2 Radiant Heating Systems to Warm Your Driveway and Floors
As a house flipper who operates primarily in southeastern portions of the country, where the prospect of snow is less likely than in other areas, you may not see the need to install heated driveways to melt snow and ice. But states in the southeast do experience wintry weather.
For example, Raleigh, North Carolina averages 7.5 inches of snow a year, and Charlotte gets about 6.5 inches each winter. The town of Boone averages about 35 inches of snow annually.
Just last year a mid-December nor’easter threatened states from North Carolina to Maine, dropping ice on many parts of the Tar Heel State.
Aside from a heated driveway to fend off wintry weather, heated floors inside your flip are always a plus for buyers. If you’re contemplating installing a heated driveway or floor in your next project consider these two types of radiant heating systems.
An electric radiant heating system installed in a driveway is comprised of cables that are woven together into a grid pattern and laid below the surface of the driveway. Some systems available on the market operate using solar technology to convert the sun’s rays into electricity that flows through the cables to heat the driveway and keep it free of snow and ice. These types of systems may activate their heating elements via sensors that detect when wintry weather begins to accumulate. Other electric radiant heating systems offer Wi-Fi enabled control, and you can operate them remotely using smart devices like Alexa, Ring, and Google Assistant.
With electric radiant heated floors thin electric panels, comparable to an electric blanket, are installed beneath the floor. The panels contain wires that are coiled within a supporting material. The wires are controlled by a thermostat and a timer to give homeowners warm floors underfoot.
Hydronic systems for driveways use tubing that’s installed beneath the surface of the driveway. The tubes are filled with a non-freezing water solution that is circulated through a boiler, which is typically sheltered inside the garage, so that the water stays at a consistently warm temperature to melt snow and ice.
When installing a whole-house hydronic radiant heating flooring system, flexible tubing, much like rubber, is installed beneath the floors. A boiler is used to heat water inside the tubes—or a hot water heater in very small rooms. Water is circulated through the tubing to send warmth up to the floors.
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