Shoveling sidewalks, patios and driveways is hard work. It’s even harder if you put it off too long and it sits overnight in the sub-freezing temperatures. While using a snow blower helps, wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to deal with it at all? We’re not talking about moving to Florida. We’re talking about a smart solution that’s available right here in Southern Idaho. Solar thermal snow melting uses the sun’s rays to keep your driveway, sidewalks, and patios clear of snow and ice, regardless of the temperature.
SOLAR THERMAL EVACUATED TUBES
How does it work? You may be familiar with heated tile floors that are becoming more common in homes across the Treasure Valley. The process is very similar. Instead of installing tubing beneath the tile in your home, tubing is installed below the top layer of concrete of your exterior areas that are in jeopardy of freezing that you no longer wish to shovel or snow blow. Your solar contractor will install solar thermal evacuated tubes that are five times more efficient that more traditional photovoltaic panels you’re used to seeing. These tubes will provide the warm gylcol needed to keep your concrete pathways enough above the freezing mark that you can forget about shoveling forever!
BENEFITS OF SOLAR SNOW MELT
The benefits are many! We’ve touched on the fact that you’ll no longer need to work tirelessly to remove the snow before it hardens into a layer of ice the next morning. Aside from that, your home will be safer for friends and family. How many times have you received guests during the middle of a snowstorm? It happens! With this passive system at work, you’ll never have to worry about your slick driveway or walk being a hazard for visitors. Another benefit is to the environment. Using snow and ice melting agents is hard on your surfaces, lawn, and can be hazardous to children and pets. Solar thermal options use the clean power of the sun to do this work for you.
SOLAR SNOW MELT OPERATING COSTS
One of the unique benefits of the solar thermal snow melt is the pre-heating of the drive way/walk or patio is accomplished from the solar thermal application which costs $.03 per day to run. Only when it is actually snowing do you use purchased gas/propane/electric to provide additional energy to get things melted. As soon as the area is melted an dry the system goes back to just the solar thermal heating the mass.
Check with a local professional today to see if a solar snow melt system is right for you and your home. Renewable Energy NW provides free solar site visits, explaining the entire process from start to finish.