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Electric or hydronic Heated driveways.
A single lane driveway is usually around 10 feet (3 m) wide and, where possible, with an apron of approximately 15 feet (4.5 m) wide. A wider and flared apron makes it easier for cars entering or leaving. The apron is the driveway section between the sidewalk and the street. A circular driveway has two aprons. For aesthetic reasons the apron can be made of a different material than the main driveway. Adding drive way edging can also drastically change the overall appearance of your driveway.
Snow and ice can be removed through embedded electric cables or hydronic tubing. A heating system is usually installed during the original construction in concrete, asphalt, or under pavers. Retrofit electric systems can also applied to existing concrete or asphalt using saw cutting technology. Most new driveway heating systems operate in conjunction with an automatic activation device that will trigger the system to turn on when it senses precipitation and freezing temperatures. These types of devices ensure the system is only on during useful periods and eliminates wasteful energy consumption.
Driveway heating systems are environmentally friendly compared to the use of salt and chemicals to melt the snow, which causes calcium chloride to run into rivers and other critical water supplies. Current systems are more cost effective in the long run than continual salt dumping and removal, and reduce waste by extending the life of the concrete, asphalt or pavers.
Electric driveway heating systems. The heating cable is built to withstand harsh conditions to make it suitable for outdoor usage. The cable should be UL listed and many consist of a twin conductor with DEP/XLPE insulation, polyolefin jacketing (providing flexibility and UV protection). Many cables are rated at 220 °F (104 °C) and produce around 30-50 watts per square foot.
A 35-50 watt per sq. ft. electric heating system can melt snow on a 300 sq ft (28 m2). area for under $.50 per continuous hour of operation. The time to melt snow off a driveway (per storm) is usually just a few hours.
An hydronic heating systems costs roughly $.14 to $.25 a sq. ft. to operate, depending on your location.