Heated Driveways

Which Radiant Heat System Should You Choose?


Heated asphalt driveway.

After this crazy cold and snowy winter we've had in Ohio, doesn't a heated driveway sound like an amazing addition to your home? We've gathered the pros and cons regarding a decision between the two options of snow melting systems. This blog contains the estimated cost of installation, the process of installation, and the best time to install a radiant heat system for your residential drive way. Albatross Management has never had the opportunity to install a heated driveway but we're remaining optimistic for a future possibility.

The advantages of a snow melting system are many.

  • The biggest advantage in our opinion would have to be, NO SHOVELING! Not only does this prove very time efficient but also this helps maintain the life of your asphalt. If your driveway remains covered in snow, as the snow melts, the water will lay in the cracks and crevices of the drive. After the water freezes the ice will expand and cause damage.
  • The longevity of your investment will dramatically increase. There will be no more need for a professional snow-removal service so you could save between $25 to $75 per hour. A heated driveway may increase your home value when you sell your house due to comfort, convenience, and added value.
  • Having a consistently clean driveway decreases your chances of having injuries. Radiant heat systems prevent snow, ice and slippery frost from building up.
  • No more chemicals. No worrying about the safety of the chemicals used to clear ice for your family, pets, and the environment. You'll save money by not purchasing bags of salt or chemical ice melts. These can cause serious problems to the landscape and pavement.

There are a couple disadvantages to installing a radiant heat system in your driveway.

  • Installing a heated driveway is a pricey investment and you'll need to invest your time and energy into finding a reliable asphalt company which has the education and experience to install the radiant heat system which you choose. If your existing driveway is paved it will need to be removed and reinstalled. There are a number of factors with the cost of installation, including the type of system you choose, the cost of materials used, and whether your driveway is already paved. The cost can be anywhere between $14 to $24 per square foot.
  • To heat the driveway the use of electricity or gas is required and this will increase your utility bill expense. You need to weigh all costs which are involved to make a financially responsible decision.
  • Make sure you get a warranty, between 10 and 20 years, on the heating system from the contractor you hire who specializes in installing heated driveways. Your warranty should detail which repairs are covered.

The easiest time to install a heated driveway system is before you have an asphalt driveway. This will save money since the old asphalt will not need to be removed. As long as the poured pavement has enough time to set up, approximately 30 days before winter weather, you can get the system installed. The heating system can be installed in any area outside the home.

There are differences between the two options of radiant heating systems, electric or hydronic, but both are effective, efficient, and easily managed. Snow melting systems are reliable and easy to customize.

Hydronic Systems

  • Heat hot water and anti-freeze which circulates throughout a network of tubing which is installed in the asphalt. The water is heated by a water heater or boiler through tubing which warms the driveway.
  • This system can be powered by many energy sources which makes it extremely affordable. This system is generally applied to larger snow melting applications because of the lower operating costs. These systems are a larger investment upfront because they rely on a heater and can not be put into existing driveways.
  • Hydonic systems do take longer to melt snow because water takes longer to warm up than in an electric system.

Electric Sytstems

  • Electric coils are installed under your pavement, which can be controlled by temperature, duration, or time. There needs to be a reliable source of power ranging from 6 to 50 Watts per linear foot.
  • This system does cost more than the hydronic to operate and typically requires less maintenance.

We hope some of your questions may have been answered through reading this blog. If you have any additional questions please contact us so we may try to answer them. We look forward to what is to come and are eagerly waiting to add additional services to our company.


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