Ice Dams, Snow Loads, Icicles
By Steven D. Bench
Managing Member, Heatizon Systems
Heatizon Systems products, and their approved applications, proudly carry the ETL Mark for the United States and Canada verifying that they have been tested to and successfully passed the stringent tests established by both UL and CSA. It is important to note that Heatizon Systems Roof Snow and Ice Melt products are the only products available today that are listed for under-roof covering applications.
All of Heatizon Systems products are proudly made in the United States of America and carry a “Made in the USA” label. In order for Heatizon to provide its customers with the highest quality products possible it closely monitors and controls the materials and manufacturing processes used.
Tuff Cable and ZMesh heating elements come with a 25 Year Warranty against material defects and like all of Heatizon Systems products they carry industry leading and precedent setting warranties.
Heatizon Systems makes products that are used for each of the following applications:
For additional information on Heatizon Systems products please visit www.heatizon.com
OSHA the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the US government’s enforcement arm for safety and health issues has been tasked with overseeing professional independent testing laboratories. The best known of all independent testing laboratories is Underwriters Laboratories, UL.
UL was established by insurance underwriters to find ways to reduce unsafe hazards in the marketplace, thereby reducing dramatic insurance claims. Since its inception, UL has, been involved with writing standards of safety acceptability in the United States. They have been one of the premier developers of safety standards but they have not been the only group to write standards. Groups like NEMA, IEEE, and ANSI have also contributed to the development of standards. Similarly UL is not the only independent testing laboratory.
OSHA has become the certification agency for independent testing laboratories in the United States. A group of engineers who decide to do testing as a business must qualify through OSHA to function as an independent test facility. Further-more, they must show competence in specific areas, fire testing, for instance. Once they have demonstrated competence in the area of fire testing and have shown that they possess the facilities and equipment to do fire testing, OSHA will certify them as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) to do fire testing. Factory Mutual, FM, is one such NRTL for fire testing, Southwest Laboratories is another.
Many independent testing laboratories have NRTL status. Most are relatively specialized and limited in their scope. The three major testing laboratories that operate in the United
states that have a wide scope of testing qualification are, UL, CSA, and ETL. They are certified by OSHA as NRTLs.
NRTL status tells all customers that the services performed by these companies, to list or to label products, is reliable and legally binding throughout the United States. ETL, originally known as Edison Testing Laboratories, is an old, respected, nationwide testing group with credibility equal to UL or CSA. Therefore an ETL listing label is legally binding nationwide and should instill equal consumer confidence in the manufacturer that they have cared enough to submit their products to the rigorous safety compliance process and achieved the right to apply a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory label that certifies compliance assurance.
Damage caused to buildings, people and property by snow and ice build-up and removal, ice dams, and icicles amounts to millions of dollars each year. The effectiveness of the methods historically used to manage snow and ice related problems has been spotty at best. The traditional methods used to prevent these large dollar problems fall into three categories: “Icicle Management”, “Water Channeling”, and “Elimination”. Each of these three categories traditionally includes one or more of the following approaches:
Icicle Management – This category encompasses those efforts designed to eliminate or otherwise manage the icicles along the eave line and do not attempt to address the causes nor problems resulting from ice dams. Traditional methods used to manage icicles along the drip-edge of the eave include: nothing or the “ignore them and they will eventually go away, hopefully before something or someone is damaged”, approach, labor intensive and dangerous manual removal, and expensive and often times cosmetically unattractive high voltage cables or hot liquid tubing sandwiched between two layers of metal.
Water Channeling – Included in channeling are high voltage cables that are attached to the top of the roof covering material. Installed in a fashion that looks like the letters “W” or “V” high voltage cables are attached to the shingles or other roof covering material with a variety of proprietary clips. Once attached to the shingles and energized these high voltage products are designed to provide a channel for water, created by melting snow and ice, to travel off of the roof.
Elimination – This approach is designed to eliminate snow and ice from both the roof in a manner that reduces or entirely eliminates icicles from the eave edge and eliminates the potential damage caused by ice dams. Historical experiments designed to eliminate snow and ice from the roof included partially effective and prohibitively expensive experiments such as heating the attic space and attaching hot liquid filled tubing to the underside of the sub-roof. Unfortunately these experiments most often result in exorbitant energy costs and many times contributed to and/or intensified the problem originally targeted for solution.
Heatizon Systems’ patent pending radiant roof snow melt and deicing products are the only products available today that are installed on top of the sub-roof and below the roof covering material and designed to eliminate snow and ice from the roof and manage the icicles along the eave edge. Period!
In addition Heatizon Systems radiant roof snow melt and de-icing products are:
- Listed to UL Standards by Intertek, a nationally recognized testing laboratory approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and have earned the right to carry the ETL mark.
- Backed by an industry leading 25 year warranty on both ZMesh and Tuff Cable heating elements.
- 100% efficient.
- Proudly made in the United States of America.
The Benefits of Radiant Heating:
How Do They Compare With Other Heating Applications
Some of the benefits of radiant heat:
Comfort: Let your bare feet soak up the warmth of soothing heat without the dust and noise associated with other heating sources. Enjoy evenly distributed heat throughout your home kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and basement.
Custom Designed: Whether for supplemental floor warming, or total space heating, every system is custom designed to fit all rooms independent of their shape or size. These systems will heat under any surface including marble, slate, carpet, hardwood and tile. The compact Control Box will hang on the wall of your garage or in a utility room. No heating vents or ducts will be seen, and no furnace or boiler is required.
Perfect for Remodeling and Additions: The simplicity of the low voltage heating element makes this system incredibly easy to install in your remodeling or room addition application. No floor buildup is necessary and no additional construction costs are incurred. The unique heating element can also be installed in between floor joists to heat an existing floor or room.
Safe: So safe, in fact that nails, water, and even touching the heating element during operation will have no harmful effect! You will have peace of mind while loved ones play as the systems are tested to UL standards and run on worry-free, low-voltage energy (8 to 32 V.).
Reliable: The solid-state heating systems are virtually maintenance free and the heating element is backed with a 25 year industry-leading warranty. With no moving parts and advanced self-diagnosing technology, there is no need for yearly maintenance or service checks.
Efficient: Radiant heat is the most efficient form of heat available. Significantly less operating time is required to maintain the desired warmth compared to furnaces and other radiant heat systems, keeping operational costs to a minimal. Low-voltage radiant heating systems run 98% to 100 % efficiency at any elevation as they evenly heat every area of the room.
Convenient: Our accurate thermostats allow you to easily adjust the floor or air temperature of your space heating or floor warming system. You also have the option of programming the exact time of day you want your system to operate. Simply relax, enjoy the comfort, and know that your system will work for decades to come.
So lets compare to other heating applications. Radiant Heat versus other applications:
Radiant Heat vs. Hydronics at a Glance
Both electric and hydronic radiant heat systems have certain advantages for specific applications. The following highlights the advantages low voltage radiant heat systems have:
A Boiler Room is required to run a hydronic radiant heat system. A 17″x12″x7″ Control Unit is required to run low voltage radiant heat system.
Gypsum or concrete slab is required for installing a hydronic system. It is estimated that it costs approx. $4.00 or more per square foot to install a hydronic in-floor heating system than it does to install a in-floor heating system.
The ZMesh heating element is installed directly under the floor surface without any floor buildup. The 12″ wide ZMesh is rolled out over the area to be heated then nailed and/or stapled to the wood subfloor.
Electric radiant heat warms your floors evenly because it uses 100% of the system’s energy. A hydronic system, however, heats the floor less the further away the hot water gets from the boiler (see illustration below). Hydronic systems use only 65-85% of the system’s energy. At higher elevations, electric radiant heat still is 100% efficient, where as hydronic systems are even less effective than at sea level.
Radiant Heat vs. Forced Air at a Glance
A room with floor Radiant In-Floor space heat will have a very uniform temperature from the ceiling to the floor. Heating a basement floor is the ideal application for our radiant heat systems. If you’ve lived in a house with forced air, you can crank the heat up, but the basement floor is still chilled. Installing a floor warming system will add comfort and warmth to your lifestyle.
A room heated with a forced air furnace will have cold floors and the warmest air at the ceiling. Although the air may be heated, the floors will be chilled and uncomfortable, especially for children playing on the floor.