hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost

Driveway snow meltings are efficient heating systems that are used for melting ice and snow and ensure safety of your home’s driveways.

There are two types of driveway heating systems which are: hydronic and elelctric.

In this guide, we will discuss the overall cost of hydronic driveway heatings in Toronto to help you decide whether these systems are within your budget.

Hydronic driveway snow melting systems are expensive to install and maintain but often cost less to operate, depending on the fuel source. A boiler heats water and glycol, and a pump circulates the hot liquid through PEX tubing beneath the driveway’s surface.

Hydronic Heated Driveway System Installation Cost

Hydronic driveway heating systems must have their boiler and cannot be fueled by the home’s current boiler or water heater. The boiler must be placed indoors for easier repair during storms, and an annual check may be required. On average, boiler installation costs $3,200 to $9,000.

hydronic driveway snow melting installation cost in Toronto

Hydronic Driveway Heating System Price

Depending on the system, sensor, and controller utilized and whether asphalt or concrete is used, hydronic driveway snow melting systems costs can range from $12 to $28 per square foot. The price is also affected by the inclination of the driveway, site characteristics, drainage, and accessibility to power and gas connections.

Hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost breakdown:

The average cost per square foot for each factor is:

  • Removing old driveway: $1 – $3
  • Heating system: $9 – $20
  • New asphalt or concrete: $3 – $8
  • Total: $12 – $28

The final total cost does not include the removal of an existing driveway.

A qualified mechanical, plumbing, or electrical contractor and a certified pavement contractor must install snow melt systems for the guarantee to be valid.

Ensure the contractor provides one or two insulating foam between the subbase and the heating wires or hydronic tubing to avoid heat loss into the earth below the driveway. More than half of the heat is lost when there is no insulation.

hydronic driveway heating systems cost

Manually controlled snow-melt systems

An on/off switch is used to activate manually controlled systems. The disadvantage of a manual system is that the homeowner must be there and awake to switch it on. If snow has already collected on the driveway when the system is turned on, melting it may take several hours.

Drainage system

Drainage is critical for heated driveway systems. Melted snow with nowhere to go refreezes on the surface as deadly black ice. The driveway should slope away from the house, and the contractor may need to build extra run-off trenches. New drainage systems range in price from $1,000 to $4,000.

Drainage pipes and gutters may also require heat wires from the snow melt system to avoid ice buildup.

Custom design elements

Adding personalized design features to a heated concrete driveway, such as colours or a stamped pattern, raises the hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost by $4 to $8 per square foot. Stone or brick paver borders range from $10 to $17 per square foot.

Money-saving considerations

Zone coverage warms only one portion of the driveway at a time, taking longer to melt all of the snow but avoiding the full coverage helps to save money on installation and operation. Just heating the tire tracks, which are two 24″ broad sections that cover the length of the driveway.

Cost to run a heated driveway

The cost of running a heated driveway of 1,000 square feet ranges from $120 to $600 every winter, depending on the system type, yearly snowfall, and local utility prices. The annual cost of running a hydronic system is between $120 to $250.

Automatic Hydronic Driveway Snow Melting Systems Cost

Installing automatic snow-melting devices costs $500 to $3,500 more. As the snow begins to fall, sensors can detect moisture and temperature and activate the driveway heater. Once the snow melts and the pavement is dry enough to avoid ice formation, the device automatically switches off.

Automatic hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost breakdown:

  • Aerial sensor: $170 – $600
  • Controller (standard): $350 – $1,300
  • In-pavement sensor: $560 – $1,400
  • Controller (Wi-Fi enabled): $1,000 – $2,000
  • Sensor socket (only for in-pavement sensors): $90 – $320

Please keep in mind all the prices are the average amount.

Aerial sensors are mounted on a pole near the driveway. In-pavement or slab sensors are inserted in the driveway’s surface socket. Typical controllers monitor the sensor and activate the heated system as necessary.

Wi-Fi controllers may be managed via a smartphone app and linked to a local weather forecasting system to begin heating before a storm.

Place the sensor where the snow first falls when establishing an automatic snow melt system. Place the sensor away from vehicle tire tracks and locations shielded by shrubs or the roof.

hydronic driveway snow melting price

Heated Driveway Pros and Cons

As with every other system, heated driveways also have advantages and drawbacks.


  • There is no need to plough, shovel, or use a snowblower. Save time and effort by letting the system melt the snow.
  • Improve safety by reducing the possibility of slip-and-fall incidents when shovelling.
  • Avoid the formation of ice accumulation and ice buildup during freezing rain storms.
  • There is no need for rock salt or chemicals to deice the roads, automobiles, or the surrounding scenery.
  • There’s no need to wait for a snowplow or shovelling service after each storm.
  • Spend less on annual contracts for snow removal services.
  • Keep indoor floors clean by keeping snow and ice from tracking inside.
  • Avoid concrete spalling and fractures produced by frozen water to extend the driveway’s life.
  • There is no upkeep. With correct heating element installation, there should be minimal to no maintenance expenditures.


  • Installing a hydronic driveway snow melting systems costs an average of $12 to $28 per square foot.
  • Replacement of the controller, sensors, or hydronic boiler, which are all expensive heated driveway repairs. Certain repairs may include breaking up a portion of the driveway to reach underground electric lines or hydronic tubing.
  • Concrete driveways may fracture if the heat in a hydronic system is not delivered uniformly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we will answer some common questions about hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost efficiency and functionality.

How does the hydronic driveway snow melting system work?

Like interior radiant floor heating, the hot liquid of the hydronic driveway snow melting system is circulated through hydronic tubes to warm the driveway’s surface. Heated driveway systems may be turned on automatically or manually to melt snow as soon as it falls.

What runs the hydronic driveway snow melting system?

Radiant snow-melting driveway systems heat water and antifreeze in a boiler and pump the hot liquid via tubing beneath the roadway’s surface.

What is the time frame for installing a heated driveway?

The installation of a heated driveway can take anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks, depending on the size of the driveway and the kind of snow melt system used.

Does the heated Driveway Worth the Expense?

Heated driveways increase safety, lower the likelihood of slip-and-fall incidents, and save homeowners an average of $200 to $700 each season on snow removal services. Although installation is expensive, it may reduce your homeowners’ insurance price.

Do heated driveways increase a home’s value? Heated driveways boost the value of a house and make it more appealing to potential purchasers. Heated driveway solutions are a big selling factor in snowy areas.

Can you heat an existing driveway?

Absolutely, but installing a hydronic snow melt system necessitates first dismantling the existing driveway and then repaving.

hydronic heated driveway cost

Hiring a Heated Driveway Installer

Driveway professionals do not always install snow melt devices. Before you choose an installation and sign a contract, be sure to:

  • Get at least three quotes to compare. To offer an accurate quotation, most installers require an onsite visit.
  • Check out their prior work, hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost, and read reviews on Google or other websites.
  • Choose businesses that are insured and bonded.
  • Avoid going with the cheapest quote since quality may decrease.
  • Before any work begins, obtain a written estimate, contract, and warranty.
  • Never pay in full before the commencement of a project. Follow a payment plan instead.
  • If you only need installation services, you can contact professional plumbers in Toronto, who will do the job for you.

Questions to Ask the Installer

  • What’s your experience installing hydronic heated driveways?
  • Do you have a license, insurance, and bond?
  • Is the estimate inclusive of all materials and labour costs? What extra charges might I anticipate?
  • What permits do I require, and will you secure them for me?
  • How do you deal with workplace injuries?
  • What is the scope of your warranty policy?
  • What is your payment plan?
  • How do you calculate the hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost?

boiler system for hydronic driveway


Removing snow and ice from your driveways and walks throughout the winter can be irritating, dangerous and time-consuming. Considering the hydronic driveway snow melting systems cost, it is a worthwhile investment that will extend the life of your outdoor surfaces and protect you and your family from slip-and-fall incidents.

If you have a lot of trees and roots on your property, you will find that it is much more difficult for the driveway to be installed; thus, there will be a greater installation cost.

Other price factors are labor costs, material costs, if the soil needs to be replaced, and the time of year. Always hire a professional with vast expertise because it is a difficult undertaking that involves prior knowledge of plumbing, electrical work, and asphalt or concrete pavement.

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