Want to stay happy and healthy this winter? There’s a gadget for that

It’s time to embrace chilly autumn evenings as we head toward winter. Spending family time indoors, cuddling under soft blankets in front of a crackling fire, watching classic movies and playing board games, with the comforting aroma of a hearty stew filling the air, our homes are our refuge against the creeping cold.

Well, that’s the dream. For many of us the reality is a little different. Families with small children and pets know that indoor living gets messy – fast. And keeping the windows closed to retain heat means things can get somewhat smelly and the air can quickly get unhealthy, horribly dry or uncomfortably damp, depending on where you live. Add loadshedding to the mix, and suddenly the dream dissolves into a rude wake-up.

Trevor Brewer, director at air treatment specialist Solenco, says there is a wealth of energy-efficient and battery-powered home appliances that make winter living healthy and bearable, even without 24/7 electricity.

Keeping the floors clean

Investing in a good-quality hard-floor cleaner like the cordless Hizero F100 will give you an hour to get your laminate, wood, tile, screed and other hard floor surfaces clean before it needs to be recharged. A feature-rich robot vacuum cleaner will do the work for you and, if your home has carpets as well as tiles, it’s worth looking at a model like the Hobot Legee D8, which can switch between surfaces in real time without manual intervention. Muddy paws and pet hair need not be an issue, while both the Hizero and the Hobot are able to mop as well as vacuum, with technology that optimises water usage and speeds up drying time.

Optimising the air quality

Indoor air in our homes, schools and offices can be twice, or even five times, more polluted than outdoor air due to a lack of ventilation. While fireplaces and gas heaters are great in that they don’t need a power supply, they’re not so great in terms of the toxins they release into the air. Similarly, cold weather causes warm air in the atmosphere to rise, trapping cold air – and more pollutants – in the air we’re breathing. Add the germs and viruses that crawl out of the woodwork in winter, and suddenly air quality becomes a serious health hazard.

An air purifier with a multi-stage filtration system, including a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter, activated carbon filter and UV-C lamp, will trap up to 99.975% of particles, allergens, pollen, dust, smoke, mould spores and pet dander, and reduce toxic fumes and odours to boost your home’s air quality and the health of you and your loved ones.

Keeping warm

Another zero-toxin appliance to consider is an energy-efficient electric heater. Mill portable heaters are able to quickly and safely heat up rooms without the carbon monoxide associated risks that come with gas heaters. With adjustable power settings, the Mill heater draws as little as 750W, equal to a standard household fridge, while its award-winning Scandinavian design makes it a must-have in every modern home.

Getting the moisture balance right

Too much moisture in your home can make clothing and furniture smell musty, cause damp and mould, and result in any number of allergic and asthmatic symptoms. A quality, low-energy dehumidifier like the Solenco Low Energy model can make the world of difference when there is insufficient ventilation or where there is a lot of steam or water vapour, like in sculleries and bathrooms.

For some, winter means drier-than-dry air. A humidifier will release clean, damp air into your space, and the health benefits are manifold: from easier breathing and less congested sinuses, to reduced allergy symptoms and better quality sleep. Look for one with a warm mist option and built-in aroma diffuser to create a warm and luxurious indoor environment – like the Meaco Deluxe 202 Ultrasonic Humidifier.

“Armed with the right appliances, winter need not be a nightmare. Energy-efficient, inverter-friendly, battery-powered technology is here to make winter warmer, healthier and happier,” says Brewer.

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