Choosing a Programmable Thermostat

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.

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.

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Choosing a conservatory roof

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.

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 on.

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
Laminated glass
Self clean glass

We will look at each one in turn.

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 dangerous pieces.

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 much longer.

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.

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Why choose a upvc conservatory?

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 item.

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.

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The Materials and Detailing of Conservatory Roofs

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.

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 conservatory.

Crestings and finials come in a variety of designs, typically these are:

– Antique
– Traditional
– Victorian
– Regency
– Fleur-de-lys
– Baroque
– Edwardian
– Elizabethan
– Tudor

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.

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Problem Conservatories

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.

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.

Independent Ombudsman
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 you.

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 done.

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.

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Finishing Touches to Your Conservatory

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.

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.

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Commercial Solar Panels Offer More Than Lower Energy Consumption

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.

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.

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Solar PV Panels – The Advantages Of Making Use Of These Products In Your Own Home

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.

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.

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Easy Ways To Make Your Home Energy Efficient

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.

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.

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8 Ways to Reduce Energy Bills This Winter

Winter is an extremely difficult season for households. Especially for a household located away from an urban area.

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%. has helped over 6,000 households claim insulation grants for cavity wall or loft insulation, dramatically reducing their energy bills.

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