Driveway heating systems use heaters, pumps, and ductwork to transfer heat and cold air from the inside of your home or office to the outside. The system heats using natural gas, propane or electricity. It also removes heat from outside and stores it within the building or home. But what are the important reasons to install a driveway heating unit before the winter hits? Before this topic is discussed, take a look at how a driveway heating system works.
There are several types of systems that can provide driveway heating, and the right one for your home or business is the one that best suits your needs. For instance, there are radiant floor heaters and underfloor furnaces. Here’s how they work:
Heat pumps, underfloor furnaces and water-based systems all use the same basic technology, which is a combination of a heat pump, a pipe and a heating coil. It's just a matter of finding the right system for your home or business, and the one which you think will suit your needs the best.
Now that you know how driveway heaters work, it’s time to explore the various important reasons to consider them, which include the following:
Installing a driveway heater will eliminate snow shoveling, as well as the risks of untoward slip and fall accidents, hypothermia and frost bite. You also don’t need to hire someone to plow or shovel your drive, saving you money. Finally, there’s no risk of chipping or scraping your pavement with ice picks and shovels.
With driveway heating, there’s no need to deice. The heated areas of the driveway won't need rock salt or any other deicer. Remember that salt may cause damage to your pavement and nearby vegetation, so it’s best to avoid using it. In addition, coming into contact with or ingesting deicers can be a health hazard, and poses a serious risk to children and pets.
By installing a driveway heating system, you don’t have to worry about special maintenance services. Once it's installed, there’s nothing you need to do but operate and enjoy the benefits of a heated driveway for many years. Just make sure that the heating elements are large and evenly spaced.
With a heated driveway, you can easily park your vehicle without worrying about the snow or ice buildup. The convenience of this benefit, and that of not slipping and sliding down the driveway, far outweigh the cost of installing a heater.
The surface of a driveway will last longer if it is not exposed to sub-zero temperatures. Concrete is porous, so if water melts from snow, the surface will spall and eventually cracks will develop. A heated driveway maintains an above freezing temperature, protecting its structural integrity from harm.
While sealing your driveway can help reduce the risk of accidents, heating your driveway during the winter also serves this purpose. With a heated driveway, you’ll have peace of mind because it’s less likely that any of your family members or visitors will slip and fall on the ice-rink that is your driveway. Of course, you’ll also be less likely to face any negligence lawsuits from someone getting hurt on it.
One of the most important benefits of a heated driveway is that this feature significantly increases your home’s fair market value. Of course, this depends on where you reside and the age of the heating system when you decide to sell your house, but it can be incredibly beneficial in making you a pretty penny.
If you're planning to add heat to your driveway yourself, the first thing you should think about is whether or not you need a permit to do so. Depending on where you live and what you want to install, you may be required to obtain a permit from your local building authority to install the system.
It is also important to consider your budget when installing a driveway heater. The cost of the installation may run you anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to a thousand, depending on the size of your driveway and the number of heating coils you need to heat it. But of course, never compromise quality for cost, or it’ll be more expensive in the long run.
If you're thinking about using a system that requires a permit, it's wise to have a professional come in and do the installation. While it may cost a little more than buying the system in the store and installing it yourself, it's worth it if you get the system done right the first time round. Just make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable installation expert who’ll do high-quality work.
Installing heat pumps in your driveway is great if you want the system to run all year, or if you have trouble reaching your basement when it’s very cold. If you need to warm up your driveway in the middle of winter, you may find that underfloor furnaces work well for you. Driveway heating eliminates the need to shovel, deice, and pay for expensive maintenance, giving you peace of mind against accidents and offering you a perfect driveway all the time.