August 29, 2014 Snowmelt Systems

Just Imagine…

You wake up to the sight of freshly falling snow on a crisp winter morning or maybe you are even experiencing blizzard conditions.

Now imagine glancing over to your driveway or walkway and seeing pavement.  You can curl back up and enjoy your cup of hot coffee and watch the neighbors shovel, snowblow, or plow.

Snowmelt Systems Add Convenience and Safety

For the right person, family or business, having a snowmelt system is often more than just an added convenience.  It also can help folks stay safe when walking outside in what would otherwise be slippery, dangerous conditions.  While snowmelt systems do require substantial BTUs to operate, the benefits can certainly balance out any costs associated with operating the system.  TJ’s uses moisture and temperature sensors, in combination with high efficiency boilers, to add greater efficiency to the snowmelt systems we install.

Environmental Impact is Minimal

Some folks have asked the question…”Isn’t a snowmelt system dangerous to the plant life around the snowmelt system?”

We want you to know that although the systems themselves require a greater use of energy when operating, there is no adverse effect to plant and animal life with the installation of a properly designed snowmelt system.

In a snowmelt system designed by TJ’s, the heated driveway is insulated below with 2 inches of foam, which directs the heat in an upward direction causing only the slab to melt.

The driveway will only melt when temperatures are below 32 degrees F and moisture is detected in the air.  So, the majority of the time, the system is off.  The surface temperature of the slab is between 34-36 degrees F.  This melts the snow on contact.  You will find all areas outside of the melted area will have snow on them indicating that the ground below is still frozen.   This also indicates that the snowmelt system has not changed the earth’s temperature outside of the footprint of the driveway.

TJ’s strongly recommends a concrete base for the driveway.   This will enhance the transfer of heat to the top of the slab.

Illustration of Snowmelted Portion of Walkway

The photo below clearly shows how a properly designed snowmelt system works, with only that portion of the slab that is heated, melted.


Snowmelt Systems by TJ’s

We custom design each snowmelt system using Manual J heat loads and use only the best, most trusted equipment on the market.  Check out our latest snowmelt project in the Project Photos section of our website.

If you would like to consider a snowmelt system for your home or business, CONTACT TJ’s.