You too can live without creature comforts |

You too can live without creature comforts

Happy spring! If you haven’t done it yet, you may turn off your heat tape and any heating system for driveways, walkways or patios. Remember, these are great, convenient ways to prevent buildup of snow and ice, but are not there for melting late-winter snows.

Heat tape is commonly installed on north-facing roofs to prevent damage that could be caused by ice dams. Please know that conditions for ice dams are behind us. When March arrives next year, notice if the heat tape has kept the snow from building-up on the eaves of your roof where ice dams form. By then, the job is done. Warmer daytime temperatures and higher sun in March can be expected to melt off the new snow, and your heat tape can be turned off. And other snowmelt systems as well.

Also note, heat-tape systems are needed to drain channels for melting snow only when the air temperature is above freezing (or during daylight hours), and should therefore be controlled by a timer or sensor. You may visit to access rebates for timers. It could save you hundreds of dollars in one winter.

I offer this note to readers primarily out of my concern for the welfare of people (millions or billions) on our planet who will not have the resources to cope with climate change. So, I ask you, the reader, to consider giving up your conveniences and activities, which burn oil or gas.

If you purchase your electricity through the city of Aspen, you may celebrate the fact that all your electricity is sourced from sun, wind, or water! But your heat is probably a gas system. Can you turn off the heat in your guest room? And how about your vehicle? Used EVss are surprisingly inexpensive! What about your plans for travel by plane? You could do something new in the valley and “love local!”

Jimmy Byrne


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