Weather Gadgets

Tips and Tricks

November 21, 2011

Safe Paw Ice Melter

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Don't ruin your holidays with a fall and injury on slippery steps and walkways, especially with so many guests and relatives visiting. Many of us use ice melters to clear the path of ice, but most ice melters contain salt which can poison and burn our pets and children.

This non-toxic Safe Paw Ice Melter will not irritate tender paws or skin. It melts ice in temperatures as low as 2 F with a timed-release formula that helps prevent re-icing for up to three days.

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Check Out This Week's Wind & Weather Deal of the Week

November 18, 2011

Got the Winter Blues? Light Boxes Help SAD

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Many of us find ourselves getting a little blue when the seasons change. There are many different treatments for the winter-based seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy with sunlight or bright lights.

Light Boxes May Help Melt Those Winter Blues - NYTimes.com cites a 2006 multicenter double-blind randomized controlled trial that compared bright-light therapy with the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) in 96 subjects. The study found that the two treatments were equally effective for alleviating winter depression, though light produced results faster, usually within a week, and with fewer side effects.

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An affordable device such as this popular SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp safely combines the powerful healing of 10,000-lux light therapy and negative ion therapy. The SunTouch bathes you in light while simultaneously releasing healthy negative ions into the atmosphere. Lift your spirits, balance your body clock, and feel refreshed.

At Light Boxes

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November 17, 2011

Winter Tires -- Are They Necessary?

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If you see a lot of winter weather where you live and drive, you may wonder if it's necessary to put winter tires on your car, or maybe just get by with a good set of all-season tires. The folks over at Consumer Reports are wondering the same thing, and the answer is...it depends.

Even if your vehicle has all-wheel drive, winter tires deliver better stopping grip on snow and ice than most all-season tires. They are the right choice if you commonly drive in wintry weather, or if you just want a greater piece of mind.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with infrequent winter weather or can wait for the roads to be cleared after a storm before heading out, all-season tires are a better choice.

At Winter Tires

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November 3, 2011

Create an Economical Reusable Storm Window This Winter with Bubblewrap

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You can make a reusable storm window out of bubble wrap, according to Lifehacker tip. If appearance is a concern, the bubble wrap can be confined to less visible windows, such as the bathroom.

The strategy is to attach the bubble wrap to a clothes hanger frame, instead of taping it into the window, to create a tight frame. When warm weather arrives, you can remove it and store it for use next cold season. Get the directions.

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October 26, 2011

Save Up to $200 Annually on Energy Costs -- Seal Your Windows and Doors

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Soon daylight savings time ends, and it's time to batten down the hatches. Leave your high heating and cooling costs out in the cold and seal your windows and doors. Heed this tip from Bargaineering:

A $5 tube of caulk could save you as much as $200 annually. The average homeowner pays 10% more than they should for heat and air conditioning because of leaky windows. Take a stick of incense and move it around the perimeter of all windows and doors looking for air that's sneaking in. On the windows, go to work with the caulk. For the doors, purchase a weather sealing kit or other one of those infomercial contraptions that slide on to the bottom of your door.

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The double-sided Draft Guard is easy to install under the door and stays in place, no need to reposition it each time like a towel. It works on all floor surfaces even carpet.

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October 24, 2011

Use Kitty LItter for Road Traction in Mud and Ice

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We all know that sinking feeling when the car wheels spin out on ice, in the mud or slushy snow and you realize you are stuck.

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To get back on the road again, some kitty litter poured under the tire will provide the necessary traction to free your car. Keep a supply in the trunk all winter along.

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October 19, 2011

Now is the Time to Prepare Your Home for the Fall Season

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We all know about spring cleaning, but what about the fall? It's actually an excellent time to get your home in shape and to save money on upcoming heating expenses. How to Prepare Your Home for the Fall Season | Main St has some tips on maintaining your roof, windows, garage, landscaping and trees, outdoor furniture, chimney, heating system and thermostat.

Some recommendations are protecting your lawn chairs and tables with waterproof outdoor furniture covers, installing a chimney cap and upgrading to a programmable thermostat which should trim about $180 off your energy bills.

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October 14, 2011

Flu Symptoms? Salt Does the Body Good

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Raw weather brings on cold and flu season. The expense of OTC meds can add up. Many of our mothers and grandmothers were brought up to fashion DIY remedies out of cheaper and more wholesome items generally found around the house. One is salt.

Gargling. Gargling with salt water is an age-old remedy for sore throat and helps get rid of the thick mucus that can collect at the back of the throat, especially after you've been lying down. It can also help ease stuffy ears by opening clogged eustachian tubes.

Nasal irrigation. To ease stuffiness and post-nasal drip and hopefully cut down on sinus infections, some doctors recommend nasal irrigation. You can pick up a neti pot with salt packets or choose a saline squeeze bottle. You pour salt water into one nostril and let it run out the other, clearing out your nasal passages. You can also pick up some pre-made saline solution or make your own by mixing salt and warm water.

Epsom Salt. Many people, including some physicians, recommend a healing soak in Epsom Salt to relieve stress, improve circulation and soften the skin. Epsom salts are also used as a laxative, so there may be some undesired consequences if your child likes to drink bath water. We are not physicians here at Weather Snob, so as always, consult with your own physician about any remedies for yourself and your family.

[via 10 Home Remedies for the Flu | WebMD]

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September 29, 2011

Prevent Moisture and Corrosion -- Coax Seal Cable Weatherproofing Tape

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Don't let the weather do a number on your gadgets. Coax Seal protects all types of cable, wire and connectors from moisture and corrosion.

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Use it on your radio antennas, radar, wireless networks, cable, satellite dishes, WiFi and outdoor speakers. It stays flexible and maintains the seal over a broad range of temperatures. Easy to remove.

via Book of Joe

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September 22, 2011

Attic Tent Attic Cover Insulator

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Many homes these days are equipped with a pull-down attic ladder. These generally are installed without air sealing or insulation and therefore leak, wasting energy and your money.

This practical Attic Tent Attic Cover Insulator insulates folding attic stairs, knee wall doors, and attic scuttle holes. You install it over the hatch, staple it to the attic floor, and then simply zip open when you need to climb through. It installs in 4 easy steps and has an insulating value of R-3.2.

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September 15, 2011

WeatherWise: Will the Recent Extreme Weather Spoil Fall Foliage?

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The USA experienced one of the driest July months on record followed by a drenching in late August. Will the recent extreme weather spoil the much anticipated fall foliage? Penn State's fall foliage expert Dr. Marc Abrams doesn't think so.

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Dr Abrams is a professor of Forest Ecology in the School of Agriculture and began studying 25 years ago to determine the particular weather conditions that successfully result in gorgeous foliage. He explains at Fear Not, Recent Extreme Weather No Spoiler for Fall Foliage | AccuWeather:

"Really, one of the most important things is what happens in the end of September and the first two weeks of October," Abrams said.

Cool, crisp temperatures are the key for brightly colored leaves. In those weeks, nighttime temperatures hopefully fall into low 30s and 40s with bright sunny days and dry weather.

But great leaves this fall aren't a sure thing. If the weather stays warm and wet, "that will be a problem. [The leaves] won't go into their normal coloration."

The leaves are brightest when the cool weather starts at the end of September. If the cooldown starts in late October instead, Abrams says that the colors aren't as vibrant.

Planning a trip? The Colors of Fall Road Trip Guide [above] by Jerry and Marcy Monkman details 25 of the best scenic tours during fall foliage season in New England. Available in Kindle and Paperback.

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August 24, 2011

Try Spicy Foods To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning

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You may still be trying to stay cool this summer, but are maxed out on AC bills for the season. Hot weather can last well into Indian summer.

Have you ever noticed that spicy food is a staple in the warmer climates? Spicy foods make you perspire, and sweating cools you down. Also spicy foods make you want to drink water, which lowers your body temp as well. So kick it up a notch and pour on the hot sauce!

via Re-Nest

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August 23, 2011

WeatherWise: Extreme Temperature May Affect Your Medications

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How does extreme heat affect your prescription and over-the-counter health care products? According to Dr. McKennon in Mistakes in Storage May Alter Medication | NYTimes "during heat waves and cold spells, storage locations can go above or below those ranges, causing medicines to physically change, lose potency or even threaten your health."

Optimally, pharmaceutical manufacturers generally recommend you store your meds in room temps ranging from 68 to 77 degrees, but anywhere from 58 to 86 degrees should still be okay.

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August 10, 2011

Polarized Sunglasses Improve Visibility When Driving in the Rain

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Heavy rain on the vehicle windshield definitely interferes with visibility while driving. Turning the windshield wipers up to full speed doesn't always clear things up sufficiently. It may seem counter-intuitive on a gloomy day, but wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses can help you see through the downpour during the daytime.

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Snopes explains why a pair of polarized sunglasses improves daytime visibility in rain and fog:

Wearing polarized sunglasses when driving in the rain during the day will help a driver see better. Poliarized sunglasses work to block horizontal components of scattered or reflected light, which means they help counteract the scattering of light that atmospheric effects like fog or rain have on daylight.

It is not a good idea to wear polarized sunglasses driving after dark. They reduce contrast and thus your depth perception.

[via Wear Sunglasses to See Better When Driving in the Rain | Lifehacker]

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