Heat Tape Basics

  1. Energy Consumption
    • Energy usage can vary between six (6) watts and twelve (12) watts per lineal foot of heat tape.
    • On average, heat tape consumes nine (9) watts per lineal foot.
    • In warmer months when there is no snow on the roof, turn heat tape off at the breaker switch or unplug it.
    • Do not rely on built-in thermostats to make sure heat tape is not operating.
  2. Optimal Operation Times
    • Turn heat tape on at the first significant snowfall.
    • Best operation hours are from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
    • Daylight hours tend to be better for operating heat tape as warmer daytime temperatures (in contrast to freezing temperatures at night) promote the melting of snow and ice. Heat tape helps create a channel in which water can flow off the roof and run easily through gutters and downspouts.
    • Carefully monitor the build-up of ice dams and accumulation of ice downspouts. If this begins to occur, it may be best to operate heat tape twenty-four (24) hours per day.
  3. Estimated Operational Cost per Hour (Per 100 Lineal Feet of Heat Tape) - Residential Application
    • The following calculation is based on one (1) continuous hour of operation of heat tape.
      • Total lineal feet of heat tape: 100
      • Average consumption value: 9 Watts per lineal foot
      • Estimated usage in watts: 900
      • Estimated usage in kilowatt-hours: 0.9 kWh
      • Utility's unit price per kWh: $0.10 (Note: Varies per rate classification)
      • Operational cost per hour: $0.09
  4. Estimated Monthly Cost and Energy Consumption - Residential Application
    • For "Optimal Operation Times" based on 30 days per month
      • Energy consumption in kWh: 324
      • Monthly Cost @ $0.10 per kWh: $32.40 (Note: Varies per rate classification)
    • For "Continuous 24 Hour Operation" based on 30 days per month
      • Energy consumption in kWh: 648
      • Monthly Cost @ $0.10 per kWh: $64.80 (Note: Varies per rate classification)

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