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Snow melt invetsment

John R. Hall
John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
I'm curious about the payback and return on investment of a driveway snowmelt system. I understand payback depends on climate but does the homoewner see a good return on his/her investment when they sell the home? Have any studies been done?

Comments

  • For what it is worth

    why not reverse the flow from the snow melt driveway system and use that mass to heat your swimming pool. How would that be for a return on your investemnt. That way you get some seasonal use from that very expensive process.

    If anyone does this and makes it work you owe me big time.
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Ooops

    Shame on me -- "investment" -- and I'm a writer (allegedly).
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I think a lot depends

    on the drive way! Certainly a steep curvey drive in heavy snow country would be a plus in the resale arena.

    Or a "sunshine less" north side drive and entry for slip and fall safety issues.

    However a short flat south facing drive way in SW Missouri, would be consuidered a luxury item. Possibly an energy guzzler :)


    Then again it depends on who will be shoveling or snow blowing! And what that cost is. Child labor often prevails :)

    I'd guess 10 bucks and up is a realistic snowmelt system investment. That a lot of lettuce when you add operating cost at a couple bucks an hour for under 2000 square feet of melt.

    Tough to find an exacxt answer to your question.

    hot rod

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  • Jack_23
    Jack_23 Member Posts: 153
    Other considerations

    While we are a bunch of techies on this site, you cannot loose sight of the fact that our business is comfort and by extension convenience. The advantages of snow melt are many. It is a wonderful thing to look out your window and see a nice dry sidewalk/dw while your neighbors are out in the elements. You largely eliminate the ice on the drive/walk which occurs days after you shovel/plow/blow. If you have a lot of elevation change it is a great convneience. Reduced liablility.

    Tim's idea of reverse pumping for pool heating is a good idea. I used to do tubing in the apron of pools and use it to heat the pool.

    Speaking of pools...make sure you can handle any water created by the snow melting. Much of it will evaporate but...
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    The big job we over the summer............................

    was on a very steep driveway that empties on to a busy main road. Last year - pre-snowmelt, the gentleman could not get anyone to even plow his driveway. So, to him , and any future buyers it is almost....a necessity. Mad Dog

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  • Steve Eayrs
    Steve Eayrs Member Posts: 424
    Commercial applications.

    We are just finishing a car wash, w/ snow melt outside the bays. In this lawsuit-happy world it makes lots of sense, and well worth the investment.
    On the residencial side I've seen some places where it could be well worth this investment.
    I would say that on a high-end place ther return on the investment must be there, but don't really know.


    At far as operating costs, they don't have to be that high, w/ the right controls, which keep it running only when needed.

    Steve
  • AKO
    AKO Member Posts: 34


    Reminds me of an old Steve Martin comedy album I used to have, where he talks about gasoline-powered turtleneck sweaters.

    Not that snowmelt doesn't have it's place, but it seems a bit frivolous most of the time.
  • AKO
    AKO Member Posts: 34


    Reminds me of an old Steve Martin comedy album I used to have, where he talks about gasoline-powered turtleneck sweaters.

    Not that snowmelt doesn't have it's place, but it seems a bit frivolous most of the time.
  • hydronicsmike
    hydronicsmike Member Posts: 855
    Tim

    It has been done!! I know of a couple of jobs where the water circulates through the drive way in the spring/summer/fall (asphalt) and any heat collected is stored in a tank for radiant floor heating used in the evenings. It's almost like a solar panel. Should have put a patent on it, if it was your idea. You know how they say "Great minds think a like". The one who thinks of it first and claims it, is the one who financially benefits from it.

    You ever do a job like this and need Controls, find me.
  • Dave DeFord
    Dave DeFord Member Posts: 119
    Just a silly question...

    How do you run the tubing through the asphalt? I would seem to me that the weight of the roller when rolling the asphalt would crush the tubing? But this sounds like an interesting idea for a hot tub I would like to install.
  • Uni R
    Uni R Member Posts: 663
    The most deserving driveways...

    The most deserving driveways would be those short ones that slope down sharply from the road and abruptly end at the garage door. I couldn't imagine not having a snow melt system for those short steep driveways if you lived anywhere that gets below freezing on a regular basis. Repairing garage door and their jambs along with bumpers and fenders can add up pretty quickly.
  • heretic
    heretic Member Posts: 159
    Reversing flow seasonally

    Interesting idea. Driveway as solar pool or DHW pre-heater.

    I've wondered about this out of the box idea- what about exchanging the cold driveway with the warm ground. 'Heat' could be supplied by an underground loop (like with typical ground source heatpump) or an open loop '2 well' type setup. "Free" 55 degree water. Would it work? Water too cold? What do y'all think?
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317
    Snow melt

    I think one of the best reasons for snow melt is to help older frailer people stay in their own homes, the drive and steps are safe and someone who has a bad heart isn't out trying to shovel the wet snow.
  • Uni R
    Uni R Member Posts: 663
    Snow melt investment

    Dale and the opposite is true as well. It let's the frailer people get out and drive when the roads aren't safe. :-)


    No offense to my fellow geriatrics.
  • Uni R
    Uni R Member Posts: 663
    Reversing flow seasonally

    I doubt 55° water would help much. It would take some serious tubing, some serious heat extraction requiring some serious recircs and some serious well sizes.
  • Lurker_2
    Lurker_2 Member Posts: 123


    ever pay a plow guy on snowy NE winter? Can run a couple of grand a year
  • Lurker_2
    Lurker_2 Member Posts: 123


    ever pay a plow guy on snowy NE winter? Can run a couple of grand a year
This discussion has been closed.