Driveway Heating Pros & Cons
There are two types of snow-melting systems which include hydronic and electric. Driveway heating by heavenly heat considers the following four key components while choosing anyone.
- A heating element present in the slab.
- Sensors for detecting outdoor moisture and heat.
- Source for power.
- A controller for managing the whole system
Now let us first look at hydronic driveway heat systems:
“Hydronic heat” implies heating with hot water. This method is common for centuries and is the reason why it varies from the electric system. Due to technology up-gradation, hydronic radiant heat systems are becoming more popular and thus, giving effective results.
Pros to look for:
- Fully Automated – Driveway heating by heavenly heat mainly checks the precipitation through snow sensors. This is done automatically and works when required.
- Energy Efficient – The system works efficiently as the liquid present in it helps in maintaining heat for a good amount of time.
- Low operating cost- In comparison to electric radiant heat systems, hydronic driveway systems are affordable in terms of operating cost. This is because you can easily find a boiler which is easily available in the home. Also, propane, natural gas, electricity, or oil, is used as per the utility cost.
- Boiler works in synchronization and also there is a reduction in the cycle.
- Boiler Differential is automated – The boiler differential is automatically changed according to the conditions. This, in turn, ensures an increase in running time as well as a reduction in boiler cycle.
Cons of the hydronic system:
- You need to remove the existing cement driveway for installing it, which is a pain.
- There is a great chance of corrosion in the tubing.
- System can get affected in case tubing breaks.
- It is a bit tough to install and requires huge manpower.
Electric driveway heat systems
Instead of hydronic, you can opt for electric systems too as they use hot wires to heat the surfaces. For wiring, layers of insulation are required along with with the copper grounding braid and a protective cover of PVC or polyolefin. We try to simplify the installation using compact mats with the cables already embedded.
Let us look at the pros of electric driveway heat systems:
- Low usage of energy- As self-regulating technology reduces heat output, energy utilization reduces. It also overcomes the issue of overheating.
- No corrosion: Due to the tinned-copper braid on cable and polyolefin outer jacket, the system does not get corded easily. There is no burnout.
- Easy installation due to mineral insulated cables which are pre-terminated.
- Operating cost may increase as only electricity is used to power the system.
- You need manpower for installation.
- Modifications in cables are not possible.
The question remains which option to go for.
One needs to consider many factors before choosing a suitable system. For instance, system design may work in one place whereas in another area it will prove inadequate. In less place, the electric system is more preferable rather than hydronic one.