Heated Driveway

Radiant Snow Melting Systems are Energy Efficient, Fully Automated and Easy to Customize

Heated driveway snow melting systems are fast becoming commonplace among homes and businesses in areas with cold winter climates. Homeowners are not only discovering the affordability of heated driveway systems, but are also pleased to discover the many options that can accommodate their budget when it comes to installing radiant snow melting systems.

Installing a Heated Driveway

Installing a heated driveway is a wise investment in your home that can raise the value of your property. Fortunately, radiant snow melting systems aren’t limited to new construction jobs. Asphalt driveways are particularly easy to retrofit with radiant heat, but using saw cut technology, concrete driveways can also be retrofitted with radiant heat. Each project varies, so call a radiant heat expert and discuss the different solutions for heating your driveway or sidewalks. You may be surprised by the many driveway heating options that are available.

Heated Driveway Systems can be Customized to Meet Your Snow Melting Needs While Keeping Within Your Budget
  1. Install heat cable to warm the entire surface area of the driveway.
  2. Heat only the most trafficked area, such as a narrow strip (usually 8-feet) in the middle of the driveway.
  3. Install heat cable in two 24-inch-wide tire tracks.

A great advantage of electric heated driveways is that they are easy to customize. Furthermore, much of the installation labor can be done by any ambitious do-it-yourself homeowner, which will further bring your installation costs down.

NOTE: Although much of the initial installation can be done by do-it-yourselfers, it is vital to have a qualified electrician perform all the wiring for the system. This helps to ensure proper system installation and keeping the warranty intact.

Photos of heated driveway and various snow melting options.

Radiant Heated Driveway Systems

In addition to electric driveway heating systems, hydronic snow melting systems are also available. These systems utilize specially treated liquid that is heated by a boiler and then a series of pumps circulates the warm liquid through the PEX tubing embedded in the driveway. Hydronic systems are much more complex and require a mechanical room for the pumps, boilers and manifolds; however, hydronic systems are also very effective for keeping driveways clear of snow and ice. Hydronic systems can use whatever fuel source that is available in the area, including: propane, natural gas, fuel oil, wood, etc. Therefore, you can choose the least expensive option to help reduce operating costs. This can be especially advantageous if you are heating a large driveway or parking area.

Installing a heated driveway in concrete. Both electric and hydronic heated driveways boast a variety of benefits and advantages, so make sure you contact a trusted radiant heat expert to discuss your project and learn more about the various options available. Be sure to call a reputable provider that carries the top products from a variety of manufacturers. Some smaller companies are biased because of their limited inventory and may try to sell you on their limited product line.

Durable Heat Cable

One of the premier electric radiant heating cables is ClearZone. This rugged heat cable is designed to withstand the extreme hot temperature of asphalt installations and can also be embedded in fresh concrete pours, under pavers and other outdoor applications.

Automated radiant snowmelt systems feature three main components: a snow sensor (an aerial or pavement mounted activation device), master control unit, and the heating element.

Most heated driveway systems utilize an aerial mount snow sensor that is typically mounted at the roof's edge. The sensor detects temperatures and precipitation, so when the temperature is below a set point (which is usually set at 39° Fahrenheit), the sensor sends a signal to the small control unit (typically mounted on a wall in the garage). Upon receiving a signal from the sensor, the controller then sends power to the heat cable that is embedded in the driveway. Electric heat cable warms the surface quickly and efficiently, providing fully automated, maintenance-free snow melting for your driveway or sidewalks.

Learn more about how heated driveways work.