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.

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

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