout different zones. Warmzone provided the design layouts and helped walk them through the entire process.

When asked about the benefits of using radiant floor heating, the homeowner produced a long list, including evenly spread heat through the whole house, toasty floors, noiseless heating system with easy-to-program thermostats, lack of dust, and no need to wear shoes indoors anymore.

Solar panels installed to power radiant floor heating system

Asked if they would recommend radiant floor heating to others Jane responded, “Definitely! Check out the different flooring options and applications and determine where you want the zoned heating.” Warmzone provides customers with a variety of options and helps you select the best solution for your home and budget.  Warmzone prices, product offerings and professional design services are among the best in the industry.