Should You Invest in a Heated Driveway for Your Maryland Home?

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Probably! Heated driveways obviously sound like a lavish and borderline unnecessary luxury in Maryland – right? How much snow Maryland residents experience each year varies (in the Appalachia bits it tends to be much higher and can average roughly 40 inches a year, while on the Eastern Shore it's more like 15 inches) but it averages out to roughly 20 to 25 inches per year. Not every year is average, and D.C.-area Maryland residents have certainly experienced years with far more snow than that.

Whether a heated driveway is worth it for your home will likely boil down to a straightforward cost-benefit analysis – what is your time, peace of mind, health and safety worth?


Convenience: Heated driveways eliminate the need for shoveling, snow blowing or applying ice melt, making snow and ice removal virtually effortless. This can save you time and energy during the winter months. If you're like many people living in the D.C. area, you're busy and don't get enough sleep. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to get up early just to dig out your driveway? Sleep in a bit more and enjoy less stressful mornings in the winter by eliminating this tiresome and time-consuming chore.

Safety and health: By keeping the driveway clear of snow and ice, a heated driveway reduces the risk of slips and falls, making your property safer for both you and visitors. You also eliminate the risk of various snow shoveling-related injuries (of which there are several possibilities). A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found more than 195,000 people were treated for snow-shoveling injuries in emergency departments over a 17-year period (approximately seven percent were heart attacks, which equates to about 800 heart attacks due to snow shoveling per year).

Older people in the D.C. area, especially those with heart conditions or other health problems that can be exacerbated by strenuous activity and cold weather, should strongly consider investing in heated driveways. Protecting your health and safety is more than worth the expense of installation and use.

Reduced wear and tear on your driveway: Snow removal methods like shoveling or snow blowing can cause damage to your driveway over time. A heated driveway prevents snow and ice buildup, reducing the need for such methods and extending the life of your driveway.

Environmentally friendly: Hydronic radiant heating uses hot water to generate heat, making them an environmentally friendly alternative to using chemical deicers that can harm plants, pets and the environment. This is one of those scenarios where you can actually have a positive impact on the ecological health of your local surroundings.


Cost: Installing a heated driveway may strike some homeowners as expensive given the comparative infrequency of its use. The cost may be dependent on the system and installation complexity. Additionally, there will be ongoing costs for energy consumption (luckily, there's very little maintenance required over the life of the system).

The question really is how much is your time worth and what would you pay to never have to shovel or snow blow your driveway again? When many homeowners perform an honest cost benefit analysis, they choose to invest in the underground radiant heating driveway system.

Energy usage: Heated driveways require energy to operate, which can increase your electricity or gas bill during the winter months. The exact amount of energy used will depend on the type of heating system installed and how often it is used (in the case of hydronic radiant heating connected to a boiler the energy use is fairly low compared to other heating-related expenses).

How often you need to turn on this feature will significantly influence energy usage since it doesn't need to be on all or even most of the time. If you only use it when there's snow on the ground and you need to leave your home or use your driveway, the energy cost will be exceedingly small and hardly noticeable.

Limited use: The primary benefit of a heated driveway is realized only during the winter months when there is snow or ice. For much of the year this isn't an issue – but when it is needed, you'll be relieved it's there.


Would you like to learn more about heated driveways? The team at Vito Services can help. We can explain the installation process, the potential energy cost given the size of your driveway and explain the installation process (and costs). Give us a call at 301-315-6100 to learn more.

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