Low Voltage Electric Blanket and Heated Mattress Pad
An Electric Blanket Can Keep You Warm and Cozy
Electric blankets are only using low voltage and do make winter bearable. Are you looking for an electric blanket to give you the extra warmth you need on cold winter nights? A modern electric blanket can give you consistent warmth as it comes with an auto off function. Another option not to have to put up with cold sheets is a heated mattress pad. I will go over the concerns that you may have before you decide whether to get one.
Heated throws are made of easy-care fabric: machine washable and dryable. Auto-off control, different warm settings and the thermo heating system senses and adjusts the temperature to deliver consistent warmth and comfort. These electric throws work on low voltage. The designs are sleek and there are no pilling or bulky wires. The ultra-thin wires inside the soft heat blankets are concealed and you will find it hard to feel them.
Among the most popular choices are Sunbeam heated throw blankets. They are soft, thin, light weight and comfortable and when you plug one in you get the extra snuggly feeling you need. They are great for cold evenings. For a small price, you can enjoy the luxury of snuggling up in one. These electric throws are also great gift ideas for birthdays and other special days. They show your thoughts and care. You may also need an electric travel blanket for traveling with on long road trips.
You can also preheat your bed by using a heated mattress pad. Turn it on before you go to bed, and once you get in you can turn it off. I like the wonderful design with a dual control larger mattress. For the two persons who have different temperature needs, you can set two different temperatures. However, it is not recommended to be used on a foam mattress.
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How Do Electric Blankets Work?
Thin electrical wires are fitted inside the blanket. How hot do electric blankets get will depend on the heat settings that come with them. The number of settings usually varies from three to as many as nine. Their minimum temperatures tend to be around 25°C / 77 °F (the lowest is 18°C / 64.4 °F) while the average maximum temperature is around 48°C / 118.4 °F (the highest is 56°C / 132.8 °F).
This kind of heat throw usually has four to five separate heat settings that allow heat adjustments. The preheating system is convenient that it warms the bed sheets before bedtime. The warmth level is kept consistent throughout the time of usage.
How Safe is An Electric Blanket?
An electric blanket gives warmth through the wires inside electricity flows through them. Its heating system is designed to automatically adjust to the overall warming instantly. Products such as sunbeam heated blankets shut off automatically after a length of time such as three hours. This feature eases your mind of over-heating. So even if you don't want to turn it off right before you go to bed, you would not have to worry about leaving it on for hours when you drift off to sleep.
When using electric blankets, proper maintenance and care are to be taken. As with all blankets, they should not be used when wet. Owners who have pets that may chew and claw, infants and children who may wet the bed, people who are not able to feel heat, pregnant and lactating women are not suited to use an electric blanket.
Electric blankets are safe if you use it correctly. Do read the instructions from the manufacturer carefully if you have purchased one already. To reduce the risks of burns and fire, these are the basic electric blanket safety precautions and measures to follow:
- Do not use an electric blanket when it is wet or near water;
- Make sure that the blanket is off when not in use;
- Don't use it when the fabric is torn or worn out;
- Don't use it if the heating wires are exposed or the connections are loose;
- Never leave the blanket on unattended;
- Don't iron the blanket as this will melt the wires;
- Replace your blanket when it breaks, as the heating wires may not work properly or the thermostat may be broken;
- Always go in for a safety standard mark product;
- Don't use a second hand electric blanket;
- Before folding the blanket, make sure it is cool from heating;
- Don't use a hot water bottle on an electric blanket.
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A Main Concern: How Much Electricity Will an Electric Blanket Cost?
Energy consumption is a main concern. As we have electricity bills to think about, this is a factor we must consider before purchase. A full size blanket uses 180 watts which is equivalent to basically two light bulbs.
The voltage is standard 120 volts as are most electric items sold in the US. The current (amps) usage is between 1.2 (nominal) to 2.0 (cold start) amps. It means that the usage averages 130 watts per hour. At 0.15 kwh, the cost to run a blanket would be around 2 cents per hour. This is very affordable for a warm sleep on a cold night.
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Who are Not Suitable to Use Electric Blankets?
For safety reasons or risks of burns, the following groups of people are not suitable to use electric blankets:
- those who cannot feel heat or are not able to respond to heat, including diabetes patients;
- the very elderly who are slow to respond;
- infants and small children;
- children who may wet the bed;
- women who are pregnant or lactating, or who may be pregnant;
- people who have pets that are chewing or clawing.
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Is An Electric Blanket Machine Washable and Dryer Safe?
Modern Electric Blankets are Machine Washable and Dryer Safe.
The blanket itself is polyester and fully machine washable while the cover is made of fleece and is warm and soft. You will find that they are dryer safe too. Follow the instructions that come with your electric blanket.
However, do NOT dry clean heated throws or electric blankets as the chemicals used in the cleaning process may damage the heating insulation and thus increase the risk of burns and the risk of fire. You should NOT iron them either as the wires inside may melt as a result.
How Often Should I Replace an Electric Blanket?
Check whether it is torn, frayed or badly creased, or whether the wiring is exposed. Check also if the control button is damaged. If so, you should change it. Use it correctly according to the instructions given by the manufacturer. Keep it away from chewing and clawing pets. If you have any doubt that the thermostat is not working properly, you should get an electrician to inspect it for safety. According to the Electrical Safety Council, you should do so at least every 10 years.
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How To Wash an Electric Blanket or a Heated Throw?
Here is a general guide to washing as instructions vary as per manufacturer and model.
It is easy to wash following the instructions. Other than hand wash, you can also machine wash the item in a very short and gentle cycle. Soak it for two minutes in mild soap, wash for 5 minutes, rinse for a minute and then spin. After that you can place it flat for air drying or low temperature drying as it is important for protecting the heating elements such as the warming wires and the controller.
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© 2013 May Matthew