As the snow starts coming down more readily, we suspect that shoveling the walkway in freezing temperatures is probably pretty low on the list of things you want to do. To avoid that tedious chore, some homeowners are turning to heated walkways. If you or your family spends any time outdoors in the winter—particularly if you enjoy winter grilling or have a hot tub—it’s definitely something to consider.
There are two types of heated walkways—those that use an electrical system to heat up the ground and those that use hot water running through pipes. Depending on your home’s location and what’s already available to you, one may be a better choice than the other. For instance, if you have a large boiler in your basement, it’s possible that a heated walkway system utilizing hot water could be connected into that.
While not terribly expensive to install, heated walkways do have a long-term operating cost to consider. However, they also boost your home’s value and make it more enjoyable and comfortable for your own use.
With the increasing popularity of outdoor kitchens, we have seen more homeowners interested in heated walkways at least in their cooking area. It allows them to get out there and grill a quick meal without having to take time to shovel everything off. Heated walkways are also popular around the hot tub and sometimes also on the front entranceway to the home. For homeowners with a big budget, heated driveways can also be done.
Heated walkways work by keeping the pavement warm and causing falling snow to melt before it can pile up. While it’s not going to completely melt two feet of snow during a major snow event, it will make the job of shoveling significantly easier in those cases (and in time would ultimately melt it on its own). During smaller snow events (a couple inches), homeowners are pleased to find it does keep the pavement clear—and dry. This is really important as it prevents an accumulation of dangerous ice on frequently used walkways. Heated walkways are completely automated with exterior temperature sensors so you don’t have to remember to turn them on or off.
There’s no doubt that heated walkways are a luxury item that can really enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space. But they may be more affordable than you think depending on the options available for your home. Give us a call so we can discuss the possibilities.