Home Improvement

How Do Snowmelt Systems Work?

Tired of shoveling and chipping at ice? For many homeowners, the winter season is often ruined by the shoveling blues.

If you experience heavy snowfall in your region, a snow melting system may be the perfect solution for your home. By heating driveways and pathways, these systems keep your outdoor areas safe from icy surfaces so you can stay focused on enjoying the beautiful winter weather instead of worrying about slips and falls. 

But how does a snowmelt system work? 

In this blog post, we will explore all aspects of operation, maintenance, cost effectiveness and more to help you decide if a snow melting system is right for your home.

If you want to install a snow melting system in your home, click the link for a qualified technician who can assist you – https://www.plumbtechplumbingandheating.com/heating/snow-melt-systems/ 

What is a snow melting system, and how does it work? 

A snowmelt system is designed to keep ground surfaces free of snow and ice by melting the buildup without damaging the surface. It works by circulating a liquid solution such as hot water, glycol or salt water through tubing placed beneath the surface material. The liquid absorbs heat from the environment or from a heat source like an electric element or boiler, generating steam that melts the snow and ice. 

Some snowmelt systems are activated automatically when temperatures drop below a certain predetermined point, while others require manual activation based on weather conditions. 

Once activated, a snow melting system can provide energy savings and improved safety for pedestrians and vehicles alike, as well as reduce stress for those clearing paved surfaces of snow and ice.

The benefits of installing a snowmelt system

Installing a snowmelt system can be a great addition to any home or business. It eliminates the need for shoveling, salting, and other methods of snow removal, saving you time, money, and effort without sacrificing safety. Snowmelt systems are also known for their reduced environmental damage as compared to traditional methods of snow removal. 

Chemical-based deicers and ice salts can cause chemical runoff that affects ecosystems around the property, but with a snowmelt system these harmful chemicals are not needed. Additionally many systems are powered by renewable energies such as solar or geothermal heat, making them efficient and sustainable choices for your winter weather needs.

Types of snow melting systems

There are a few different types of snow systems you can install to prevent ice and snow build up on your property. These include: 

Electric snowmelt system 

Electric snow melting systems use electric resistance coils to generate heat, which is then transferred to a glycol solution that is circulated through a pipe system beneath the pavement. 

The heat from the glycol melts the snow and ice on contact, preventing it from accumulating. Electric snow melting systems are more expensive to operate than solar systems, but they are more effective in colder climates.

Hydronic snow melting system

Hydronic snow melt systems provide an efficient and cost-effective solution to keep areas free of snow and ice. These systems rely on heated water or fluid in pipes embedded in the area that needs to be kept clear of snow. 

The heated water is circulated throughout the pipes by a pump, melting away any falling snow or existing accumulations. Sensors close to the surface detect when the temperature drops below freezing, causing the pump to turn on, thus preventing any ice from forming and allowing for continuous operation at a low operating cost as compared to conventional heating systems. 

With temperatures transferring directly from pipes into the ground rather than through moving air, hydronic snow melt systems offer a superior option for keeping surfaces snow and ice free!

Infrared snowmelt system

Infrared snow melting systems use infrared radiation to melt the snow and ice on contact. The infrared radiation is emitted from panels that are installed above the pavement surface. Infrared snow melting systems are more expensive to operate than chemical and hot water systems, but they are more effective in very cold climates.

Solar snow melting system

Solar-powered snow melting systems use solar panels which store the heat from the sun and transfer it to a glycol solution, which is then circulated through a pipe system beneath the pavement. The heat from the glycol melts the snow and ice on contact, preventing it from accumulating. Solar snow melting systems are an environmentally friendly option as they do not produce any emissions.

Factors to consider when installing a snowmelt system

Installing a snowmelt system can be quite the undertaking, and there are many factors to consider including climate, materials, and budget. 

Climate is a key component, as certain parts of the country experience more extreme winter weather and will require a more robust melting system. Materials must also be taken into consideration; you’ll need to choose an appropriate material that is both cost-effective and able to hold up under intense weather conditions. 

Lastly, don’t forget to set your budget accordingly. Depending on various factors such as project size and materials used, costs can vary widely from one installation to another.  

Conclusion: How do snow melting systems work?  

Now that you understand how snowmelt systems work, you can make an informed decision about whether one is right for your home. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact a professional to assist you. 

A technician will help you assess your property and provide you with the best system for your home.