Saturday, December 9, 2017

Let It Snow! (A HeatTrak Mat review)

"I love shoveling snow!". Said no one ever. It's a chore, a job, a task. For safety, or just practicality, clearing your driveway or walkway is a reality for people that live in areas with snow. But shoveling (or using a snow blower) isn't the only way to clear a path through the frozen landscape that is now your front or back yard.

Wouldn't it be nice if your smarthome could clear your walkway for you? I was hoping someone had come up with a Roomba version of the snow shovel. But alas, other than a few novelty robotic experiments, nothing that could really handle a heavy winter. Then I stumbled onto Heattrak LLC who makes these amazing snow melting mats that, like the name says, melt snow out of your walkway.

Now, that in itself isn't new. Heated walkways and driveways have been around for a while. But they are extremely expensive and require a lot more planning and construction. The advantage of Heattrak is that they can be laid out over almost any existing walkway. So apartment/condo/townhome owners can benefit from them as well.

Each mat uses about 2.5 Amps, and a separate power supply is needed to power up to 5 mats in series. Paired with a Smart Plug for automatic snow detection via IFTTT and Weather Underground and you've got yourself a smart walkway that 'shovels' itself and stays clear throughout the winter!

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