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Get Your Home Energy Efficient Before Buying A New Furnace

house with solarpanel

Before you layout cash on a new heating system it is advisable to improve the overall energy efficiency of your home, you can make your home more energy efficient by adding insulation and improving your windows. Reducing the heating load of your home may enable you to purchase a smaller furnace and reduce your overall heating costs, it is also better for the environment. In this post we will look at how you can improve your homes energy efficiency.

Wall and Roof Insulation

The first thing you can do to save energy is insulate your walls and roof space, good insulation slows the rate at which valuable heat flows out of the house in the winter months and it can keep your house cooler in the summer. Insulation means less energy is needed to heat or cool your home. Many homes are built with an outer and an inner wall with a small gap in between, on many new homes these cavity walls are already insulated but this is not the case on older properties.

How Does Cavity Wall Insulation Work?

Air is a very effective natural insulator, heat does not travel through air that easily. In the winter time we are told that the best way to keep warm is with several layers of clothing. Layers of clothing trap air and stop your body heat from escaping, fibrous materials like wool keep us warmer than less fibrous materials such as cotton.

Cavity wall insulation works like a woolly jumper, the material injected into the cavity wall of your house traps air in between its fibres creating an ‘air matrix’. Insulating your cavity walls is a good idea but insulating your loft and walls is even better, heat rises so it is a good idea to make sure your roof is insulated too. Roof insulation is also made from a woolly material that can be laid in rolls, rolls of glass wool are easy to lay but it can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs so adequate protection is required.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable Thermostats can save energy, they will reduce the amount of work your new furnace needs to do when your family is out. You can reduce your heating bill by about 2% for each degree that you turn down the thermostat during an eight-hour period,.

Replacing an existing thermostat for a programmable one is a job that most homeowners should be able to do themselves.

Get New Windows

Double and triple glazing can make your home more secure, reduce noise pollution from outside, reduce condensation and it is more energy efficient. These types of glazing units trap air and work in a very similar way to the insulation methods already mentioned above, modern double glazing units are often fitted with pyrolytic, low-emissivity coated thermal glass. The glass used in modern windows is designed to let free heat in from sun whilst stopping the heat already in the house from escaping.

If you are happy with your homes heat retention abilities a new furnace or heating system may add to your overall energy efficiency.

This post was supplied by Mark Stubbles who writes for FurnacePrices.ca, a site that supplys furnace quotes get a free one.

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How To Save Money On Your Energy Bill

small pink ping with money

Are you spending too much on gas and electricity? If you’ve never changed energy companies orhaven’t switched in the last two years, you could be £200 richer if you switch today.

According to a report from the Competition and Markets Authority (published 18 February), 95% of customers who receive their energy from the Big Six suppliers (British Gas, Npower, EDF, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE) could save over £200 a year for a low-medium usage household, or over £400 a year for a high usage household. However, relatively few people bother to switch to a better deal.

Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicate that 13.5 million UK households have never switched energy supplier despite the savings on offer. The CMA meanwhile reports that 40% of British Gas domestic gas customers have been with the company for over 10 years, despite it being one of the most expensive. Overall, 40-50% of all electricity customers are still with their original supplier.

Use your Power to Switch

DECC has released a new campaign called Power to Switch, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of switching energy companies, highlighting that millions of homeowners are paying £200 too much for their gas and electricity each year by not switching energy companies.

Power to Switch affirms the reasons why now is the time to switch, with the government having made several changes that make the energy market more accessible and easier to understand. Find out more at www.goenergyshopping.co.uk.

Switch and save

If you’ve never switched energy companies or haven’t changed your tariff for a few years, you will almost certainly save money by switching today. Check your current supplier’s website (or give them a call) to see whether it’s worth switching to another one of their tariffs.

If you want to switch energy suppliers without using a price comparison website, it’s a good idea to choose one of the smaller, independent suppliers. Don’t be put off if you haven’t heard of them – they’re usually cheaper and their service is just as good. In reality, you’ll rarely need to contact them if you set up Direct Debit payments and submit regular meter readings anyway.

Switching energy companies is now faster

Independent energy company First Utility’s successful Fix the Switch campaign helped make switching gas and electricity supplier faster than ever before. In November 2014, the time it takes to switch supplier was slashed from five weeks to two and a half weeks (including a two week cooling off period and three days for the switch). The next goal is 24-hour switching, an ambition which has been backed by industry regulator Ofgem.

Faster switching means getting a better deal on your gas and electricity easier, so find out more about how to switch energy companies or call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 for personal advice.

Colin Urquart is a political commentator and energy blogger. He works with various agencies to support change in the energy sector.

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Tips For Reducing The Price Of Hiring An Electrician

Electrician

Over the past couple of years the demand for electricians has increased steadily. However, finding a good electrician is till like finding a needle in a haystack and this is despite the fact that these services are popping up almost everywhere. In most cases the electricians you encounter are either not qualified enough or they are not certified or don’t have enough experience so either way hiring them is not a good idea. That said more qualified and experienced electricians tend to be expensive. Sometimes as much as 50% more expensive but you don’t have to pay that much for their services if you know how to negotiate and understand the quote they give you. Expect to save around 30% off what is quoted if you are prepared to do some work on your own.

Get multiple quotes

To start off with you should first get an idea of what the cost will be for that given job. Visit a few nearby electricians and don’t worry about their qualifications. Just ask them to take a look and give you a quote. Even though you may not have any intention of hiring them the quote should tell you a little of what you can expect in the way of work and costs. Also ask them to break up the quote to clearly outline things like labor charges, installation costs and replacement costs. If they are going to for instance replace switches or fuses then ask them to detail what types of fuses they will use and what switches they are going to use. These are very important factors to consider because the quality of these items vary and installing low quality may in fact end up being cheaper but they will not last you as long as properly manufactured and warranty backed replacements. The more you know about what they will install the better position you will be to judge if the electricians you’ve consulted are any good.

Compare quotes

Compare the quotes that you’ve received from the electricians you’ve consulted. Compare labor costs and replacement costs. Ideally, you will want a good electrician to use high quality parts and charge you little in the way of labor. However, as mentioned earlier you’ve gotten these quotes simply to get an idea of what you’ll end up paying. This will also help you negotiate with an expert electrician.

Negotiate with comparisons

An expert electrician is obviously going to be more expensive to hire than the ones you’ve consulted. It is assumed that you’ve verified that they are experts and experienced because everyone will say that they are. The best way to negotiate is to ask the electrician to lower their labor costs by around 10% and not charge you for replacement parts. Rather offer to buy the parts yourself. He should provide you with a list and you can search for these parts online which are often available at way lower prices than what the electrician may offer them to you for. However, keep in mind the fact that you should always buy replacement parts backed up by a warranty. If it does not have a warranty then there is a good chance it will fail and ruin the job the electrician did.

A complete quote

Many expert electricians may charge you by the hour. The quote will reflect their hourly labor charges. You can reduce the cost to some extent by asking them for a complete quote. Ask them to charge you based on the work done and not the hours it takes. The upside to this is that the electrician will work faster and take fewer breaks which results in an overall saving for you. Hiring an electrician can often be a rather stressful decision. The best way to do it is to hire a known and established expert electrician service like the one offered by Electrician to the Rescue. The service backs all their jobs with a solid warranty and they have been around for ages. If you are in a hurry you can simply visit their website and fill out the online request for an electrician and get a response almost immediately this helps you save time.

Citations:The Best Way To Choose the Best Electrician

Mark is a certified and experienced electrical engineer. He has been working as an electrician in Sydney for well over a decade. A keen eye for detail and an interest in all things electrical is what has made him one of the leading electricians in the country. He is also the author of various how-to publications

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How To Save Money On Your Energy Bills

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There is no surprise that many of us are searching for ways to reduce our household energy bills in order to free up extra cash that we can use for enjoyment in our everyday lives. Most of us would much rather be spending our hard earned cash on days out the family and spending time with friends. To try and keep a little more cash in your wallet or purse take a look at the tips below and see just how much money you could be saving in no time with a few simple changes.

If you tend to leave your TV or any other home gadgets on standby start to turn them off. You could save between £50 - £90 a year if you do!

Switching to energy saving light bulbs is one of the easiest ways to help reduce your electricity bill. You could end up saving up to £35 a year. It may not sound like a lot but it’s more than enough to treat yourself to a nice lunch or dinner out with a friends. Which would you prefer?

Try using your computer less often by switching to a smaller device such as a laptop or a tablet. You could save around £26 a year. Try taking a shower instead of a bath for just one day in the week and you could save around £15 a year on your gas bill.

Sticking to all of the above tips could save you up to £166 a year. Just imagine what you could do with that! For more great ways to help lower your energy bills and keep your money in your pocket take a look at the infographic below created by the expert team at Juice Electrical Supplies UK.

Created by Juice Electrical Supplies UK.

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Look At The Top 5 Home Interior Gadgets

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The advancement in technology has made people to think of ways to automate their home. Several gadgets serve best for home interiors and ranked on the top in 2013.

Lockitron

Lockitron is an excellent gadget that can be fixed with the deadbolt on the inside of the door. You can lock or unlock your door using your smart phone and you can share the access of your doors to your friends as well. You get a message each time the door is open. An interesting option is the Bluetooth connectivity as you just need to walk up the door for it to unlock.

Hue

Hue is an interesting LED bold starter pack. You can control the lighting options from your smart phone. The bulbs are built with an app and feature a Wi-Fi receiver and brightness, color and on/off operations can be controlled.

Nest

Nest is an intelligent artificial robot that can sense your presence. It has device connectivity, Wi-Fi connection and remote control options.

Ninja Blocks

Ninja Blocks are tiny computers that can speak to neighbor apps. It is possible to connect all things at home to the web. Even a knock at the door is notified through Facebook or Twitter.

Numi Toilet

Numi Toilet is an advanced toilet with plenty of automations and has music.

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Cold Feet? Not any more

Electric under floor heating with radiant heat film

The Roman people were incredible engineers. They were able to move water from several hundred miles away to Rome for bathing and fresh water. They created the arch – one of the most noticeable of monuments today, but there is another system they invented that has for a long time fallen out of favor until recently.

The hypocaust was a system of underfloor heating elements that kept wealthy Roman homes and baths warm and cozy. Today, there is a system based on this same concept available in your home.

The Roman people would use hot air. This was hit and miss in terms of consistent heating, but the new Calorique system uses electricity that can be easily regulated to the optimal temperature for the floor.

Easy to install and requiring no special tools, skills or permits, this mat slides under any wood, tile or carpet floor. This special underfloor material is certified with several agencies as safe. Best of all, it is 100 percent efficient so all of the energy is directly transferred to heat. This means keeping your floor and the rest of the home warm and cozy in the chilly time of the year.

Imagine getting up in the middle of the night for a bathroom visit and not having to find slippers, or leaving a warm shower for a floor that is cozy and not cold to the bottom of the foot. This is what you get with Calorique flooring.

Learn more at the home page. Let us show you how easy warming the floor can be. www.calorique.info

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