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Hillel Glazer used to shovel snow for money when he was a teen. At 33 years old, he has decided it was time for the walkways to clear themselves. So, he created a snow melting mat.

“I thought, there’s got to be a better way,” said Glazer, now 33, who owns HeatTrak, a Paterson-based company that manufacturers ice melting mats for residential and industrial use.

Glazer explained how he concocted a crude prototype using a heating pad, duct tape and an old doormat to avoid the back-breaking job of chopping ice and snow from his steps.

Residential mats for steps and walkways, which can be interconnected via insulated cords, retail for about $50 and $99, respectively. Industrial mats cost upwards of a few hundred bucks to more than $1,000, depending on the size. Last year, HeatTrak introduced a wireless remote and thermostat controller.

Among his customers are Sotheby’s auction house in New York City; Citi Field, which uses the mats at its delivery entrances; and the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, which placed the larger mats along the perimeter of its practice bubbles to prevent ice and snow from accumulating and damaging the structures.

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Originally posted by Angela Shupe on February 13, 2014 in Inventions.

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