Outdoor Radiant Heating - Melt Away Snow and Ice

An outdoor radiant heating system is not something that most people would think of getting unless you live in one of those places where you have mountains of snow to shovel every winter. The same opportunities you're able to get as a homeowner in installing a radiant heating system in your house you will be able to get by extending the system outdoors. The idea is if your pavement is kept warm by the underground heating system then you won't have to shovel as much snow when the weather turns. The value of having an outdoor heating system is measured by the time that one ends up saving by not having to shovel and plough through snow every winter. You also save on some money, because you won’t have to buy salt, sand, shovels, a snow-blower, a plow, or hire someone else to remove snow from your drive or walkways.

Radiant heating has been used since man first knew how to harness the sun’s energy besides providing warmth during the day. The sun’s radiant energy is emitted as waves that are either absorbed or refracted by the surface they hit. Radiant heating systems go further than the sun’s natural type of heating. The heated surfaces will conduct warmth to the surroundings, which is basically what solar panels ultimately do. Underfloor radiant heating systems are different in this regard because the heat they emit is either generated by an electric fuel source or a heated liquid. The temperature emitted is relatively low, but warm enough to turn the snow to water as well as prevent ice from forming.

The benefits of an outdoor radiant heating system.

Outdoor radiant heating systems might seem a bit pricier to install but the fact is that they last as long as they do and require virtually little maintenance makes them a worthwhile investment. For people who live where it snows often, waking up to a driveway that is ice free after a night of snow is what dreams are made of. But the miracle of having snow and ice melt away while you sleep is possible if you've got an underground heating system running across your sidewalk or pavement. There is no difference between an outdoor and an indoor radiant heating system; both are either electric or hydronic.

Electrical coils or PEX tubing that can have water and antifreeze running through them are laid beneath the driveway, sidewalk or the parking lot of your business. The electric coils can be turned on when it snows. Boiler system runs water and antifreeze through the tubing. A side note. For a hydronic system, when you use it inside a home, you only use water. You have to use antifreeze for an outdoor radiant heating system to prevent the water in the PEX tubing from freezing and cracking. The heat from either an electric or hydronic system radiates the heat to the surface to melt the ice and snow away. You'll never have to shovel or manually de-ice your driveways ever again. The systems are maintenance free and can be automated. These systems are virtually maintenance free and can be set to operate automatically. It brings a homeowner or a business owner peace of mind to know that people will not get injured slipping and sliding outside his premises or suffer injuries while shoveling snow and ice each winter.

This type of system has to be installed into the concrete. You can’t retrofit a radiant heat. Before the concrete is poured, the electric wires or PEX tubing is placed on a wire grid. The concrete is then poured over this radiant heat system. When the concrete hardens, the radiant wires or tubing is now permanently fixed into the concrete.

Outdoor Radiant Heat for the Roof

The use of Radiant heat systems is not limited to floors but you can also lay the system up on your roof. This is not common and would have to be used only in extreme cases. Winter can wreck havoc on any surface. Installing this system on your roof helps eliminate unwanted ice from your gutter. This prevents ice dams from forming. You won't have ice suddenly collapsing on you after a snow storm. These systems are invaluable and when installed they will increase the resale value of your home. Its well worth the cost to have radiant heat systems installed during the construction of your home or business premises.

Related Articles

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Electric Radiant Heat
Concrete Floor Radiant Heat
Hydronic Radiant Heat for Floors

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