Installing log burners for your home

log burner

Many homeowners are now planning to install log burners in their houses and the reasons for this are quite varied. Some want to save money by installing cheap log burners and burning cheap firewood and some are just attracted to the flickering flames and the smell of burning wood. There is also a growing awareness amongst people of the environmental issues and the impact that we make by burning fossil fuels. Due to this, there is an urge to go back to basics and get away from the trappings of modern consumerist society.

Homeowners also realise that a well-chosen high-quality wood-burning stove brings pleasure, comfort and warmth year after year with the added benefit to the environment. However, before setting up a burner, you need to know a few basics on its upkeep and maintenance.

It is important to take proper care of modern log burners if you want them to serve you for a long time, work efficiently and be safe to use. There are professional installers who will carry out periodical maintenance work on contemporary log burners but knowing a few maintenance tips yourself would be quite useful.

The chimney of a wood-burning heater should be cleaned once or twice a year without fail. This will help prevent soot build up- a major fire hazard. You also need to check the chimney regularly. If there are gaps, then there may be smoke leaking into the house making the chimney unsuitable for use. You can use smoke pellets to check for leaks.

The doors of these burners should be airtight; this will ensure optimum performance. Doors that leak smoke can be fixed by replacing door seals/gaskets. Similarly, the glass of modern log burners can also be replaced if they are damaged. The glass for wood burners are specially built to withstand the heat of burning wood and does not get damaged easily. However, over a period of use, they may show signs of wear and tear.

The floor of contemporary log burners consists of a fire grate on top of which wood logs, rolls of paper and kindle are used to start a fire. The grate is designed to withstand high temperatures but again, this too wears out over time and needs to be replaced. Similarly, the inside of the firebox area is fitted with baffle plates made of ceramic fibreboard, steel or cast iron and are manufactured to withstand high temperatures. You will also want to check whether these are operating efficiently from time to time.

Before carrying out any maintenance work on your burner, make sure that all the parts have cooled down completely.

Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency at Home

home energy efficiency

Making a home energy efficient is easier than one might think. Making some small insulation updates and updating residential and industrial heaters is a sure way to save money. That’s right, one investment today can lower energy bills and save people tons of money. The following are some ways to improve the efficiency in the home.

Reducing how much heating, gas and electricity you use in the home is key to improving your energy efficiency. Voltage optimisation systems are a great way to manage and regulate your electricity usage. The systems will evaluate the incoming energy and keep them at efficient levels. An easy way to control your usage, as well as saving money and reducing carbon emissions. efficient Energy has some excellent products to help reduce your monthly outgoings.

Thermostat Updates

Thermostats are incredibly important because they limit energy waste. For example, a heater shouldn’t keep running if the home is already properly heated and at a comfortable temperature. Programmable thermostats ensure that systems are only running when necessary. This is important at night when people are asleep or when they are away at work. The thermostat will handle when systems are turned off or on, which saves a lot in costs.

Insulation

Heaters have to do double-duty if your house isn’t properly insulated. This is because hot air is leaked outside thanks to thin walls, poor insulation and gaps between windows and doors. Investing in the right insulation ensures that a home is protected so that people do not have to turn up the heat to stay warm at night. Additionally, updating windows and doors ensures that air does not leak out, wasting energy in the process. Such an update increases a property’s value, stops heat loss and lowers costs. A simple call to professionals can get this job done quickly and efficiently.

Renewable Energy

One of the most effective ways to improve energy efficiency in the home is to generate your electricity through renewable energy systems. This could include using solar panels, heat pumps and even small wind turbines. Although this process may seem time-consuming and costly, in fact, these systems will eventually pay for themselves after a number of years as well as reducing your energy costs and bills. Become self-sufficient, save money and help the environment all at the same time.

Ducts System

In many households, 20% of the air moving between ducts is lost because of leaks. This means that owners have to pay for lost energy. No one should have to turn up the thermostat because of such issues. Sealing ducts or repairing them in lofts, garages and basements can save a lot of money in utility bill expenses. Professionals understand how to identify the duct system, suggest updates and seal or balance the ducts. This keeps the house comfortable and ensures that the heating system is efficient.

Really paying attention to one’s heating system is the key to lowering utility bills and making a home energy efficient. Small updates and repairs to the insulation, ducts and system ensure that energy is not wasted or needlessly released. This is a chance to help the environment, reduce your carbon footprint and permanently lower expenses.

Investing in Regular Updates

Smart homeowners will have boilers and heating systems inspected twice each year. This ensures that the system is cleaned and properly working. Such tune-ups improve comfort and efficiency because heating engineers can clean and repair filters and other parts of the system. Small issues will be remedied, which protects homeowners from breakdowns.

Central Heating Services for Domestic Purposes

central heating

A centralised heating system provides warmth to the interior or parts of the house. This system is primarily used to control the temperature of the house and maintains the warmness inside. Depending on the choice of the owner, warm air heaters can be installed in multiple rooms or in just one room. However the services don’t stop there, they also expand into commercial and industrial factories and settings. Heating is essential for workspaces to keep employees and clients from the cold. Although they can be used in the home, warm air heaters are amongst the most popular way to spread heat through large spaces. Below are the different methods used for central heating services for domestic purposes.

Forced-Air Furnace
This system creates warmth through the burning of fuels in a boiler or a furnace. It may create warmth from a point in the house and allocate it to some other parts of the house through pipes known as ductwork. These pipes transmit the heat from the furnace to the rest of the house. A forced-air heat system characterises a relatively easy technology and needs only a few simple operating mechanisms.

Electric Resistance Heating
This system uses an element that’s attached to an electrical supply. This then transmits current through the radiators, changes it into heat, and then, allocates it throughout the ventilation system by using fans in the furnace. In terms of energy efficiency, this type of system can be controlled in separate rooms, saving 20 to 50% in energy.

Steam Boilers
This type of heater distributes warmth through convection, warming the air by permitting the heat to merely, be immersed into the air. This system does not utilise duct-work for distribution, therefore there aren’t any specks of dust agitating through the air and no filters to alter. The dust just settles out on the floor and furniture and can be dusted away or vacuumed. Engineers should be called if you need an expert to check your equipment, do boiler repair, and replace defective parts.

Natural Gas Boilers
Natural gas is one of the most popular choices for central heating in the UK. It is supplied in most homes as gas is already incorporated in the house, and there is no need for additional storage space. Acquire services from a reputable supplier for your gas boiler installation. Make them issue a landlord gas safety certificate and have them explain this safety record to you thoroughly.

Heat Pumps
These are a good substitute in warm weather conditions. This system allows you to raise or reduce the temperature of the house, or switch from cooling to heating in an instant. In addition to this, they don’t produce fumes or smoke to the air. The filters purify and clean the air removing mould, dust, odours, spores, and other harmful particles in the air.

The main purpose of having a centralised heating service is to guarantee that the household members are given sufficient warm air temperature and hotness at a degree to which they can be comfortable. However, one must also consider various factors such as age and lifestyle of the users in choosing domestic services. Make sure to also have an emergency generator installed in case of power outages.

How to organise your home

home

For many of us, no matter how many times we tidy up our home, they always seem to get messy at the end of the day. We then end up tidying every day for the rest of our week. Many people who are living in smaller accommodations usually face this problem. To end the continuous loop of tidying, it’s time to organise our own home. Organising your home will make the room less cluttered and easier to manage. To get started, we’ve come up with the following tips.

Make space

To make some more space in your room, it’s ideal to get rid of any furniture or small decors that are taking up space. With less minimal furniture and decoration, your room will look more spacious and easier to manage. A bigger space will also make the room feel more relaxing and organised.

Declutter

Declutter is essential for homeowners who are living in small spaces. It’s important to declutter more often to make space in your home. For some people, it may be hard to declutter especially for those who like to collect items. The tip for decluttering is to get rid of any unwanted item that has not been used for the past year.

Create your own system

Create a system that works best for you. For instance, you may want to start throwing away any unwanted item in each room. Instead of tackling them all at once, it will be less stressful to work on them one by one.  

Unwanted storage boxes

Now that you have gotten rid of items that you no longer need, it’s time to get rid of any empty storage boxes. Many people think that buying a storage box will make everything organised, but normally these boxes end up becoming a clutter that takes up your room space.

Kitchen Design Trend: Stainless Steel Cabinets

Kitchen Design Trend: Stainless Steel Cabinets

The kitchen is one of the central attractions of a house. When we think of remodelling our house, we think about kitchen first. When we think of moving to a new house, we tend to have a look at the kitchen first. The kitchen is the place where you spend some personal time cooking food for yourself and your family. You also entertain guests sometime in your kitchen if it’s large enough. A modern kitchen has everything you need to prepare and cook food.

If you are thinking of a modern kitchen then you should consider having stainless steel kitchen cabinets. Nowadays a chef’s kitchen is full of ultra-modern appliances. Only stainless steel cabinets will match the décor; whereas, other materials like wood may look out of place. There are various reasons for having g this type of cabinets. These are discussed below.

Durability

Stainless steel is more durable than wood. It won’t crack or have any mold or mildew issues. So, stainless steel cabinets will last for a long time if maintained well. You won’t need to replace it very often. So, you can consider it to be a ‘one-time’ investment.

Matches with any décor

Stainless steel cabinets will match any kitchen style. It can combine with wood or other materials and create a visual interest. It will look good with any type of kitchen. You can add glass panels to the cabinet doors to tone down the look of your stainless steel cabinets.

Better than wooden cabinets

Unlike wooden cabinets, you won’t need to reface it. There won’t be any paint related problem as well. There won’t be any warping problem. The stainless steel cabinets come pre-assembled. So, it will be very easy to install. Stainless steel is strong and they are durable.

Easy to maintain and clean

Stainless steel cabinets are bacteria resistant. So, it is best for those who have sensitivities to paint. You can easily clean it with household cleaner and a piece of damp cloth. If you clean it every day, it will remain in good condition and you won’t have to think about replacing it.

You will find stainless steel cabinets in different sizes and styles to suit your kitchen space and décor. Stainless steel cabinets can be expensive. So, you can combine other materials, like wood, and lower the cost. When you buy stainless steel kitchen cabinet, make sure that they are rust proof. You should look at the various designs available and then buy one according to your preference and budget. If you want your kitchen to stand out then you should have stainless steel cabinets in your kitchen. It is the latest trend now and your kitchen will look modern and stylish.

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.

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”