Solar Powered Heat Cables?
With so much emphasis on going green, saving energy and reducing our carbon foot print, many wonder about the use of solar power to operate a heat cable system for ice dam prevention. While it is not feasible to operate the heat cables directly from solar panel array (at least to my knowledge - and I do a lot of research), adding a solar panel system to your home or business can be a great way to save energy, and ultimately, save money. A recent visit to the largest manufacturer of Roof Ice Melt Systems illustrated this. This company has a large solar array on its roof top that powers many of the company's functions.
Energy Efficient Ice Dam Prevention Systems?
Some companies claim to be 'green' when it comes to their heat cable systems. They claim their system does as much with one run of heat cable as what others need 2 or 3 runs of heat cable to do. We have seen the result of their folly. One could look at it this way - You could put a furnace designed for a 1500 sq ft house in a house that was 5000 sq ft. Probably would keep up when it was 50 degrees outside, but would fail miserably when it was -5 degrees and windy. It is the same thing with Self Regulating Heat Cables. There is a limit to what one run can do. And when it hits its limit, it is NOT PRETTY.
What is the Best Course of Action?
Roof and Gutter Ice Melt Systems that incorporate extruded aluminum panels and self regulating heat cables are the best choice for roof ice dam prevention. Aluminum is renowned for its thermal conductivity. Thin, flimsy, steel brackets do little to use the heat energy generated by the self regulating heat cables efficiently. An extruded aluminum base that houses the heat cables not only protects the heat cable, but also provides for efficient and effective heat transfer. Additionally, the use a thermostat controller can make the system operated only when needed even if you are not home to operate it yourself.
So use solar power to augment you homes energy needs and use the most efficient and effective Roof and Gutter Ice Melt Systems such as Bylin's RIM System and VersaScreen IceBlaster Heated Gutter Protection.