In the fall of 1997, the sidewalks of the WaterFurnace facility were equipped with radiant heating coils, which melt ice and snow, making the entryway into the main lobby safer and eliminating the need to shovel or lay salt. The snow-and-ice melt system works in conjunction with the WaterFurnace NSW three-ton water-to-water unit, running heated water through a network of piping embedded in the concrete sidewalk.
A sensor detects when temperatures drop below 32° F and moisture is present on the slab, initiating the process of snow or ice melting. When the outdoor temperatures become warmer, the system automatically shuts down. The system protects the slab from cracking by limiting the rate of heat transfer into the slab, slowly ramping up the temperature difference across the slab and limiting the maximum temperature difference.