Types Of Heated Driveways

Posted on: 4 March 2016

Heated driveways are a variant of driveways which, like their name suggests, have heating elements installed underneath the surface which can help melt snow and ice during the winter months. This is extremely convenient and makes your driveway much safer to walk on when the temperature is below freezing. Both asphalt and concrete driveways can be fitted to be heated, and other small paved pathways can be fitted with heating elements as well.

There are two main types of heated driveways, electric and water heated, each of which works in different ways to provide the same function to your home.

Electric Heated Driveways

Electric heated driveways have a mat of wires installed underneath the asphalt of the driveway. These wires will generate heat when electricity passes through them and rapidly and efficiently melt snow and ice off of the surface of the driveway. The main draw of an electric heated driveway is their power: they can warm up very quickly, and thus are ideal for climates where the temperature can dip below freezing quickly. Additionally, electric heated driveways tend to require less maintenance than their water heated counterparts, as there is no movement within the system, making damage unlikely.

However, electric heated driveways tend to be more expensive in general than water heated driveways. This will, of course, depend on the contractor you are working with and the size of the driveway in question, but is still important to keep in mind. Furthermore, electric heated driveways tend to use more power than water heated driveways, which can drive up your energy bills.

Water Heated Driveways

Instead of exposed heating elements, water heated driveways make use of a series of pipes and tubes to move hot water through. The heat from the water will radiate out of the pipes and into the paved surface, melting snow and ice. The main draw of water heated driveways is that they cost less than their electric heated counterparts, both in terms of initial installation and over the long term in energy bills, making them ideal for homeowners who are operating under a tight budget.

However, as water heated driveways circulate water throughout the system, they are susceptible to damage or malfunction, which can require costly repairs. Furthermore, they are not as powerful as their electric counterparts, which means that they are not the ideal choice for driveways located in climates where the temperature frequently rises and falls below freezing, as they will not be able to keep up with rapid temperature fluctuations.

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