Category Archives: Snow Melting

Efficient Operation of Your Snow Melting System

Once you’ve invested in a heated driveway or other snow melting system, you can enjoy the convenience of snow free access to your home or business. We want you to get the most out of your Warmquest system, so we’ve put together some tips for efficient operation.

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Electric Radiant Heat: More Common Than You Think

When you hear about radiant heating what do you picture? Many people think of pipes beneath the surface, carrying hot water or some other fluid. While it is true that hydronic systems may be used for floor warming and snow melting, another tried and true method is electrical radiant heating. Electric radiant heating utilizes electrical resistance and has many benefits and advantages that are discussed throughout our website. Today we will look at resistance heating and its many uses.

When is the last time you benefited from electric resistance heating? Have you used an electric stovetop in the last 24 hours? How about a hair dryer? These and many other everyday items utilize resistance heating. As electricity flows through the heating element, the resistance of the coils, wires, or cables creates heat. Resistance heating is 100% efficient as all of the electricity is converted to heat.

Have you ever used a heated seat in a car? Cadillac introduced the first heated car seats over 50 years ago. Think about that the next time you are hurtling down the highway in a modern automobile. When automotive manufacturers wanted to provide heated seats they turned to electric resistance heating.

Warmquest supplies and installs industry leading electric radiant heating products which are tested to the highest standards. Warming floors and spaces, deicing roofs, and melting snow, all with the simplicity and convenience of resistance heating. The same technology that allows your seats to warm safely and comfortably can be scaled up and used to heat your entire home, prevent snow and ice problems on your roof, and keep your driveway clear. Our unique, cutting edge systems accomplish all of this with a small footprint. No boilers or heavy equipment are needed, a small control unit or relay panel is all it takes. By its very nature electric radiant heating is low maintenance and efficient. Systems are either on or off and do not need to idle, they have few moving parts and require no regular maintenance.

Steep Driveway Solutions

heated tire tracks on steep drivewaySteep driveways can mean big problems once snow and ice hits the ground. Preventing slide offs is critical to safety and enjoying the home all year. Today we are taking a look at the options for managing steep driveways when winter arrives.

The simplest solution to avoid sliding off a steep, icy driveway is not to drive on it. Many homeowners park at the bottom of the slope during storms throughout the winter. While this prevents a slide off, the hike to and from the vehicle comes with risk of slip and fall accidents. There are also the risks associated with leaving the vehicle on the street in winter weather.

heated steep asphalt drivewayWhen you know a storm is coming, salt or snow melting chemicals can be spread on the driveway to keep things clear. The effectiveness of this approach varies, and severe storms will overwhelm them. In a previous post we discuss the various environmental risks associated with snow melt chemicals and salts.

Another option, often paired with snow melting chemicals is spreading sand or kitty litter in the particularly dangerous sections of the driveway. These can provide the extra traction needed to get up and down safely, but require planning ahead and can become less effective in severe weather events.

steep driveway with radiant heatThe one sure way to keep ice and snow from impeding access to your home is to remove it. You could do this yourself, but what happens if you aren’t home during the storm? The best solution for steep driveways all winter long is a snow melting system.

Heated driveway technology is becoming more accessible and affordable. With a variety of options from heating your entire surface to a set of heated tire tracks, there is a snow melting system for your project. Systems are designed by experienced professionals who use regional climate data to provide a system that is both highly effective and efficient.

How Much Does a Heated Driveway Cost?

retrofit-tire-tracksHow much does a heated driveway cost? The Warmquest team believes in options and customization, so there is no single answer to this question. This article aims to review several of the factors involved in determining the amount.

Customization vs One Size Fits All
Let’s start by looking at the various options for electric driveway heat. Roll out mats, with heating cable entwined in a woven mesh are a common option. The downside to these mats is they are designed as a one size fits all system. Climates and applications demand varying amounts of heat. Customization and free flowing cables allow you to provide the heat needed without wasteful excess. Many mats are designed to provide significantly more heat than a typical snow melting solution requires. The heat needed to keep your driveway clear is most likely less than the heat required to clear a hospital’s helicopter pad. In a similar matter, the heat needed to clear a driveway at 2,000 feet in the Great Plains will be less than the heat required to clear a sidewalk at 11,000 feet in the Rockies.

With Warmquest’s tailormade approach, a heating system can be designed for the most economical solution for any individual project. Our experts use regional climate and geographic data to determine the amount of heat needed and design a system that gives the user maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Installation Expenses
Installation costs vary from project to project. One expense is the removal and new pour of the existing surface. An alternative to demolition is a retrofit installation. Saw cuts are made and cable installed and sealed into existing asphalt or concrete. This allows for the benefits of a heated surface without the effort and expense of removing the existing surface.

With technology advancing at an ever faster rate, there are a number of ways to activate and control your heated driveway. Costs will fluctuate depending on the option chosen. Options run from manual switches to automated temperature and moisture sensors.

You can heat a variety of surfaces and the cost of installing will vary from material to material. Warmquest can give you specific details and recommendations for the most effective installation method for your individual project.

One last installation expense to consider is the amount of power available. For some large systems, additional breakers may need to be installed.

Size of Project
It should be apparent that larger projects tend to cost more. Something to consider though is the reduced cost per square foot as the control units approach their upper limit of heating element. As the maximum amount of heating cable is installed per control unit, cost is maximized. The Warmquest team guides customers through selecting the most efficient and cost effective approach for the project under consideration.

If cost or power become limiting factors our team has a variety of options. Some customers are able to provide the access they need with heated tire tracks, walkways, or paths for vehicles. There are a variety of solutions available and Warmquest is happy to help you find the best option.

Snow melting systems are becoming more common and accessible. Contact the Warmquest team at 877-877-4724 to get information and pricing.

Solar Power and Heated Driveways

heated-stamped-concreteWith the increasing accessibility of solar power, many people are installing solar panels for their home or business. Solar can offset costs or in some circumstances eliminate the need for the grid altogether.

With the growing popularity of residential solar panels, we have seen an increase in the number of calls related to solar power and heated driveways and sidewalks. So can you power a heated driveway with solar panels on your roof? How can solar and electric radiant heat work together to create a more efficient system? Let’s take a look.

Solar Panels, Batteries and Electric Snow Melting
The challenge with solar power is the need for sunshine, something that is generally lacking during a winter storm. The solution to this is often to store power using batteries. Unfortunately, today’s batteries just don’t have the capability of sustaining the power needed for a snow melting system. Think of how quickly your car battery dies if you leave the headlights on. Electric snow melting may be efficient, but it certainly requires more power than a set of headlights.

Heating a large area like a driveway will require more power than a battery can provide. With panels and batteries ruled out it may seem that combining solar and electric radiant heat is a bust, however there is a way and it works brilliantly.

Pair Solar Panels with the Grid
The solution to using solar power for heated driveways is to not use solar to directly power heated driveways.

Allow us to explain. In many areas, homes and businesses can install solar panels and reap the benefits of solar power while feeding excess power generated back into the grid for credits. This means that during sunny times you may be earning credit that can lower costs overall.

With the power of the grid, you can easily operate heated driveway equipment. Solar comes into play as an expense cutting measure that provides savings to offset the cost of your heated driveway.

To learn more about solar power and radiant heat, contact our team at 877-877-4724 or visit the links below.

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