Many homeowners are forced to get out in the coldest parts of the winter months to shovel snow. It’s sometimes a daily chore that is both miserable and, unfortunately, required, if you want to leave your home. Thanks to innovative heating technology, there’s a way to make your driveway completely snow-proof.
By installing radiant heating mats inside your driveway’s concrete, you’ll be able to prevent snow buildup and keep your space constantly clear of snow and ice without lifting a finger. A heated driveway may seem like an expensive luxury, but you might be surprised.
There are several situations where individuals or businesses are unable to clear snow and ice from surfaces that must be cleared. Heated driveways and radiant heating systems are the optimal solutions to all your snow problems. Before diving into the cost of installing a heated driveway, let’s take a moment to discuss how they function.
How Do Heated Driveways Work?
If you’re familiar with indoor radiant heating systems, then you’ll be happy to learn that heated driveways work similarly to those. First, the heating system is embedded in the driveway.
There are essentially two ways to do this. First, you can install an additional layer of concrete or asphalt on top of what’s already there, placing the heating mats below the fresh layer. The other option is to tear everything up and install a brand-new driveway with the heating mats installed inside the concrete or asphalt.
There are three different options for how a heated driveway is activated: via a wifi controller, controller with a moisture and temperature sensor, or manual operation. The benefit of a wifi controller is the system’s ability to “preheat”. The controller uses your local weather forecast and your desired probability of precipitation for the system to click on to heat the space before snowfall ensuring the most effective and efficient use of the system. When the temperature drops and snow is detected, the system will turn on automatically, melting the snow so that you never have to think about it.
Understanding the Different Types of Heated Driveways
There are also two different types of heated driveways: electronic and hydronic. They differ in functionality and price, so it is best to do some in-depth research to determine which type is best for you.
As the name suggests, electronic heating uses electricity to heat your driveway. This type of radiant heating system is connected to your grid, so the cost of powering it directly correlates to the cost of your electricity.
This system may increase your electricity bill, but the additional cost should be relatively low. The amount of electricity it takes to properly power this type of system is less than you’d think, and if you get an automatic system that only runs when it detects snow, it’s also incredibly energy efficient.
Hydronic systems use water to heat your driveway. The water is heated in a boiler and then flushed through tubes embedded inside the pavement. Often you will see spots of snow on hydronic heated driveways because the water cools off before it can complete the full cycle. Electric heated driveways are more effective for keeping a clear surface.
Determining which system is right for you depends on cost and how much area you’re trying to cover. If you’re trying to heat over 1,000 square feet, hydronic systems may be more cost-effective in the long run. Unfortunately, water-powered systems have to run 24/7 during the winter months to prevent freezing, which can get expensive. Additionally, some areas have banned the use of glycol, otherwise known as antifreeze.
How Much Does a Heated Driveway Cost?
The cost of a heated driveway depends on a few different variables, including square footage, installing control systems, labor, and whether you’re installing a new driveway or adding to an existing one. However, the base cost for a driveway heating system is roughly $10 per square foot, with common sizes for residential driveways vary between 600-750 square feet.
In this instance of a 750 square foot driveway, the homeowner for this project put the mats down between the construction crew prepping for the pavers and installing them so that the estimate for their new driveway was not impacted. The only additional cost this homeowner encountered was adding heat to their driveway by hiring an electrician to upgrade their panel and wire their snow melting controller. This cost can vary depending on the size of your project.
A great option for heated driveways with a lower price is heated tire tracks. A set of two heating mats down the length of a long and/or steep driveway is a great low-amperage draw solution for safety in crucial places.
A Warmup estimate will give you all of the information you need to calculate running cost for your own driveway.
Consider Heated Walkways and Patios
Of course, the benefits of outdoor heating systems don’t end with just driveways. To get to your car in the first place, you have to walk over walkways that might be buried in snow and extremely slippery. Thankfully, there’s a heating solution for that, as well.
Like heated driveways, you can install radiant heating along your walkways and beneath your patios. That way, you never have to worry about shoveling snow or slipping on ice again. The surface area for walkways and patios is much smaller than driveways, so these systems are also incredibly affordable.
Install a Heated Driveway Warmup Radiant Heating System
Take the headache out of snow removal for your home or business. For a consistently clear space that is perfect for aging in place, consider heating systems for your driveway, walkways, and patios.
Warmup has specialized in creating efficient and affordable heating systems for driveways and sidewalks for over 25 years. Contact us today to learn more about how radiant heating can improve your life.