Heat a Driveway: Hydronic vs. Electric Systems

lit and landscaped stone driveway
  • 10-50 hours
  • Advanced
  • 3,000-8,000

There are several ways to heat driveways, including hydronic and electric systems. Consider the following benefits of each to determine which one will best serve your needs.

The Hydronic Driveway Heating System

The hydronic system is a heating (or cooling) system used to regulate the temperature in an enclosed area through the use of fluids. The fluids, either water or vapor, are heated using a boiler. Then the hot water or vapor is distributed through plastic pipes.

Employing a hydronic system to heat your driveway provides several benefits.

Efficient – The system will heat enclosed areas while preventing heat from escaping through openings like doors, ceilings and windows.

Clean – Heat from a hydronic system is free from draft. This means that airborne particles like germs, odors, spores and dust are not circulated throughout the house.

Multiple uses – You can use a hydronic heating system not only to provide heat to your driveway, but also to heat swimming pools and water for a hot bath.

Convenient – The system does not have a lot of moving parts. Therefore, the need for regular maintenance is lessened.

Compatible – A hydronic system generally works using all kinds of heating fuels such as fuel oil, solar energy, propane gas, and natural gas, among others.

The hydronic heating system is ideal as the only source of heating for the whole house about 90 percent of the time. However, it has high initial costs since you need to purchase a boiler.

The Electric Driveway Heating System

Radiant heating under driveway cement

Electric heating systems convert electric energy to heat. Some of the applications of electric heating include cooking, water heating, space heating, and others.

The following are the benefits that you can get from using an electric heating system:

Cost-effective – The biggest advantage in using an electric heating system over a conventional system are the actual savings you can enjoy during the first months of its use.

Low maintenance – After installation, an electric heating system needs minimal maintenance.

Eco-friendly – Many electric heaters make use of environmentally friendly and clean energy. In fact, this type of heater is a feasible alternative to fossil fuel systems.

Simple – Electric heaters come in programmable and manual systems that are safe to use by all the members of the family, including children.

Energy-efficient – The latest electric heating systems ensure that no heat is wasted during use.

According to most people, an electric heating system is ideal for spot warming or as the only source of heating a certain area of the house. It is also the more cost-efficient choice when it comes to heating up to five rooms or areas in the house.

One system is not necessarily better than the other. Deciding on the right heating system to choose depends on your needs and budget.