December is here and the holidays are creeping ever closer. Try as you might, you can’t put off gift shopping forever, so it’s time to tackle that task head on. But since we know how difficult it can be to come up with great holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list, we’ve gone ahead and done the work for you. Here are our top staff picks for 2013:
- Battery-heated gloves: Thin and lightweight, these gloves feature an easy-to-read LED controller, three heat settings to regulate temperature, and reflective elements for safety. They’re also windproof and waterproof, making them an excellent gift choice for anyone that enjoys outdoor sports such as golf, hiking, biking, and more.
- Heated chair cover: This machine-washable heated chair cover will be appreciated by any budget-minded person on your holiday list. Its four heat settings and ability to distribute warmth evenly allow users to turn down the thermostat and enjoy lower energy bills without sacrificing comfort. (Oversized to fit most armchairs and recliners.)
- Micro-Fleece Electric Blanket: Available in 6 gorgeous colors, this low-voltage micro-fleece electric blanket is the world’s safest. Unlike other heated blankets, it operates on nonhazardous DC low voltage and releases no electromagnetic radiation. This blanket also offers a preheat setting and automatic shutoff after 10 hours for extra safety.
- Fleece Electric Throw: Who says heated blankets are only for the bedroom? This fleece electric throw comes with many of the same great features as the blanket, but is portable enough to allow for snuggling on the couch, in your favorite armchair, or anywhere in the house.
- Cozy Winters Gift Certificate: Not quite sure which fantastic item to get from our website? Just buy a CozyWinters.com gift certificate (available in amounts from $25 to $500) and let the recipient choose his or her own heated clothing, blankets, pet beds, or accessories from the site.
Under normal circumstances, electric blankets are a perfectly safe and inexpensive source of supplemental heat that can help keep you warm throughout the winter. When used at night in place of regular blankets, they allow you to turn your thermostat down several degrees without sacrificing any warmth or comfort. This green practice is not only good for your utility bills, but also for the environment.
Surprisingly, however, several myths about the supposed “dangers” of heated blankets are still floating around out there. For instance, some people believe that these products pose a major fire hazard or emit an electromagnetic field to rival that of the mysterious island from Lost. But the low-voltage wiring used in manufacturing today’s blankets has reduced the fire hazard to virtually nil, while the EMFs generated by a typical blanket is no greater than any other electrical appliance in your home.
Nevertheless, there are a few special cases where you should NOT use electric blankets. Some of these include:
- When there are pets in your home that could chew or claw through the wiring
- When you have nerve damage from diabetes or another medical condition that prevents you from sensing heat
- When you are in the late stages of pregnancy and are worried about raising your body temperature too high
As you can see, the risks of using electric blankets are extremely limited in scope and are due to external rather than internal causes. This means most people will never have to worry about any ill effects from these products.
Now that you know how safe heated blankets are, you can visit CozyWinters.com to pick out the latest design for your bedroom, living room, or guest room.
Heating your home in the winter will inevitably cause your energy bills to spike. There’s just no getting around the fact that you’ll have to use extra electricity, natural gas, propane, or some other kind of fuel to stave off the cold until the spring thaw comes.
But the good news is there are plenty of specific steps you can take to help heat your home more efficiently and keep your utility bill at a somewhat reasonable level. Here are a handful of the most effective ways to save money on heating during the cold season:
- Set the thermostat between 65-68 degrees when you’re home and consider turning it off completely when you go to work
- When possible, only heat rooms that are occupied. Supplemental heat sources such as electric space heaters and heated sofa covers are great for this purpose.
- Lower the max temperature setting on your water heater to 115-120 degrees to save up to 11 percent on water heating costs
- Use heated blankets for extra warmth at night without having to run the furnace
- Open the curtains and shades on south-facing windows during the daytime to let in the sun’s natural heat
- Insulate your hot water heater and water heater pipes to slow cooling after use
- Inspect, clean, or replace furnace filters once every 4-6 weeks to ensure optimum performance
- Inspect the insulation in your attic and replace if necessary
- Apply caulk or weather-stripping around doors and windows to keep warm air in and cold air out
- Since fireplaces are extremely inefficient at heating homes, use yours sparingly and remember to close the damper afterwards
These home heating strategies are easy to implement and should lead to immediate savings on your winter utility bills compared to previous years. Give them a try today and remember to visit CozyWinters.com for the heated blankets, clothing, and furniture covers you need to stay warm during the cold season.
How much time do you put into snowboard or ski maintenance? If you only tend to your equipment at the beginning of each season, then you’re not doing nearly enough to keep everything looking and working like new. Even purely recreational snowboarders and skiers can benefit from well-maintained gear, so do yourself a favor and follow these tips:
- Wax your board or skis at least once every three outings to keep the wood sufficiently lubricated
- Thoroughly clean your gear after each use and carefully inspect it for damage
- Repair minor gouges immediately with the help of repair plastic and a scraper. More extensive damage might require the services of a professional mechanic at your nearest shop.
- Sharpen the edges of your snowboard or skis regularly to facilitate greater control when out on the slopes
- Transport your gear in a hard ski case or hard snowboard case to safeguard it from harm
- At the end of the season, seal the base and edges with storage wax to prevent excessive drying
- Store your equipment on well supported wall-mounted ski or snowboard racks, never on the cement floor of your basement or garage
Spending some extra time learning how to properly care for snowboards and skis is a smart move that will pay off in the long run. Good maintenance can extend the life of your gear while also helping to deliver better performance for every outing, so keep the above tips in mind as you get ready for the winter sports season.
Staying warm during your favorite outdoor winter activities has never been easier thanks to battery heated clothing. With just the touch of a button, your heated vest, gloves, boots, or jacket can provide extra warmth and comfort to combat the blustery winds, low temperatures, and other extreme elements that threaten to ruin your fun.
But unlike standard apparel, battery heated clothing requires special care and attention to ensure proper operation. Here are some pointers about how to care for and store your heated garments:
- Remove batteries before washing
- Follow the instructions on the care label attached to the garment. Some pieces are meant to be machine washed, while others must be hand-washed only.
- Do not wash with bleach
- Do not wring out your garments, as doing so could damage the heating elements
- Do not dry clean
- Store your heated motorcycle gear and other battery heated clothing in a clean, dry environment
- Storage containers should be kept away from direct sunlight and other sources of extreme heat
- Batteries MUST be recharged to at least 60% once every three months to remain in working order
Bear in mind that different manufacturers may have different washing and storage protocols for their garments, so the above tips are simply intended to be general guidelines rather than specific instructions.
Learning how to care for and store your battery heated motorcycle gear, outdoor apparel, hand warmers, and boots will allow you to enjoy these products season after season. Visit CozyWinters.com for more information about battery heated clothing or to browse our entire collection of heated outdoor gear.
Everyone knows that outdoor dogs face serious health and safety risks in winter when nighttime temperatures drop to well below freezing. That’s why it’s smart to provide your pet with things like windproof shelter and a heated dog bowl to keep him comfortable despite harsh environs.
But did you know that indoor pets may also require extra help staying warm during the coldest months of the year? That’s right, even if your dog or cat has the benefit of four walls and a roof 24 hours a day, it might not be enough to prevent excessive shivering and discomfort in winter. Here are 5 possible reasons why:
- Your pet is a toy breed such as a chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, or papillon
- Your pet is hairless or has a very thin coat like whippets, greyhounds, and Sphynxes
- Your pet is elderly
- Your pet suffers from chronic health problems
- You turn the heat off when you go to work or keep the thermostat set very low to reduce energy costs
If any of the above conditions apply to your household, don’t worry. It’s actually very easy to give your pet that extra little boost to help him stay warm. For example, a heated pet bed (either plug-in or self-warming) or a hot water bottle wrapped in a blanket will allow him to snuggle up to something warm at nap time. Moreover, pet clothing such as sweaters and jackets do a great job of retaining body heat, while booties can protect tender paws from snow and salt when out on a walk.
Although house pets are significantly better off in winter than pets that stay outdoors year round, it would be a mistake to automatically assume they’re warm and comfortable. Take a few moments to assess your pet’s risk factors, and then make sure you provide additional means of warmth when it’s cold out there.
One of the best things about winter is having the opportunity to head to the mountains after a fresh snowfall for a beautiful day of skiing, snowboarding, or trekking. These exciting activities are a fantastic way to get your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping, and they sure beat sitting around the house watching reruns on TV.
But nothing can turn a great day into a horrific one faster than an accident, injury, or other mishap out on the slopes. That’s why it’s important to put safety first and be prepared for some of the most common calamities that might arise. Here are a handful of safety tips that all skiers, snowboarders, and trekkers should keep in mind for every outing:
- Dress in layers that can easily be removed or added according to changing weather conditions
- Prevent hypothermia by changing into warm, dry gear every day. Portable glove and boot dryers can help get your equipment ready to go in just a few short hours.
- Never take a jump blindly. Be sure to scout all landing areas and use a spotter if necessary
- When venturing to remote areas, tell others about your plans, route, and destination
- Heed all warning signs on the mountain and stay well clear of avalanche danger zones
- If possible, carry a small shovel and wear an avalanche beacon as added precautions
- Consider fitting your trekking boots with ice cleats to aid with traction and prevent falls
- Know your limits and don’t try anything reckless that might needlessly put yourself or others in danger
Not every accident can be avoided, but a “safety first” attitude, common sense, and good preparation will help prevent minor problems from turning into major catastrophes. Keep the above tips in mind the next time you hit the slopes so you can enjoy your day and return in one piece.
Some people take refuge in their homes at the first hint of cold temperatures or snowfall, never to emerge again until spring. But there’s plenty of fun to be had outdoors even in the winter, especially if you take care to protect yourself against the elements with battery heated clothing and similar gear.
For example, a high-quality jacket paired with heated gloves can help ward off hypothermia and other serious risks posed by extreme temperatures. Hypothermia is the condition that arises when your body loses heat at a greater rate than it produces heat, causing your internal temperature to dip to a dangerous—or even life-threatening—level.
If you plan to spend significant time outdoors this winter or if you work with children or the elderly, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common signs and symptoms of hypothermia. These include:
- Near-constant shivering that may become progressively more intense
- Loss of coordination
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Stumbling or staggering
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Mumbled or slurred speech
- Weak pulse
- Memory loss or confusion
- Irrational behavior, such as attempting to remove warm clothing
In the elderly, the symptoms of hypothermia may manifest a bit differently—particularly if the condition is caused by factors unrelated to the outdoors (such as a poorly insulated home or cranked up air conditioning). In these situations be on the lookout for:
- Faster breathing
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty speaking
And in the case of infants, get ready to take action if you notice bright red skin that is cold to the touch or if the child exhibits very low energy levels.
If left untreated, hypothermia can lead to frostbite, gangrene, trench foot, chilblains, or worse. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of this condition is one way to avoid disaster; being prepared for the elements with new battery heated clothing and cold weather gear from CozyWinters.com is another, so check out our site today.
Does your dog stay outside year round? Do you take him hunting in the winter? Does he like to frolic in the snow?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to take extra precautions to protect your pet against hypothermia.
That’s right: despite their heavy coats, dogs are still vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite when exposed to extreme cold for lengthy periods.
The symptoms of hypothermia in dogs are similar to what humans experience and may include excessive shivering, staggering while walking, listlessness, and clumsiness or loss of coordination.
To ensure your favorite canine companion makes it through the winter in tiptop shape, it’s vital that you keep him as warm as possible even when he’s outdoors. Here’s how to do it:
– Provide a sturdy dog house or other suitable shelter to block out the wind and cold
– Look into dog house heating options from CozyWinters.com, including furnaces and bed warmers
– Give your pet plenty of opportunities to stay active via regular walks and play sessions
– Increase your best friend’s daily food rations to help ensure he has adequate fat to insulate his body against the cold
– Consider outfitting your dog with a jacket, sweater, or booties for additional protection against the elements
– If possible, bring your pet indoors when overnight temperatures are expected to be dangerously low or when a big storm is slated to hit your area
Even the heartiest breeds need help to stay warm through a brutal winter. Follow the tips listed here and visit CozyWinters.com now to browse our complete selection of heated dog beds, self-warming beds, dog house furnaces, and other cold weather pet gear.