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Heated Driveways
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


For those of you that live in colder climates, and are faced with heavy snow fall, you know exactly how bothersome it is to have your driveway cleared of snow to ensure safety and everyday use. With a heated driveway, also called a snow melting system, you will never have to worry about shoveling your driveway again. Injuries will be avoiding due to slippery surfaces and your everyday experience will be enhanced. Also, adding a heated driveway will increase the resale value of your home, protect your surrounding landscape, and preserve your driveway.

Heated Driveways work in two ways. The first is an electric heating system. Electric systems use line voltage cable, hot wires, to heat the driveway. Sensors are built into the systems that detect when snow is beginning to fall and it is then activated. Automated electric systems work quickly and will prevent snow from accumulating. Electric systems are generally more efficient, require less upholding, and heat up faster. Certain systems are made with manual controls. They cost less, but do not offer as many benefits.

The other way a heated driveway works is with a hydronic system. Hydronic systems are energy efficient water-based heat systems that pump hot water, mixed with antifreeze, through plastic tubes made of polymer or a synthetic rubber. They tend to be more expensive because they operate on fuel. Keep in mind; hydronic systems require a certain amount of space to accommodate the water heater/boiler, pump, and manifold.

Snow melting systems are best installed during new constructions; however, it is still possible to install a system after words. Systems can be installed on both concrete and asphalt driveways, during anytime time of the year and at any location. Also, keep in mind that you are not limited to just your driveway. Snow melting systems can be installed under walk ways, patios, and porch steps as well.

The cost of a snow melting system depends on how sophisticated you want your system to be. For example, do you want your heated driveway to be electric or hydronic, automated or manual? Also, you will have to consider whether your new heated driveway will work with your current heating/electric system, or will it have to work on its own. The cost will vary according to these factors.

Snow melting systems are fairly easy to install. Any qualified contractor or electrician can do the job for you, quickly and efficiently. There are several companies that specialize in snow melting systems, so finding one near you will not be a problem. If you are looking to invest in a snow melting system but also concerned with your budget, we are here to work with you. Our local qualified licensed contractors are here to bring you satisfying results that work with your budget.

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