by Greg Katz (Deseret Morning News)
Wouldn’t it be nice to go all winter without shoveling? To glance out the window during a storm and watch the snowflakes melt as they hit the driveway and sidewalk?
This back-saving dream can be a reality, thanks to products marketed by Heatizon Systems of Murray.
Heatizon (pronounced “heat is on”) has been part of the Salt Lake business landscape since the early 1990s, but its low-voltage, radiant heating products were invented in the 1970s in the mountains of Colorado, according to Cannon Kuch, the company’s sales and marketing manager.
The business has grown to the point that Heatizon will move next month from its current location at 4403 S. 500 West in Murray to a bigger building at 4137 S. 500 West.
“It’s pretty popular,” Kuch said of radiant heating. “Our demographic is typically a homeowner with a house value of $400,000-plus. It’s a medium to higher-end product. . . . But we’re anywhere (people face) high snow loads.”
Heatizon has two primary products, Kuch said. The first is the Tuff Cable, which is designed to go under interior floors or beneath a driveway, pavers — even roofing. It warms the surface and, outdoors, melts snow and ice.
“Our cable is in all of the light rail wheelchair access ramps for TRAX,” Kuch said. “We did 20,000-some feet of snowmelting under the granite pavers at (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’) Conference Center. We’ve done lots of stuff in Park City.”
The company’s other product is a low-voltage bronze mesh material called Z Mesh. Kuch said it is ideal for in-floor heating and, in Utah, for helping to heat basements through placement in the ceiling.
“It looks like 12-inch-wide screen door material,” he said. “You can put carpet pad and carpet, or hardwood . . . floor on top of it and get radiant heating. Anything non-conductive. And because it’s low voltage and mesh, you can drive a nail or staples through it without damaging it.”
He said Tuff Cable and Z Mesh compete with products from companies that sell hot-water or higher-voltage radiant heating systems, but he is not concerned that they will slow Heatizon’s growth.
“Radiant heat is getting more and more popular all the time in the United States,” Kuch said. “It’s been popular in Europe and other places for a long time.
“Natural gas and fossil fuels are getting more expensive, so people are considering electricity more. . . . For snowmelting, it’s very inexpensive to melt snow. For a 300-square-foot system, you’re looking at a couple dollars a storm. In the valley, we rarely get a storm that would be cold enough and have enough snow per hour for (a Heatizon system) to not be able to keep up.”
The company’s 13 full-time employees make the products here, he said, and they are sold throughout the United States by local distributors. (More information is available online at www.Heatizon.com.) In Utah, the primary distributor is WarmQuest.
“The majority of our business already is coming from the Northeast and the Midwest, and then the Northwest, and of course California,” Kuch said. “We do quite a bit of floor warming in the Bay area. . . . We have good distribution in the Northeast, and we’re hoping to add to it this year.”