Being cold means different things to different people.
While Greenland residents are forced to endure an average arctic winter temperature of only 0°C, but can plunge to as low as -50°C, by comparison Australian residents during the same period typically enjoy a relatively balmy 15°C as their average.
Yet no matter where in the world you call home, the basic requirement to do anything you can to keep yourself from getting cold remains the same.
As such, there is a range of products on the market that aim to make this process as easy as possible. Below we canvas some of the most innovative.
Late last year the local version of PC Mag itemised several of the, ah, hottest items on the market.
The list included an intelligent heated jacket which uses mercury and artificial intelligence to ensure the clothing learns your personal preferences and reacts to external environments.
Also on the list is climate controlled smart bed linen, which allows you to adjust the temperature of your doona via a smartphone app. Amazingly, you can also use the app to make the bed.
Being PC Mag, it of course couldn’t leave out the heated mouse for those chilly mornings when your clicking fingers need warming up.
Smart air con
There are two essential truths about air conditioning. The first is that it takes a while to kick in and transform your townhouse, apartment or villa from an icebox to a cozy cabin in winter.
The second is that the need for it is as fickle and changeable as the weather outside.
Smartphone apps that enable you to control your indoor climate anytime from anywhere are a great way to mitigate against these issues.
Luckily air conditioner manufacturers and third parties are onto it and are forever developing ways to connect that clever device that’s in all our pockets to awaken the heat (and cool)-generating beasts in our living rooms.
Created with busy lifestyles in mind, there are an assortment of apps able to turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control monitoring system for your air conditioner no matter where you are.
One such item is the Sensibo Sky which is a smart air conditioner WIFI controller. Priced from around $140, it supports any portable or fixed air conditioner or heat pump with a remote control and allows the user to control their heating (or cooling) from anywhere, anytime.
Using the phone location, this device can automatically turn on the air conditioner before you arrive and turns off when everybody leaves.
Low tech ways to keep your home warm
If cost is an issue, there’s plenty of low-tech ways of keeping the winter chill out of your apartment without requiring you to sell your first-born.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, is to maximise sun exposure in your home by pulling up your blinds and opening your curtains during the day and then shutting them at night to retain warmth.
Some of the more creative options we encountered included stuffing cotton wool or cling film into cracks in your home to prevent heat escaping through gaps, purchasing covers to contain warm air indoors by closing your key holes or temporarily placing bubble wrap over windows for home-made double glazing.