Have you ever thought about extending your heat and air conditioning system outside your home? Usually, homeowners do everything they can to keep their precious treated air indoors. However, some families are using outdoor electric or hydronic heating to help keep snow and ice from accumulating on their sidewalks and driveways. This can reduce the amount of shoveling you need to perform, and more importantly, reduce your chances of suffering a slip-and-fall injury. Read on to learn more about how in-ground heating can make your life safer and easier during the winter.
The Magic of Outdoor Heat and Air Conditioning
No one likes shoveling snow, but often it’s a necessary task to get the car out of the garage or even walk to the mailbox. Fortunately, it’s possible to install heating elements under your driveway and sidewalk to reduce or eliminate the amount of shoveling you have to do. With in-ground heating, you can avoid shoveling injuries and lessen the odds of falling on the ice. You can even improve the soil in your yard or garden because you don’t have to put salt or other chemicals down to melt dangerous icy patches.
So how does it work? In-ground heating is actually quite similar to indoor radiant floor heating. A heat and air conditioning expert installs elements under the cement or asphalt that use either water or electricity to transmit enough heat to keep the ground level free from snow and ice. The systems include manual control to turn the heating elements on and off, and many also come with temperature and moisture sensors to automatically respond when there is cold-weather precipitation.
How Much Will Ground Heating Cost Me?
You can get the most bang for your buck if you install in-ground heating during new construction, or when you are already planning on redoing a driveway or sidewalk. That way, you don’t have to tear out the old materials simply to gain access to the ground underneath. Retrofits are certainly possible, but can end up costing many thousands of dollars.
There are also ongoing costs associated with running the in-ground heating systems – they aren’t for families who are trying to keep their heat and air conditioning bills to a minimum. In general, hydronic or water-based models are more expensive to install but cost less to run over time, just like radiant floor heating, while electric elements are cheaper to install but more expensive to operate. The price tag may cause some homeowners to think twice, but for others, the luxury of not having to shovel snow or hire someone to perform the task might be well worth the expense.
Finding the Right In-Ground Heater for Your Home
If you are interested in installing hydronic heating in your driveway or sidewalk, get in touch with a heat and air conditioning expert today.