The Convenience and Safety of Outdoor In-Ground Heating

Have you ever imagined extending your HVAC system to cover the outside of your home? Probably not. This is because a huge percentage of homeowners do all that is within their power to ensure their indoor environment is properly conditioned for comfort.

However, there is a section of families that are utilizing hydronic or electric heating to help keep ice and snow from accumulating on their driveways and sidewalks. Of course, this can reduce the amount of shoveling that needs to be done and most importantly reduces the risk of suffering a slip and fall injury.

Outdoor Heating and Air Conditioning

Inasmuch as nobody likes snow, it is a necessary task you have to perform in order to get your car out of the garage or even walk to the mailbox. Fortunately enough, it is possible to install heating elements under your sidewalk and driveway in order to eliminate or reduce the shoveling you have to do.

In-ground heating can help you avoid shoveling injuries as well as lessen the odds of you or one of your family members falling on the ice. In the longer term, this approach can help improve the quality of the soil in your yard or garden because you don’t have to apply chemicals or put salt in order to melt the icy patches.

In-ground heating is similar to radiant floor heating. Normally, a HVAC expert installs elements under the asphalt or cement which use electricity or water to transmit heat to keep the ground level free from ice and snow. The systems are manually controlled to turn the heating elements off and on. Many of them also come with moisture and temperature sensors in order to automatically respond in the event of a cold-weather precipitation.

The Cost of Ground Heating

If you want to make real savings and get the most per dollar of investment, you have to install in-ground heating during new construction or when planning on re-doing a sidewalk or driveway. In this way, you will not have to dig out the old materials to simply gain access to the ground underneath. For homeowners with old homes, they can opt for retrofits although this can be extremely pricey.

Apart from the installation cost, you must also factor in ongoing costs linked with running the in-ground heating system. From the analysis done by independent researchers, in-ground heating is not for families who are trying to keep their HVAC bills as low as possible. In general, water-based or hydronic models are much more expensive to install, but less costly to operate just like radiant floor heating. On the other hand, electric elements are much cheaper to install but also more expensive to run. The price tag oftentimes causes homeowners to think twice, but if you extend your analysis to include the cost of shoveling snow, in-ground heating may be worth the expense.

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