All posts by Proline Editor

Successfully Installing Radiant Snowmelt Systems

Tips for Proper Installation of Heated Driveways and Walks

A radiant heated driveway is only as good as its installation, which is why it’s important to carefully follow best practices when installing radiant heat. Follow a few simple tips and your snow melting system will be up and running in no time, working as it was designed to do.

For starters, before you lay down a foot of heat cable, it’s important to make sure you have the right products for your installation. Prior to any installation, check the voltage and the wattage of the heating cable (typically indicated on the box). If you’re unsure, you can always contact ProLine Radiant for confirmation and/or recommendations. We offer free installation support to help ensure that the installation process goes smoothly and properly.

Installing radiant heat cable in mats
Laying out the heating cable (mats) for a heated driveway installation.

A key practice to ensure the successful installation of a radiant snow melting system is to use a megohmmeter to perform OHM tests of the heat cable before removal from the box, during, and after the installation. This allows you to discover any potential problems as early as possible, saving you time and headaches, as well as ensure successful installation. Always document the results to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty.

Here are a few rules to remember as you begin the installation of your system:

Never cut, cross or overlap the heating cable. Heat cable should not be altered under any circumstances, as it may cause overheating, resulting in damage to the cable.
Always embed the cable completely. Leave no air around the cable.
Make sure to embed the factory splice (where the heating cable and power lead meet).
Using a megohmmeter, perform OHM tests of the heat cable before removing the cable from the box, during the installation, and after the cable has been laid out.
Always run the cold lead in conduit (power lead for the heating cable) – it is not direct burial.

For asphalt applications, snow melting cables are normally covered by two inches of asphalt. To prevent heat damage, the asphalt should be allowed to cool to 220°F (105°C) before pouring directly onto the mats or cables. Ground sensors/tubes should not be exposed to temperatures above 176°F (80°C).

And, for a proper sensor installation, both ground and aerial activation devices require a clear, 360-degree “view” of the sky to allow snow to fall onto the sensor plate. If drifting is an issue where the snowmelt system is being installed, it’s best to install a ground sensor.

Of course, you should always read the Installation Manual and follow instructions. You can always call ProLine Radiant at 866.676.9276 or visit us online for more information or installation support. At ProLine, we work with contractors and professional builders to provide customers with the best custom snow melting system solution at the best price possible.

Options and Tips for Installing Asphalt Heated Driveways

When it comes to installing a radiant heated driveway, installing a system in asphalt is one of the easiest applications available. The systems are not only easy to install in asphalt, but provide stellar performance, making asphalt heated driveways a popular choice among homeowners and business owners. Asphalt radiant heated driveways feature energy efficient, maintenance-free operation that enhances safety by keeping driveways clear of snow and ice 24/7. And radiant heat can be easily installed in new construction, asphalt refresh or even in existing driveways. Asphalt driveways offer great flexibility when it comes to adding or installing a radiant snow melting system. So regardless where you are in your plans, there’s still time to include a radiant heated asphalt driveway.

Asphalt and radiant snow melting systems go together for several reasons. They are both durable, and engineered to withstand extreme temperatures. They also adapt easily to the environment. Asphalt pavements flex and “give” with significant settlements of frost heave, while ProLine automated snow melting systems respond to the weather, operating only when conditions indicate that snow is on the way.

Retrofitting an asphalt driveway with radiant heat.
Retrofitting an asphalt driveway with radiant heat.

ProLine heat cable is specifically designed to withstand the hot temperatures of new asphalt construction jobs. And in keeping with ProLine’s commitment to always offer the latest technology and the best, most proven products, ProLine has taken its industry leading cable and added even more outstanding performance features. We listened to the comments and suggestions we received from you and other construction professionals during our FREE installation training courses to make your requests and made them a reality. This means our industry leading snow melting cable has now been enhanced to offer even more robust features, including the ability to install in much hotter asphalt temperatures, easier installation during cold weather conditions, an even tougher outer sheath and much more. Contact a ProLine representative to learn more about these latest advancements.

You see, at ProLine we are never content to be among the leaders. We might not achieve perfection, but we’ll never stop trying. We work tirelessly to research, test and develop the absolute best products possible to ensure that your business succeeds. And we can’t do that without your feedback and working closely with you during the installation process.

To install radiant heat in a new asphalt driveway, the cable is laid out on the binder or base coat and then hand shovel approximately 2-inches of asphalt directly over the cable. The asphalt is then compacted, using a 1-ton roller or less. Installing a heated asphalt driveway is relatively quick and easy. But remember, a snow melting system is only as good as its installation, so be sure to follow instructions and best practices, and don’t hesitate to take advantage of ProLine’s free installation support services. The fully automated heated driveway (or sidewalk) will provide a discreet, reliable and maintenance free operation to keep your walks and driveway snow and ice free.

If you’ve already got an asphalt driveway, but it’s in sore need of repair, placing an overlay on the existing surface can be easily accomplished. As with the new pour, ProLine snow melting cable can be installed just before the overlay. After a quick patch, apply asphalt as described above and compact. NOTE: Be sure to have a qualified electrician perform the electrical work. And follow the instructions in in the manual so ensure you keep your warranty valid.

Existing asphalt driveways can also be retrofitted with radiant heat. Using saw-cut technology, grooves are cut into the existing asphalt, and the heat cable is then placed in the freshly cut grooves. An epoxy topcoat is then applied as a sealant over the newly embedded cable. For additional traction and safety, a sand broadcast can be applied to the surface before the epoxy.

Fitted with a ProLine snow melting systems in asphalt provide a cost-effective option for your home, and will last for years with virtually no maintenance. Just think of the money you’ll save on snow removal services, snow melting chemicals and gas for your snow blower. And of course, there’s the gift of time. While your neighbors are out shoveling, snow blowing or tapping their watches waiting on their snow removal service, you’ll be in your car and on your way.

To learn more about the about the benefits of a radiant heated asphalt driveway or many radiant heat options available; or to receive a free quote, call ProLine Radiant today, at 866.676.9276.

ASHRAE Standards – A Key to Customer Satisfaction

Designing Radiant Heat Systems that Meet the Specific Needs of Your Customers

Purchasing snow melting systems during early spring is usually a great way to save money. But unless you’re dealing with a radiant heat solutions provider that designs systems to meet ASHRAE standards, you’re not going to be able to enjoy your savings for long. And you’re not going to be able to make your customers happy in the long haul either.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an organization committed to advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. A radiant heat system that is designed and built according to ASHRAE standards means that it is optimized to meet the specific needs of your customers. ASHRAE standards were established to address these variances to optimize system performance for radiant heat. If you want the best snow melting system, it’s imperative that you choose a radiant heat solutions provider that adheres to ASHRAE Standards.

What does this really mean to your consumers?

Adhering to ASHRAE standards means designing snow melting systems specific to the region―looking at the regional climate, average snowfall, temperatures, and other important factors to make sure a system is going to work well for a particular location. ProLine designs custom systems in accordance with ASHRAE standards. Choosing ProLine, then, is a great way to get the best possible radiant heated snow melting solution for your customers. ProLine further makes installing radiant heat easy by including personal installation support, custom system design, and even free installation training.

Asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks

ProLine snowmelt systems and designers are among the best in the industry. ProLine professionals are prepared to help you find the ideal radiant heated driveway for your customer, at a price within their budget, yet meets their snow melting needs.

And with every ProLine Radiant purchase, you also get free consultation, complete design services and installation support. ProLine experts will take a look at your requirements and assess your situation to come up with the best snow melting solution for your driveway, walkways, gutters or roof. You’ll receive a system with the best performance for your customer and their budget. And ProLine will be available during the installation if you need any assistance during the installation process.

When it comes to a snow melting solution for your home, don’t lower your standards. Contact ProLine at 866.676.9276 for the best possible radiant heat solution.

Radiant Snow Melting Systems – Versatile and Easy to Customize

Have you surveyed your existing driveway with the fear that radiant heat is simply not an option? No matter what your circumstances, whether it be your driveway type, budgetary constraints or your project goals, don’t pull the plug on your dream driveway until you speak with the professionals at ProLine Radiant. You’ll discover the versatility of radiant heat makes it possible to have the driveway of your dreams.

Nowadays, consumers building homes often consider installing a snow melting solution. Both electric or hydronic radiant heat systems can be custom designed. The difference between electric and hydronic systems is fairly simple. For electric heat, as you might already suspect, specially designed electric heat cable is installed in the driveway, evenly radiating warmth up to the surface of your driveway to quickly melt ice and snow. Hydronic heat, however, utilizes a boiler and pumps, heating the water and then pumping it through a network of Pex tubing with similar results.

A great benefit of radiant heated driveways is that they are fully automated and maintenance free. The systems are regulated by either an aerial or ground-mount snow sensor that detects optimal conditions for snow, including changes in air pressure, moisture and temperature. When conditions warrant, the sensor signals the master control unit that sends power to the heating element to warm the driveway. After the storm, the system shuts off automatically.

With both systems, most often the heating element (whether heat cable or Pex tubing) is laid out in a serpentine pattern to cover the area of your driveway, followed by pavers or an asphalt / concrete pour to seal the deal. But if you’re not in the market for a new driveway, and crave the convenience of a radiant heated snow melting system, you’re anything but out of luck.

No matter what your situation, ProLine Radiant will custom design a system for you. Electric radiant heat systems are versatile and durable enough to be installed in virtually any type of driveway medium. ProLine heating cable is available off the spool or pre-spaced in mats that can be rolled out to heat just the center of a driveway, tire tracks or the entire area. Whatever you decide, both the cable and the mats are easy to customize and very durable. ProLine heat cable can even be installed in hot asphalt installations.

Radiant heat can also be installed in existing driveways. Using saw-cut technology, grooves in the concrete or asphalt driveway are cut and then cable is placed in the grooves and a special sealant is placed over the cable. A more common application for heating existing asphalt driveways is to place the heat cable on the old asphalt and then apply a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface.

With electric snow melting systems, there are very few limits to the type of surface and area you heat. They perform well and can be installed in a variety of materials, including concrete, asphalt, and stone, brick or tile pavers to deliver consistent, energy efficient performance. Customers can find solutions to fit their budget as well. When it comes to the heated driveway system, you can offer your customers a wide variety of custom options.

To learn more about the many options available, or to receive a free quote, call ProLine Radiant today, at 866.676.9276.

Radiant Heat Thaws the Polar Vortex

Radiant Heat Thaws the Polar Vortex

Now is the Ideal Time to Purchase and Install a Radiant Heat System

Deadly cold temperatures and snow crippled much of the country during the winter of 2014, thanks largely to a weather phenomenon known as the polar vortex. These freezing cyclones are typically confined to the earth’s geographical poles, but in 2014, the arctic storms plunged so far south that it affected most of the U.S., including states as far south as Florida. Homeowners who got caught in the infamous storms of 2014 spent much time and money shoveling snow and spreading bags of salt in an effort to cope with the icy conditions. But with record low temperatures, it was almost impossible to keep walks and driveways clear of ice and snow.

The snowy barrage of 2014 represented another difficult winter in a growing line of recent extreme winters. Recent winters have dumped record snowfalls with unusually cold temperatures, often leaving homeowners in the Northeast seeing nothing but white from November through March. Consequently, more and more homeowners are now thinking seriously about radiant heat – which means that now is the time for professional builders to hone their radiant heat installation skills. ProLine makes installing radiant heat easy by including personal installation support, custom system design, and even free installation training.

Driveway during a snow storm
A driveway on an incline in need of a heated driveway installation.

In light of the recent life-threatening wind chill and temperatures during last winter, homeowners were reminded to be especially careful when clearing their walks and driveways during sub-zero degree temperatures. In the Chicago area (temporarily renamed by locals as “Chiberia”), four people died over one weekend while shoveling snow, and 37 people in Ohio were rushed to the emergency room because of cold weather related problems.

Naturally, homeowners aren’t too thrilled about the prospects of risking life and limb shoveling and salting snow every year. Fortunately, there is some good news. Radiant heat is an affordable option for those who are looking to ditch their shovels. And for construction professionals who are considering installing radiant heat, you’ll be glad to know that early spring is the ideal time to save on a heated driveway system from ProLine.

And you simply won’t find a more professional, helpful staff than the professionals at ProLine. Unlike many radiant heat providers, ProLine custom designs each system and includes personal installation support for your installer. And when you team up with ProLine and complete a free installation training course, we’ll recommend you to homeowners and businesses in your area who are looking to install radiant heat.

With record snow falls occurring across the country, installing an efficient, fully automated heated driveway just makes sense. Forget about the cost for hiring a snow removal service, buying salt, or devoting your own time and labor. The next time Mother Nature throws an icy temper tantrum in your neck of the woods, you can add to your business by offering snowmelt system installations, so your customers can enjoy the beauty of the white countryside without having to shovel and salt their driveway. Homeowners may balk at the thought of the cost, but they may be surprised by the affordability of installing a radiant heat system.

(Continued below: Buying at the Right Time)

Buying at the Right Time

Buying from ProLine – especially during the winter months – can translate into significant savings for contractors. ProLine has a variety of radiant heat solutions and includes a custom design with each system to ensure that it meets your customer’s heating needs AND budget. For manual snow removal, consider the cost of running and maintaining a snow blower, purchasing salt, or paying a snow removal service. For climates particularly accustomed to lots of snow, installing an efficient ProLine heated driveway is a great investment that can raise property value and save money by eliminating the need for manual snow removal.

Heated driveway in Denver

At this point, it’s predictable that most of us are ready to put down the shovel and gear up for warm weather, lawn care and home improvement projects. Early spring is the best time to install radiant heat in your driveway, walkway or even on your roof. The demand is typically lower, so you may be able to get discounts that you normally wouldn’t enjoy during peak season. Be savvy and take advantage of the off season to beat the rush and get the best prices for a radiant heated driveway this spring.

If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of radiant heat read what some ProLine customers are saying. Join the legions of happy ProLine customers like this one (below), who wrote to us while enjoying the benefits of a heated driveway from the comfort of his living room:

The first snow fall this winter was the test and the driveway has been ice/snow free all winter! The option to manually turn on the heat system has not been needed since the sensor works so well. My wife and I are very pleased with the results and feel much safer walking outside during the winter now!

– Dan, heated driveway owner

One of the greatest benefits of radiant heated driveways is that they are automated and maintenance free. Think of it as the “set it and forget it” phenomenon. Because heated driveways are fully-automated systems, there’s no guess work in when to turn them on, off or how long it will take to remove the snow. With the help of outdoor sensors, your radiant heated driveway system is automatically programmed to sense the changes in precipitation and temperature that indicate snow fall, then turn off when a snow event is over. You get dry, clear pavement efficiently and affordably, without lifting a shovel.

Here’s another construction professional and first-time installer who said this about his experience working with ProLine:

Thanks for supplying my customer with exactly what they needed. Living in multiple locations, the automated concrete heating system you provided was the perfect match for my customers in Idaho. Being new to this type of installation, I expected things to be a little more complicated. A few phone calls after receiving the product within days made the job simple to install. I would have to say that customer service with your company was by far second to none. I look forward to doing business with you in the future and referring you on to other homeowners with snow melting needs.

– Cody, Independent Contractor

Cody brings up another good point, and that is the wide selection of radiant heat installation options and the unmatched services and customer support you have with ProLine. When you do business with ProLine you’ll have live installation support from professionals with years of experience in radiant heat installations. They are willing to partner with you every step of the way to find you the best possible system for your performance expectations and budgetary concerns. They can even help you find an experienced installer in your area.

Trade in your shovel and salt for an easier snow removal solution. Now is the best time to pick up the phone and call ProLine (866.676.9276) to discuss your plans for stress free winters with a radiant heated driveway.