Heated driveway systems about safety, convenience and saving money
By John Kirchner
December 22, 2010
Wish all you want for a white Christmas this year, but how about a driveway that shovels itself?
OK, that’s not exactly how heated driveway systems work, but nevertheless, they are catching on in parts of the country where residents have grown wary of winter back pain.
Craig Portis is an account manager at Warmzone, a Salt Lake City-based company that offers a number of a radiant heating solutions. Portis said there are many selling points to heated driveways.
“Convenience is No. 1,” Portis said. “Safety is another big one. People call us up because they’re concerned they have a steep driveway; it’s really a safety concern moving in and out at odd hours of the night.”
Portis said heated driveways have been popular throughout Europe for years, but they’re catching on in the U.S. He also said the upfront expenses for materials and installation can be offset by the time and money saved over the years it’s in operation.
“When [people] look at the operational costs [of snow removal], a lot of times they’re more surprised at how much of a good investment it is,” Portis said.
Portis indicated installs have been more popular with remodels than new construction jobs, but the installation process is quicker than you may think.
The average residential driveway takes just “a day or two, max.” As for the best time of year to install, winter months can be can be “impractical,” Portis said, but installations “spike in the spring time and just run throughout the summer with the heaviest activity in the fall.”
Plan ahead for next winter, so wishing for a white Christmas won’t leave you visiting the chiropractor.