Easy Home Heating Hacks

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Now that the home is suitably cold every day and you find yourself wrapping up in more and more layers every evening, it’s time to start thinking about heating up the home. January is the coldest month of the year and it is always met with harsh winds, snow and lots of rain. When you come home you will want to be surrounded by warmth and with these easy hacks you will be.

 

Insulate everything

 

Insulate your walls, insulate your roof, insulate your floor, insulate your cow…wait, we’re getting mixed up with Mulan here. Anyway, if there is a place in your home right now which currently has no insulation: fill it up! Insulation is what protects the home from the cold outside as well as locking in the heat to stop it from escaping through the walls. Heating is super expensive and insulation can bring down your bills by a country mile.

 

Cook slow cooker meals

 

Is there really any reason why you wouldn’t want to cook a warming stew this winter? Slow cooker meals like these are exactly what you need in the cold, damp weather and they have the added benefit of warming the whole house up with them. If you place everything in a pot and cook it in the oven for a few hours you will be making some amazing food while keeping the whole house toasty too!

 

Secure the doors

 

One of the things which a lot of people don’t think about when they are doing up their home is to secure the doors and make sure there aren’t any gaps in the window frames. This is super important for heat conservation because when there are gaps in doors and windows the cold air can get into the home much more easily. This is why you should always use draught excluders if you can to keep the heat locked in.

 

Light candles

 

If you want to spread some calming scents and bring a nice atmosphere to the home as well as keep it warm, candles are your best friend. Candles can be a cheap way to heat the house up in the evenings and they will provide a soft glow of light to help you all settle down and feel relaxed at the end of the day. You can either choose lots of little tealights or buy one large festive candle which can sit on the mantelpiece. It can be the ideal thing to do to keep your home toasty and the family feeling cosy.

 

Get a better boiler

Sometimes the reason why your home isn’t staying warm can go beyond the regular explanations and it could be that your boiler is in need of fixing or being replaced. If you think your boiler is becoming weak you can call in All Hours Plumbing and HVAC water heating repair and they will be able to either fix your boiler or replace it to make sure your home can stay warm all season long.

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!

 

5 Ways To Secure Your Basement From Outside Threats

When you consider home security, it’s likely you’ve thought about locks on the doors and security lights outside. You may have even thought about a panic button upstairs and bars on the first floor and ground floor windows. The one place you haven’t thought about? The basement.

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The basement is a deceptive place in the house when you think about it. It’s the place you do your laundry in, play video games in, and possibly the place that houses your boiler. It’s under your house and accessed by the steps in your hall, and while it has a door leading to a set of outside steps, there’s a gate there, so you haven’t considered how you should secure it as a separate entity to the rest of the house. Here’s the thing: basements make for an easy entry point for outside threats, whether that be burglars in the holidays or rats sneaking in to find warmth. With a little know-how, you need to use these five ideas to secure your home against threats.

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  • Have Visible Windows

 

Having high bushes outside of the house that cover your windows can seem like a fantastic idea when it comes to making your house look tidy and well kept. However, it’s this that provides robbers with easy coverage. You need to cut back the plants so that windows remain visible. If you can see the windows, you can see the burglars.

 

 

  • Get To Know Your Exterminator

 

Not every threat is human. Rats and mice can scurry in through all the smallest cracks or open windows and doors. They can set up camp in the walls and you could lose electricity if they get through the wiring cupboards. Getting to know local pest control companies is a good idea. They can help you to eliminate the threat in a humane way so that your home stays safe!

 

 

  • Home Security Systems Are A Must

 

It’s likely you have a security system for the rest of the house, so invest a little further and have some of your security systems in the basement. Leave decals on the windows to warn the burglars that you are secured, and if they choose to ignore it, silent alarms can alert the cops.

 

 

  • Security Film On Windows Work!

 

Windows are great for keeping out the wind and rain, but they’re glass, which means that they’re easily breakable. If security bars aren’t your style, try covering the windows in security film. The glass will hold if the windows are hit with an object – as well as a kick or punch – and you can get it done in a weekend.

 

 

  • Light It Up

 

Security lights that cover the basement area outside are as important as the rest of the house. Take the time to get motion sensor lights installed to cover your basement and you can deter people from even trying to get in.

 

The basement is just as much a part of the home as the rest of it. Take the time to make it secure for you.

A Magical Christmas Eve

It is the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is just around the corner, the days are darker earlier, and the lights are twinkling in almost every window. As parents, we plan lovely long festive days, bake cookies, read stories, indulge long stories about Santa and ensure those little elves are working hard to get the right color teddy. But sometimes the most uncomplicated evenings are the best ones, and perfectly average can be utterly fabulous.

 

Get the good cups out! There is nothing like a big hot mug of cocoa, topped with cream or marshmallows. There are some fabulous recipes for slow cooker hot chocolate – which is brilliant for having more than one cup. It will stay warm for ages – easy!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

Get the blankets and the comfy loungewear washed. This time of year can be really heavy on the washing machine and tumble dryer. So before the week is out call someone to get yours looked over and book an appliance repair should you need one.

 

Take a lot of photos. With modern busy lives having time together like this isn’t always easy to come by, so take some pictures to savour as the children grow older.

 

Snacks galore! If you have the time, even though this time of year is incredibly busy, then you might like to take some time to make some fudge. If not then popcorn, pretzels, crudites and dip and plenty of Christmas spiced cookies are going to make the perfect companions.

 

Grab all the pillows. And lay them all over the floor or the couch. Make it extra snuggly and cosy. And, at this time of year with the dark nights and thick socks, it is more likely that the smaller members of the family might just fall asleep in the middle of the movie.

 

Create a magical key. Not every house has a chimney, and some kids are super, and they’ll ask how Santa will get to the tree to leave the gifts. Find or purchase a large key, and create a note that says something like

 

“Dear Santa here is a magical key to let you into our home love from XYZ.”

 

Get the children to place the key outside, somewhere only Santa will find it. (just remember to take it in and hide it once they’ve gone off to the land of nod).

 

Spend some time tracking the big man himself. You can download an app for your phone, or you can check on the internet and google something like ‘Santa Tracker’ and watch as he flies around the world dropping off gifts to all the girls and boys.

 

If you haven’t already written letters to Santa, Christmas Eve is the perfect time to put pen to paper. Not to ask for gifts, but just something nice about what they’ve been doing to celebrate the festive season.

 

And finally, when everyone is tucked up in bed, pour yourself a glass of your favourite beverage or a large hot drink and relax.

 

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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