Well it’s that time of year again! Winter! You may not be hard at work shovelling yet, but you will be soon with the season fast approaching! You need to start taking the right winter protection steps now.. for snow-free doorways, stairways and pathways, for non-shovelling, , accident free, warm and cosy winter. How you ask..? With our Heated Mats of course! Now, as you all know, at Canada Mats we carry a range of HeatTrak Heated Mats, from heattrak heated doormats, heattrak heated walkway mats and heattrak heated stair mats. Heated snow melting mats are an efficient and convenient way to prevent snow and ice accumulation around the home, small business property, industrial facility or commercial environment. The snow removal benefits to heated mats are obvious, and you’ve done your research and chosen heated mats as the best snow removal method for you. But before you make your purchase, it is quiet likely you are faced with a host of questions - if (and how!) heated snow melting mats really work to ensure snow and ice removal. Should you invest in one? How do they work? What’s the investment like? What are they made off... etc etc. The questions are plenty... so with this post we bring some common questions about heated mats, via Heattrack (coz they really know best..) that we hope get you started on the wonderful journey called heated mats! Heattrack with their list of answers breaks down what drives heated floor mat technology, the cost of running them and how to get the most out of your mats! Also, come back next week for more faq’s and answers on everything you need to know about using Heattrak Heated Mats. OVERVIEW: What is a heated floor mat? A heated mat is an alternative snow removal method used to melt snow and ice. HeatTrak mats are a highly effective and cost efficient method that has set an industry standard. By utilizing durable rubber mats with heating technology inside, the mats are heated to a constant temperature that melts existing snow. In addition to taking care of existing snow and ice, HeatTrak mats prevent any new snow from accumulating by melting snow on contact at a rate of 2” per hour. This prevents future snow and ice accumulation on walkways and stairs around your home. Since 1” per hour is considered “heavy snowfall,” you can rest assured that HeatTrak mats will be effective throughout strong winter storms. HEAT TECHNOLOGY: What is the difference between External and Internal heated floor mats? While some people prefer to have internal heated coils installed in their driveway or walkways, there are many advantages to external rubber mats. The first advantage to heated mats is the low initial cost and non-invasive installation. Because internal coils must be embedded within driveways and walkways, they are not easily installed. If the property is currently under construction, they must be worked into existing plans. If you are considering installing them in an existing structure, you must demolish the walkway, driveway or staircase in order install the heating system. Take into consideration the continued operating costs each winter as well as the difficulty accessing the coils for troubleshooting and repairs. External mats require an electrical outlet and are easy to set up (plug and go!) as well as accessible for maintenance and repairs should any issues arise. HeatTrak mats come with a two-year warranty - not to mention our exceptional customer service! Overall, external rubber mats give you all of the benefits with none of the hassle of the internal coils. COST BREAKDOWN: What does it cost to purchase and operate heated mats? HeatTrak prides itself on offering the highest quality mats available on the market for the best price. While it depends on the type of mat purchased (whether you desire residential or commercial mats) as well as the type of mat (walkway, stairway or custom sized) most external rubber mats run from $150-300. And the good news is they don’t require any internal installation. That means there’s no need to rip up existing driveways, walkways or staircases on your property! In fact, heated snow removal mats protect your current surfaces from snow and ice damage. Not only is the price of heated snow removal mats lower when compared to internal coils or expensive equipment such as plows and blowers, but their operating costs are very low. HeatTrak mats average about $1 per day they are on. MATERIALS: What types of materials are utilized in heated mats? HeatTrak mats are made of customized thermoplastic material. There are electrically operated heating elements sandwiched between two protective surfaces of non-slip rubber, making them as durable as automobile tires and allowing them to endure harsh wear. The mats are durable, safe and effective. LOCATION: Where are the best places to use heated floor mats? One of the best features of heated snow removal mats is that they are portable and can be placed as needed around private residences and commercial properties to optimize snow removal. Where you set up your heated snow removal mat is up to you, all that’s needed is access to an electrical outlet. HeatTrak recommends taking into account snow exposure and foot traffic when setting up your mats. Common areas where heated mats are especially effective are: parking lots, driveways, front doors, walkways, stairways, wheelchair ramps, loading docks or anywhere else that receives foot or wheelchair traffic. Remember that not only do you get effective snow and ice removal with heated mats, but you get a durable rubber surface that provides additional tread for added stability on slick surfaces. SPECIALIZATION: Does “one-size-fit-all” or are there specific mats for each area? At HeatTrak our mats have been extensively researched and carefully produced to meet your needs. We offer Residential Mats in two sizes. First, is the walkway mat which is a convenient 20" x 60" and can be daisy-chained together for a longer walkway or sidewalk. Second, we offer a stair mat which has been sized at 10" x 30" to fit the average stair dimensions. Our Industrial Mats come in a variety of lengths and widths and can be made in custom sizes, although it should be noted they cannot be daisy-chained together. DRIVEWAY APPROVED? Can I drive on my heated floor mat? Our industrial mats can be driven on. However, at this time you cannot drive on our residential heated mats. We suggest you set up your residential mats in walkways leading to or from your carport or garage. You can daisy-chain the mats together to create efficient walkways where you need them most! Remember that mats protect the surface of your driveway as well as add tread when coming in and out of your car. We encourage you to be creative when creating walkways to ensure easy access to the car without the need to cover the entire surface area of your driveway. EASE AND EFFICIENCY: Can heated mats be automatically controlled? All our heated mats can be used with automation controllers. HeatTrak sells two types of automatic controllers that can turn your mat on and off. The first is a thermostat controller that plugs directly into the outlet and powers the outlet whenever the temperature drops below 38*F. However, once energized, the controller will stay on until the temperature rises above 50* F so may not be the best option depending on your climate. The second is a professionally hardwired snow sensing controller that turns the mat on whenever it senses moisture AND the temperature is below 38* F. In our opinion, the best option is still to manually turn the mats on or off by having an electrician wire the outlet to a switch inside your home, or leave them on all season long (depending on your budget). WATER & ELECTRICITY SAFETY - Is electricity safe around all that snow and running water? Technology has also enabled HeatTrak to ensure that the highest electrical safety standards are upheld. You won’t have to worry about water seeping into the electronics and causing short circuits in the mats. Since our founding in 2004, we have successfully made more 40,000 snow melting mats, so we know a thing about safety. In fact, HeatTrak makes sure that mats and extension cords are watertight, durable and made from the highest quality products to eliminate any risk water poses to the electric components. In addition, all HeatTrak mats come with a built in GFCI protector as an extra layer of protection. HeatTrak also offers a two-year warranty on all mat purchases in the case of any repairs or replacements needed. LIFE EXPECTANCY: How long do heated floor mats last? One of the advantages to using heated floor mats for snow removal is that you can use them for multiple seasons. Unlike equipment such as shovels that break after a season chipping ice, or chemicals which must be replenished each storm, heated mats last years. HeatTrak mats have an average lifespan of four-five years. This depends on the amount of foot traffic received as well as following our recommendations for best usage. However we also are proud to offer an exceptional warranty on all mats that will ensure your mats are protected for your first two years. Hope these have answered any questions or doubts you have had about purchasing heated mats. Come back next week for more.