Minneapolis and St. Paul Heated Driveways, Floors & Roof Deicing Systems
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According to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report, Minneapolis / St. Paul is listed in the top ten “Best Places to Live in the USA.” The report ranks the country’s 125 largest metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and quality of life. Perhaps the top ten ranking is no surprise to many residents in the Twin Cities, but despite its top grades it doesn’t stop a few from complaining about the winter weather.
Yet, despite receiving an annual snowfall of about 55 inches, the quality of life for Minneapolis / St. Paul residents is tough to beat. The snowfall simply adds another flavor to the picturesque scene of life in Minnesota. While a blanket of virgin snow may add beauty to the area; the charm of freshly fallen snow quickly melts into dread when it comes time to drive – not to mention the added responsibility of shoveling and salting the driveway and sidewalks.
For longtime Minnesota residents, shoveling snow and salting walks during the winter months is simply an expected way of life. It’s an annual routine that folks take in stride. Snow shovels, salt and snowmelt chemicals are staples in the garage of most homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
But more and more residents are turning to radiant heat to make winters a little less demanding and a lot more comfortable. Heated driveways operate silently and automatically to keep driveways and/or walks clear of ice and snow while heated floors add luxurious warmth to the home. The automated snow melting systems detect precipitation and temperature, activating only when needed and shutting off afterwards.
How Snow Melting Systems Work
Radiant heat snow melting systems utilize heat cable that is embedded under the driveway’s surface. The single point connection cable is run to a contactor panel (typically mounted on a wall in the garage). A snow sensor (activation device) is mounted in an open area where it can detect snowfall and temperature. When precipitation is detected and the temperature is below the adjustable set point, the sensor signals the controller, which then sends power to the heating cable. The driveway is warmed to eliminate the buildup of snow, and remains on for a short time after the storm. This dries the surface and prevents slick ice from forming.
How Much Does it Cost to Operate a Snow Melting System?
General Guidelines to Determine a Heated Driveway's Operating Cost
● Determine the total square footage of the area that will be heated. (The average American home has an 800-square foot driveway.)
● 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.
● Divide this number by 1,000 to convert to kilowatts.
● Look up the kilowatts-per-hour rate from the local power utility company.
● 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 get a total wattage required.
Radiant heat is also commonly used for roof deicing applications. Warmzone offers a variety of roof heating solutions to prevent ice dams and keep roof valleys and gutters clear of snow and ice to facilitate runoff. Thin, low-voltage heated panels can be installed directly under roof shingles or self-regulating heat cable can be applied along roof edges and in gutters and downspouts. Warmzone can custom design a roof heating solution to best meet your roof deicing needs as well as your budget.
Radiant Heated Floors
Radiant floor heat provides luxurious warmth and clean, efficient heat. In fact, radiant floor heating systems provide the most efficient way known to heat homes and businesses.
Warmzone carries one of the largest selections of floor heating systems. Each system boasts advantages for heating specific floor types. The wide variety ensures that customers will find the system that best meets their floor heating needs. From paper thin “film” heating elements to durable In-Slab heating cable and ComfortTile mats, Warmzone has the best selection of the industry’s most trusted floor heating systems. We custom design each system and provide free installation training and technical support.
Call 888.488.9276 or send us your project information to receive a free quote for an electric snow melting system.