We had ice dam damage on our garage roof during a January cold snap in central New York. We are unsure how to use our Emerson Easyheat cables.

We expect 5 degree lows this weekend. The cables are on and high temps are around 28, snowing off and on.

Should the cables be on the whole time this weekend?

  • you should insulate your attic instead; more reliable, cheaper in the long run, and saves you heating costs. – dandavis Mar 16 '18 at 23:33

If you have snow on the roof you run them when ever the temp is above about 28 °F. If you run them when it is too cold the water will melt around the cables but freeze before it drain way and this increases the risk of ice dam instead.

  • Run it with or while snowing to keep the area from freezing. Your ice damming is because the last part of your roof eaves are not insulated and so the air wraps around from below and above. Any roof above the wire line should not create a dam as the attic space should be insulated and cause the snow to not freeze. If you already have ice, then turn them on to melt that off. Some people put them on timers and run over night when its cold and off during the day, or a thermostatic control, below a certain outside temp on, above said temp off. – Jeff Cates Mar 16 '18 at 18:38
  • Most that I’ve seen personally have a thermostat in the cord and are designed to be plugged in and forgotten. Most homeowners aren’t good at doing it right otherwise. – Tyson Mar 16 '18 at 20:21

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