Tag Archives: Snow melting system

May HotNews Newsletter

Purchasing a snow melting system for your personal or commercial property is an important investment that can increase your property value. Radiant heat systems are versatile and easy to customize so they can be installed in most mediums, including concrete, asphalt and brick or stone pavers. Snow melting systems are fully automated, and can add a level of safety and convenience to your property during cold winter months.

Heated driveway with pavers

When considering a snow melting system, the process of purchasing and installing begins with the design. This is where working with experienced professionals pays off. Warmzone’s design and engineering services are second to none, which is one more reason why construction professionals regularly turn to Warmzone when it comes to installing radiant heat.

While designing a snow melting system may seem like a simple matter of using the proper components, the fact is that quality components are only a small part of the process. Radiant heating systems are only as good as their installations, so proper design is crucial. Successful installations are made easier with well thought out and planned designs, which are key to the system’s proper performance.

There are important factors that must be taken into consideration when designing a snow melting system. Some of the initial factors that should be considered are the available power and the square footage of the area to be heated. These factors can help determine the operating cost of the system, which is usually less than hiring a professional snow removal service. (A simple formula to determine operating cost has been included below.)

In regards to the power requirements, homeowners should be familiar with the following basic guidelines. 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) would be needed. Homeowners can check their home’s main breaker panel to see the power coming into the house. (Typical homes 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.) But when looking to install radiant heat, the bottom line when it comes to power requirements is that an electrician is ultimately the one to address all the power issues. If you have questions about available power, contact Warmzone and we’ll be happy to assist you.

After you have measured the area that needs to be heated and evaluated your power availability, it’s time to consider the system’s location and weather conditions. This includes altitude, average snowfall, and average winter temperature. Using these factors will help determine what layout and components will be best suited to your project. The basic components needed for an automated snow melting system include an aerial- or pavement-mount snow sensor, a heating element, and master controller. A good design will also include all the breaker and power-related information for the system.

Heated paver driveway in operation.
Example of a snow melting system in action.

The design process can be daunting, but not for the professionals at Warmzone who have years of experience designing custom radiant heat systems for all types of applications. At Warmzone, a snow melting system can be designed and installed on virtually any property. And Warmzone offers a variety of the industry’s most proven and trusted products. Each system at Warmzone is carefully custom designed, and includes a detailed CAD that includes layout, load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and system performance expectations. Having a system designed by professionals at Warmzone also gives you options when it comes to your budget. if you don’t want to heat an entire area, the system can be designed to heat any size or shape of area.  A few options include:

  • Heating two 24-inch wide tire tracks
  • Heating only the high traffic areas
  • Heating the trouble spots, such as the incline of a property
  • Heating an 8-foot strip down the center of the driveway

At Warmzone, industry leading products like ClearZone heat cable can be easily laid out in custom configurations to meet the specific needs of your project.

All in all, working with professionals who include system design and layout services will minimize issues that may occur with installation, and can save you money and time. With Warmzone’s unparalleled customer service and installation support, there is help available at anytime. If you have further questions or are interested in a free quote, please visit our website or contact a trusted professional at 888-488-9276.

Determining the Operating Cost of a Heated Driveway

  1. Determine the total square footage of the area that will be heated. (The average American home has an 800-square foot driveway.)
  2. Multiply the square footage by the heat required (37 watts per sq. ft. for residential). This will give you a total for the watts per square footage required.
  3. Divide this number by 1,000 to convert to kilowatts.
  4. Look up the kilowatts-per-hour rate from the local power utility company.
  5. Multiply the total watts-per-square footage by the watts-per-hour. This gives you the cost-per-hour of usage for the snow melting system.

EXAMPLE (for an 800-square foot driveway): 800 (sq.ft.) x 37 (watts) = 29,600 (total watts).
29,600 divided by 1,000 = 29.6 kw per hour (This is what the power company will charge you per one hour of operation.) The average utility rate is .12 cents, therefore: 29.6 x .12 = $3.55. The cost of operation would be $3.55 per hour.

NOTE: Heating cables and mats are rated in total watts. If the snowmelt system is intended for a commercial application, then you would multiply the total square footage by 50 watts to determine the total wattage required.

An Easy, Affordable Solution for Ground Fault Protection Requirements

Warmzone Continues to Listen to Contractors and Serve the Needs of Homeowners

Electric snow melting, roof deicing and outdoor pipe heating systems installed in the United States and Canada require ground fault protection for safe operation. In many cases, when installing a snow melting system, these breakers can be expensive and difficult to find. However, thanks to Warmzone, this is no longer an issue.

In addition to offering contactor panels with ground fault protection, Warmzone also offers separate ground fault protection units with snow melting systems and activation devices. These units provide an inexpensive, easy-to-integrate solution to meet the NEC requirements for ground fault protection equipment.

The GF-1 unit provides single circuit protection and the GF-2 provides dual circuit protection (for 120/208/240VAC circuits up to 60A). Unlike highly sensitive GFCI breakers, Warmzone’s GF unit maintains a 30mA fault trip point to reduce nuisance tripping. The unit’s unique design allows installation of standard, off-the-shelf overload breakers into the customer load center. Size the breaker and wiring for the system (15A to 60A), then install the GF unit between the load center branch circuit and the sensor/controller and heat cable. The overload breaker protects the wiring while the GF unit provides the ground fault protection.

The unit is housed in a rugged, NEMA 4X/IP65 rated enclosure, suitable for indoor or outdoor installation. The enclosure features a gasket-sealed front access door for easy testing and reset. All internal electronic components are specified for -40°C to +60°C operation. The enclosure can be easily surface mounted near the load center or near the snow melting system, depending on the installer’s preference. Numerous knockout locations on the enclosure provide flexibility for installation and wiring. The enclosure base can accommodate standard ½ and ¾-inch conduit hubs. Four mounting holes outside the enclosure gasket make mounting a breeze while assuring weather-tight performance.

Ground fault protection unit enclosure
Enclosure for ground fault protection equipment

Features

  • Easy installation; convenient access for wiring
  • Works together with inexpensive, off-the-shelf overload circuit breakers
  • Provides true 30mA trip point GFPE protection
  • Meets NEC Article 426.28, 427.22, and CEC 62-300 requirements
  • Protects 120/208/240VAC systems up to 60A (#14-#6 CU-only conductor capacity)
  • Not Compatible With 277VAC or L-N-L 240VAC
  • UL listed (U.S. and Canada) NEMA 4X enclosure for indoor or outdoor installation
  • Latching, sealed, hinged front cover for easy testing and reset access
  • No overload rating means just two part numbers for simple stocking
  • Weatherproof and corrosion resistant enclosure
  • Operating temperature range of -40°F/C to +140°F/+60°C

The GF-1 and GF-2 can be used directly with Warmzone’s WS-2C, WS-5C and WS-8C aerial mount snow sensors. They can also be used with contactor panels, switches, and any system up to 60A. Since the overload protection is provided by the load center breaker, only two GF models are required to cover the full range of 15A to 60A, one or two circuits. This allows ground fault protection with kitted systems without the requirement of identifying the customer’s load center type or need to research if a combined overload/GFPE breaker is available and how long it will take to receive.

Including a GF unit completes the snow melting system and makes it ready to install. And the GF unit provides a ready-made solution when installing or retrofitting a snow melting system in an older facility that was wired well before the term “GFPE” was coined. It’s an easy upgrade to help bring an existing system into compliance with modern code requirements.

Including a GF unit completes the snow melting system and makes it ready to install. And the GF unit provides a ready-made solution when installing or retrofitting a snow melting system in an older facility that was wired well before the term “GFPE” was coined. It’s an easy upgrade to help bring an existing system into compliance with modern code requirements.

As your radiant heat partner, Warmzone makes the process of installing a snowmelt system as easy as possible. For more information, call 888.488.9276 today.


Finding the Right Roof Heating System

Keeping your roof free and clear of ice and snow comes down to proven radiant heating elements, proper system design, and proper installation. A good radiant heat solution is one that addresses all of the potential problem areas of your roof.  Warmzone offers a variety of roof heating solutions designed to not only melt snow and ice, but to keep the runoff flowing from your roof before it has a chance to freeze. Warmzone products are specifically designed to target all aspects of a roof, including gutters, downspouts, roof lines, roof eaves and edges—the places icicles, ice dams, and snow build-up are most likely to occur. To keep your roof free of ice and snow, it’s important to target the typical problem spots.

Heating Gutters, Edges and Problem Areas

Warmzone self-regulating heat cable is an extremely effective and energy efficient way to prevent ice dams and keep water flowing through gutters and downspouts. Comprised of a rugged, durable outer construction and an irradiated conductive core that responds to variations in temperature, this durable cable is the affordable choice for heating problem areas of your roof.

Heating Roof Edges

The single greatest snow and ice problem for roofs is due to ice dams. Snow and ice buildup occurs when runoff reaches the colder roof eaves and refreezes. Over time, the buildup increases, resulting in large dams of ice near the roof’s edge, causing water to pool behind it. As that water seeps under the shingles and refreezes, damage can occur, and may eventually lead to costly water damage inside the home.

Low-voltage roof heating element

Low-voltage RoofHeat STEP systems can be installed discreetly under the shingles to keep roof edges completely free of snow and ice. This advanced system utilizes a thin, semi-conductive polymer heating element that can be nailed or stapled through to make installation quick and easy. The self-regulating heating element is polypropylene fused during fabrication to achieve water proofing and protection from alkaline or salt damage.

A 24-inch roof heating panel for heating roof edges.             An 18-inch roof heating panel

Attractive roof deicing panels can also be installed to eliminate the possibility of ice dams. Available in a variety of sizes, these aluminum panels feature channels of self-regulating heat cable that effectively heats the aluminum to keep roof edges free of snow and ice. The panels have an attractive Kynar finish and can be used in new construction and on existing roofs with most types of roofing materials, including asphalt, wood shake shingles, tile, slate or standing seam metal. Visit our roof deicing panel documents page to learn more.

Heating Roof Valleys

Four and six-inch RoofHeat deicing panels are also available to heat roof valleys. Keeping these channels free of snow and ice facilitates runoff and helps to protect your roof by eliminating potential trouble spots. The Valley Panel system will create an open area (up to 10 inches) for water to safely flow from the roof through the valleys without the possibility of water refreezing over unheated portions of the roof. The Valley Panel roof heating system provides an aesthetic look to any structure while keeping a more efficient and cleaner method of eliminating ice dam issues in a valley or dormer.

Eliminating Icicles

For areas of your roof where gutters are not present heated roof edges can be used to channel water away from the structure. Heated Drip Edge systems are extremely effective in battling icicle build-up while maintaining the aesthetic look of the original roof. This is a common, reliable solution for businesses to ensure the safety and convenience of pedestrian traffic. These Kylar-finished edge lines are offered in a wide variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum and more, so they’re great for concealing wiring along the drip line to create a more attractive, polished appearance.  An existing metal roof can also be retrofitted with roof heating panels, which can be laid on top of the old metal roof, in direct contact with the self-regulating heat cable to prevent icicle formation.

Still not sure what you need for your roof? Our radiant heat experts work with customers to evaluate project challenges and determine an affordable roof deicing system that is best for your unique circumstances. Warmzone roof heating experts are also available to walk you through the process, from system selection to installation. Call 888.488.9276 for more information today.

Radiant Snow Melting Solutions (Part I)

Anticipating Snow Before the Fall: Warmzone Radiant Heat Snow Melting Solutions

Global consciousness is not only moving us towards social responsibility, but new, more efficient landscaping and snow melting removal solutions. Many have discovered the clean, energy-efficient operation and benefits of radiant heat snow melting solutions. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out these projects and comments from a few Warmzone customers.

Heated City Sidewalks, Municipality, Missouri
During the most recent snow event it was interesting to see that the (city) sidewalks were completely dry and free of snow while the plow trucks were still pushing the snow off the roads. The City of Oak Grove is very pleased with our heated sidewalks and would highly recommend Warmzone products.  – Public Works Director, City of Oak Grove, Missouri.

Heated sidewalks being installed

When a municipality in Missouri was installing heated sidewalks throughout their historic downtown area, they looked to Warmzone to do the job. The city’s Public Works Director, John, contacted Warmzone to discuss the project and provide the requirements of a heated sidewalk system that spanned the downtown area.

Says John, “[Warmzone] designed our system, ordered the materials and made sure that they arrived on time, and they were there whenever we needed their help. They worked with our electricians to solve problems or answer questions as they came up and were willing to go that extra mile when needed.”

Heated sidewalks

Warmzone’s superior customer service is what distinguishes it from the competition. Unlike other radiant heat providers and distributors, Warmzone provides complete design, engineering and installation services. And unlike most other radiant heat distributors and manufacturers, Warmzone offers a wide selection of products and brands, so the experts cancan recommend the ideal solution for your needs – without bias. The expert consultants and design and engineering staff at Warmzone are second to none. Prior to any installation, Warmzone provides a detailed engineering drawing, so you’ll know all the electrical requirements, layout and performance expectations of the system prior to beginning the installation.

Warmzone stays with you throughout the installation process. If needed, a master electrician is on hand to guide your installer through the process and answer any questions. This emphasis on “after-sale” customer service is just one reason why professional builders prefer working with Warmzone, and why homeowners recommend Warmzone to their friends. Their unparalleled expertise and customer service have earned Warmzone the reputation as the trusted radiant heat leader.

While Warmzone offers many different radiant snow melting systems, it’s also nice to know that Warmzone snow melting systems are easy to customize, so you can be assured your system will meet your specific needs. From small residential projects to large commercial initiatives, Warmzone has a wide selection of proven products and will recommend the ideal solution while keeping within your budget. As John discovered, Warmzone has a highly knowledgeable, experienced professional staff that cares about their customers. It’s no wonder that as a trusted leader of radiant heat solutions, Warmzone has radiant heat snow removal systems installed in residential and commercial properties throughout Northern America.

Continued – Radiant Heat Snow Melting Solutions (Part II)

Radiant Heat is the Heartbeat of a Heated Driveways

The Inner Workings of Driveway Heating

Anything worth anything has a heartbeat or at least something equivalent that breathes life and value into it. A heated driveway operates almost as seamlessly as our breathing. Radiant heat cables are at the center of that heating phenomenon and act like the all-important heartbeat, keeping your driveway clear of unwanted snow every time it snows. In fact your own heartbeat can stay calm all winter long, thanks to the technology of radiant heat cables. They do all the work, so you don’t have too.

Asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks

Electric radiant heated driveways are fully automated snow melting systems. ClearZone radiant heat cables are extremely durable and versatile. The heat cable can be safely installed in new concrete, under pavers, and even in hot asphalt applications. And the radiant systems can be easily customized to match your specific snow removal requirements.

The heat cables lay seamlessly beneath the surface just as your heart beats just beneath your chest, keeping the whole system running properly. Activated by a high-tech snow sensor that detects precipitation and temperatures, the sensor activates the driveway heating system only when needed. In addition to the system’s automated capabilities, it also features manual operation mode, should you choose.

We are hardly aware of the all-important work our own hearts do, but without them we wouldn’t be walking around. Radiant heat is just as important to your heated driveway and works to make your life better, just below the surface.

I’m Most Thankful for the Extra Mile you Guys Went

Solution: ClearZone Heated Driveway

Just wanted to say, I’m most thankful for the extra mile you guys went to ensure the snow melting system was installed correctly and works properly. On a scale of 1 to 10 regarding customer service/customer care, Warmzone receives 10+++ in my book!!! I truly look forward to working with you guys in the future.

John A.

What Makes the Best Heated Driveways?

Warmzone Heated Driveways – The Industry’s Top Snow Melting Systems from top to Bottom

What are heated driveways and how are they installed? How do snow melting systems work, and do they require any maintenance? How versatile are heated driveways in terms of custom installations and different mediums?

Radiant heated driveway in Colorado.

Heated driveways utilize radiant heat through a series of heating elements embedded in the driveway that warm the surface and prevent snow and ice buildup. The two basic types of radiant heat technologies are electric radiant heat and hydronic heat. Both technologies can be used in a variety of snowmelt applications, ranging from heated driveways, sidewalks and ramps to loading docks, bridges, and even on ship decks.

Warmzone electric heated driveways are maintenance free and fully automated. These snowmelt systems can be installed in virtually any typical medium, including concrete, asphalt and pavers.

Snow Melting System Components
Electric heated driveways utilize three major system components: The heating element, an activation device, and controller/control unit. What makes Warmzone snow melting systems an industry leader is the uncompromising quality of each component.

The Heating Element
Warmzone’s ClearZone heat cable is a rugged, industry recognized cable that is easy to customize and install. The cable can withstand the stress of fresh concrete pours as well as the extreme temperature of hot asphalt installations. The ClearZone cable is UL listed and consists of a twin conductor with FEP/XLPE insulation, polyolefin jacketing (providing flexibility and UV protection). The heat cable is rated at 220°F and has a minimum 10-year warranty. Given its durability and reliability, ClearZone heat cable is a favorite among construction professionals.

The Activation Device
Warmzone snow melting systems use either an aerial-mount or pavement-mount activation device (snow sensor). When the snow sensor detects precipitation and temperatures are below a set point (usually 39°F), it signals the controller to activate the system. Warmzone offers several types of snow sensors to meet the specific demands of your project. The aerial snow sensors feature adjustable temperature trigger points, adjustable delay off cycles, and upgradeable remote activation. The activation device is also smart system compatible.

The pavement-mounted snow sensor is mounted directly in the driveway or sidewalk being heated. These sensors are typically used in large commercial applications, while most residential snow melting systems feature an aerial-mount activation device.

Master Controller
The Warmzone snowmelt control unit used with the pavement mount snow sensors are small, NEMA 1, wall-mounted control panels. These efficient controllers are approximately 6×3.5 inches. The units have even been designed so that they can be controlled from an external signal (day/week timer, GSM-module or other signal source). The compact snow melting control unit can be switched on/off (standby) and the heating system can be manually turned on in case wind causes snow drifts or ice forms in the shade.

Contact a radiant heat professional at Warmzone today (888.488.9276). Warmzone also offers free installation training. For more information about our training courses, call us at 801.948.7545.

The Ultimate Thermostat for Radiant Floor Heating

Warmzone’s Touch Thermostat for Radiant Heated Floors
Warmzone offers a wide variety of floor heating solutions. Unlike many providers, Warmzone manufactures its own premier products and carries industry leading solutions from other top manufacturers. In addition to providing premier floor heating elements, Warmzone also offers the most reputable system controllers and thermostats, including the latest, state-of-the-art WIFI Touch Thermostat.
THERMOSTAT FEATURES
• Sleek design and intuitive control designed for easy installation.
• 3.5-inch color screen with easy interactive touch control
• New easy scheduling method and even easier on the fly changes
• Track power consumption and save it to a PC with a few simple steps
Thermostat settings can be exported to web page for support
• Universal compatibility with existing floor heating sensors.
• Suitable for tile, stone, laminate, concrete and wooden floor
• 5-year battery backup of clock and calendar

Radiant floor heating thermostat

Smart Interaction
Thermostat use based on a touch color screen is smart and easy. An entire screen is designed for every action, and therefore programming, schedule override or setting up becomes much easier for both installer and end user.

Smooth Programming
Thermostat programming is now based on 6-event days copying one day schedule to any other day with a single operation. Any schedule override is just a touch away – until the next event, for a number of hours or days, in the future, or until next time you change your mind. The thermostat is delivered with a default schedule.

Power Logging
Follow the thermostat power consumption in the energy log. Logging of the last 24 hours is saved in high resolution, but logging history is also stored in the thermostat. Power logging is easily stored to your computer by use of our QR technology.

QR Code Provides Revolutionary Support
The thermostat settings and energy log can be monitored on any device with web access. Just scan the QR code from the thermostat and view the data on a web site. The new, smart and interactive manual details what you can do with the thermostat. The QR code can also be forwarded to a supporter, shortening downtime used on “what is” explanations and jumping directly to “what to do” time.

Easy Installation
Connect the wires, turn on the power and follow the wizard. There is no need to remember special settings, the thermostat pre-sets the installer wizard and the user wizard ensures a fast and smooth process. Thus, no unintended heating before you are ready.

Control the Power
By default, the thermostat controls ambient temperature and protects the floor from overheating. The default floor sensor can be replaced by any floor sensor. The floor protection fits laminate/wood, tile and concrete for whenever lower maximum temperature is required. You can conveniently program the heat to turn on and off at specific times to accommodate your schedule.

Call Warmzone today and install your system with confidence.
To learn more, call 888.488.9276 today.

 

Tired of Shoveling, Plowing and Salting Snow?

Installing a Heated Driveway Makes Winter Easier to Bear

Are you among the millions out there thinking snow blows? Snow is a drag, a burden, a hazard, and a load many of us have to bear. Even though snow totally blows and every time you shovel your driveway you die a little inside, you may not know there is an affordable alternative to back-breaking snow removal – radiant heat.

A heated driveway is a snow removal treat well within reach. Driveway heating makes winter so much easier to bear, because instead of spending time and energy clearing your driveway, the fully-automated snow removal system does it for you.

Driveway heating is not a new invention but it is a new possibility for the average homeowner. Once deemed something only the uppity-ups could afford, driveway heating is showing up in new and not-so-new neighborhoods all over where the snow can be found in abundance. Radiant snow melting is accomplished by installing heat cable just beneath the surface of your driveway, connecting it to a power source, and installing a smart snow sensor that automatically detects when the system needs to power on. As long as there is snow and ice accumulating around it, the heated driveway stays clear and safe from the burden and hazards of piles of snow.

Can a Snow Melting System be Installed Beneath an Existing Driveway?

You Don’t Need to Destroy Your Current Driveway to Enjoy A Radiant Snow Melting System

Many people become interested in a snow melting system because of their many winter advantages and then become discouraged thinking they’ve missed the driveway-heating-ship since they’ve already got a driveway. The good news is that you can put those fears aside and still catch the heated driveway wave. Let your fears sail away as you understand that radiant snowmelt systems can be retrofit.

Snow melting systems can be installed with minimal effort if you are willing to put up with a little minor construction dust as new radiant heat cables are placed beneath your existing driveway. Having a heated driveway is definitely something you can achieve if you already have a driveway. You can either tear up the old concrete or asphalt if your driveway needs a facelift, or pour new material over the cables that have been designed and laid out by a Warmzone radiant heating expert. Heated driveways are easily customized to fit your exact heating specifications. If you have a long driveway and it seems cost prohibitive to heat the entire thing, consider doing two strips for the tires of your vehicles. Even if you have a driveway that you hand shovel or plow each winter, you are still a valid candidate for driveway heating.

It’s Amazing That There Could be That Much Snow and Nothing on the Sidewalk

Location: Pennsylvania

Solution: ClearZone Heated Concrete Steps

Heated cement steps

Just a quick note to let you all know that the radiant heated concrete steps has performed perfectly. We were able to turn on the system just about 24 hours before Philadelphia received its second largest snowfall on record — 23 inches! And, despite the enormous amount of snowfall, the stairs remained entirely clear. The day after the storm, the stairs were bone dry. I snapped a picture for you, and it is attached. As you can see, it’s kind of amazing that there could be that much snow and nothing on the sidewalk.

Thanks to everyone for your contribution to this successful installation. Happy New Year. . .

Dennis C.

Melt it, Melt it Real Good

Snow Melting Cable Melts Snow for Good

Mother Nature can be harsh. She can be brutal and unforgiving during the winter months especially. Man has tried to combat her cold heart in the winter by inventing snow blowers and extra warm clothing. With the advent of snow melting cable, man (and woman) has truly found a sneaky way around Mother Nature’s cruelty. Snow melting cables can combat snow in such a simple way that you’ll hardly believe the radiant snow melting systems can melt the snow for good.

Heated driveway with four heated tire tracks

As long as your snow melting system is plugged in you can melt the snow consistently all winter long, enjoying the peace and comfort that comes with knowing your driveways, sidewalks, and roof gutters will stay clear all season. Snow melting cables save you time and also save you money in the long run. The radiant heat makes the snow melting systems energy efficient to run and allow you to enjoy the winter rather than shovel your way through it. You don’t just melt it, but you melt it real good, allowing you to focus on other winter matters, like staying warm and snow boarding and drinking hot cocoa by the fire. Radiant snowmelt systems can be designed to fit your specific details and needs. Professionals are ready to assist you in the outline and execution of your automated snow melting system.