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What is a Snow Melt System?

snow melting systems e1544797037938 1024x611 What is a Snow Melt System?

Do you remember the blizzard of ‘96? The seemingly endless winter of ‘94? The “Snowpocalypse” that caused more than half of PECO’s customers to lose power in 2011?

We definitely remember those storms. We also remember the one thing they had in common: constant, unending shoveling.

It’s one of the most – if not the most – unpleasant winter tasks: hard on your back, time-consuming, always inconvenient and most of all cold.

And as you stand out in the cold, your back sore and your fingers numb, you think to yourself “Someone needs to come up with snow melting systems that can go under the sidewalk, heat them up and clear all this stuff away.”

You might see where we’re going with this. Because of course, there are snow melting systems like the one we’ve just described.

We work with a company called ProLine Heating Solutions, which makes a system that – when installed underneath pavers – senses snow and ice and melts it away.

How does it work?

This type of snow melting technology has been around for years. The town of Holland, Michigan has used a snow melt system since rebuilding its sidewalks in 1988.

They used waste heat from a local power plant, diverting that energy into pipes that ran under the streets and pavements. It eliminated the need for salt and shovels and ended the freeze/thaw cycle that can cause sidewalks to buckle and potholes to form.

Then there’s Iceland, which uses geothermal energy – thanks to being in one of the most dynamic volcanic parts of the globe – to heat some of its roads and sidewalks.

But you won’t need a volcano or a power plant to fire up your snow melt system. ProLine uses a mat that’s installed underneath your sidewalk and powered by a cable.

There’s a sensor device that automatically triggers the snow melting system when it detects moisture and cold temperatures. A control unit powers the heating element under your pavers, which distributes heat to the surrounding area.

It’s not dramatically different from the standard paver installation process. Additional sand is needed, with the heating system installed in the sand. You’ll need an electrician to determine the best place for the control and access to power.

Why investing in snow melting systems is a good idea

The benefits of this system include:

  • The ProLine system generates 35 to 50 watts of energy per square foot, quickly and efficiently clearing snow and ice from nearly any surface
  • It’s easy to install, with a simple design and a single connection point – the other end of the cable is self-terminated.
  • It’s safer. You won’t need to worry about slipping on an icy walkway or injuring yourself while shoveling snow.
  • It’s efficient and cost-effective. Nearly all of the energy used goes to snow melting, and lets you melt snow on a 300-square foot area at the cost of 50 cents per hour of operation.
  • It will increase the value of your home by extending the life of your landscaping.

Does one of these snow melting systems sounds right for your property? Contact Woodward Landscape Supply. With our help, and with ProLine’s products, you can make sure your pavers are ready for whatever the winter of 2019 has to offer.

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