View the webinar here!
Heat tape is used melt snow and ice in water channels to allow it to drain unobstructed. It's usually found on the shaded sides of roofs to keep the water from refreezing and causing drainage problems. If a roof is untreated for too long, the water can seep under shingles, into the attic, freeze and cause a lot of damage. Most heat tapes require 8 watts per linear foot, which can add up on both larger and smaller houses, especially if the tape it on at all times. Most homes have self-regulating heat tape which many people believe to mean the tape turns off automatically when it gets warm, but this is not true. The tape adjusts its heat based on external temperature, but it never turns it off. The best practice for heat tape is to use self-regulating heat tape and turn it off at night. That is because ice and snow should be frozen at night and water should only be flowing in the day time when the sun is shining.
To learn more, High Country Conservation Center has an informational webinar about Managing Heat Tape here.