HOW TO MANAGE A SMALL KITCHEN

HOW TO MANAGE A SMALL KITCHEN

Cosy, compact, quaint – call it what you want, but a small kitchen is a small kitchen. It’s only those dealing with a really tiny bit of space that will know how difficult it is to create and manage a gorgeous kitchen in confinement. It’s possible, but a challenge nonetheless.

So as far as the experts are concerned, what exactly should you be doing with a small kitchen to make the most of the space available to you?

OPEN PLAN

First of all, if there’s any way of combining the kitchen with a second living space, this will immediately make both rooms look and feel much larger than they are. Making the move to open plan can mean pretty heavy remodelling, but can vastly improve the appeal and even the perceived value of your home.

HIDDEN KITCHEN

An increasingly popular option these days is the hidden kitchen, where the open-plan kitchen’s surface, appliances and whatnot sit neatly out of sight behind folding doors. This does of course limit the size the kitchen significantly, though can look incredibly elegant.

MIRRORS

Though not typically associated with the kitchen, mirrors mounted in just the right places can make the whole room look and feel exponentially bigger. Mirrored units and cupboard doors in particular can make a real difference.

FLOOR SPACE

Focusing on floor space in any small room is important. The reason being that the more clear and open floor space there is, the bigger the room feels. The more stuff is crammed in there, the less free floor space and the more cramped the room feels.

BRIGHT COLOURS

Just like mirrors, bright colours work in the same way by making the place look and feel bigger. Bright kitchens almost always come across as larger than those decorated in darker colours.

WALLS AND CEILINGS

Last but not least, focus on using all available floor and wall space, along with hidden storage solutions to keep clutter out of the equation. The more clutter there is all over the surfaces around the kitchen, the more chaotic and cramped it will feel as a result.

If you would like more information from a specialists in Kitchen Design, please contact Designtime Kitchens in Nottingham or contact them today on 01159 81 89 81.

Could You Be Entitled To Free Cavity Wall Insulation?

Could You Be Entitled To Free Cavity Wall Insulation?

Cavity walls are present on the majority of brick-built houses dating from the early 20th century or later. Since warm air can be trapped in the space inside a cavity wall, forming an additional barrier between the inside and outside, these make buildings better at keeping heat in and save on energy bills, especially when insulating materials are fitted in the cavity.

Typically, the process of insulating a cavity wall would start by confirming that the structure of the wall allows for it. A hole would usually be drilled in the outside wall to access the cavity, and from there insulation materials such as wool or foam can be injected into the space. As long as appropriate ventilation is also fitted, this simple process is enough to significantly improve the energy efficiency of many homes in a safe and cost-effective way.

Tip: You can actually distinguish them by the pattern of the bricks from the outside in a lot of cases. If all the bricks look the same size and are arranged facing the same way, there is most likely a cavity between two layers of the wall. If the bricks alternate in size and shape, this means the wall is probably one solid construction and there is no cavity area.

Once you’ve established that your walls have the capacity to be insulated from the inside, the next question is whether this can be done for free. Depending on a few factors, you may be entitled to this under the government’s ECO (Energy Company Obligations) scheme. Usually your entitlement to free cavity wall insulation will depend on things like your household income, whether you have children living with you, if you are disabled, any benefits you and receive and various other factors. Continue reading “Could You Be Entitled To Free Cavity Wall Insulation?”

Can Drum Heating Be Energy Efficient?

Can Drum Heating Be Energy Efficient?

Drum heating is a process that can be required when thick, viscous liquids need to be transferred or pumped from one container to another. It can also be used simply to stop those liquids from becoming completely solid or freezing. Examples of these liquids include fat, grease, syrups, chocolate, tar, lubricants and other related substances. What these different liquids have in common is that they are typically difficult to move at room temperature or below due to their partially solid state.

A drum heating oven is usually used to aid the process of moving or pumping such liquids because raising their temperature makes them more fluid. It might be necessary to heat the substance to room temperature or higher, depending on its individual melting point and the task required. Usually drum heaters work using either steam or electric heating elements to change the temperature of their contents.

A few benefits of drum heaters include the following:

They are generally built to accommodate multiple drums of the same specific size, so economies of scale are available.

By returning viscous liquids to a more practical liquid form, they can prevent waste materials being generated.

Liquids which are heated and able to move more freely can speed up production processes.

Precise controls are used on the ovens to ensure they only heat to the optimum temperature and the results are predictable.

For some it is questionable as to whether drum heaters can be an energy-efficient solution, due to the fact that they must be continuously used in order to maintain the temperature of a substance. However, there are a few specific arguments against that.

Certain types of high quality drum heating ovens in particular use modern technology to maximise heating performance with relatively low fuel consumption.

It is often necessary to use drum heaters only as and when required. For the rest of the time, some liquids can be stored in their natural state below their melting point with no problems. This depends on the specific liquid because not all substances will stand up to being solidified and melted multiple times without loss of quality.

What Is An Energy Performance Certificate?

What Is An Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an important document required by the UK government to ensure that the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) is met.

Ensuring regulations on energy performance are adhered to is a high priority for the government, since the effects of climate change continue to be seen and recorded around the world. An increased focus on sustainable fuel usage is still required, but holding buildings to the standards shown on an EPC is one method that has been successful for many years now.

A domestic Energy Performance Certificate will be provided to anyone moving into a new home. The EPC is one of several key documents which you can expect to be provided in this situation. This would be given by the previous owner if you’re buying the property, or the landlord if you’re simply a new tenant. Continue reading “What Is An Energy Performance Certificate?”

How the UK’s Green Deal Affects Boiler Replacements

How the UK’s Green Deal Affects Boiler Replacements

You may have heard about the UK’s Green Deal system, or recent lack thereof, but not fully understand what it covers. To quickly summarise, the Green Deal is no longer supported financially by the UK government after being axed a year ago. Before that point, it meant that people all over the UK could claim financial assistance to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes. It applied across the country and included a number of different services, so for example if you needed boiler installation and repairs in Milton Keynes or Bedford which would help your home become greener, you’d have the same entitlement to government help as someone getting double glazing in Birmingham or draught-proofing in Devon.

There were numerous issues with the Green Deal. Sticking with the example of boiler servicing or replacement – one of the most common reasons people applied for help – it seemed like a great idea at first. The costs and risks involved with plumbing and installing a new boiler would often put people off, especially those with lower incomes who needed the support the most. However, the idea of free government money to alleviate these costs soon looked more like a pipe dream when people realised all the funds offered under the Green Deal were actually loans that required repayments. This somewhat went against the point of the scheme to financially incentivise greener technology in UK homes, as people were discouraged by debt more than they were attracted by the idea of efficiency. Continue reading How the UK’s Green Deal Affects Boiler Replacements

Advice on Saving Energy at Home

Advice on Saving Energy at Home

There are a few different areas to really focus on within your home if you feel like you should be doing more to cut down on your energy usage. This is normally a great thing to look into since you’ll be helping the environment as well as saving money. Altering your lifestyle slightly can make a huge difference, so look at these areas and see what improvements you can make…

1) Heating

A small adjustment can work wonders. Even if you just turn down your heating by 1°C, you could cut a significant amount off your bill over the course of a year. When it does get cold, try wearing more layers instead of heating the whole house. When it’s warmer, consider installing a system that can be controlled with a mobile app remotely so you can turn off your heating when it isn’t being used. To save on heating water, try using your shower on a lower pressure setting, as many people waste a lot of energy and water by not doing this.

2) Cooking

Try to limit the time your oven is on by coordinating with other people and cooking multiple meals at the same time. Use the appropriate size ring on the hob for each pan you use to maximise efficiency. When you’re finished, keep the oven door open in winter so the heat goes towards warming up your kitchen rather than leaving the house through a vent.

3) Washing

Using your washing machine on an energy efficient setting can make a huge difference. 30°C will be suitable for most washes, or 40°C at the most. Air-dry your clothes afterwards rather than wasting electricity with a tumble dryer. If you do use a dryer, end the cycle slightly early to cut down on the energy used, and your clothes will still be 90% dry. Continue reading Advice on Saving Energy at Home

Eco-Friendly Heated Towel Rails

Eco-Friendly Heated Towel Rails

Heated towel rails may seem like a luxury to some people, but they can actually be one of the most cost effective ways to add a really special finishing touch to your dream bathroom. They don’t have to be expensive to install or run, especially if you go for an option that’s designed to converse energy and minimise your carbon footprint while it’s in use.

Whatever finish you choose to coordinate with your existing fixtures and fittings, stainless steel, chrome or white designer heated towel rails made for bathrooms just like yours will be available if you find a specialist supplier in your region. Depending on what design you select, almost all heated rails will be available in the same or very similar designs regardless of whether you go for an energy-saving version or not.

The installation of your heater is where this may vary, but even if it’s more complicated and a little more costly, you should soon find that it’s worth the investment. By using less energy produced by fossil fuels, which harm the environment by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as they release energy, you can significantly reduce the impact your day-to-day activities are having on the rest of the world.

One straightforward way of enjoying a designer radiator or heated towel rail without excessive energy consumption is to have an eco-friendly timer fitted when you have your heater installed. This can automatically ensure that it is only switched on when you need it, making sure your towels are still warm and dry when you need them to be, but without wasting energy by having them heated excessively. Usually you can have such a timer installed very discreetly in a bathroom, just the same way you would have a light switch fitted. You can also set the temperature to further reduce wasted energy. Continue reading Eco-Friendly Heated Towel Rails

Save Money & Resources With Your Boiler Installation

Save Money & Resources With Your Boiler Installation

Installing a boiler in your property can be a daunting and potentially expensive prospect. However, if you spend some time doing your research you can cut the costs of having the work done quite significantly. Even better, you can actually save more money in the long run and reduce your fuel consumption considerably by choosing your equipment (and the company you deal with) wisely. That way, you save money and protect the environment at the same time.

Many people have a lot of questions at the beginning of this process, and it can easily get confusing. Here we answer some of the most common.

Who should I choose to complete my boiler work?

Even if you’re having repairs done rather than a full replacement, you’ll want to deal with the most professional experts you can find. This will vary depending on your local area, as most of the best companies specialise in a particular region For instance Keston boiler repair in south London. Finding a highly reputable firm that knows your area is usually the best course of action.  Continue reading “Save Money & Resources With Your Boiler Installation”

How Home Automation Can Make Your Home More Efficient

How Home Automation Can Make Your Home More Efficient

Home automation can apply to almost any room or appliance in your home, if you have the right technology installed. It’s becoming more freely available, from comprehensive systems for your entire home, to mobile apps that control your individual kitchen appliances or heating systems. Major electronics retailers are increasing their range of items that can connect to the Internet and be controlled remotely, and home owners also have the option of choosing a home automation specialist for things ranging from home cinema installation to multi room music systems.

In general these home automation systems can make your home run more efficiently in several different ways. They may save you energy, money, time or all of the above.

Here are a few of the primary factors that can really make a difference:

1) Controlling your heating – The idea of controlling the temperature of your home remotely is arguably one of the things that has really driven innovation and development in this area. Now the technology has caught up to expectations, it’s very easy to install a smart thermostat that can be adjusted automatically or manually via a mobile app. This means you can adapt to unexpected changes to the weather, or when you plan to be home. If nobody is home, most systems will have a preset “Away” setting to conserve energy. Continue reading How Home Automation Can Make Your Home More Efficient