When you invest in programmable thermostat, you are taking more control
over your heating and cooling system. Not only that, the money that you
spend can be a valuable investment. Here are some important advantages
of digital wall thermostats with programming functions.
Read More →
Thermostats that have programming capabilities can be an excellent way
to save money on energy bills. For example, you might wish to have your
home interior warmer, when no one is home in the hot weather. On the
other hand, by the time you get home in the evenings, your home can be
cool and comfortable inside. For example, you can set the indoor
temperature to 85F or 29C, when the house is empty. However, you may
set the temperature for a more comfortable 76F or 24C for when everyone
is home in the evenings.
When you shop for digital thermostats, make sure that you buy the proper
ones. For example, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
system (HVAC) may utilize a furnace and central air conditioning unit.
Not all thermostats will work with heat pumps that employ back up heat.
Check to be sure that you have the right model for your system.
You can have many different features, like a touchscreen programmable
thermostat, or one that features phone or voice programming. Some have
functions that let you employ a separate weekend program, from your
normal weekly schedule. This is important if you or your family are
home on the weekends. Some models may have features like a vacation
setting, for times that you are away for several days at a time.
Many homes and indoor spaces are on more than one level, these days. In
these cases, you may have multiple zone heating and cooling. Also, in
larger homes and buildings, there may be more than one HVAC system
operating. You can still utilize digital wall thermostats for these
applications. However, you cannot use ordinary thermostats. If one or
more rooms in your home is abnormally hot or cold you might consider the
use of a remote sensing thermostat. You will need to shop for
thermostats for your particular application. In some cases, multiple
zones systems can be complex, and it may be best to consider
professional installation. You may be dealing with temperature sensing
units and coordinating the efforts of many different components.
Working on complex systems requires a certain degree of skill and
knowledge in HVAC and electronics. However, if you are simply replacing
units with ones that are programmable, it may be possible for the
average do it yourself homeowner. A good rule of thumb is to look at
the wires and circuitry that is involved. If you are unsure what you
are looking at, a professional installation is the best choice.
If you are interested in reducing your heating and cooling bills, a
programmable thermostat can be an excellent investment. These products
allow you to select temperature settings for different times of the day
and night. This can increase cooling and heating efficiency a great
deal. Make sure that you buy the right model for your needs, and
consider professional installation for more complex systems, which
operate on more than one level of living space.
Picking the right roof for your conservatory needs some thought and
consideration. Designers often concern themselves with the actual design
or look of the building while builders are focused on the construction
itself or how familiar there are with certain materials, e.g. tiles. A
key consideration though is the material you use for the roof. Although
there are different materials one can use, ranging from budget
polycarbonate to lantern roofs you must remember not to make the choice
based solely on the initial cost of construction.
Read More →
Cheaper roofs may be cheaper to install but often their owners end up
being unhappy with them because they become too hot in summer and too
expensive to heat in winter. This effectively reduces the amount of time
you can use your conservatory and reduces the actual value of your
investment – something to consider when thinking of selling your house
With conservatories, the main choice of material will be glass. This in
itself also needs consideration since there are different options that
need to be considered. These include:
Heat reflective glass
Self clean glass
We will look at each one in turn.
HEAT REFLECTIVE GLASS
This glass allows you to use your conservatory in the height of summer
without it turning into a type of greenhouse. It also reduces the glare
from bright sunlight while allowing light to come through on dull days.
In recent years heat reflective glass has proved very popular.
It is also known as ‘energy efficient glass’ or ‘low e-glass’. It has a
metallic coating on one side that makes the glass have a slight
brown/gray tint to it. In effect this coating allows the sun’s energy to
pass through from the outside but then reduces the heat loss from the
inside. What is important here is that it does not provide heat
insulation on its own and needs to be part or a double or triple glazed
unit to provide substantial insulation.
Heat reflective glass comes in two types, sputtered (or soft-coat) and
pyrolytic (or hard-coat). Sputtered glass is susceptible to damage by
air or moisture so is usually used on sealed double or triple glazed
units. Pyrolytic is more robust so therefore does not have to be sealed,
but is less effective at keeping the heat out of your conservatory when
it gets hot outside.
Laminated glass adds strength to your glass to stop it easily breaking –
which makes it great for security and safely. What’s key to know here
is that it is different from toughened glass because it does shatter
when you absolutely need to break it, say with the advent of a fire. You
may be familiar with this sort of glass because it is often used in car
windscreens. So when hit with force, the glass will smash into tiny
pieces and not huge chunks that can cause damage.
Toughened glass on the other hand is strong also, but either won’t break
when you need it to, or with enough force, will break into larger more
Laminated glass is slightly thicker than normal but does have better insulation properties to both the cold and noise.
Self-cleaning glass sounds great and is actually very clever. It works
by having a very thin photocatalytic coating on its surface. The sun’s
ultraviolet rays then hit this coating and steadily breaks down dirt and
grime from the glass so it can be washed away when it rains. So with
the sun acting as a sort of cleaner (photocatalytic) and the rain acting
as a sort of rinse aid (hydrophilic) you end up with cleaner glass for
Self-clean glass can also be specified with heat reflective glass so ensure you consider both options before you purchase.
In conclusion, you need to think through how you could potentially use
your new conservatory. If you like the idea of adding more months to the
year when you can comfortably use your conservatory then you need to
carefully consider the types of glass you can have.
A conservatory is a great way of adding space to your home at minimal
cost. It also allows you to continue to enjoy your garden long after the
rains have come and the air has turned cold. A conservatory made of
UPVC is a particularly cost effective way of ensuring your house
benefits from additional space and a place to enjoy the outside whilst
staying warm and toasty inside. UPVC is a material extremely durable by
nature. Traditionally conservatories were made from wood, but the advent
of uPVC which is longer lasting and much cheaper means that the
majority are now made from this. UPVC stands for Unplasticised Poly
Vinyl Chloride. Being “unplasticised” means there are no softening
agents or “plasticisers” within the material making it ideal for large
structures such as conservatories. Being able to manufacture
conservatories from the material uPVC means that a much greater number
of people have access to what was previously a very costly and luxurious
Read More →
It is still possible to purchase wooden framed conservatories, but there
are a number of disadvantages for doing so. For a start, uPVC
structures are very low maintenance. There is no varnishing, painting,
sanding or any other DIY to be carried out. Once the structure is up,
you can simply sit back and enjoy. UPVC is also a very simple material
to clean. The occasional wipe with a damp cloth and a drop of washing up
liquid is all that is required to keep it looking in excellent shape
and remove any grime. Wooden frames are liable to fade in the sun too.
Weather badly effects wood which needs constant attention, varnishing
and caring for and the dirt although perhaps more easily hidden is much
harder to remove. UPVC frames are extremely durable and will last for
decades. They will not rot like wood can which as well as looking
unsightly, can even pose a security risk.
UPVC conservatories are accompanied with excellent security measures.
Many come equipped with advanced locking systems that provide total
peace of mind. Additionally there are internal reinforcements included
in the designs that provide extra strength and impact resistance for
added rigidity and overall security. Although uPVC is a plastic
material, it is non-toxic and fully recyclable. Conservatories made from
this material are extremely energy efficient too as heat is retained
easily during the winter and kept out during the summer through the
incorporation of special insulation. This lowers heating bills in winter
and prevents the room needing fans or air conditioning in summer. It
also provides another reason, as a conservatory made from uPVC acts as a
friend rather than foe to the environment.
They are extremely easy to assemble too making the installation a simple
process. More often than not they can be assembled on site. With a
variety of wood effect finishes available, it is even possible to have
all the benefits of uPVC whilst still retaining a traditional feel. The
untrained eye would not be able to tell the windows, doors or
conservatory were made from anything other than timber.
With a host of different styles available, any type or size of home can
benefit from a uPVC conservatory. It comes as no surprise that they are
extremely popular all over the UK in particular where summers can be
short. Often it is unnecessary to obtain planning permission before
assembling a conservatory and the low cost makes them an affordable way
to extend the house with the minimum of difficulty. UPVC is a very
strong and hard wearing material that weathers extremely well. This
makes it an ideal material for structures such as a lean to conservatory
or sliding patio doors that are subjected to harsh weather every day.
With wood effect finishes and different colours available, all styles
and tastes can be accommodated.
Choosing a conservatory roof is one thing, but on every roof there are
details that need to be considered. Crestings and finials are
architectural features that are used to make the roof more decorative.
They have been around for many years but it was from the Victorian age
that architects became obsessed with detailed designs and ornate
devices, so in conservatories built from this period onwards crestings
and finials have frequently been used with the design of the building.
As styles have changed and morphed over the years, these styles are
still evident today although with more contemporary conservatories one
can either just not use them at all or use then in a minimalist way.
Read More →
Cresting is the material or finishing that runs along the central ridge
of the roof while the finial is the pointed feature that sits at the
front of the apex of the roof. Both these features sit on the roof
capping and are more ornamental than functional. That said, they were
originally designed so that the eye would glance up at the roof but they
have also evolved so that they are also used as a devise so that birds
to not perch on the roof and then leave a bird-like message on your
clean glass. The finial also has a slight practical use in that it can
be used as a lightning rod, although today the material used is often
the same as the construction material, whether this be wood, cast
aluminium or moulded plastic.
This brings us onto what crestings are made of. Most of the time it is
similar to the finial and is made of either cast aluminium or moulded
plastic. Most aluminium varieties are finished with a polyester based
powder coating that leaves a very durable clean surface that is often
guaranteed for 10 years depending on the supplier and the price of the
cresting. Of course one can always use a moulded plastic cresting and
this often comes out cheaper than aluminium. All crestings and finials
should be available in a colour to match the paint work of your
Crestings and finials come in a variety of designs, typically these are:
Sometimes a roof will have to be constructed of a stronger material like
such as lead. Building regulations may stipulate that you construct the
conservatory or orangery in a way that does not restrict ladder access
to either windows on the first floor or a loft conversion. This will
mean you may have to build the conservatory with a partial flat roof to
give fire access. In cases like this the builder may also need to get
building regulations signed off to prove this point. In addition to fire
regulations, if a window in the main building overlooks the
conservatory or orangery you will want to consider the design of the
roof and its fittings much more closely since they will be visible from
this window. If this is the case you might want to consider more
expensive materials like lead, zinc or copper. The colours and textures
of these metals can add a great deal to the look of your conservatory
and change over time, although be prepared because they can also add a
substantial amount to the final cost. For this reason we usually
recommend synthetic weatherproof materials with a long guarantee.
Buying a conservatory is fraught with worry and potential problems. Part
of this worry is down to the industry’s reputation for certain cowboy
builders who are known for aggressive sales techniques, broken promises,
poor quality work and occasionally going bust leaving the customer with
no-one to turn to.
Read More →
In response to this, the windows and conservatory industry has come
together to rid the industry of the cowboys and provide protection to
its customers. The result is the Double Glazing & Conservatory
Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) who are there to take the risk out of buying
conservatories for consumers.
There are other professional trade bodies covering the industry at the
moment but none of them offer protection to the consumer in the way the
Ombudsman can. What makes the DGCOS unique is its power and muscle it
has within the industry.
The DGCOS is a true independent Ombudsman that has an ongoing process of
vetting installers to ensure they are both honest and provide a quality
service. This vetting process is an ongoing procedure to ensure
standards do not slip. In addition to this they can act as a powerful
arbiter if disputes do arise.
Why choose a DGCOS installer
As an overview the Ombudsman provides peace of mind. Specifically they
deliver this by offering a series of benefits that are designed to help
Deposit protection: Initially they will protect any deposit you
put down so long as it is not over 25% of the purchase price. This is
great because this is always the point of no return with most contracts
and parting with the money to someone who could go out of business the
next day is always a worry at the back of your mind.
10 year guarantee: Having a comprehensive 10 year guarantee is
essential to avoid the worry that you won’t be able to find your
installer years after they have banked your money and then the roof
starts to leak. We all know conservatory companies offer guarantees but
also all worry they won’t be that bothered years after the conservatory
has been completed. This guarantee is similar to the NHBC 10 year
warranty offered by house builders.
Insurance Guarantee: What do you do if your conservatory company
goes into liquidation? The insurance backed guarantee guards the
consumer against this problem.
Professional Mediators: Like any complex project, disputes do
happen. The conservatory industry cannot avoid these but what the
Ombudsman can do is provide a free mediation service in the case of a
dispute with any of its members.
Independent Inspectors: As part of the dispute resolution
process, the Ombudsman can provide independent inspectors to verify
exactly what work has been carried out and to what standard it has been
Binding Arbitration: The key to resolving any disputes within the
DGCOC is a mandatory and legally binding arbitration service that all
the members sign up to. This comprehensively protects the consumer with a
process they know all installers will adhere to.
The DGCOS is a win-win for both consumer and installer. It offers the
consumer complete peace of mind, while conservatory companies like it
too because they do not want to be associated with cowboy installers
that bring the reputation of the industry down and therefore deter
people from buying.
So you’ve decided to have a conservatory built. The next step is budget and design. Yet there are so many more layers to the design that can be easily overlooked. The last step for most people is the decoration of the interior, the finishing touches, and so people expect to consider this when the conservatory is finished.
Read More →
This article suggests that you employ some reverse logic. Whilst it is vital that you employ the right builder and ensure that they (and you) stay within your planned budget, your conservatory will be there as long as you live in your home, and it is also important that you get the interior look you want. By thinking about the finish at the start, you will be able to make choices about design that will not be available to you once the conservatory is actually built.
This is all about avoiding any nagging regrets, perhaps at not spending just a little more to have had the eventual look and feel that means that you can really enjoy the new space in your home.
A reputable builder, with dedicated experience of building conservatories will be able to talk you through the different options available in terms of structural design and how that will impact on the interior design. Some firms can also provide these finishing touches so that you really can begin the design process by exploring their portfolio from ‘finish to start’.
What to consider
Flooring will have a huge impact on the look and feel of the space. But avoid making choices in isolation, consider how the new flooring will match to that in the existing room, where the conservatory will join. If your heart is set on wood flooring, consider having the same flooring cross into the existing space by re-flooring the adjoining room too. Similarly, if you want ceramic flooring in the conservatory, this might well match better to wood flooring or laminate. Even the skirting is worth considering in this way. Ask your builder about matching the skirting in your adjoining room to that of the new conservatory.
If you like the look of clean plastered walls for the conservatory, but have wall-paper in the adjoining room consider whether this mismatch will work. Perhaps one wall can remain papered, as a feature wall, with the walls immediately adjoining the conservatory changed to match its interior.
Furnishings matter. Do you want the conservatory furnishing to stand-alone, matching only to the feel of that new space, or do you want a consistent feel throughout. Think about your current furnishing, would it work in the conservatory, if so then you might prefer to re-furnish your existing room where perhaps you’ll spend more time.
The key is to try to see your existing space as objectively as you can. It’s difficult when you see it every day, but a friend can help guide your view to see it how it really is: traditional; contemporary; a classic 1960s-build or Georgian. Then you have a place to start, do you want to keep consistency or create an interesting contrast.
Sometimes the finish is the best place to start.
Commercial solar panels have become a new way for business owners to
save money and even to add to their income base. Where commercial solar
panels used to be very expensive and difficult to source, they are now
offered by many companies and are a more reasonable price for the
benefits you gain by using solar. A company who specializes in
commercial solar panels, and other types of installation as well, is
National Green Power, at nationalgreenpower.
Read More →
When shopping for the best in commercial solar panels, be sure to use a
company that really knows their product and isn’t new to selling and
installing commercial solar panels. Installing any kind of solar panel
solution can be a lot more complicated than simply hooking panels up to a
battery. When installing commercial solar panels, there are many things
to take into consideration. For example, position and angle, how the
energy will be collected, stored or returned to the power grid, and
more. Since most commercial properties are buildings, and the chance of
using lawn space for this is rare, it won’t usually be possible to
easily install commercial solar panels that track the sun, so it will be
necessary for a professional to help locate the best place for the
stationary commercial solar panels to get as much sun as possible. This
will ensure the most return on your financial investment.
Hiring National Green Power to help you choose the commercial solar
panels best suited to your location, budget and goals will ensure you
don’t purchase unnecessary equipment, and that you will reach you goals.
It’s not just something they do as an add-on to their services. Selling
commercial solar panels and other types of solar power is what they do.
An obvious benefit to investing in commercial solar panels is that you
can greatly reduce your energy bills. This is particularly helpful if
your business has a lot of electrical equipment or heats using
electricity. Aside from the obvious benefit of adding commercial solar
panels, is the possibility of selling extra power generated by your
commercial solar panels back to the power grid.
Did you know that the government will purchase power your commercial
solar panels generate, and re-distribute it to other users? It’s an
excellent way to make a little extra money, which will help pay for the
cost of your purchase in a short time. If you’re looking for an
investment that is low-risk, offers immediate return and can pay for
itself with very little maintenance, then consider purchasing commercial
solar panels for your business.
National Green Power will help design a solution that meets your
specific needs, and then they will professionally install it, ensuring
an easy to run system that can not only lower your energy costs, but
also provide an income by selling extra power back to the grid. Visit
National Green Power’s website at nationalgreenpower to learn more about
what they offer, and how purchasing and installing commercial solar
panels can benefit your business.
These types of solar cells can certainly provide you with all of the
electrical energy that you need to operate your household daily. You are
able to install the solar panels on the roof of your home or even on
the lawn, the following is dependent upon exactly where these houses
receive maximum sunlight. The two options are suitable as long as the
cells are set at the precise angle. You need to ensure that the solar
cells are facing South at a 30 degree slope. Many people have a false
impression that these kinds of panels do not perform well on a dull day,
this is not so as the solar cells are able to obtain scattered light to
employ as electricity. These panels operate just as well in dazzling
sun-drenched weather like they do in over cast weather.
Read More →
If you are going to install the Photovoltaic solar panels on your own,
be sure to fully grasp all the guidelines. If you’d like to make sure
that your panels work to their optimum potential, it would be best to
retain an expert to install these products for you. Prior to putting in
the solar panels make sure you are conscious of all regulations
concerning the assembly of the solar panels in the area where you take
up residence. The benefits of installing solar pv solar panels to be
used in your home are many. The most beneficial factor to implement
solar panel systems is that they don’t cause harm to the ecosystem while
providing unpolluted and supportable electricity. The solar power
electrical power is secured through the sun’s rays which means that you
do not have to concern yourself with how much electrical energy you’re
using as it is inexhaustible.
This technological innovation places all of us in the position to have
the capacity to burn up as much electricity as we would like without
having to stress about burning up all of the electricity reserves.
Another great benefit associated with solar panels is they help you
reduce the charges of ones electrical power monthly bill. Your
electricity monthly bill is going to be reduced considerably when you
start employing solar panels in your house. These types of panels can
certainly supply you with nearly 100% of your power requirements at no
cost. Besides rendering your home more kind to the environment, these
types of panels will even make sure that you spend less on your month to
month electricity bill. If you want to save money, putting in solar PV
panels is the right way to start.
Another great advantage of solar power panels is their robustness. These
types of panels are made to endure extraordinary circumstances devoid
of regular maintenance but still have the capacity to yield electrical
power efficiently. A lot of major industries get totally free
electricity through solar technology which helps them save lots of
money. Once you have installed the solar power panels you’ll be able to
overlook them totally. The sole indication you will have will be your
decreased monthly electrical power expense. Far, out of the way regions
likewise often make use of solar panels for their electrical energy
since electric firms are unable to give them electrical power.
An energy efficient home consumes lesser heating oil. If your home is energy efficient, you will be able to enjoy warmer winters and cosy nights without worrying about high home heating cost. Some homeowners think that making their home energy efficient will cost them a lot but the fact is that it will not. There are very easy ways to make your home energy efficient.
Read More →
Here are some of them:
• Invest in home insulation. You don’t have to spend a lot. Insulate the pipes, water tank, and cover the gaps on the walls, floor, windows, and door. When you insulate the home, you help maintain the heat inside. This means that you don’t have to turn the thermostat setting to high all the time. You can just turn the setting to low and you still get a warm and cosy home.
• Sometimes the reason for our high heating bill is our own negligence. If you turn on the home heating system and the doors are open, the heated air will definitely escape out. Don’t expect for a lower heating bill if you are negligent. Before you turn on the home heating system, make sure that all the doors and windows are closed. Don’t let the heated air escape out. This is something that should be done out of common sense but some homeowners are just so negligent or sometimes they just forget about it.
• There may be rooms in your home that you don’t use. If there are, close the door to these rooms. Also place a “door snake” or the fabric tube filled with sand on the bottom of the door so that the heated air will not be able to enter the room through the gap on the bottom of the door.
• Help in keeping yourself warm. Instead of setting the thermostat to high, you can just put it to low setting and then just wear a sweater or a sweatshirt to help yourself warm. If you keep on wearing thin and short clothes, the more that you will feel that it is still too cold inside the home so you are inclined to turn the heater’ setting to high. This consumes too much heating oil.
Making your home more energy efficient is not that hard and it is not that expensive as well. In fact, sometimes it only takes common sense to make your home energy efficient.
Winter is an extremely difficult season for households. Especially for a household located away from an urban area.
Read More →
Here’s 8 ways you can reduce your heating bill this winter:
1) Taking advantage of loft insulation and cavity wall insulation grants
are just one way to help with the increasing cost of heating your home
this winter. Loft insulation grants are now available to people of all
walks of life. The government understands that it is necessary to make
insulation affordable to the general public, and by assisting in
insulating all households in the UK, it may help to drop the carbon
emission output of the country by well over 15%.
2) Another way of reducing energy bills is to be aware of how your
household appliances work. Ceiling fans come with two settings which
changes the air flow in a room. Changing these between seasons can help
either blow hot air down or push cool air through.
3) Today’s technological advancements have helped to develop energy
efficient light bulbs which are far more efficient than the average
light bulb. With these energy efficient bulbs, households will be saving
over 23 Sterling pounds per bulb.
4) Using timers in areas such as bathrooms and laundries is also a
precaution that can reduce your energy bills and household costs.
Maintaining heating elements such as electrical fire places and heaters
are mandatory to keep them functioning at maximum efficiency.
5) Conserving water is another vital factor in reducing energy bills.
Many households waste a large of amount of water on daily usage.
6) Purchasing low flow fixtures and attaching them to items such as taps and showers is an excellent way of saving energy.
7) Buying energy efficient appliances which include fridges, dish
washers and air conditioners can help greatly in reducing energy bills
if the items are energy star certified.
8) Programmable thermostats are used in certain households which help
reduce heat flow from the house to the surroundings. If the temperature
difference is low between the exteriors and the interiors, less heat
will be lost.
A note on insulation grants:
Government insulation grants are a means by which the government can
make the public aware of the growing energy crisis. Not only is it a way
of saving money, it is also a form of saving something for the future.
These guidelines are recommended to all household owners. It is also
recommended that houses that are yet to be insulated look into loft
insulation grants and cavity wall insulation grants in order to
instantly increase their energy efficiency by up to 60%.
Insulationgrants.info has helped over 6,000 households claim insulation
grants for cavity wall or loft insulation, dramatically reducing their