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Driveway Heating Systems and Heated Mats: Highlighting The Differences

September 06, 2022

Winter is the time of joy. But not for those who find themselves cleaning up snow from their driveway every other week before going to work. And if they are forced to do this every time it snows, the entire winter becomes a nightmare.

Fortunately, thanks to the advance in technology, solutions like heated driveways or portable mats are available to tackle the issue of snow piling up on driveways.

In this blog, we highlight some of the main differences between driveway heating systems and heated mats.


Heated driveway system overview

Heated driveway systems use electricity fed to the wires embedded into the driveway to melt the snow off the driveway. These systems can be manual or automatic. The automatic heated driveway activates as soon as it detects snow while manual heated driveways need to be activated by the operator when it  snows.


Another type of  heating system is a hydronic tubing system. With the hydronic tubing system, water and antifreeze are pumped into the tubes embedded into the driveway, thus effectively dealing with snow and ice accumulating on the driveway.


Heated mats overview

Heated mats work almost the same way as the driveway systems. The main difference is that they are installed along the tire path rather than on the entire driveway area. They are almost as efficient as heated driveway systems in dealing with thick snow levels.


Differences between heating systems and heated mats



The primary difference between heated driveway systems and heated mats is that heated mats are portable, so when a homeowner needs to move, the portable heated mats can be easily transported too.


Heating systems are more expensive to install and operate than heated mats, as installing a heated driveway involves a complete driveway redo. However, the cost of installing a heated driveway does pay back in areas where heavy snowfalls are normal. 


Heated mats are cheaper to install and operate, but they are mainly used in locations with moderate to low snowfalls. 


Snow intensity

While both systems are equally efficient, heated driveways are more reliable in areas with frequent and heavy snowfalls. If you live in an area like that, a heated driveway system would be a better solution. 


Coverage area

Heated driveways provide 100% coverage area while heated mats target only a certain percentage of your driveway. Heated mats pose additional challenges to the operator when it comes to installing and moving them. 

Both heating systems and heated mats provide a viable solution when it comes to removing snow from the driveway. Determining which solution to go with depends on your specific circumstances such as the region you live in and your budget. If you live in an area where shoveling snow is what everyone deals with regularly, then installing a heated driveway system would be a worthwhile investment.

A.S. Electrical Services Ltd. offers a range of electrical services including driveway heating system installation. We use mats, sensors, and cables to install heating systems that meet your specific needs. We serve residential, commercial, and industrial clients across the GTA. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you with heated driveway installation.