Category: Home

Going Green? Here’s How to Prepare Your Home

Sure, going green is all the rage now but are there any actual benefits besides making your home a bit more trendy? By focusing on sustainability and working towards making your home more energy efficient, you can, in fact, save quite a bit of money – and there are a variety of benefits for our planets in it as well.

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As a homeowner, there is so much you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and make sure that the house you live in is helping the environment rather than damaging it. From solar power to growing your own kitchen vegetables, composting the leftovers, and saving a small fortune on your energy bills; here is a handful of ways to make your home a bit greener today already.

 

That way, you can get started with those savings a bit sooner and can pride yourself on having one of the most energy-efficient homes in the neighbourhood.

 

First: Saving electricity and saving money

 

Any investment that will help our wallets as well as our environment should be worth making. A lot of homes are starting to choose solar power now instead of relying on the regular power supplied by the municipality. There is an odd sense of freedom in it, almost as if you’re living off the grid, but the money you have to put into it first may put some people off.

 

Solar power is definitely one of those home improvements you should make as soon as you can afford it but not sooner than that. Start by having a look at this guide to solar financing and work out when you might be able to afford it.

 

The benefits are, undeniably, so many that they outweigh the initial costs by far – and, if there should be a power outage in your area, you’ll be the only house that is still shining brightly in all of the darkness. Keep in mind that you have a lot of different options in terms of choosing solar financing, though, so you might be able to afford it a bit sooner than you think.

 

Another point to saving both electricity and money at home is, of course, to go for energy efficient light bulbs and remind everyone in the household that they need to turn the lights and other appliances off in order to save electricity. If you have kids at home, it might help to show them the electricity bill so that they can get an understanding of how much you actually pay.

 

You can make a game out of saving power and money as well, though, if you have more than one kid. Promise them a surprise treat if you manage to squeeze down the bill to a certain number and you’ll probably be finding your kids sitting in the dark more often than not – but at least they’ll focus on saving power.

 

Next: Buying local produce

 

A household that thinks the environment is important should always buy its produce locally as well as seasonally. There are so many benefits to this as well, though, and by buying most of your produce according to the seasons, you’ll end up with plump and delicious food every time.

 

Try to find a good farmer’s market in your local area, first of all, and start buying your produce from their stalls. They will have farms nearby, in any way, so you can rest assured that the food they are selling has travelled short and that it will be in season.

 

This way, you’re ensuring that no food has arrived at your doorstep by plane and you might influence your community to do the same when they see you walking home with a basket full of seasonal food. Going green is, after all, sometimes about making a statement and influencing the others to follow your lead as well as you won’t really be able to make that big of a difference all on your own.

 

If you’re already buying all of your produce locally and always according to the seasons, you might want to step it up a bit. Growing your own kitchen vegetables is fun, delicious, and ridiculously easy. Just start by having a look at this article to learn all about the foods you can grow with ease; leafy greens will always do great and you won’t have to wait too long before it’s fully grown.

 

Remember to save water

 

No household is a proper shade of green before it manages its water consumption. This is something you will have to plan and discuss with the rest of your family, though, to make sure everyone is on board – otherwise, you might find yourself knocking on the bathroom door one too many times.

 

Start by taking the time to fix any leaks so that you’re not wasting any water unnecessarily. This is a quick thing to do, though, but you can always call up a plumber to help you out in case you’ve never done it before.

 

After this, there are a variety of lifestyle changes you can make to save even more water; never let the tap run freely while brushing your teeth or shaving and try to shower for no more than five minutes.

 

You could also install a low-flow showerhead, by the way, if you don’t trust the others to keep their showers only five minutes long. It doesn’t cost much at all and will definitely help you to save a ton of water.

 

Use natural cleaning products

 

Finally, now that you’ve improved your home and made it so much greener, it’s time to put the cherry on top by changing out your cleaning products. Harsh chemicals are bad for your health, skin and the environment – so swapping them out for something more gentle should be a no-brainer.

 

There are a lot of environmentally friendly products in the shop now, though, in case you’re not that into using vinegar, lemon, and baking soda for all of your cleaning purposes. If you don’t mind it, you’ll have everything you need ready at hand in the cupboard – so you can get cleaning and saving the planet right away.

 

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Small Changes to Add Tranquility to Your Home

We all think that it is necessary to invest a lot of money in our homes to feel happier, and we have to increase our home improvement budget to feel happier in our own space. However, some small changes will help you make a big difference, too. So don’t worry if you have a limited budget; you can always implement the below tips and make your home feel more like a happy and tranquil place.

Natural Flooring

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Changing your flooring might seem like hard work, but a professional can complete the job in just a few hours. You should get rid of the easy-to-stain carpet and invest some natural wood or other sustainable materials. They will make you feel connected with the Earth and nature, and give your living area the sophisticated look it needs. Natural flooring can make a huge difference in your life and in your living environment, too.

Plants

Of course, green is known to make us feel more connected, healthier, and happier. If you have been skipping buying indoor plants, due to the lack of space or your fear of killing them, it might be time to visit one of the local garden centers where you can get plants that are impossible to kill. Utilize your corner space by adding either a ladder plant shelf or a few corner floating shelves and improve your indoor air quality without having to invest in an expensive air purifier.

Water Features

To achieve the mental health benefits of the sound of water without meditating, you can add a smart water feature to your living room, too. There are plenty of homemade and ready to use solutions available, depending on the room you have available, and your taste. If you are planning on designing your own water feature, you might need to shop around for a grundfos cr pump that will power your waterfall or feature.  

Mood Lighting

Artificial light can hurt our eyes, so you need to get the lighting and shading in your home right. You can have a mood lighting feature in your reception room, so you will enjoy a different atmosphere when you are reading a book, entertaining friends, or chilling at night. Mood lighting is a great way of transforming your home without making big changes.

Happy Colors

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The colors you surround yourself will influence your health, wealth, and wellbeing. Identify your happy colors that make you smile and add them to your home decor. No matter if it is your feature wall you are using the color, or different decorative items, you will be able to turn your house into your own sanctuary and feel better setting foot in your rooms.

 

There are several different ways you can improve the look and feel of your home without starting a huge renovation project. Implement one of the above features to feel more connected, happier, and better supported and improve your mood when you are staying home. Surrounding yourself with things you love will help you make the most out of your time spent in your house.

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How To Ensure Your Home Is Kept Warm During Cold Weather

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Whilst for some the cold weather may be months away, certain places of the world are experiencing one of their coldest winters yet. As the temperature continues to drop it’s important to ensure your home is a safe and hospitable environment for all the family. Whether it’s ensuring your boiler is in good condition or making sure everyone wraps up warm during the night, staying warm during winter is vital if you want to stay healthy and well.

 

With that in mind, here are 6 ways to ensure your home is kept warm during cold weather:

 

 

  • Ensure Your Heating Comes On Using A Timer

 

 

If you don’t want to have your heating on 24/7 there is a function that allows you to set your boiler so that it comes on and off using a timer. Most people tend to set theirs so that it comes on early in the morning and goes off late at night, avoiding having it on overnight. Whilst this is the most energy efficient way to use your heating, others prefer to use their heating throughout the night when they’re home rather than during the day when they’re at work. Make sure you find out what works best for you.

 

 

  • Fix Any Areas That May Be Causing A Draft

 

 

If you find that in certain rooms you can feel a draft it’s important that you get them fixed as soon as possible. Not only will it mean you’re wasting money on heating, but it also means that you’ll find it home to heat your house to its full potential.

 

 

  • Invest In Some Decent Insulation

 

 

Most new builds will be fully insulated, however, if your house is more than 10-20 years old it may be worth checking with a contractor whether or not you have the correct insulation. If not, consider investing in it to help keep the heat in during the colder months.

 

 

  • Wrap Up Warm And Make The Most Of Your Blankets

 

 

Although the heating may be more than enough, sometimes it helps to make sure everyone at home is wrapping up warm and making use of your blankets. Getting cosy during cold weather is one of the best things about winter, especially if you have some good snacks and great movies to watch!

 

 

  • Keep Windows And Doors Closed Where Possible

 

 

Obviously, you will need to open doors when you leave the house, but keeping them closed at all other times will ensure the heat stays in. This will save money, and avoid any cold spells throughout the house.

 

 

  • Ensure Your Boiler Is Serviced And In Good Condition

 

 

Ensuring your boiler is in good condition is the best way to avoid any disasters during the colder months. Being left without heating and hot water during winter can be damaging to both you and your families health, so making sure your boiler has had its yearly service is vital. Ensure you have everything you need to keep you warm, including the correct water pressure booster system for larger houses.

 

Do you have any top tips to ensure your home is kept warm during winter? Let me know in the comment section below.

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New Year, New Home, New You

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Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet? It won’t be long until the clock strikes, and we’re there, in 2019 – the year you promised yourself would be different, you would be different. Before you know it, you’re back in work, January’s over and the year is in full swing, and nothing has changed. So to make sure you achieve those 2019 goals, be sure to prepare beforehand. Going into the new year ahead of the game with a clean house, all your jobs are done, you’ll feel ready to take on whatever 2019 has to throw at you.

 

Start as you mean to go on, so with just a few weeks left make a list of those things you need to do and have been putting off and see if you can get them done before Christmas arrives.

 

If you have everything sorted in your home, then the chance are you’ll be able to achieve everything you want to outside the house too. If you’re feeling good and satisfied at home and you don’t feel like you have an endless list of things to do there, then your mind can concentrate on other things, you’ll be able to focus and achieve so much more.

 

It’s the niggly bits, the things you think won’t take too long so you can do them any time, the appliance repairs, putting things away in the loft, putting those pictures on the wall, all those bits and bobs that you’ve just got used not to do them! You’ll feel so much better for it, and then 2019’s jobs can start piling up. If it seems too overwhelming at the moment, make a list, prioritize and break it up into smaller chunks. It’s all do-able, and if you have to get a few people in to help you, it’s no big deal and worth the investment.

 

Not only that but you’ll want to close 2018 off and feel like you finished anything you needed to, ready to jump into the new year with two feet. It’s a good idea to reflect on the year you’ve had, what you have achieved and then it’s easier to look forward and see what you want from the next year.

 

After you’ve sorted out the house, think about what else you want to achieve in the new year or where you want to go. Get something booked, get the ball rolling. Start telling people about what you want to do and make it real.

 

If it’s the weight you want to lose, start now, don’t wait until after the holiday. If it’s a class, you want to take or a trip, get it booked in, so it happens. Write everything down somewhere where you can look at it and remind yourself what you want. Tie up any loose ends and then get on with it! Good Luck!

 

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How To Turn Your Property Into A Smart Home

With so much technology now available to us, it’s no wonder homeowners are looking at ways of making their home more smarter to make daily life a little easier and less of a hassle. Here are a few ways that you can turn your property into a smart home.

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CCTV Security System

CCTV is something to get in your home as an extra layer of security. It gives you that ease of mind that your property is being watched if you’re ever away from the home. There are now CCTV systems that you can link up to your mobile device and gives you a live stream of your home right there and then. This is great if you don’t have anyone who can check your property while you’re away. Should anything suspicious be occurring, you’ll see it and simply phone the authorities.

 

Install USB Plug Sockets

You may have seen them pop up in cafes or restaurants, but these USB friendly plug sockets are great for charging multiple devices, particularly ones that don’t come with a plug. They’ll prove most useful if you’ve got lots of guests coming over and it’ll avoid any of them having to fight over a plug socket.

 

Get A Smart Speaker

Smart speakers are great for those with a passion for music. You can have it in the main living area, or if you love music that much, you can install a whole sound system that can all be linked up. So whenever you want a little music in the background over dinner or a sing-a-long in the shower, you pair your phone with the speaker, and away you go.

 

Some will even be Alexa compatible, which is great for some mid-shower inspiration. Next Level Audio Video is also becoming popular for it’s vast technological expertise for both residential and commercial properties.

 

Lighting Is Very Popular

When it comes to a smart home, smart lights are the most popular feature. These light bulbs may cost a little more than normal ones, but you’re able to tailor the light to suit your mood. Fancy a little red hue for a date night in? Or maybe go with a spooky green as the perfect accompaniment for watching a horror movie. These bulbs can all be programmed from your phone too, so no longer do you have to get up to dim or turn off the lights!

 

Be Smart With Your Heating

Your utilities can be a costly expense each month, so investing in a smart thermostat can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. This would replace your current thermostat, and then you can program it to your phone so you can make the necessary settings for your liking. As you use it more, the system learns your behaviour and then adapts it to make it more eco-friendly while cutting down on the cost.

 

With so many ways to transform your home to make it more efficient, technology is certainly paving the way for an easier way of living. Now, all we need is a smart robot to cook for us!

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