Modern Upgrades to Make Winter Mornings a Little Easier
As the days get shorter and the temperatures dip, getting up in cold, dark Canadian mornings becomes more and more of a struggle. Short of hibernating until spring or moving to Florida, there are a variety of technologies and upgrades, ranging from simple to luxurious, that can help you start your day off on the right foot.
SUNRISE ALARM CLOCK
Most of us on 9-to-5 gigs are probably waking up while the sky is still dark, which makes getting out of bed infinitely more difficult. And the loud jarring screeches of a traditional alarm clock, while effective, aren’t the most pleasant way to start your day. So consider investing in a sunrise alarm clock. Starting from 30 minutes prior to your wake-up time, a low light will turn on and the intensity will gradually increase. The light that falls on your eyes will energize your body as a natural way to wake up. Look for a model that also has a gradual sound alarm that starts quietly and increases over a few minutes for a gentler awakening.
Programmed technology is your friend when it comes to easing into a winter morning. If you already own a programmable thermostat, we applaud your energy-saving efforts in setting the temperature a few degrees lower overnight. If your alarm goes off at 7am you probably have the thermostat set to increase up to a comfortable temperature at the same time. But consider setting the increase to start a half hour before your wake-up time. That way your home is nice and warm by the time you have to peel back the covers.
If you’re one to start your day with a cup of coffee, just the smell of that sweet stuff brewing will be enough to get you out of bed. Get yourself a timed coffee maker which can be set to start brewing at the same time as your alarm goes off. Knowing that a fresh cup of coffee is waiting for you in the kitchen is enough incentive to avoid hitting that snooze button for the nth time in a row.
RADIANT FLOOR HEATING
Hitting the cold, stark ceramic flooring of your bathroom with warm, bare feet is an unpleasant start to any winter morning. A pricey but luxurious remedy is to install radiant floor heating in your bathroom. It works by invisibly heating a room through hot water pipes or electric wires installed underneath the floor. Choose a system that’s programmable so that your bathroom floor will be nice and toasty by the time you need to step in.
RADIANT HEAT DRIVEWAYS
Imagine opening the front door to the aftermath of a brutal winter storm and walking on a snow-free driveway to your car while your neighbours are furiously shovelling away in a frenzy. Adopting the same technology as radiant floor heating, radiant heat driveways use electric or hot plumbing systems below the pavement to melt snow and ice. Advanced setups have built-in sensors that trigger the system to turn on only when snow is detected. For the full treatment, you can install the system along the front patio, steps and the walkway to your car. Or for a budget-minded option, simply install the system along the tire tracks of your driveway, making it easy to get your vehicle out on the road.
AUTOMATIC CAR STARTER
Sitting in the driveway and waiting for your frigid car and its motor to heat up eats up precious minutes of your morning routine. But by installing a remote starter system, you can start your car’s engine from the comfort of your home a few minutes before you head out the door. That way you can hop in and hit the road – and the interior will be toasty warm too.