­
  • slider07.2Webfarben.jpg
  • Slider10.3.1.jpg
  • slider11DesignschrgSchattenWEB.jpg

Calorique Blog

Our blog is dedicated to Home improvement, Energy saving, New Energy Sources.

Pros and Cons of LED Lightbulbs

Pros and Cons of LED Lightbulbs

You might remember playing with LEDs at school or in the science kits your kids got for Christmas, they are often used to help us learn how electrical circuits work. You have probably seen them on newer Audi's and a lot of other brands of new car, televisions, computer screens and many traffic lights now use LED lights too. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and these new bulbs offer many benefits over the traditional, incandescent bulb which was invented by Thomas Edison. In this post we are going to look at the pros and cons that LED bulbs can offer.

History

In 1962 Nick Holonyak, Jr. was working for General Electric and invented the first visible-spectrum LED. The first LED lights where red diodes, pale yellow and green diodes were created next. Shortly after their invention LED lights became part of calculator displays. In the 90s after the invention of blue diodes researchers discovered they could coat them with a phosphor to making the blue diodes appear white.

Energy Efficiency

When they were first invented LED bulbs were no more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. According to this blog post about LED light bulbs, “the original range of LED bulbs was very limited. Just a few, like the low voltage dichroic and GU10 lamps were introduced. Many of these bulbs were available in only one watt making them of very little use. It was believed that background or decorative lighting would be their main role.”
After a push for further research and development Philips developed the first 600 watt LED bulb. Modern LED bulbs offer better energy efficiency because manufacturers string several low energy consuming LEDs into each bulb, 40 one watt LEDs can produce the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb.

Cooler to Touch

LEDs don't produce heat like incandescent bulbs do, incandescent bulbs produce heat in the form of infrared radiation which makes them hot to the touch. Being cooler to touch means LED fixtures can be positioned in locations where the heat generated by other light sources would be an issue. Even LEDs lose 60-95% of their power through heat output.

Lifespan

LEDs do not have fragile filaments that can be broken and they can last for up to 60,000 hours, the maximum lifespan of traditional bulbs is 2,000 hours which reduces waste and the need to change them (obviously).

Not Toxic

The low energy bulbs which have replaced incandescent lights in many homes and workplaces these new bulbs contain mercury and argon gas, the bulbs and the chemicals they contain have caused a wave of concern around the world.

Cost of Installation

The initial installation and purchase cost of LED lighting can be quite expensive, LED bulb will cost over ten time a traditional bulb. Initial cost is the only drawback to LEDs really but LEDs can last 58,000 hours longer than traditional bulbs (just one LED bulb can last as long as 58 incandescent bulbs), they are much more energy efficient and non toxic so are a good long term investment.
This post was supplied by David Easter Managing Director of online electrical wholesalers, Cannon Electrical.
Continue reading
  44483 Hits
  0 Comments
44483 Hits
0 Comments

Have You Considered A Regency Style Conservatory For Your Home?

Have You Considered A Regency Style Conservatory For Your Home?

Regency Style Conservatories

The Regency style is a reflection of the best of British architecture, bringing elegance and sophistication with classic lines and design.

The Regency period is renowned for its elegance, grandeur and beauty. Adding such luxury to your home in the shape of a conservatory will make your property a finer place to live and a desirable offering should you ever decide to sell up and move on to pastures new.

What Is The Regency Style?

Regency architecture refers to the British buildings that were built in the early part of the 19th century, the Regency era. The beginning of the 19th century saw George IV as Prince Regent, and so the term Regency was coined. As the design proved so popular, the style has been recreated right up until the present day and can be applied to both interior and exterior design.

Its popularity is largely due to the simplicity that afforded it such elegance in many classic examples of the style. While there are certainly more opulent buildings from the era, such as the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, the classic lines of Cumberland Terrace in London are more what springs to mind when one thinks of the Regency style.

Interestingly, despite their differences, both of the aforementioned buildings were designed by John Nash, the leading architect of the day. It was he who was responsible for the glorious building that surround Regent’s Park in the capital as well as many of the properties that make London what it is in the well-to-do districts of Pimlico, Mayfair and Victoria.

Away from the hubbub of London, other examples of stunning Regency architecture can still be found in Bath, Somerset and Buxton, where many of the building were designed in the style of the day.

Regency Style In The Home

Regency style is very much back in vogue of late, and the baseline Greek and Roman influences are being incorporated into modern homes across the country. Property owners are paying attention to details such the Regency plastercraft that adorns the walls and ceilings of their homes, giving rooms focal points around which conversations are started.

And then, there is the conservatory. A fabulous way to extend one’s home and add value to your property. Regency style conservatories, such as those offered by The Caulfield Company, breathe a new lease of life into a home using classic lines and design that have stood the test of time for many generations.

Gable ends and ridged roofs are synonymous with the period, and the light that is brought into the home via the conservatory’s many windows will brighten up even the murkiest interior. Natural light can be in short supply in many homes, and the Regency design is the perfect way to overcome the darkness, especially in those winter months.

The extra room that a conservatory gives you can be used in any number of ways, but the added floor space is always welcome, regardless of what you choose to do with it. Occasional room, summer room, dining room, the choice is yours.

Whatever you decide upon, these elegant extensions will give you years of pleasure, whether you are on the inside looking out or the outside looking in.

Featured images:

Chloe Cotton is editor-in-chief at The Happiest Homes, a leading UK digital home magazine.

Continue reading
  46250 Hits
  0 Comments
46250 Hits
0 Comments

Do All Plumbing Issues Stem From The Toilet?

Your Licensed Plumber and Plumbing Issues

Plumbers are a diverse group of professionals. Today, plumbers, like doctors, specialize in the types of plumbing they prefer and are trained to perform. To fully understand plumbing issues would require the level of knowledge and experience, not to mention licensing, as your plumbing expert. The design of plumbing systems is often misunderstood when plumbing issues arise. It is always best to leave these issues with plumbing professionals who understand plumbing systems best.

Do All Plumbing Issues Come from a Clog? 

The first thing to visualize about your plumbing system is that there are several major parts. Most of these are familiar in homes and commercial buildings. These include:
. Drains
. Faucets
. Piping
. Bathroom equipment
. Municipal drain traps
. Sprinkling systems for safety and landscaping use
Not all plumbing issues stem from the toilet, though it may be possible that a single toilet clog can lead to a bigger problem with the main drain in the home or building.

How a Toilet Can Mean Bigger Problems

When plumbing issues arise, the issue may be a slow leak or major break in plumbing pipes. The most common issues that arise are usually with kitchen and bathroom plumbing. The ripple effect of a clog that is not immediately repaired leads to more clogging in the entire plumbing system. The worst-case issue is in a bathroom with a clogged or dysfunctional toilet. Since toilets drain into a single main drain system in the home, a clog affects the remainder of the system and prevent other drains from functioning properly. 

How City Sewerage and Septic Tanks are Affected by Toilets 

There is a close relationship between a toilet and main drainage pipe in homes and commercial facilities. In some homes and buildings, toilets drain into the local municipal sewerage system via the nearest piping system located between the structure and the street. It is the responsibility of the municipality to maintain free flowing sewer systems. When one or more structures on the same streets have clogged toilets, it is easy to see how it can become a major sewer system backup. 

In some homes, toilets drain into underground septic tanks. A septic tank should be inspected and cleaned by the property owner(s). Septic tanks are subject to unseen wear and require integrity testing to prevent leaks and cracks.

What are Some Unique, Unexpected Issues Your Plumbing System Could Have?

There are certain unique, unexpected issues that can arise with your plumbing system. For example, today's newest refrigerators are connected to water lines for ice makers. These lines wear and leak. A licensed plumber will inspect the line that carries water from water pipes to the ice maker. 

The same is true of dishwashers. These kitchen appliances often become clogged with food particles, causing a backup. 

In bathrooms, it is possible that hair builds up in drains and clogs sink and tub drains causing a back up. Perhaps, one of the most unusual, unexpected issues your plumbing system could have is when a toddler accidentally or intentionally drops a toy into the toilet, flushes it and then it becomes stuck somewhere in the plumbing system.

Professional plumbers could write science fiction novels about the various and sundry unusual items that end up flushed into toilets. If the object is large enough to flush, but not large enough to pass through a plumbing system, this novelty issue needs a professional plumber.

Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.

Continue reading
  46928 Hits
  0 Comments
46928 Hits
0 Comments

Foreign Property Investment Is A Smart Idea

When it comes to making the best use of your money, there has long been a lot to be said for investing in bricks and mortar. This has long been the case and many people will tell you of the long term benefits that come from buying property. This has been seen in the United Kingdom in recent times due to the difficulty that many people face when trying to get on to the property ladder. The fact that many first time buyers have found themselves priced out of the market means that there are properties on offer to people who can obtain a mortgage. There is also the fact that there is a rising demand for rental property, all of which means that people investing in the buy to let market in the United Kingdom have a genuine chance of making short term rental income while also benefitting in the long term from owning property.

However, this may well change due to the upcoming changes in stamp duty. As of the 1st of April 2016, anyone in the UK buying an additional property that is valued at £40,000 or more will find that they have to pay an additional 3% levy on stamp duty. This means that buyers will find that they end up paying a lot more for property, which may impact on their ability to buy or their desire to buy. If you are looking to get involved with the buy-to-let market, it is vital that you are aware of your rental yield. The rental yield is the return you can expect to make on your investment and the more money you shell out, the lower your rental yield is likely to be. If you cannot obtain an attractive rental yield, you would be advised entering the market in this area or location.

These changes will impact on the UK buy-to-let market

The changes have been introduced to impact on the number of buy-to-let operators in the hope that this will stimulate the market for first time buyers and people who are currently renting. There definitely needs to be some action taken when it comes to the property market in the UK but many property experts have doubts and concerns over whether this is likely to be the best solution in the long term. There is no getting away from the fact though that many investors will decide that investing in property in the United Kingdom isn’t worth their while.

This isn’t to say that investing in property is a waste of time. Just because the UK options are diminished doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of owning property or investing in this market. There are many foreign markets where there are reasons to invest in the property market, and this could be a great way to use your money in an attractive manner. Some people may be looking for a holiday home, some people may be looking for a way to generate monthly income from renting out properties and it may even be that you have your eye on the long term benefits of using your money wisely to own property. No matter the reason you have for investing in the foreign property market, it is important that you use your money sensibly, and this means undertaking a level of research.

Get advice from the property experts

There are many foreign property experts and specialists that will help you make the most informed decision. If you want to get a taste of what is on offer, you will find it of interest and benefit to visit an expo or exhibition which puts you in front of property experts from around the world. One of the most popular foreign property exhibitions would have to be the MIPIM event, and this is held in Cannes every year. Attending this market will put you in front of many property specialists and if you need any guidance or help, you will be in the perfect place to ask the people that know.

Cannes is not likely to be a place you can invest in property but you’ll find that staying in Cannes is a pleasurable experience. This is a glorious destination and with stylish Cannes apartments and great restaurants, the time away from any exhibition will be enjoyable and comfortable. If you are looking to invest in property properly, make sure you get the best advice.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn't sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

Continue reading
  32111 Hits
  0 Comments
32111 Hits
0 Comments

If You Have A Winter Boiler Emergency, Avoid Cheap Plumbers

If You Have A Winter Boiler Emergency, Avoid Cheap Plumbers

Avoid cheap and ill-qualified plumbers for emergency repairs. We outline how to choose the best qualified plumber and end up with a trustworthy tradesman.

Whether it can be put down to fate, or simply because equipment has to work harder when temperatures drop and thus weaknesses show up, emergencies such as broken down boilers always seem to happen when winter bites. In situations like these, the priority is to get warm as soon as possible, so people tend to make hurried calls to plumbers who may not be the best people for the job.

Indeed, surveys have revealed people mostly focus on price rather than ensuring their chosen plumber is properly qualified to attend to the work.

A distress call in every sense

When heating is interrupted by a boiler malfunction, the priority of course is to fix it. This is where mistakes can be made - calling a plumber to deal with an emergency is a ‘distress’ call and you might overlook the plumber’s suitability for the job when you and your family are cold.

The problem

Simply searching online for local plumbers or flicking through the Yellow Pages leaves you open to picking someone unsuitable. They may be either cheap because they lack experience, or may take advantage of your need to get the boiler fixed quickly and levy unreasonable charges, such as excessive emergency call out fees.

Avoiding cheap plumbers

If you do find yourself phoning round and come across someone offering a particularly cheap price to come and repair your boiler, think carefully. Are they cheap for a reason? Are they qualified to do the work?

Qualifying your plumber

If you have a gas boiler, it’s absolutely essential that you use the services of a Gas Safe registered plumber. This is a national, checkable register of qualified plumbers who have the right credentials to work on gas appliances. Don’t even think of using a plumber who isn’t Gas Safe registered.

Checking their Gas Safe qualifications

They should have the Gas Safe logo - the yellow triangle - displayed on their website and vehicles.

The plumber who calls should carry a Gas Safe card with his actual name and the date of expiry on it.

You can check the plumbing firm is Gas Safe registered by conducting a search on the Gas Safe register website.

Preparing in advance

It may not be uppermost in your mind in the summer months or while your central heating system is performing flawlessly, but lining up a plumber you can trust for situations when you need some help in a hurry is a very good idea.

It enables you to evaluate and choose a plumber without being under pressure when something goes wrong at an inappropriate time. In any event, it’s a good idea to have your boiler and appliances checked regularly even when all appears to be working well. To this end, a reliable plumber who can do this and help in emergencies is important.

Finding a reputable plumber

Steps to take to find the best plumber.

  • Word of mouth - who do friends, neighbours and other people you can trust use?
  • Industry contacts - similar to the above, but maybe someone in a related industry can recommend someone; for example, an electrician you have a good experience of may have a plumbing recommendation?
  • Websites - many plumbers have a web presence such as the website of Essex and East London-based plumbers Ascot Building Services Ltd. Does the plumber you’re thinking of have a professional looking website? Are they Gas Safe registered?
  • Contact - talking to one or two plumbers can help gauge how helpful they are and what terms they operate under (for example, do they charge emergency call out fees?)

Doing the groundwork

Teeing up a plumber to help you in all your plumbing related tasks from general maintenance checks through to major repairs and renewals is time well spent. It’s far easier and more effective to do this when there is no pressure to quickly get warmth and hot water flowing again when you have an emergency in the middle of winter.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 

Terry Lewis is the founder of ABS Plumbing and Drainage. His company offers plumbing, heating and drainage services to all over London and Essex. If you need a plumber, call Terry and his team.

Continue reading
  31896 Hits
  0 Comments
31896 Hits
0 Comments

Get Your Home Energy Efficient Before Buying A New Furnace

Is your home energy efficient?

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.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 

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

Continue reading
  123192 Hits
  0 Comments
123192 Hits
0 Comments

5 Benefits Of Modular Buildings

5 Benefits Of Modular Buildings

Modular buildings have been growing in popularity in the UK, as the public and private sector wake up to the far-reaching benefits of modern construction methods. Comprised of many individual steel-framed units, healthcare, education and residential homes are just three sectors already benefitting from this innovative building solution. 

But why deviate from the tried and tested methods used by traditional construction companies? Many of the strengths of modular buildings lie in the simple, efficient and thorough way they are constructed. Here are just a few of the benefits offered by modular construction.

1. On time and in budget 

Expensive site huts, high labour costs, battles with the elements and restrictive working times are just a few factors that traditional builders face on a daily basis. This inefficient process leads to unexpected delays and inevitably much higher costs. 

By conducting the majority of building work off-site, modular construction companies greatly reduce site errors and costly delays. Reproducing single modular units on a large scale slashes manufacturing costs significantly and can be done efficiently off-site. In doing so, project managers can deliver work on time, and within budget. 

2. Quality assured manufacturing

From the design and planning stages through to the assembly, all modular buildings are engineered to the highest standard, using strong and durable materials. As the majority of the manufacturing process occurs within dedicated plants, the condition of each steel-based module is inspected at every step, ensuring far greater quality control than is possible using traditional methods.

3. A bespoke design

Modular buildings can be customised to meet the exact requirements of the organisation. A vast range of interior and exterior finishes makes these buildings incredibly versatile.

In-house design teams work tirelessly to ensure their end product meets the precise specifications required of each module. Whether designing cosy and functional rooms for accommodation or safe and secure office suites, each module can be tailored to specific needs and objectives. 

4. Flexibility without compromise

Modular buildings have a major advantage over their traditional rivals. Whilst boasting consistently high quality, they can also be constructed on a permanent or temporary basis, allowing relocation when necessary. This flexibility makes these buildings a popular choice for schools or hospitals where adaptation or expansion is often required. 

5. Safe as houses 

One of the biggest myths surrounding modular buildings is that they lack the safety and security features that traditional constructions have. However, with qualities such as fire-rated and anti-vandal exteriors, modular buildings can be just as secure – if not more so – than their classic counterparts.

For a more cost-effective, reliable and contemporary alternative to traditional options, modular buildings are an absolutely unbeatable choice. Advances in both technology and design mean these buildings now boast modern and stylish looks, complete with bespoke interiors and exteriors.  

It’s never been a better time to invest in a modular building. With an enormous range of styles in all shapes and sizes, there’s a budget-friendly option for every business and sector.  

 

This article is written by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam with helpful information from Thurston Group. Kelly is a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire who loves the great outdoors, fine dingin and intersting places. You can follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyGGrassam

Continue reading
  33188 Hits
  0 Comments
33188 Hits
0 Comments

Real Estate As An Investment Option

Real Estate As An Investment Option

Interest rates are slowly but steadily rising. The record in "the rise of delinquent payments" last year indicates "a wave" of foreclosures that will splash onto the market this year. Mortgage rates are sinking "to record lows" and "home foreclosures have climbed to all time highs." Even though major developments forecast impending doom the current market still bodes well for the savvy well-informed investor. There are more specific options that are gaining popularity, especially with an unsure future as far as rentals and re-sales are concerned.

Viable Option in Foreclosure Market

The second home has become a viable option that makes the best of reselling and renting options in the foreclosure market, wherever maximum returns can be realized. With the current housing market prospective owners are more apt to rent property in an area before buying to get a better feel for it before they make a formal commitment. There are a lot of people who want to take advantage of "the try it before you buy it attitude." It gives the owner and the prospective buyer different options.

Why sell your second home when you can pay for its up keep by renting it out seasonably or making a bigger profit from the sale by having the prospective buyer rent the property first and get a better response to the asking price. From the Ozarks to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin California and Florida and all types of resort areas in between there are a growing need for the vacation property that wasn't previously satisfied. The "vacation rental market has seen a boost" and potential! Second home markets will continue to grow despite the downward spiraling economy.

Market is Becoming Better and Better

The housing market for buying and investing seems to look better and better despite the lingering numbers of increased foreclosures. The activity of the housing market has been "the superhero of the economy." Homeownership rates, home sales, and residential investments all reached "new highs last year."

Despite a less than great economy set backs for the majority of consumers who've worked hard to maintain their standard of living have and will spend money to relax and enjoy their free time. The same thing happened during the economic downturn of the early 80's." Americans spent more money on entertainment and having a good time to forget about the less than ideal economic reality. They saw industry revenues rise considerably. The vacation and tourism market is just one area that benefits from this diverse economic climate. There are geographical locations that benefit and have remained unscathed by the overall foreclosure "gloom and doom?"

Portland, Oregon continues to see its suburban housing developments "surge towards record highs" with the average asking price for homes rising from time to time. Just as more Americans have opted to enjoy more of their free time when they can. It's more affordable then ever for residents of the state of Oregon's metro area because it's doing considerably better as a result of a switch to an economy based on high tech manufacturing than wood production. It exemplifies how some markets will suffer because of the economy and how others won't, giving a bit of insight where to invest in the foreclosure market, a second home for investment or recreational purposes.

For second home seekers large hotels and resorts have become increasingly crowded, congested, and less personal. They find a "heightened sense of security in a single home or smaller condo complex" more appealing than the ubiquitous hotel or resort. The growth has spawned "2nd Home Living" magazine that offers information on second homes, vacation, resort, and retirement communities, both for sale and for rent.
There are many web sites match a second homebuyer with a purchaser or a real estate professional in the field called a "Resort Specialist." Many investors are capitalizing on that market. The number of "resale homes sold continues to be very strong in most cities" because of low interest rates. The consumer creates the demand for new or resold properties. Since there are more properties in default someone is going to profit. Rental or vacation property is only a new channel where a knowledgeable investor may gain.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 

This post was supplied by Mark Stubbles, Mark writes for McIntyre Masonry, Edinburgh.

Continue reading
  37212 Hits
  0 Comments
37212 Hits
0 Comments

Extreme DIY: Radiant Floor Heating

Extreme DIY: Radiant Floor Heating

As winter approaches, the necessity to keep a warm home is real, but not just keeping us warm but to ensure the heating system is efficient enough to keep each room in the home the same temperature so one room will not be freezing while another is much hotter. There are many ways to keep warm inside your home and most of the time everything starts with a quick evaluation for the proper insulation of windows and doors. Along with this all must be checked to ensure there are no cracks around the windows and doors that may allow cold air to enter your home. However, this is not enough when it comes to keeping our home warm and therefore the quest for a heating method begins.

There are many heating systems on the market, but oftentimes we forget to keep in mind common sense to find effective solutions for this. It is a fact that heat goes up; we can see it even in those movies portraying roads that cross the American desert, where heat is clearly perceivable through view distortion. Nothing new to discover here really, because floor heating could be considered as old as the planet earth receiving the sunrays over its surface; however, the foundation stone for actual central heating systems could be attributed to the ancient Roman civilization for the use of furnaces underneath their living areas to keep them warm. Hot air will always go up whether you use it to heat your floors and consequently a room or to elevate a hot-air balloon.
Ancient Rome Heating System

Ancient Rome Heating System

Bringing it Up

Well, Romans made it possible that fire under their floors run throughout underground passages, same as Kings did in the Middle Ages to keep their immense castles warm. However, the introduction of modern-times heating systems did not really begin until 1942 with the introduction of a radiant heating system that an American company brought to our homes. From then onwards, there are many heating system to choose from when an extra layer of warmth is needed to keep a place comfortable during the cold months, being floor heating the most effective solution among all other solutions. Nonetheless, getting someone to do the installation of a radiant floor heating system may result to costly to afford.

The Solution: Do it Yourself

The increasing awareness of our environment has brought into our lives many efficient solutions to heating your home floors. From in-floor heating mats, to modern alternative to under-flooring heating furnaces, there are many radiant floor-heating alternatives such as a brightly shining warming incandescent lamp. However and regardless which floor heating option is your choice, keep in mind that being based on water flow and electricity, doing the installation yourself requires basic knowledge of both plumbing and electric system installation. Even though, if you know how to install and connect a bulb, or how to fix the sink in the kitchen, you are likely to succeed with this warm-home project, installed on your own. Remember that with a radiant floor heating system the warmth goes up from the floor, and therefore the chances getting a room evenly warm are not only greater, but energy consumption is also more efficient and cheaper than using other heating systems.
Warm fireplace for cold nights

Warm fireplace for cold nights

Information is Fundamental

Now, that you know what a radiant floor heating system can do for your home, it is time to put hands to work. Start by making a decision on the type of radiant system you are going to install, based on the needs of your room and your own knowledge and expertise. Do not try to install an intricate radiant floor system in all the rooms of your home if this is the first time you are into a DIY project. Start with one room at a time, and make sure that you will be able to handle the entire job alone the entire job and all that such installation requires. Even installing a thermal mat has its own science, so read all the available information for floor heating systems and make sure you understand the instructions.

Remember that just about anyone can start an Extreme DIY project, whether for the installation of a radiant floor heating system or the assembly of that new entertainment center so much needed in the living room. However, the hardest part of doing it yourself is taking the project to completion with total success. Hence, make sure you understand the process to succeed with the installation because, otherwise, you may end up paying much more than you think if, at the very end, you are in an emergency situation and need to call an expert to get your DIY floor-heating project sorted out. Good luck!

 

Continue reading
  42837 Hits
  0 Comments
42837 Hits
0 Comments

Taking The Bite Out Of Winter Plumbing Problems

Taking The Bite Out Of Winter Plumbing Problems

Nothing strikes more fear in the heart of a homeowner than to find out that their plumbing has fallen victim to winter's harsh weather. Whether it's frozen pipes, burst lines, or massive leaks, winter can be hard on any home's pipes -- but it doesn't have to be. With proper planning and routine maintenance, your wallet can escape a real money drainer (pun intended).

Hidden Plumbing Problems

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail," or so the saying goes. And so it goes with plumbing, too. The easiest way to avoid plumbing problems in winter (and all year long) is to have your pipes inspected annually. Regular inspections can detect problems long before they are noticed (or weakened) during the rough winter months. It's worth noting, however, that while having a family member of friend do a quick check can save you some money, an inspection is best left to a professional. A licensed plumber can spot problems that most people wouldn't notice, saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Frozen Pipes

Exposed pipes during cold months can quickly spell disaster when they turn into an exploding mess all over your house. Because water expands when frozen and can rupture pipes (and cause massive leaks), it's best to ensure that all of your plumbing is properly insulated and shielded from freezing temperatures. It's especially important to remember pipes that are on the exterior of your home (hose faucets, outdoor sinks, and the like) may not be able to be insulated like they would if they were on the interior of your home. The quickest and most inexpensive fix can be found in your local hardware store: pipe insulating sleeves. They come in many thicknesses, lengths, and widths to accommodate pipes of all kinds. Slide them on, trim to size, secure with a cable tie, and enjoy peace of mind all winter. Look also pipe frost protection

Failed Hot Water Heater

An overlooked (but very important) component of your plumbing system is your hot water heater. It's something we rely on each day (hello, hot shower!) but don't think about much until it's broken. If you're experiencing cooler-than-normal water when using hot water, or if your hot water doesn't seem to last as long, it may be time to have it looked at. Ignoring the problem could cause leaks, loss of water pressure, and, in rare cases, explosions. If you have an older unit that's not giving you trouble now, it may still be worth it to have a plumber inspect it. While most water heaters have a life-span of about 10 years, it seems older units tend to break down during colder months, leaving you the awful task of taking a cold shower until it's fixed.

While winter can mean playing in the snow, sipping cocoa, and enjoying time with family, it can also mean expensive repairs and added stress if Old Man Winter takes a toll on your pipes. Most potential problems are easy and inexpensive to avoid with the right tools and a little planning.

Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.

Continue reading
  32987 Hits
  0 Comments
32987 Hits
0 Comments

Truth Behind Black Roses

For centuries the colour black has been associated with death, decay and mystery; the black plague, the black underworld and the ‘black sheep of the family’. When we think of the rose, we imagine beauty, health and romance, a symbol of love and warmth. The Black rose is a mix of two opposites combining the mysterious with the beautiful.
Legend tells us that whoever receives a black rose will have a mystical and powerful experience.
There are six types of black rose, the Black Baccara, Black Beauty, Black Magic, Black Ice, Black Velvet and Black Jade; all are such a deep red that they appear almost completely black.
The Black Baccara Rose
The Black Baccara rose with its velvet petals is the closest breeders have come to producing a naturally black rose. It is the darkest, most mysterious rose of them all. On its edges, the Baccara rose is almost black, but as the blossom unfurls, it reveals interior petals which are a rich burgundy red.
Black Baccara Roses were originally developed for the cut flower market, for they have an unusually long vase life as well as their unusual colouring. However, in 2004 the “Meidebenne” Black Baccara Hybrid Tea Rose was introduced for the garden and it has been discovered that it does not have a high resistance to disease. The Black Baccara Rose does not have a strong fragrance but adds a touch of mystery and intrigue to any garden that feeds it.
The Black Beauty Rose
The Black Beauty rose was introduced in 1973 from France. With large petals and long stems it is one of the Hybrid Tea varieties. They are similar to Black roses where they are having jet black in the bud stage, but will display a rich scarlet when they are wide open. The back of each petal is dark and velvety that feels soft and silky to the touch. This Black Beauty doesn’t have much fragrance; however the rose blooms all through summer and autumn. It is well worth pruning the Black Beauty rose, for when it blooms the colours are striking.
The Black Magic Rose
The Back Magic rose is the offspring of the ‘Guinee’ rose and has inherited its strong Damask perfume and rich red colour The black magic rose is a large flowered climber and they bloom for a significantly long time. These stunning flowers grow up to ten feet tall and fill the garden with a powerful burst of perfume. The Black Magic rose is strong, resistant to disease and extremely popular with rose enthusiasts around the globe.
The Black Ice Rose
The Black Ice is a cluster flowered Floribunda Rose and gets its name from the ‘Iceberg’ rose which is in the parentage. These wonderful roses have black buds that open up into beautiful scarlet blossoms that continue to grow throughout summer and autumn. They grow 2-3 feet in height.
The Black Velvet Rose
With its dark green leathery foliage, this large flowered Hybrid Tea is burgundy red with a black velvety look which is where its name originates. The roses grow one to a stem and grow up to six feet. The Black Velvet rose is known to be notoriously resistant to disease.
The Black Jade Rose
The Black Jade Rose has extremely strong stems that hold clusters of 5-10 blooms. Like most of its Black Rose cousins, the Black Jade rose is almost black as a bud, however when it opens up it reveals bright golden yellow stamens that contrast against the dark petals. The Black Jade rose is a repeat-flowering bush with glossy foliage and is extremely disease resistant. It grows up to three feet in height.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://cdn.morguefile.com/imageData/public/files/e/Efi/01/l/1389832550zrlj0.jpg

This post was supplied by Wesley Cude, Wesley is a keen gardener and writes for Midgard, Tree Surgeons in Surrey.

Continue reading
  42786 Hits
  1 Comment
42786 Hits
1 Comment

Chase Away The Cold Weather With A Solar Hot Water System

For around 4.7 billion years the sun has warmed the Earth, this giant ball of gas and fire has given us light and energy, the sun even supply's us humans with vitamin D. Thanks to electricity and solar power you can now use the sun to heat your home and power all your electrical appliances. Solar power enables home owners to not only save money, many also make money by selling excess energy that they generate but don't use.

The simplest set-up is a hot water system

No weather is cold enough when you install a solar hot water system in your house. This system is very reliable and useful for every season especially during the winter months and cold weather spells. No matter how cold the weather gets, you will always have hot water within your reach. You can have access to hot water any time you need it when you have your own solar hot water system. If you install a system like this cold weather will not affect you as much.

Benefits of hot water
I expect you aware that bathing using cold water can be very difficult. If it's cold enough you may even develop hypothermia which could result in a more serious medical condition, even death. In this day and age many of us are lucky enough to have hot water in our homes. This means that unlike your ancestors you can avoid feeling cold, maybe even getting hypothermia when bathing.

Hot water is especially helpful for the elderly, children and young ones. As you know, the younger the age, the more sensitive to temperature. Children will struggle to tolerate cold water especially during winter and any other cold season. In fact, they may not be able to take a bath at all due to extreme coldness of the water. In order to provide warmth to your children, it is essential that you have some form of hot water system in your house. Many of us in the west will have access to hot or warm water 24 hours a day and 7 days a week anyway but solar can save us money.

How a basic solar hot water system works

Solar water systems require solar panels, also know as collectors these panels are fitted to your roof. As the name suggests the collectors collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is then stored in a hot water cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can still be used as a back-up or to heat the water further until it reaches the temperature you want. In the summer months a hot water system will probably be able to supply enough hot water for all your needs but in the winter a backup source may also be required.

With a solar water heating system children and the elderly will be able to enjoy their bath despite the cold weather and you won't need to worry about your energy bill, depending on your set up you may even be able to supply energy to the grid and get paid by your electricity supplier. 

Featured images:

This post was supplied by Mark Stubbles, Mark writes for Getsolarpanelquotes.com a UK site which connects home owners with solar energy installation companies.

Continue reading
  39201 Hits
  1 Comment
39201 Hits
1 Comment

How Energy Monitoring Can Reduce Your Emissions And Expenditure

How Energy Monitoring Can Reduce Your Emissions And Expenditure

How Energy Monitoring Can Reduce Your Emissions and Expenditure

In a time of economic slowdown across the globe, business of all sizes must work hard to protect their bottom line. Even in times of austerity, climate change remains an ever-present issue; reducing your carbon footprint can also help you to control business expenditure. 

Whilst being the catalyst for saving energy and reducing costs on a wider scale, businesses often overlook energy monitoring and usage management. Instead, many companies simply cut budgets or attempt to save money in other areas. However, by raising awareness of your energy consumption, your business can make tangible savings, as well as moving towards a greener future.

Awareness & Commitment

In order to keep track of rising energy costs, adhere to climate change law, and reduce carbon emissions, business owners and stakeholders must become aware of where the company is falling short. Only by getting to grips with energy management and where improvements are possible can a commitment be made to reducing your energy usage.

An energy policy should be put in place, clearly stating the company’s commitment to energy management. This doesn’t need to be much more than an enhanced mission statement, but should outline what steps your business intends to take, in order to lower energy use and emissions.

Strategy & Management

Energy management is all about limiting the effect that your company has on the environment. To achieve the best results, a strategic long-term plan needs to be introduced, outlining responsibilities, investment, procurement and overall communications. This will help promote understanding throughout the company, and make it easier to track each person's role in actioning specific tasks.

Monitoring & Moving Forward

However, in order to identify areas for improvement, it’s important to monitor your energy consumption. Energy usage meters can provide crucial data, to help you visualise energy spikes and establish the consumption of individual machines and appliances. 

Recording this data will allow you to pinpoint the heaviest users of energy, which, in turn, will enable you to implement specific changes to energy consumption. With specialist software, you will be able to examine data collected over a period of months, analyse it and develop a robust strategy to manage and reduce your carbon footprint.

What’s more, this information will help you educate staff as to where energy consumption can be controlled, with simple but effective changes such as turning lights and appliances off when not in use. Setting realistic targets can promote implementation, without impacting the performance and operations of your business.  

The Future

Energy monitoring and management should be an ongoing process for your business, as a means to promote gradual and lasting change for a greener future. In time and with the right information, energy usage will be reduced for your company, together with its associated costs.

From simple, everyday necessities such as lighting and heating, right up to identifying and sourcing raw materials, energy monitoring is the first step in managing business energy use efficiently and effectively. I hpe you find this information useful.

This article has been written by Kelly G Grassam with useful information from GMI Energy. Kelly can be found on Twitter at @KellyGGrassam if you fancy a follow :D

Continue reading
  38044 Hits
  0 Comments
38044 Hits
0 Comments

Home Improvements For The Summer

Home Improvements For The Summer

Summer is one of the best times of year to do some much needed maintenance for your home. The great weather is the perfect time to do outdoor inspections, and with the everyday heat you’ll want to ensure your air conditioning is in great working condition too. Read on for the full list of repairs, improvements, and maintenance you should plan to complete during beach and barbecue season.

Take Advantage of the Weather

Summer is typically the best time of year to get in your much needed repair and maintenance, especially if you weren’t able to do your annual spring cleaning. Because you’ll be able to be outdoors, this is the best time to do outdoor maintenance and checks as needed.

Two of the most important things to focus on during the warmer months are your sprinkler or irrigation systems as well as any developing cracks or holes in the driveway. For your sprinkler system, it’s best to check as much of the line as you can for leaks while also ensuring the sprinkler heads are positioned evenly over any plants or lawn. This helps to keep water waste down while keeping everything else green. As for the driveway, if you live in an area with tough winters, small cracks can develop and spread over time as water freezes and melts. You can keep small cracks from getting worse next year by filling them in with an asphalt sealer or a concrete repair caulk.

Just because it’s nice being outside, don’t disregard the house inside though. Checking pipes is a good idea to do during warmer months in order to spot any leaks or damages. Winter can be tough on pipes in older homes, and it’s good to check pipes in newer homes as well. Additionally, people typically use more water in the summer than other seasons due to using the hose, watering plants, and filling up kiddie pools or even full size pools. Don’t flush money down the tubes with an existing leak during these high water usage months.

But Don’t be Disadvantaged by it Either

Summer can be the hottest and most humid time of year too however, which can be a drag if you aren’t prepared. By focusing on a few different areas, you can keep cool and keep your house in great shape too.

The first thing to consider is your air conditioning. Central air conditioning will require some different checks than individual air conditioning units. For central air systems, you’ll want to change the filter and clean the two separate components – the condenser and the evaporator. However, for any repairs that are a bit more complicated, it’s best to call a professional repairman. As for the air conditioning units placed in windows, you’ll want to also change the filter and trim any shrubs, bushes, or other plants that may be blocking units outside the windows they’re placed in. This will help the unit to circulate air better while keeping the unit working more efficiently and for longer.

Finally, do regular checks for mold and mildew growing both inside and outside because of high humidity. You can use a bleach solution or other store bought mildew killing sprays to prevent it from spreading. Additionally, keeping plants away from the house will help prevent any mold from growing on the surface of the house too.

Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.

Continue reading
  38207 Hits
  0 Comments
38207 Hits
0 Comments

Wood Flooring And Underfloor Heating: How To Compromise

Wood Flooring And Underfloor Heating: How To Compromise

There is a well-established myth in the world of interior design that wood flooring and underfloor heating simply aren’t compatible. This isn’t difficult to believe. Wood as we all know is a fairly temperamental material – contracting and expanding in different climates.

However, when it comes to flooring, there are ways around this. And it simply isn’t true that you can only have one of wooden floorboards or underfloor heating and not the other. Below is a guide on how to compromise to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The myth

Natural wood gives a great, traditional, rustic look to your house. So it would be a shame to sacrifice this to accommodate for your underfloor heating. According to the myth associated with the flooring, the natural wood will expand in hot weather and then contract in cold weather.

Therefore, underfloor heating will make the wood expand, which could lead to the floor rising, only to contract again and leave large gaps between the planks. Thus your only choice would be to buy engineered floorboards instead.

However, whilst this is true about wooden flooring and wood as a material to an extent, there are ways around this. You just need to do plenty of research.

Solutions

There are several things to be aware of before you purchase wooden flooring that will be compatible with underfloor heating. A good guide to this is included here, which lists several key things to look out for. Firstly, be aware of the manufacturer’s quality control process. The floors you need will have to have consistently low moisture content to counteract the heating. They should also be pre-finished.

Many companies will have invested in and boast about their research into using underfloor heating with their floors. One of these companies would be the ideal choice, and they can be recommended by the Underfloor Heating Manufacturer’s Association should you need some assistance. You want to find a company with experience, technical expertise and, if possible, a guarantee which protects you alongside your use of underfloor heating.

Different types of wooden flooring

Timber is, in most cases, compatible with underfloor heating. However, as above, the timber should have been recommended for use with this. Furthermore, the flooring should have a top temperature of around 27°C, and an expansion gap around the edges to allow room to maneuver in.

Similarly, with vinyl or laminates, you should ensure that the flooring is definitely compatible with underfloor heating by contacting the manufacturer. Many of these suppliers will have already developed their own underfloor heating systems, or will have ones they can recommend.

There are still many options available to you should you want to enjoy both wooden flooring and underfloor heating. It’s simply a matter of properly investigating before you jump into it, otherwise you could encounter problems further down the line. But there is always expert advice out there, and you shouldn’t be afraid of asking as many questions as necessary to the advisers. After all, you want to enjoy these floors for a long time. And if you follow this guide, hopefully you will.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 

Stephen MacVicar runs Green Apple Flooring, a specialist in wooden floors and laminates. Green Apple Flooring is based on Essex and deliver all over the UK.

Continue reading
  37617 Hits
  0 Comments
37617 Hits
0 Comments

Designing Your Home Properly

Different people lead their lives in different ways, but most of them will agree around some basic things about home design...

home designAnd all believe that home design is a must. Of course, the degree of refinement, interests and success vary from individual to individual.

Some people feel comfortable in their mess, so they wonder what the need for order is. We have reasons why it is necessary to design your interior with a sense and keep your home neat.

Make your home neat and comfortable
If everything in your home is OK, if it is neatly organized and designed so you can move around freely, then life becomes easier. If your home is neat when you come home from work you won't spend your time clearing things and trying to find your home. Organize your home for a more peaceful living and a more relaxed feeling every time you look at it.

Use the colors you like
Using the colors you like in your home will definitely lift your mood. One of the basics of home design is using the right colors and shades. You need to create visual harmony. Soothing colors and light shades will lift your mood and instantly make you feel better.

A properly designed home is healthier
When you design your home in the right way, you will instantly feel better. Maybe you had a tough day at work, you come home, and everything seems better. It's because of your home, the way you designed it. The colors can either lift your mood or bring it down. The light too. More light means a better mood. Open your light filtering blinds and let the light come in, you will instantly feel better.

Your home tells a story about you
It is common practice to have people at your house, friends, family. A well designed home won't just help you improve your image, it also makes the visitors feel comfortable in your home, which can have a positive effect, on your personal and professional life.

A well designed home makes movement easier
Unlike a randomly organized interior, a well designed and planned home will make movement easier. Next to that, it will give more energy to you and your family, especially if you remove the extra walls, so the space looks bigger and lighter. It is not easy living in a bunker, it affects your mood too.

A properly designed home satisfies your needs
When you design your home the way it should be designed, when you fit it with your needs and the needs of the people who are living in it, you will feel better. For example, a home that is designed for newlyweds will be private and romantic, smooth and sophisticated, unlike a home for a small family. The home design needs to be bent to the wishes and desires of the occupants, it makes their lives easier.

So think well about the design of your home and the organization of your home, give it a right purpose and the ambiance that will fit you.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Image author owned 

By Milan Budimkic

Milan Budimkic is a creative freelance writer for industries that include but are not limited to the home decor, travel, entertainment, and much more. When not blogging, Milan likes to travel and read a lot.

Continue reading
  37606 Hits
  0 Comments
37606 Hits
0 Comments

Heating System Failed? Who's Fault Is It?

Heating System Failed? Who's Fault Is It?

One of the least understood parts of a home from an owner's perspective is the heating system. This is largely because if you have central heating, you will likely have specialized people to ensure that it is regularly maintained. Like an automobile, any warranty is normally contingent upon the owner showing records of that maintenance. Maintaining it yourself without qualifications merely raises the bar from the manufacturer's or installer's representatives point of view.

Fortunately, if it does fail and you have good records, you can rely upon them in conjunction with the people that are providing you an estimate on repair or replacement in order to try and find the root cause of the problem.

Here are some tips on determining what went wrong so that you can ensure that the system is covered if it qualifies for coverage

If you have a homeowner's warranty that covers heating systems

Ensure that your record of maintenance meets the minimum requirements with regards to the policy that you have. If it does, contact the warranty customer service people and file a claim.

If you have a manufacturer's or installer's warranty

Follow much the same procedure and then find an experienced professional heating repair firm that will write you an estimate that includes their opinion of why the heating system failed. If it is covered by the warranty, then use the warranty to file a claim.

If you do not have a warranty

In this type of circumstance, if you do not have a background in heating design, it could be difficult to do to much troubleshooting on your own. Instead, it might be better to contact an experienced professional heating repair firm as mentioned above and get their opinion on why the system failed. If it is a major problem and the system needs to be replaced, then you might consider taking their findings to an outside expert to have them provide you with a paid second opinion. Most outside heating experts serve as expert witnesses in court and when they are working for their client, they are impartial and do not serve the interests of the manufacturer or the installer.

Regardless of the outcome, in that circumstance, you will likely learn more about heating systems than you probably ever had as a result of your conversations with them. If a manufacturer part was deemed to be potentially faulty, you can check to see if it has ever been recalled and if repairs were made to it online. If the expert points out ducting or assembly that was done incorrectly as the reason for your system failure, you can document it so that you can approach a representative of the installer.

Keep in mind that oftentimes, the results of any check into why the heating system failed will turn up a couple of percentages: one that points out the major reason it failed and another that highlights wear and tear or other minor reasons that impacted the system over time. These percentages can be helpful when it comes to deciding how to proceed.

Another frequent occurrence is that the system does not need to be replaced, but a part does. In this circumstance, if the qualified repair firm has provided you with that estimate, you can follow through with either the manufacturer or the installer while utilizing the repair person to make the necessary repairs.

Overall, it is never a good day when your heating system fails. By using repair experts in your community to help you determine why it did fail, you will likely save time and money.

Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.

Continue reading
  36898 Hits
  0 Comments
36898 Hits
0 Comments

How To Save Money On Your Energy Bill

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.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6059/5915295831_8ef7f83c6f_b.jpg

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

Continue reading
  39449 Hits
  0 Comments
39449 Hits
0 Comments

How To Design My Window Seat For The Dining Room

Window seats can be a great addition to the dining room by adding not only additional seating but also a comfortable place to enjoy a good view or a form of additional storage. A common additional to virtually any kind of decor, window seat is a universally appealing way to add charm and a welcoming atmosphere to your dining room.


Modern Cozy

This charming modern dining room features a subdued color palette with soft warm and cool shades balanced expertly by large windows and white walls. The long bench features drawers that provide additional storage in a room that traditionally cannot get enough and the upholstery and cushions add softness to a room that would otherwise feel Spartan.


French Country

This cozy kitchen intended to evoke the comfort of the French countryside features lots of rich, natural wood and rustic fixtures. With traditionally shaped furniture and a bold cast iron chandelier, this old world kitchen is well complemented by the lovely window seat bench that offers great views and fresh air. The window seat bench here can also improve the value of the house, especially for houses with traditional interior designs.


A Fireplace Framed

This fantastic dining room demonstrates that it is good to get creative with your interior design. By framing the fireplace with identical window seats, this designer has ensured that the white fireplace surround pops out from the blue wall and grabs the attention. The charming benches offer additional storage while providing an excellent balance to the intensity of the blue walls and rich wood floor. The additional storage provided by these window seats will be very useful for utilizing maximum space of a houses with smaller area.


Beach House

Making the most of the fantastic view from this stunning dining room, this long window bench wraps around the room to add a soft, coziness to a space dominated by clean lines and lots of natural light. The charming wicker chairs and natural wood table help to evoke an inviting and casual atmosphere. The simple style of the window seat helps to maintain focus on the real highlight of the room – all those beautiful, big windows that offer a 360° view of the surrounding countryside.


Roof Top Penthouse

This eat in kitchen not only includes a full sized table with convenient tuck under stools but also a wall of window seats perfect for keeping guests nearby but out of the cook’s way during dinner parties. The spectacular view will pull them to the window and the comfortable seating and proximity to the action will keep them there.


Traditional Comfort

This traditional dining nook makes great use of space in a small room and provides a surprising amount of seating space with the simple combination of a curved window seat set into a bay window and a small round table. Charming, inviting, and picturesque, this dining room demonstrates the difference between small and cozy.


Window seats are not just for providing seating space, but it can also provide additional storage, improve aesthetics of the house and it can also improve the value of the house. The comfort and exterior view provided by window seats makes it a great addition for any house and recommended by many interior designers to install, especially  after a new window installation or window replacement.

Featured images:

Gina Brewton has been in the home improvement industry for the past 7 years. She is presently working at a residential cleaning company in Toronto. She is also a part time interior designer. She has her interests in cooking, photography, craft and painting. Follow her on twitter@ginabrewton.

Continue reading
  41070 Hits
  0 Comments
41070 Hits
0 Comments

Top Reasons For Getting Your Carpet Completely Replaced

Our homes are hosts to so many events throughout every season that sometimes keeping it clean can simply be unreasonable. Carpets are typically the first to go as your guests move about your home. Over time, carpets show signs of aging that no home owner wants to see. These problems range from simple visual unpleasantness to mildew and mold that can harm the health of the occupants. Getting your carpet replaced isn’t difficult but it is an investment, and one that can increase your home's property value substantially. Let’s go over some of the top reasons why you might want to commit to such an investment.

Stains

Carpet stains are a part of life -- they will eventually occur no matter how hard you try to prevent them. Even cleaning these stains can be pointless as some get too absorbed into the carpet for household cleaners to work. The outward appearance might not be your biggest problem either as many of these stains end up causing mildew and mold to form underneath the carpet. I think we have all rented a carpet cleaning product only to be disappointed by the results we achieve.

Smells

Throughout the course of your carpet's life, it will be introduced to so many unpleasant smells you wouldn’t want to list them all. One of the biggest offenders would be pet stains as they can cause a horrid stench for seemingly endless periods of time. Pets are not the only source of problematic smells, misbehaving children and sick guests can be problems on their own. If you can smell your carpet, it’s probably time to get it replaced.

Ruined Padding

Underneath our carpet lies a padding that gives our carpets a little bit of cushion and comfort. The constant traffic we put our homes through will eventually cause that padding to wear down and lose quality. As the padding degrades, it can begin to become uneven, wrinkle, and even make crinkling noises when in use. That padding can also end up absorbing stains that you will either smell or see later.

Animal Hair

Pet owners understand that over time, animal hair and dander seemingly can merge with the carpet. When this happens, vacuums become meaningless and guests with allergies suffer. Replacing that carpet will reduce allergens and allow your guests to breathe easier.

General Wear and Tear

Kids, animals, furniture, and painting all share one thing in common they can ruin your carpet. Animals claw at the carpet, resulting in strands of carpet littering the floor and clogging your vacuum. Moving in new furniture, especially metal furniture, can sometimes snag on the carpet and end up tearing it. All of these issues add up and end up ruining the carpet you once cherished.

With the many hectic situations we encounter in life, maintaining a clean carpet can be troublesome. Thankfully getting your carpet replaced isn’t as difficult as many would believe. Installation often takes only a day or two, and the costs can vary from $2 to $40 per square foot depending on the quality that you select. These prices allow almost anyone to afford a replacement carpet and increase the retail value of their property. Getting your carpet replaced can improve your quality of life as well, since you will be eliminating mildew, mold, pet dander, and pet hair. Maintaining it with a professional cleaning service like Progreen Carpet can extend its life and improve the comfort of you and your guests. Nothing quite beats the feeling of breathing easy in your new home without a single stain anywhere in sight.

Featured images:

Eduardo Dieguez is a freelance writer and film buff, frequently contributing articles on various topics of off-beat media and creature comforts.

Continue reading
  38160 Hits
  0 Comments
38160 Hits
0 Comments

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://calorique.info/

Have any questions? Give us a call + 49 2421-974 90 93

 

­