We wrote in detail about heating the roof and gutters. Now let’s talk about ground systems that prevent snow accumulation in the local area. In general, the principle of operation of street snow melting systems is similar to the warm floors familiar to many owners of houses and apartments..
We are talking about electrical heating systems for individual areas around the house. Where to install snow melting systems is up to homeowners to decide. Most often, heating is installed in such important areas as steps at the entrance to the house, porch, parking lot, area in front of the garage, path to the building. No need to take a shovel every time and clean up after a snowfall, a clean and dry area free of ice, and a reduced risk of slipping attract many homeowners.
It is necessary to think about the arrangement of the snow melting system at the stage of improving the territory around the house or garage. Electric cables are laid in a pre-prepared area:
- First, the top layer of soil is removed, the site is compacted and leveled
- Then a layer of gravel or sand is poured, also compacted.
- It is recommended to install a layer of thermal insulation to reduce heat loss. Otherwise, the heat will go into the ground, you will have to purchase a more powerful cable, and this will increase operating costs.
- The cable is laid using mounting tape or on a reinforcing mesh.
The anti-icing and snow melting system can be installed under various coverings for steps and walkways. The basic principles of laying should be observed so that the heating of the territory works normally after the completion of the improvement of the site:
- If the snow melting system will be laid under the asphalt, it will be necessary to cover the cable with a layer of concrete screed at least 2 cm thick. This will protect the cable from hot asphalt, which will still have to be cooled down to 130–140 ° C before laying;
- If the site is to be concreted, it is necessary to ensure that the layer completely hides the heating cable and the connecting sleeve. There should be no sharp stones in the concrete solution that could damage the cable. In addition, during installation, avoid crossing the cable with expansion joints in the concrete;
- Paving slabs, clinker bricks and other coatings on top of the snow melting system must be laid with particular care, taking care not to damage the cable. It is imperative that a 3–4 cm thick sand cushion is poured on top of the cable before laying the tiles..
As for the cost of installing a snow melting system, it will primarily depend on the area that you want to heat, as well as the power of the cable. Determining the cable length required for your site is simple:
L – this will be the length of the cable, S – the area of your site, n – the step with which the cable will be laid. The laying step will depend on the power of the cable and is 5-7.5 or 10 cm.
The power of the cable of the snow melting system should be significantly higher than when installing a warm floor in the room. The minimum power for outdoor installation is 250 W / m2, however, this is not enough to heat, for example, the steps of the porch even in central Russia. It should be remembered that for ice and snow to melt, the cable must heat the surface to at least +3 ° C, if the temperature drops to -10 ° C, this will require a power of about 350 W / m2. The maximum power of the cable can be 550-600 W / m2.
The cost of a cable set, for example, Woks-23, can vary from 1 to 3.5 thousand rubles per square meter, depending on the power. To these costs, it is necessary to add the cost of the work of a professional electrician, specialists who will be engaged in laying and connecting the snow melting system. The price of such a service can be 120 rubles per square meter. Add also the cost of purchasing an automatic control device for the system – a device that registers the level of humidity and temperature can cost about 14 thousand rubles.
The cost of operating snow melting systems will directly depend on the climate in your region. In the middle lane, the system will have to be turned on, for example, 50-60 days a year, in a more severe climate, of course, more often. In addition, electricity tariffs differ depending on the region, there is a differentiated cost of electricity depending on the time of day. Take Moscow as an example, where the price of 1 kWh during the day is 6.19 rubles. If the area of the heating system is 20 m22, and the power of the cable is 300-350 W / m2, electricity consumption will be 6–7 kWh. In this case, an hour of operation of the snow melting system will cost 37.14–43.33 rubles..