Shovels? We don’t need no stinking shovels!
Perkasie, PA, March, 2005 -- When winter hits and mounds of snow begin to accumulate, most people grumble as they lug out the snowplows, shovels, and rock salt. Not Tom Angelo, owner of East Coast Imaging in Chalfont, PA, north of Philadelphia. Angelo just starts to chuckle.
The sidewalk fronting his photography studio is equipped with an automatic ice- and snow-melting system from Orbit Manufacturing, comprised of radiant electric heating cables activated by temperature and moisture sensors. When the snow starts to fall – day or night – the cable automatically energizes, keeping the walkway free from ice and snow.
Spring or summer is the time to install a snow-melting system. Once winter comes and the snow begins to fall, it’s too late. Angelo is glad he didn’t wait until winter.
"Chalfont was in the process of replacing the sidewalks in our neighborhood when I heard about Orbit, a local company that offers electric radiant heating," Angelo remembers. After years of "do-it-yourself" efforts, he was ready for a better way. "I figured this was the perfect time to do it."
Before the new paving was installed, Angelo had Orbit plan and lay the foundation for the snow melting system as well as assist with the installation, which ended up costing only $3.50 per square foot for the 3-foot by 100-foot walkway, or approximately $1,050 for the entire installation.
Angelo didn't have to wait long for the first test of his new system's performance. The very first winter, in the wake of a record-breaking snowfall, he had an eye-opening experience.
"My home is about a mile from the office, so I walked over to see how the installation had fared," Angelo says. As he got there, he was not prepared for what he was about to see. "There were five-foot drifts on either side of the sidewalk, separated by this three-foot strip of dry pavement," he recounts. "I was amazed."
The biggest problem Angelo had to endure from that storm was the good-natured ribbing he took from all his neighbors as they shoveled their own walkways. “Of course, that was after I set up a beach chair and umbrella on my snowless sidewalk to watch them!” he laughs.
Tom Angelo sums up his experiences with his Orbit radiant- heated sidewalk in glowing terms. "It's hard to find someone to clean your walkway after every snowfall, and doing it yourself every time quickly becomes a big burden. Snow- removal contractors want at least $100 dollars per snowfall," he recollects.
As far as the operating costs go, Angelo says he never even notices them. "As a business owner, I have to say that this radiant-heating solution has been great. There's no shoveling and you don't have to worry about ice and liability issues. Even the installation itself is a business write-off."
“Taking into account the added convenience for both me and my customers and my overall peace of mind, this was a smart investment.”
For more information visit www.OrbitMfg.com.