How much does it cost to run heat tape?

Today, I’ll be giving you all the information you need on roof heating cable installation costs and the factors that can affect their prices.

Roof Heating Cable Installation Cost

With the winter season comes a lot of snow and ice formation on your roof.

These elements are known to be problematic, as they can clog your gutters, leak through your ceiling, and damage your shingles.

Luckily, you can prevent this from happening by making your roof unconducive for ice formation. And you can do this with a roof heating cable.

How much does it cost to install?

Keep reading.

Why Do I Need A Roof Heating Cable?

A roof heating cable, also known as heat tape, is one of many tools you can use to remove ice and snow build-up from your roof.

One of the, why this de-icing tool has become so popular, is its low cost of installation. Besides its ability to remove snow, it can also be used to prevent ice dam formation in the first place.

When snow falls, it can melt on your roof, thanks to the heat being produced from your attic. Unfortunately, the melted snow freezes again by the eaves when making its way down.

This forms icicles as well as ice dams, and these can damage your roof if not attended to quickly.

You can prevent this from happening by installing roof heating cables (or heat tapes) along the edges of your roof where the melted snow refreezes.

You will find that the cost of installing heating cables is by far less than the cost of fixing all the damage the ice will cause if not prevented.

Where The Roof Heating Cables Should Be Installed

Since the melted roof snow refreezes by the cooler eaves on its way down, then that’s where you should have the cables installed.

With the heating cables in place, the eaves of your roof will remain warm, and will not allow the melted snow to refreeze when they get to that point.

It is worth mentioning that ice can also form in your gutters and downspouts. And if left clogged, proper drainage cannot be achieved.

This is why it is also important that the heat cables are also installed in those positions.

Should I Spend Money On Other Roof Ice Removal Methods?

The honest answer is yes. Even after installing your heat cables, it would be wise to invest in other snow and ice removal methods.

Make sure your attic is properly insulated so that its heat cannot escape to the roof, which will in turn melt the snow. You should also invest in roof rakes for clearing out the snow on your roof before it becomes problematic.

Factors That Influence Cost Of Roof Heating Cables

There are a few factors that will determine how much you will spend on roof heating cable installation.

Let’s take a look at them one by one.

  1. The area being covered

All roofs aren’t built the same, and the same can be said of the gutters.

With this in mind, one of the most influential factors on the cost of roof heating cable installation is the size of your roof.

The larger the roof, the longer the cable you will need to suffice. A wider roof will also mean longer gutters,

  1. The type of heating cable you are using

There are different types of heating cables, and some are better built than others. The quality and functionality of a heating cable can also influence its price.

A regular heating cable is simple enough to use, just plug it into an electrical outlet and turn it on. This basic heating cable will produce heat at the same temperature for as long as it remains turned on.

Now there is a more sophisticated heating cable, and this one works according to the outdoor temperature. You will also have to plug it in and leave it on all through the winter season, but it doesn’t always produce the same level of heat.

Rather, it automatically heats up when the outdoor temperature gets colder and cools down when the outdoor temperature is warmer.

The advantage of this type of self-regulated heating cable is that it can help you manage the cost of electrical bills. This is because it only produced heat when necessary, and not all the time.

As you can imagine, self-regulated heating cables are more expensive than regular heating cables.

  1. The contractor installing the cables

All roofing contractors do not charge the same, as their fee varies according to their experience and reputation.

You can go online to find the best installation contractor for you. Be sure to compare prices as well as levels of expertise before you hire.

Average Cost Of Roof Heating Cables

For a basic roof heating cable, you can expect to spend around $1 per linear foot.

You can buy them in different lengths ranging from 30 ft. to 200 ft. And the amount of heating cable you will need is dependent on the size of your roof.

Most (if not all) roof heating cables come with screws and clips in the package, so that is also included in the cost.

As for self-regulating heating cables, you can expect to spend between $2 to $5 per linear foot. This is more expensive than the basic heating cable, but that is because of its self-regulating feature.

The good news is, you can add a thermostat to your basic roof heating cable to make it more efficient. This will cost you anywhere between $80 to $200.

Tips To Reduce Cost

If there are parts of your roof that aren’t prone to ice dam formation, then you don’t necessarily need to install a heating cable there.

These parts of your roof include those with steeper pitches or those parts that are covered by trees.


As you can see, roof heating cables aren’t expensive, and the amount you’ll spend on them is totally dependent on the type of cable you buy (basic or self-regulated) and the length of cable you will need to cover your roof.

I hope this information has been helpful.

Thanks for reading!

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