Category Archives: HOTNEWS

The Advantages of Radiant Heat and Snow Melting Systems at Home

Today a growing number of homeowners are investing in radiant heat to warm their homes. Indoors or outdoors, radiant heat is an efficient, environmentally friendly, versatile solution for your home heating and snow melting needs.

As you might expect, radiant heat works exactly as it sounds—it radiates through surfaces (think sidewalks, driveways and wood floors) to warm a specific area of your home. Warmzone offers several choices for radiant heat systems; the two most popular being:

  • Electric radiant heat—uses electric heat cable configured beneath a floor or driveway
  • Hydronic radiant heat—relies on specially treated hot water delivered through a network of pipes underneath an indoor or outdoor surface

Warmzone radiant heat systems are designed to deliver consistent, even heat throughout your home, according to your specific preferences. Radiant heat generates a feeling comparable to the warm, enveloping heat you would experience sitting at a campfire. That’s because these systems depend largely on heat transfer from one object to another. The science behind radiant heat systems effectively eliminates the draftiness and duct loss associated with traditional forced air, making them much more comfortable and much more efficient.

A switch from forced air to radiant heat can also improve the air quality of your home, which is especially important f you suffer from hay fever or equally unforgiving allergic conditions. Forced air systems force, or blow air into your living space, along with dirt, dust and allergens that can compromise your environment. With radiant heat, there’s no duct cleaning or dust to contend with. They’re also very green systems. Inside, radiant heat can be programmed to heat your entire home, or timed to heat specific areas as you move from your kitchen, to your living room and then bedroom to retire, conserving energy for pennies on the dollar.

Heated sidewalk and steps

This same science works wonders outside to keep snow and ice away from your home. An outdoor radiant heat system (snow melting system) involves the laying of pipes or electric cable just below the surface of a driveway or walkway. Their flexibility makes them effective under brick pavers, concrete or asphalt pours and are easily configured to accommodate odd-shaped or hard-to-reach areas. Warmzone sensor-activated radiant heat systems are designed to anticipate snowy conditions to heat walkways, driveways and other areas without resorting to harsh snow melting chemicals; chemicals that can kill vegetation, irritate puppy paws and contaminate ground water. They also eliminate the pain of shoveling and, over time, the expense of snow removal services.

Fortunately, whatever your needs are, Warmzone takes a top-down approach to radiant heat system delivery, and it begins with a phone call. When you call Warmzone, you can to talk to radiant heat professionals with years of experience, free of charge to discuss your radiant heat needs. Based on your input, we can determine what system is right for you.

Warmzone offers a vast selection of products and years of industry experience. We can put together the perfect radiant heat system to meet your needs and your budget. And if you are a die-hard do-it-yourselfer, you’ll appreciate not only access to the pros, but our vast library of materials, including articles and schematics to help you along the way. For more information you can reach our radiant heat professionals at 1-888-488-9276.

Protecting Your Roof and Gutters

Each spring, it’s a good idea for homeowners to check their roofs and make sure they survived winter’s icy barrage intact.  Look for damaged, loose and missing shingles, loss of granules on asphalt shingles, deterioration of the sleeves and flashing at vent pipes, and corrosion or damage of other roof flashing. (“Flashing” helps direct the flow of water around openings.) Also, take a look after any severe weather event.

Most roofs are designed to take the beating delivered by Mother Nature, but like everything else, roofs have an effective lifespan, so to prevent possible leaks and costly water damage it is recommended to inspect your roof twice a year. (Ideally, homeowners should inspect their roofs in the fall as well as in springtime.)

Clearing snow off of roof

Roofs in cold climate areas are susceptible to gradual deterioration over the years as a result of repeated freezing and thawing of snow in areas where pockets of ice accumulates. Roof damage can be very subtle, but tiny problems can grow into large, costly problems that not only affect the roof, but the inside of the home as well. That’s why careful inspection of the roof is so important.

The origins of roof problems and likely “leak points” are at its flashings (such as the drip edge, valleys, and wall-to-roof flashing). Penetrations such as plumbing vent pipes, chimneys and skylights are also more vulnerable to leaking. This means that a home with an elegant roof line that has multiple intersecting planes, a chimney and maybe a couple of dormer windows is more likely to leak than a simple gable roof on a rectangular-shaped house.

Most roof leaking is the result of an event, such as a strong storm followed by a threshold of deterioration after which the material begins to fail. Failure points can also be a result of manufacturing or installation defects. Also, ice dams are a common culprit when it comes to roof damage and water intrusion.

Snow and ice buildup occurs when runoff reaches the colder roof eaves and refreezes. Over time, the buildup increases, resulting in large rims of ice near the roof’s edge that cause water to pool behind it. The pooled water seeps under the shingles and refreezes at night, which can threaten the roof’s integrity and eventually lead to costly water damage inside the home.

Heated roof edge

Self-regulating heat cable and low-voltage RoofHeat STEP systems are two leading solutions for heating roof edges and preventing ice dams. These automated systems keep roof edges clear of snow and ice, and the heating elements can also be installed in the roof gutters to further facilitate runoff. Ensuring that water and ice are never trapped on your roof offers peace of mind, knowing that ice dams are not threatening your home. View more information and options for heating your roof.

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Roof

Helpful Roof Information

A quality roof is the key protective element of your home. A poor quality roof can wreak havoc with the interior once it starts to leak. Staining, mold, and rot can be the results of water intrusion. So when it comes to installing your home’s roof, keep these factors in mind:

  • Multiple-layer roof – A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
  • Quality of roofing material – You get what you pay for. “Economy” roof materials have a shorter life
  • Installation – Sloppy or improper installation shortens roof life
  • Attic ventilation – An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Trees near the roof – Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof can shorten the life of roof shingles.
  • Harsh climate – Severe weather, including hot summers as well as harsh winters. Dramatic temperature swings within a 24-hour period also shorten lifespan because of the rapid expansion and contraction of the roof materials.
Common Causes for Roof Leaking
  1. Poorly installed or missing flashings
  2. Incorrect installation of the roofing material
  3. Temporary repairs with mastic or caulk
  4. Ice and debris in gutters
  5. Improper deck over roof or low slope roof used as a deck
  6. Bolted-thru satellite dishes, solar systems
  7. Damaged plumbing boots
  8. Trees scraping or impacting the roof
  9. Ice dams
  10. Roofing material deterioration

To protect your roof from winter related damage, view our roof heating options page and contact a roof heating expert at 888.488.9276.

Additional Information

What is the Life Expectancy of a Roof?

The life expectancy of a roof varies, depending on the type of roofing material, the weather, and quality of the installation. With this is mind, here are some lifespan averages for the different types of roofs (based on “average” conditions).

  • Three-tab Asphalt Shingles: approximately 15 years
  • Architectural Asphalt Shingles: 24 to 30 years
  • Metal (Galvalume): 30 to 45 years
  • Concrete Tile: 35 to 50 years
  • Built-Up or Modified Bitumen: 10 to 16 years
  • EPDM (rubber): 10 to 16 years

Many factors contribute to the lifespan of a roof. Here are a few conditions that affect roof longevity:

  • Color of Roof – A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan.
  • Angle of Roof Slope – Higher pitched roofs tend to last longer.
  • Orientation of Roof Surface – A roof slope facing south is exposed to more UV rays than other roof facings, and therefore results in a shorter life.

Snow Melting System Details (Part I)

Finding the Right Snowmelt System Components and Services

Winter can be a treacherous time for business and homeowners when it comes to navigating the icy driveway, parking areas, and sidewalks. The best way to ensure safety around your house or business is by installing an automated snow melting system. These systems are reliable, easy to install and provide peace of mind for your home or workplace. When you work with trusted industry leader Warmzone, the systems include premier components, superior customer service, installation support, backed by years of radiant heat expertise.

Expertise and customer service is key when making such a significant investment, and at Warmzone, full design services are available to get you started off on the right foot. After discussing the project needs with you, a radiant heat expert will design a comprehensive radiant heat solution that is customized specifically for your property. The system layout includes a detailed CAD that outlines your system’s layout and materials, power needs, proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and performance expectations. After you have worked with an expert to design your system, it’s time to start your system installation.

Example of Warmzone radiant heat system AutoCAD
Example of a snow melting system design snowing proper cable layout and technical information.

Proper installation is essential to radiant heat systems; that’s why Warmzone offers free installation training and support. Whether you are a professional or a homeowner doing a DIY installation, installation training is available in person or online. Installers can also call our installation experts at 888.488.9276 if they have any questions.

Using Warmzone’s proven UL listed Clearzone heating cable, snow melting systems can be installed in almost any medium, including concrete, asphalt, and pavers. ClearZone is a high quality twin-conductor, single-point connection cable that can withstand the stress of fresh concrete pours and heat of hot asphalt. Warmzone’s standard CZ cable is rated at 220 degrees Fahrenheit and is designed to produce 30-50 watts per square foot. (For asphalt installations, a special ClearZone cable rated up to 460 degrees for up to 10 minutes is available.)

ClearZone heating cable in mat and rolled.

The durable and versatile heat cable is available off spools or in mats that can be easily rolled out for quick installation. Installation for your project begins with this heating cable being laid out and secured to a re-mesh. This re-mesh is supported by plastic Mesh-Ups that keep the heat cable elevated during the concrete pour. (It is important that the cable does not rest on the ground.) After the cable is laid out and secured, the concrete or asphalt is applied.

The next essential piece of an automated snow melting system is the automatic sensor (activation device). These temperature and moisture sensors can be pavement mounted or aerial-mounted. Aerial sensors are typically used for residential applications, while pavement mounted sensors are generally used for commercial snow melting projects. When the temperature reaches a set point (usually set at 39°F) and moisture is present, the sensor signals the master controller / contactor panel to send power to the snow melting system’s heat cable. There are benefits to both sensors, and each are well suited for particular projects.

To continue learning about how Warmzone’s snow melting systems, check out Part II of Snow Melting System Details below.


Snow Melting System Details (Part II)

Finding the Right Snowmelt System Components and Services

Aerial sensors are typically used for residential snow melting systems (and roof deicing systems). Warmzone’s WS-2C aerial sensor sets the industry standard with new enhancements that make it the most popular and trusted. The activation device has a universal power supply allowing it to auto select input voltage, a redesigned case, and increased moisture control sensitivity. This sensor detects moisture through an interleaved grid at the top of the unit, and temperature is detected by a sensor at the bottom of the unit.

The WS-2C is compact and easy to install, features an adjustable set point and has manual, automatic and standby capability. Another bonus of Warmzone’s aerial mounted sensor is its smart system compatibility. When you purchase the optional WS-AUX and CS-1 cable, you can control your system from remote locations through your telephone.

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

Pavement mounted sensors are generally used for commercial projects. The ground-mount sensor is directly mounted in the surface of the area to be heated, which allows for increased energy efficiency without sacrificing effectiveness. When the set point is reached and moisture is detected, the sensor signals the master controller, which activates the ClearZone snow melting system. This unit is only used with a pavement mounted sensor, and is a small NEMA 1 wall mounted control panel. The panel s designed so it can be controlled from an external signal. It can be in standby mode to activate when needed, or can be turned on manually to melt snow drifts or ice that may have formed in shaded areas. Warmzone’s master controller is not only technologically advanced, but is also very affordable. The Warmzone controller provides maintenance free, UL listed, under pavement heating. After the storm, to ensure that the heated area is completely dry, the pavement mounted sensor is equipped with an “after-run” function to ensure complete dryness and no ice formation.

Pavement mount snow sensor
A pavement mount snow sensor for automated snow melting systems.

When you choose Warmzone for your snow melting needs, not only do you receive premier systems and components, you also receive online resources available at anytime – which include Warmzone’s instructional videos, articles, and glossary of helpful terms.

Still have questions about ClearZone snow melting systems? Check out this snow melting system overview and other documentation, or contact an experienced representative who can provide sincere, non biased recommendations based on your needs at 888.488.9276.

View ClearZone Snow Melting System Literature

Pre-Installation Checklist

Radiant Heat Experts Offer Key Advise and Tips on What NOT to do When Installing Radiant Heat

Radiant heat systems work. It’s a proven technology that produces impressive results. But like most technology related products, if a radiant heat system isn’t installed correctly, the results can be equally disappointing. Installing a radiant heat system is not difficult, but it does need to be done properly. You can buy the best snow melting system components on the market, but unless they’re installed correctly, you won’t see the results you’re expecting.

Recently named “Vendor of the Year” by the National Association of Custom Home Builders, Warmzone is a proven and trusted industry-leading provider of radiant heated driveways, heated floors and roof deicing systems. The company achieved its position by not only offering superior products, but by including the industry’s most comprehensive customer support services, including free installation training, technical support, and system design. These unparalleled services distinguish Warmzone from the competition, and have set the gold standard for all radiant heat providers.

“Our products not only work, but they’re among the industry’s best,” stated Bryan Morris, Director of National Sales for Warmzone. “But unless installers follow a few simple guidelines and install these systems correctly, the quality of the materials will make little difference.”

Installing a heated paver driveway.

Some of the most common installation mistakes include:

  1. IMPROPER CABLE SPACING. Too often, installers neglect to follow the cable spacing rules: Keep the cable at a minimum spacing of 2 inches and a maximum of 4 inches (center-to-center). Make sure the cable in adjacent mats is at least 2 inches apart.
  2. IMPROPER CABLE DEPTH. In concrete applications, many times installers allow the heat cable to rest on the dirt prior to the concrete pour. (Invest in Mesh-Ups. These plastic support ‘chairs’ are extremely affordable, and they can make all the difference in the world between a successful and an unsuccessful installation.) Mesh-Ups elevate the re-mesh (and heat cable) so that it is not resting on the ground when the concrete is poured. It’s a simple, affordable solution to prevent poor snow melting system performance, not to mention unhappy customers.
  3. NEGLECTED WARRANTY CARD. Too many installers forget to fill out the warranty card and mail it to the manufacturer. Don’t let this happen.
  4. FORGETTING TO TEST THE CABLE. Too many installers forget to test the cable during all phases of the installation. Start by testing the cable out of the box and then throughout the installation.
  5. COMPROMISED HEAT CABLE. Maintain the cable integrity by never cutting the cable, and take extreme caution when using shovels and rakes during concrete pours.

One way to limit mistakes during an installation is not only to avoid the above errors, but to follow the handy checklist below, put together by Warmzone’s experienced support staff:

PRE-INSTALLATION CHECKLIST

Before buying and installing a radiant heat system, review the checklist below.

  • Verify the correct voltage of your home or business (220/240 or 110/120).
  • Verify the available amperage. Don’t guess or assume. You’ll need to be certain, so we recommend having an electrician come to your location to measure the amperage.
  • Do your homework before hiring an electrician. Let’s face it, not everyone is competent or ethical. Preferably, find one who has been in business for several years. Ask around and talk with those who have personal experience with electricians.
  • Keep in mind that the National Electric Code (NEC) requires that the system has 30mA GFEP (30mA trip protection).
  • Make sure the installer has completed Warmzone’s free installation training course.

After installing your radiant heat system, fill out and mail your warranty card.

Perhaps the most overlooked tip – and one that can eliminate installation mistakes and unhappy customers – is to take advantage of the free training!  Call 801.948.7577 or 888.488.9276 to sign up or learn more.


Part II: Stories from the Support Desk

Learn From Your Mistakes

Installation Support Experts Reveal Some Unfortunate Installer Mistakes

While most mistakes can be remedied, it is – of course – much easier to simply do the job right the first time. Here are some stories of past installation blunders that could have easily been avoided:

Installation #1:  DON’T CUT THE CORD!

Instead of starting the cable installation as close as possible to the electrical source, one installer began running the cable from the terminated end. After laying out the cable, he discovered that he had about 60 extra feet of heat cable – including the splice to the cold lead. He cut the excess cable and then ran the heat cable (from the terminated end) directly into the ETO2 control unit!

Scissors and cable - Never cut the heat cable
Never cut the heat cable! To make turns, cut the white binding tape and arrange the cable accordingly.

Needless to say, this presented a significant fire hazard, not to mention that the entire system was now inoperable. This disaster could have been easily prevented with a few minutes of consulting with one of our support staff, or by completing one of our installation training courses.”

Installation #2:  SPACED OUT

Many installation problems are a result of improper spacing of the heat cable. And while mats come with the cable pre-spaced, the adjacent mats still must be spaced no less than 2 inches apart. The photo below shows how one installer laid out the cable and then applied the concrete pour. Instead of cutting the white binding tape to make turns with the mats, the cable was simply ‘serpentined’ all across the driveway; overlapping and bunching up and so on.

Example of incorrect layout of snow melting heat cable.
Example of incorrectly laid out heat cable for heated driveway. Cable must not touch or overlap. Always follow the installation guidelines regarding the correct layout of the heat cable.
Correct layout of heat cable
Example of heat cable (in mats) laid out correctly for a heated paver driveway.

Again, this could have been avoided by making a simple call to Warmzone, viewing one of our installation videos online, or completing an installation training course. Instead, the concrete had to be dug up and the system replaced. Don’t have time to take the 45-minute installation training course? Think again.”

“Mistakes like these shouldn’t happen,”  Morris emphasized. “Installers can complete a simple installation training course prior to installing the system, and they can always call a member of our support staff if they have any questions during the installation. If they do either of these things, then they’re likely to save themselves a lot of stress.”

Don’t Forget:

Test the heat cable during the installation and record the readings in the fields provided on the warranty card. After installing your radiant heat system, complete and mail your warranty card.

Double check your cable spacing. (Minimum spacing of 2 inches and a maximum spacing of 4 inches.)

Perhaps the tip that can most effectively eliminate installation mistakes and unhappy customers is this: Take advantage of the free training! 

Researching Radiant Heat and Finding the Right Provider

The Services and Resources to Look for When Considering the Installation of Radiant Heat

From the initial idea of adding radiant heat to your new or existing home to the actual purchase and installation can be somewhat intimidating for homeowners. Where do you start? What should you be looking for, and what are the options?

Judging from past customers, radiant heat is a proven, worthwhile investment that provides very efficient and luxurious warmth using clean renewable energy. Radiant heated floors continue to gain popularity because of their efficiency as well as the rich, comfortable heat that they produce.

Find a provider that includes complete system design services and a large selection of products and services – from different manufacturers. Warmzone is one provider that offers a dynamic range of radiant floor heating systems. Because of the diverse selection, Warmzone can evaluate your specific needs and recommend the system that will best meet your budget and heating demands. So, if you’re considering installing a heated floor, view Warmzone’s Floor Heating Overview web page to gain some general information about the different systems. Then call a Warmzone representative to discuss the various possibilities and the advantages of each system (888.488.9276). Our staff features experienced professionals who are happy to consult with prospective customers without any pushy sales pressure.

Heated driveway and radiant heat installation support

Warmzone includes professional installation support services.

And when it comes to customer service, you won’t find a provider that offers better customer services. Warmzone services include FREE installation training for installers, detailed system design and layout services, technical support, free consulting, and a wealth of online documentation, videos and information resources. We take pride in our unparalleled personal services as well as our industry leading products.

Warmzone snow melting systems are also among the very best available. Warmzone continues to be a leader in offering the latest technology with the most trusted and proven systems. Warmzone heated driveways and snow melting systems are easy to customize to match the budget and performance requirements of each customer.

ClearZone heat cable is the longstanding backbone of Warmzone’s exceptional snow melting systems. In addition to the heating element, Warmzone driveway heating systems also feature a contactor panel/controller and either a ground-mount snow sensor or an aerial mount sensor. These advanced activation devices detect precipitation and temperature, so when conditions warrant, the sensor triggers the system and the driveway begins to heat. The system continues to operate for a short time after the storm to ensure that the driveway is dry, eliminating slick, dangerous ice.

Fully automated, energy efficient, and featuring quiet, clean operation, Warmzone snow melting systems continue to be a favorite among contractors and professional installers.

For more information, call us at 888.488.9276 and speak with a radiant heat consultant. Also take advantage of our online information resources and view radiant heat installation videos, monthly newsletters, product literature and more. We think that the more you research and compare radiant heat companies, the more impressed you’ll be with Warmzone. Call or email us today for a free quote.

The Benefits and Custom Options of Heated Driveways and Snow Melting Systems

Radiant Heat Can be Tailored to Your Specific Needs and Budget

Heated driveway systems are surefire ways to enhance safety for businesses located in cold weather climates. From grocery stores to restaurants and car washes, business owners are turning to radiant heat to ensure safety and protect themselves from liability claims.

Warmzone radiant heat systems are fully automated, so there’s no need for business owners to show up at the workplace early to shovel snow. The automated systems activate when an aerial or ground-mount snow sensor detects precipitation and temperatures are below a set point (typically 39°F). The energy efficient snow melting systems operate only when needed, and are also maintenance free – another favorite feature among business owners.

Easy to Customize

Radiant snow melting systems are easy to customize. Electric snowmelt systems can be installed to heat unique shapes and areas, and can be tailored to best meet the client’s budget needs. In addition to heating entire driveways and sidewalks, some other popular layout options for heating driveways include:

Heating tire tracks: Rather than heating an entire driveway, install two 24-inch wide heated tire tracks.

Heated driveway with two heated tire tracks

Heating the Center Strip or High Traffic Areas: Heat only an 8 or 10-foot wide strip up the middle of the driveway. Or install heat cable only in the most trafficked area of your driveway. Heat trouble spots such as inclines or where shade often causes ice buildup. Instead of heating an entire sidewalk, just warm a 3-foot wide strip in the middle; or heat the steps and heavily trafficked areas of entry points and porches. Businesses often install radiant heat to melt snow and ice in parking areas and walkways near the store front as well as in loading docks and ramps.

Custom heated driveways and sidewalks

Heating specific/custom areas: Many consumers install radiant heat only for specific needs. For example, heat dog runs or kennels to keep outdoor pets comfortable, or only heat the sloped areas of a sidewalk or just the steps. The options are virtually limitless when it comes to installing heated driveways.

Heated cement steps

Visit Warmzone’s heated driveway web page for more detailed information. The information includes sections on how heated driveways work, determining the operating cost, how heated driveways work and more.

From small, custom snow melting projects to large commercial applications, radiant snow melting systems have proven to be the reliable, cost effective solution for homeowners and business owners alike.

Heated driveway and walks

Unlike other providers of radiant heat systems, Warmzone offers free installation training courses for installers, as well as complete system design and layout services and installation support. Dealing with Warmzone makes the process of finding and installing the best system easy for customers.

Information Resources:

Radiant Heat Online Information Resources

Illustrations, How-to Videos and More

Installing a radiant snow melting system is not especially complicated, but there are some important steps to remember to ensure that the system is installed and performing correctly. In addition to Warmzone offering technical support for installers as well as free installation training, Warmzone provides a wealth of information online. Some resources include helpful illustrations as well as informative installation “how-to” videos that are posted online. Below are samples of snow melting system illustrations and radiant heat videos.

Sectional view of CZ snow melting systems.

Click on image to enlarge.

Another helpful illustration for heated driveway installations outlines how to embed the cable splice for the heating cable. The example below shows a snow melting system installed to heat a concrete driveway.

Embedding the cable splice

Click on the image to enlarge.

The illustration below provides a general overview of an electric radiant snow melting system and its components.

ClearZone snow melting system and components overview.

View the ClearZone Snow Melting System Overview (above). Click on the image to enlarge.

Also, check out Warmzone’s online instructional installation videos. Topics range from reviewing and filling out warranty information to proper cable installation techniques and wiring of the system components.

Instructional radiant heat installation videos.

View additional radiant heat documents and illustrations.

View our Installation Overviews web pages.

Power Requirements and Operating Costs of a Heated Driveway

Understanding the Power Requirements for a Heated Driveway

Are you looking to install a radiant heated driveway for your home or business? If so, one of the first questions you need to answer is whether you have the necessary power requirements. In most cases, having the power needed to run an efficient radiant snow melting system is not a problem. However, prior to any installation, customers must ensure that they do meet the power requirements for heating their driveways and or walks.

Heated driveway with four heated tire tracks

So, just how does one go about determining the power requirements for heating a specific area and how does one know whether the necessary power is available? First of all, you don’t have to figure this out by yourself. Warmzone’s experienced reps are happy to work with you to not only help you determine the necessary power requirements, but to design a system that best meets your specific snow melting and budget needs.

But homeowners should be aware of some basic guidelines when shopping for radiant heat. For example, 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 the bottom line, in terms of power requirements, is that an electrician is ultimately the one to address all power issues. If you have questions about available power, talk with Warmzone as well as a qualified electrician to make certain there are no issues should you choose to move forward with the installation.

If you’re unsure of the square footage of your driveway, no worries; Warmzone can calculate that for you too. In most areas, using a special state-of-the-art technology, Warmzone can measure the area of your driveway while talking on the phone with you. Our helpful staff will work closely with you to ensure that the square footage of the area is measured correctly and the power requirements are therefore calculated properly.

Zoning Your Driveway Heating System

On rare occasions when there is insufficient power available to operate a large driveway heating system, the radiant heat system can be laid out in zones. Each zone is powered separately. As a storm first hits, zone 1 would power up and melt the snow in that area of the driveway. After zone 1, zone 2 would then activate to melt the snow in that area of the driveway. Click here for more detailed information about zoning your heated driveway.

Determining the Operating Cost of an Electric Heated Driveway

Homeowners are also keen to know the general operating costs of a heated driveway. Because radiant snow melting systems are specially designed for the specific demands of the average temperature and snowfall of their location, no two radiant heat systems are exactly alike. However, there is a formula that can be used to help you determine the approximate operating cost of a snow melting system.

General Guidelines to Determine a Heated Driveway’s Operating Cost

  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 kilowatts by the kilowatt rate. This gives you the cost-per-hour of usage for the snow melting system.

EXAMPLE for heating 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.

The operating cost of an automated snow melting system is typically less than that of hiring a professional snow removal service. And radiant heat can help to extend the life of concrete driveways and keeps them from being subjected to abrasive snow removal methods or harsh snowmelt chemicals or salt. Safety is particularly important for business owners who wish to avoid costly litigation due to personal injuries caused by slick ice. For more information on driveway heating systems, call Warmzone today at 888.488.9276.

Other helpful, informative web pages:

  1. ClearZone snow melting
  2. Heated Driveways
  3. Installing a Heated Driveway
  4. Snow Melting System Installation Tips

Timing is Everything

Don’t get Caught Holding the Shovel next Winter — Install a Radiant Snow Melting System and Beat the Rush!

With summer just around the corner, it’s a good time to spring for a new radiant heated driveway or walkway. Buying and installing your radiant heated snow melting system early in the summer puts you at a distinct advantage. In the fall, contractors generally rush to get their projects done before winter, and their availability is limited. Hiring someone now could save you the heartache of putting off that heated driveway or walkway project for another season. Shopping contractors before the fall rush also allows you to take your time interviewing and selecting a professional.

Whether you’re pouring a new concrete or repairing existing pavement, radiant heat installation is an excellent way to enhance, preserve and protect your driveway or walkway from harsh snow melting chemicals or damage from snow removal equipment. It’s a smart home investment that not only preserves and protects your property, but can also prevent slip and fall accidents, as well as injury from shoveling. Snow melting systems can also save you the time, and over time, the added expense of hiring a contractor to plow your driveway. With radiant heated driveways and walkways, you get “on-demand” snow removal, and the opportunity to experience dry pavement all year round. And the systems operate silently on renewable energy and are fully automated.

Heated paver driveway

As you shop, be leery of the contractor who offers limited solutions that come with a high price tag. Radiant heat applications are extremely flexible and adaptable, offering homeowners many options to achieve their goals. You don’t have to tear up your entire driveway to enjoy the benefits of radiant heat. Rolling out pre-configured mats on top of an asphalt driveway and applying a new layer of asphalt over the cable, or cutting grooves in concrete for the heat cable (which are then filled with an epoxy) are just some of the ways to get around a new heated driveway installation.

To help you sort out your options you may also want to consider contacting Warmzone for a free snow melting system estimate. They have the knowledge and the know-how to put together a snow melting solution that will meet or even beat your performance and budgetary requirements.  Partnering with professional installers across the country, Warmzone works diligently to come up with solutions for the most discriminating customers. As they say, knowledge is power, and getting initial estimates from Warmzone before you shop can help you identify all of your options, and the right person for the job, to avoid the “sticker shock” that comes with choosing the wrong one. And remember, a radiant heat system is only as good as its installation, and Warmzone can recommend experienced, reputable installers in your area.

Among the many home improvement projects on your to-do list, a radiant heated snow melting system is the gift that just keeps on giving from the moment you see that first snowflake fall. Winter may seem a long way off, but the window for hiring a contractor to install your snow melting system is small. Whether you lack the motivation or need more information, it’s always a good idea to give Warmzone a call at 888.488.9276 for free professional advice and support.

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.