Efficient Roof and Gutter Ice Dam Prevention System Operation
We are often asked about the best way to operate a roof and gutter ice dam prevention system. The simplest way is a light switch. Turn the system on when you want it to operate and off when you don't need. Simple enough. The problem (or maybe challenge is a better word) with the simple switch is that it requires our input. Sometimes our memory is not the best and we forget to turn the system on (ice dam forms) or we forget to turn it off (energy consumption). We get busy, we get older, we just plain forget - unreliable ice dam prevention. So, if you fall under that category, then a thermostat controller might be best for you. These are more complex switches that trigger the system to turn on based on the outside temperature such as the Bylin AS Digital Thermostat Controller. They can even be programmed to keep the heat cables on only within a temperature range. If the temps are above freezing or below @ 10 degrees then the system is off. Within that range the system is on. Great for those of us who are more forgetful for whatever reason. The only drawback is when there are periods of no snow. At those times, the system will be on when it doesn't need to be. The solution to that is a moisture sensor. Unfortunately, these sensors are sometimes unreliable. There can be snow on the roof that is melting and creating ice dams long after the snow stops falling and the sensor has told the system to turn off. Might be energy efficient, but it is ineffective when the ice dams form between snowfalls. We have seen the results in the ice dam prevention industry. For that reason, Vermont Ice Dam Solutions rarely recommends the use of moisture sensing with our roof and gutter ice dam prevention systems.
Home Automation Systems and their role in Roof and Gutter Ice Dam Prevention Systems
We have been researching how to integrate home automation and ice dam prevention for some time. This really comes into play when a homeowner cannot always be there to manage the roof ice melt system. Perhaps it is a vacation home or you are away for the winter to warmer climates. Under those circumstances, the thermostat controller is a good choice. It will only have the system on when the temps are right. But, what if that could be managed from afar. That is where home automation comes in. We are looking at various switching operations that can operate the roof ice dam prevention system through the Internet. Right know there are simple Wi Fi switches that can be accessed through an I Phone app. These aren't perfect yet. But they might be better in the future. However, a home automation system with battery backup can be a very reliable source to operate your ice dam prevention system. Even with the inevitable power outages and surges that come during some winter storms, these home automation systems can continue to operate. And when you want to check in on your system, you can access it through the normal applications of your home automation system. The discreet positioning of a camera can even tell you if there is snow on the roof and if there are any problems with ice dams or icicles forming on the roof or gutter. We aren't suggesting the installation of a home automation system just to control your roof and gutter ice melt system. But, if you have one installed already, it is a simple add on to operate your ice dam and icicle prevention through it. We will be keeping you posted on our advancement in this area. We are partnering with a great company to educate us and handle the installations.
Would you like to have a fully automated ice dam prevention system installed on your home? Do you have a system already and are frustrated with the control operations because your system came with a moisture sensing controller? We would be happy to consult with you design a system that can provide decades of useful service.