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Best In Snow — Tech Hacks For Winter Weather

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In many areas of the country, snow’s piling up like the boxes in your attic, which means there’s a lot to do when it comes to taking care of our houses, cars, sidewalks and yards. But even if the weather seems bleak, you can feel better knowing there’s winter tech out there to help. Check out some of the tools that can make shoveling, scraping and cleaning a little easier.


Got the winter weather blues?

First Trip of The Day

Depending on where you live, the first obstacle you have to overcome on your journey outside is probably the stairs. If that’s the case, you might want to check out heated stair mats. With these, snow melts on impact, making it easier for you to get out the door. You also can place larger heated mats on top of walkways or cover whole yards or driveways.

A more hands-on approach is redistributing that snow using a snow blower or leaf blower, which pack a little more punch than the classic snow shovel. But a lighter weight, easy-to-use alternative is a power shovel. Imagine a shovel with a battery-powered motor attached to it that can clear up to a foot a snow at a rate of 300 pounds per minute, like this one from Toro®️. Just be careful where you aim, so you don’t bury your neighbor by accident.

While many of these tools either run on gasoline or battery power, it’s still a good precaution to have a generator at the ready in case your electricity goes out and you’re in need of some power. Generators come in all shapes and sizes, including portable, and even offer battery options for those wanting to stay away from having to use gasoline. Just make sure you review the safety instructions and follow recommended safety tips when operating generators.

Another great tool for the house is a roof de-icer. These easily installable heaters create a barricade around your gutters, melting some of what gravity pulls in. This helps keep your gutters from clogging up or getting weighted down.

Before You Drive Away

Now you’ve made it to the car. So, what’s next? Pretty soon, your car might be able to drive itself, but for now, it’s up to you to get it moving. Checking your oil, tires and battery are all important things to do each winter, but so is having the right equipment in case of snow or ice.

We hear it every winter: start your car, turn on the window defroster and wait a few minutes. Some people have started accelerating this process with portable car heaters. They generally have multiple vents and plug into the 12V outlet in most cars. Some can also mount to the dashboard.

And when it comes to cleaning off your car, there are a number of electric ice scrapers on the market that emit heat to help melt the ice while your scraping the windshield. They work similarly to portable car heaters by plugging into the car’s 12V outlet.

Tire pressure also is something you should keep an eye on. Air pressure in your tires tends to decrease when the temperature drops and increase when the temperature rises. By keeping a portable air compressor handy—many of which run on a battery packs—you can adjust accordingly without having to make a trip to a nearby gas station or service center.

Batteries in some cars have trouble fighting the cold. This is where a jump starter battery kit could help. These devices, now small enough to store in your car—thanks to compact lithium batteries—can jump start your car and even charge other devices, like your cellphone or tablet. Great if you happen to get stuck on the side of the road.

Lastly, if you need to hit the road in these rough conditions, there are ways to easily attach traction solutions to your tires to help their grip.

Now, that’s how to handle winter weather.

This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.

Capital One does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

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