When the days are shorter and the mornings are colder, the last thing you want to do is get out of bed early to shovel snow from your driveway. With a heated driveway from WarmlyYours, endless shoveling is a thing of the past, even in the harshest of climates. Learn more about driveway heating systems and just how cost-effective a heated driveway really is!
Our driveway heating systems are available as either heated driveway mats or cables, which can be installed in asphalt, concrete, or under pavers in mortar. They're ideal for both residential use and commercial applications, and for any size or shape of heated driveway.
A complete driveway heating system will typically include at least the heating elements (snow melting mats or cables) and a control to sense things like air temperature or moisture on the pavement, but may also require additional components like a relay panel or an identification plaque to mark the location of the heated driveway mats.
To get started looking at the cost for a heated driveway, there are some variable factors that will of course play a role in how much installing a heated driveway will cost.
These variables are:
And furthermore, all of these costs will be impacted by the size of your project. Labor and material costs may vary significantly in your area, however, the average cost for installing a new driveway (just labor and materials) will be between $2,511 and $6,983 according to homeadvisor.com.
An electric snow melting system for a heated driveway costs between $10 and $25 per square foot for the heating elements plus about $1,000 - $3,000 for the controls.
For a double-car driveway that is 20 feet wide by 20 feet long, WarmlyYours’ snow melting system could cost as little as $3,839.
Although that might seem like a lot of money, you also have to consider the value of your time and comfort. Not to mention, most higher end snow blowers on the market (all of which require regular maintenance and fuel) can still cost over a thousand dollars. Additionally, the WarmlyYours heating element comes with a 10-year warranty.
But perhaps most importantly, you have to consider the potential costs of incurring a personal injury while dealing with snow removal yourself. Getting injured might not just cost you financially but also in relation to your quality of life. A heated driveway takes away all of that risk and worry and replaces it with snow free (and safe) surfaces.
If you equate the cost of paying a snow-removal company $50 each time it snows to plow your driveway, you would spend an average of $1,000 a year if it snowed 20 days, which is the average in Illinois, according to currentresults.com. That comes out to $10,000 in 10 years, which is significantly higher than the typical WarmlyYours heated driveway cost.
Full coverage is certainly a functional and attractive option, as it means your entire heated driveway will be clear of snow and ice. If you’re concerned about the operating cost or the energy demand for full coverage, make sure to consider zoned heating. By using our multi-zone controller for your heated driveway system, you break your project into "zones" which are heated one at a time. The entire surface will still be cleared but you'll cut down significantly on heated driveway costs like the operating cost.
One popular alternative to full coverage is to simply heat tire tracks. This economical option helps users cut down on the cost of a heated driveway in terms of both installation and operation, while still providing great functionality in a functional heated driveway.
This coverage system works by installing two sets of heating elements, typically 2 feet wide and the length of the heated driveway, which will keep the driveway passable, even in the heaviest of snow falls.
Snow-melting systems, depending on the controls and sensors selected, can be set to kick on when the sensor detects precipitation of any kind (snow, ice, or rain) and the air temperature reaches a certain degree. This is the most cost effective way to operate a heated driveway system. When the system is in action, it radiates 50 watts per square foot upward through the driveway to keep the pavement clear and dry. For homeowners, it’s one of the most valuable aspects of their home because it keeps them safe and it’s incredibly convenient. However, there’s one thing many homeowners question before investing in a snow-melting system: How much energy does a heated driveway use? And, in parallel, how much does it cost to run a heated driveway?
To find out the operating cost for a snow melting system in a heated driveway, you first need to identify the total wattage of the system by multiplying the square footage by 50 watts (which is the wattage per square foot emitted by a WarmlyYours snow-melting system). Then, divide the total wattage by 1,000 to get the kilowattage. Finally, multiply the kilowattage by the average kilowatt per hour (kWh) rate in your area. Locate your latest electric bill to determine your particular kWh rate, the average rate in the United States is $0.14 per kWh.
Square footage of heated area x 50 watts = Total wattage
Total wattage ÷ 1,000 = Total kilowattage
Total kilowattage x kWh rate = Hourly operating cost
For example, let’s take an average 20ʹ by 20ʹ driveway. Assuming the homeowner wants full coverage for their radiant heating system, the square footage of the heated area would be 400. Multiply this by 50 watts and you get 20,000 watts. Divide 20,000 by 1,000 to get 20 kilowatts. Then multiply 20 by the national average kWh rate of $0.14, and you wind up with $2.80 per hour. If the snowfall lasts six hours, that snowstorm will end up costing you about $16.80 in operating costs. If you set the same system to run for an additional 3 hours after the snow fall has stopped (a feature we call “after-run time” that helps make sure that the melted snow fully evaporates), then the total operating cost for 9 hours would be $25.20. Much less than hiring a professional plowing service!
An even more affordable option for heating a driveway is to only heat the tire tracks. A WarmlyYours snow-melting heating mat is 2 feet wide, so if you need two sets of tire tracks for a 20-foot-long driveway with a 2-car garage, you’ll wind up with 160 square feet of heated area. When you apply this number to the formula, you end up with 8 kWh or $1.12 per hour.
|Operating cost by driveway size and coverage||20ʹ wide by 20ʹ long
Typical two cars driveway
|20ʹ wide by 20ʹ long
Typical two cars driveway
|10ʹ wide by 20ʹ long
Single car driveway
|Coverage||Full||2 pairs of Tire Tracks (2ʹ wide)||1 pair of Tire Tracks (2ʹ wide)|
|Heated surface||400 sq.ft.||160 sq.ft.||80 sq.ft.|
|Total kilowatt per hour (kWh)||20 kWh||8 kWh||4 kWh|
|Rate per kWh||$0.14||$0.14||$0.14|
|Total runtime cost||$16.80||$6.72||$3.36|
Use our Snow Melting Operating Cost Calculator to see how much a heated driveway would cost to operate in your area.
The installation of your heated driveway will depend on a number of factors but one of the most important is the material your installing in (asphalt, concrete, pavers, etc.). Each surface-type has its own method of installation. For example, with concrete or cement, the heating elements will need to be secured to a rigid framework that is propped up on blocks so that they are a consistent distance from the finished surface to ensure optimal performance. With pavers, the heating elements can be staked down in position before being embedded in sand beneath the pavers.
Asphalt is one of the most common options for installing a heated driveway. A popular installation method for this surface-type is to lay down an initial "binder coat" and then lay out/secure the heating elements on top of that. Finally the heating elements are completely embedded in the second coat of asphalt. You can check out this process in greater detail in our Asphalt Heated Driveway Installation Design Guide.
To retrofit a snow melting heating system into an existing driveway, check out Retrofit Snow Melting for Existing Concrete and Asphalt Surfaces
Our snow melting systems are available in two formats: Snow Melting Mats and Snow Melting Cables.
The mats are designed to deliver 50 watts of heat per square foot and allow for quick and easy installation.
The cable system allows for maximum flexibility and generates 12 watts per linear foot.
Once you've decided what type of heating system, you'll need to choose a control for your snow melting system. WarmlyYours offer a selection of controls, ranging from a basic manual control to our premium option that provides the ultimate in convenience and hands-off operation. We even offer an affordable and user-friendly WiFi control that can be configured so that the heating system can be controlled remotely or can be energized based on real-time weather events.
Check out these customer-submitted heated driveways to see real world examples of how a snow melting system is installed in a variety of different surfaces including asphalt, concrete, and pavers.
Our snow melting systems can be used to keep nearly any outdoor surface clear of snow and ice. From heated driveways to outdoor patios, WarmlyYours has spent many years helping heat a huge variety of projects. Check out some of our Snow Melting Design Guides with great install photos, product pricing information, and much more.
That depends on a number of variables (like the temperature outside) but generally speaking these snow melting systems are designed to melt 1" - 3" of snow per hour. Anything above 3" per hour is typically considered blizzard conditions.
Our systems can handle low temperatures, but many controls come equipped with a Low-Temperature Lockout Feature. This feature prevents the system from running in very low temperatures. At very low temperatures it can become difficult for the system to effectively melt the snow. It is however possible to turn off this feature should you need the system to keep running during such low temperatures.
This type of installation should not significantly affect the longevity of the driveway. Be sure to have a professional for your surface material type evaluate this during installation.
To ensure optimal performance, snow melting heating elements should be installed so that they are consistently 2"-3" from the finished surface. For installations using pavers, the maximum thickness for pavers installed over heating elements is 2.5".
Yes, you can retrofit a snow melting system into a preexisting driveway made of concrete or asphalt. You can do this by using an appropriate tool to cut properly spaced lines (or trenches for tire tracks heating) in the surface. Then you can place the the heating elements in the lines (or trenches) before sealing them with either hot asphaltic sealer for asphalt retrofits, or backer rod and expansion joint sealer (SikaFlex or similar) for concrete retrofits. Of course, you'll want to make sure this step is done in accordance with the filler manufacturer’s recommended procedures. Check out our snow melting retrofit guide for more information about this process.
All of our automatic controllers have a Hold-on time feature after the initial warming up of the snow melt system. This feature ensures that all the snow is melted from the surface, and also that the system continues to operate and evaporate the surface water without it refreezing.