When installing Snow Melting or Roof Deicing systems, there are a number of options for activation available. Do you need an automated sensor or will a manual timer work? Do you want the system activated when it snows or just when it is cold? Should you use a pavement mounted or an aerial sensor? With all the options available, let’s take a look at which options Warmquest recommends for various solutions.

Manual Timers
Timers and other manual switches are recommended with most of our systems. These options are great for pairing with an automated sensor to provide the option to manually activate the system if needed.

A manual switch may be sufficient on its own for activating a system in a less critical area. If you would be alright with waking up in the morning to a snow covered driveway or arriving at the office and finding snow built up from an unexpected storm then a manual timer will likely suffice. It is important to note that accumulated snow acts as an insulator and is harder to melt than falling snow.

Temperature Sensors
Temperature sensors are most commonly used in conjunction with our roof deicing systems. Particularly for commercial and other critical areas, a temperature sensor will operate the system whenever the temperature is below a configurable temperature point. This is useful for roof deicing as ice dams are frequently caused by snow melting and refreezing on the cold roof.

Some sensor models also have a temperature floor which turns the system off when it is below a set point, or too cold for melt to occur. This allows our systems to be more efficient.

Snow Sensors
Combination temperature and moisture sensors are our recommendation for most snow melting applications. These sensors activate a system when the temperature falls below a set point and moisture is detected on the sensor head. This ensures the snow melting system will run during a storm and for a configurable amount of time after.

When selecting a snow sensor, you have several options. The most common distinction is whether the sensor is aerial mounted or embedded in the pavement. Our pavement mounted sensors offer the most flexibility, with the controls for configuring the sensor mounted separately from the sensor head. This allows the controls to be configured from indoors.

Aerial mounted snow sensors typically mount along the roof eave, in a clear area where they will catch falling snow. This means to avoid trees, overhangs, and any other obstacle that could prevent the sensor from activating.

We advise you discuss your project goals and needs with a Warmquest expert to decide on the best activation option for your system. With more options available all the time, including wi-fi and other smart home technologies, Warmquest can provide a solution tailored to your project.