There’s a lot to love about winter. From the crisp, refreshing air in the morning to spending cozy evenings at home with a good book, winter has a lot to offer beyond just our fond memories of sledding or skiing. But there’s one thing that very few (if anyone) people enjoy about winter: shoveling snow.
And oftentimes, this chore isn't optional but is necessary to be able to get to your job or make a run to the store for supplies.
For one of our customers, a heated driveway might just be the solution they need to really enjoy their winters again. Mark, from Iowa, decided to get a snow melting system for their driveway after doing some online research and learning about the benefits of these radiant heating solutions.
“We are retired and decided to retire our snow shovel,” joked Mark.
The decision to add a snow melting system was paired with his desire to replace his existing concrete driveway, walkway, and porch with new versions. Since snow melting systems are embedded in the surface, it’s best to consider installing a radiant heating system as early as possible in the project. This also keeps the cost barrier down since your only additional costs will be for the system itself and future operating costs.
According to Mark, one of the deciding factors that made him choose WarmlyYours was that he was trying to keep his project on his existing electrical service provision of 200 amps (that has to be shared with the rest of the house and a hot tub) and our company was one of the ones offering a system control that would meet the needs of his project.
“The plan was to limit the amount of current at any given time by breaking our project (driveway, sidewalk and porch) into four zones. Your ZoneBraker was the answer!
The ZoneBraker control from WarmlyYours allows for zoned control of a snow melting system, so essentially this means that you can have up to 4 separate zones for your snow melting system and the control can energize just one zone at a time to cut down on total power draw. The control can then cycle the systems to make sure everything stays snow and ice free or you can choose to just focus on specific areas. Mark had very specific plans for his zones.
“We broke our project into four zones so that we have control flexibility,” said Mark. “Zone 1 provides direct access to the mailbox by heating our front porch, sidewalk, and a narrow path on our driveway. Zone 2 is our main driveway which does not receive sunlight, so this will be used often if we choose to venture out during snow days. Zone 3 is the second half of our driveway which does receive sunlight, so this will be used as needed. Zone 4 is the annex of our driveway, may or may not be needed and does receive some sunlight. With this system we have a lot of options!”
In addition to allowing for a snow melting system to heat a larger total surface area, the ZoneBraker also gives users the ability to set up custom running durations for each zone. This can be particularly useful for problem areas, like the bottom of a sloped driveway, that require longer runtimes.
Mark hired a concrete contractor to help do the installation but one piece of advice that Mark would suggest to anyone considering a similar project is to make sure to adhere the snow melting mats to a rigid framework that is embedded inside of the outdoor surface.
“Use plenty of [ties] to ensure the mats don’t float during the concrete pour,” said Mark.
Mark and his wife are very excited to use their system for the first time this winter. To see even more about this heated driveway, check out this project showcase!
If you’re considering an outdoor renovation project like Mark was, use our Quote Builder to see how much a snow melting system might cost.
This story was submitted as part of our Share Your Story project where we gather customer stories (from homeowners and trade professionals alike) and publish them in blogs like this. The winners even receive a $100 prize! To learn more about our Share Your Story program, visit this page.