The Many Custom Applications of Radiant Heat

As radiant heated driveways gain traction across the country, home and business owners are also installing radiant heat in a wide variety of other snow melting applications. The systems are easy to customize, and can be designed and installed for just about any need your customer may have.

Although installing radiant heat in driveways is the most popular residential application, the features of these snow melting systems have made them popular for a dynamic range of other snow melting solutions. Electric radiant heat systems utilize heat cable, which is available in individual lengths off the spool or pre-spaced in mats. The mats are conveniently rolled out across the area to be heated and secured, making installation quick and easy. But given the design flexibility of heat cable installations, systems can be installed to meet virtually any customer needs.

In addition to heated driveway installations, other radiant heat applications include heating outdoor areas for pets or livestock, accessibility ramps, loading docks, outdoor steps, sidewalks, patios, and more. Some ProLine snow melting system installations include heated airport aprons, public transportation areas, large commercial parking ramps and structures, and more. The options for customers are limited only by one’s imagination.

Heated ramp
A radiant heated accessibility ramp.

While the range of applications is unlimited, there are also many options when it comes heating a driveway. ProLine system designers work with their customers to determine the best system for their needs. Heated driveways can be customized to accommodate situations with limited power, customers on a limited budget, or those with special layout needs. Fortunately, driveway heating systems can be tailored to best meet the specific needs of each customer. Some layout options include heating only an 8-foot-wide strip in the middle of the driveway, heating two 24-inch-wide tire tracks, or only heating special areas, such as an incline. Customers have many options when it comes to installing a radiant heat.

Given the benefits of radiant snow melting systems, it’s no wonder that they are increasing in popularity. In addition to being fully automated, the systems are also maintenance free and extremely efficient. In fact, there is virtually no wasted energy associated with a properly installed heated driveway. The systems also eliminate the need for harmful snow melting chemicals or salt.

Heated sidewalk and porch
A residence with a heated driveway, sidewalk, and porch.

Automated snow melting systems consist of three main components: the heat cable, a snow sensor (activation device), and controller/contactor panel. Depending on the system, and the customer’s preference, the snow sensor can be either a pavement-mounted device, or an aerial-mounted unit. (Most driveway heating systems utilize the aerial-mount sensor.) This advanced activation device detects temperature and precipitation. When precipitation is detected, and the temperature is below the adjustable setpoint (typically set at 38- or 39-degrees Fahrenheit), the sensor will send a signal to the system controller. Power is then sent to the embedded heat cable, warming the driveway to prevent the buildup of snow.

A safety feature, called the “afterrun” function allows the snow melting system to remain on for a short time after the storm. This allows the heated concrete, asphalt, or pavers to dry. Eliminating any surface water prevents thin sheets of “invisible” ice from forming. The systems also include a manual override function, so the systems can be activated to deal with snowdrifts, or to heat areas where runoff from other areas has created patches of ice.

Radiant heat is also used for roof and gutter de-icing. Keeping roof eaves and gutters clear of snow and ice enhances pedestrian traffic below. When roof ice begins to melt, sometimes large slabs of ice can tumble to the sidewalk below and strike those walking along the sidewalk. Water that trickles down from icicles to the sidewalk can refreeze, creating patches of “black” ice, which can result in slip-and-fall accidents. Needless to say, this scenario is a nightmare for business owners.

ProLine also offers interior radiant heat. A variety of floor heating systems is available, with each providing advantages for heating specific types of flooring. A wide range of technologies is available.

For more information about wholesale snow melting, roof de-icing, and floor heating products check out ProLine’s website, or call a friendly professional today at 866-676-9276.