Energy efficiency in your loft conversion

For homeowners looking to achieve a little extra space for their family often choose to convert the loft. It’s a popular move for homes tight on space to maximise square footage and hopefully add value to their property. So popular, in fact, that around every 4 in 10 homes in London has a form of loft conversion.

Loft conversions, as useful as they are, can be about more than adding space and act as a great opportunity to take on matters of energy efficiency in your home. It’s a chance to upgrade lighting to top performing LED bulbs, updating an old boiler to a more efficient one or install insulation.

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Every loft conversion requires building regulation approval. Whilst it is the homeowner’s responsibility, a good contractor should help with the approval process. As part of the approval, energy efficiency ranks highly with a strong focus on minimising possible heat loss. Heat loss must be kept to a minimum during a loft conversion by placing insulation between rafters and underneath them and ensuring the continuity of wall and roof insulation as well.

Most conversions will be completed with the standard amount of insulation as required by building regulations, but it is wise to ask for more. A higher level of insulation can keep a loft conversion better protected from extremes of temperatures, improve sound proofing and also save money on energy bills.

To prevent a loss of heat through any lighting fixtures in the loft conversion, try Downlight Covers from a site like https://www.thermahooddirect.com

As well as insulation, it’s important to think about energy efficient windows. Insulation will be pointless if the windows are inefficient. A+ rated double or triple glazed windows will offer the best savings on energy bills. This grade of windows will provide the benefits of a warm, cosy room, great sound proofing and a reduction in the accumulation of condensation.

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Keeping a loft space warm in winter is another important factor and this can be achieved by adding more radiators that are controllable with thermostatic valves. Smart home devices are now available which can help to control the heating throughout the whole house from an app on a smartphone. Controlling heating this way can help save money and make a home more energy efficient, so having a loft conversion could be the perfect time to invest in some new digital devices. For those with controllable heating, they could be seeing savings of up to £120 each year.

Six ways to inspire the people around you

Some powerful words can make a big difference in someone’s life, and being able inspire isn’t a skill reserved for a rare few. Here’s a look at six ways to make an impact.

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1. Be authentic

Genuinely care for the other person and show that compassion. Be true to yourself and be confident and comfortable with yourself; you want to display a strong sense of self so that you’re showing the same personality no matter who you’re talking to. Authenticity and honesty are inspiring, and it will also help in building two-way trust.

2. Listen Up

There’s a difference between listening without hearing and actively listening. Absorb what the other person is saying and process it. This will allow you to ask questions to follow up as necessary and to respond in a deeper, more meaningful way. Make eye contact, as this will help you maintain concentration while encouraging the other person to actively participate in what you’re saying.

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3. Show Your Human Side

Everyone has flaws; it’s part of being a human being. Admit your mistakes and don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses because that in itself is a strength that will encourage others.

4. Be bold

In order to inspire, you need to think outside the box. Be expressive and reach beyond the basics, keeping your hopes high and your dreams big. That kind of ambitious desire will ignite excitement and motivation.

Stay calm and confident, show enthusiasm and hold your ground. When challenged in life, show how you’ve faced it. Show how you’ve persevered and grown stronger as a result. An inspirational speaker like https://www.adventureman.org/motivational-speaker/ will do just that and can inspires many people.

5. Give A Helping Hand

As a source of inspiration, you want to encourage and nurture rather than give standardised advice. Help someone to help themselves and give them the tools to figure out what they want and how to get there. That freedom will empower them.

6. Share your inspirations

Acknowledge the contributions of others, and pass along the things you’ve learned. What has inspired you or made a mark on your life in a positive way? Are there certain thoughts, theories, books, quotes or films that you think could motivate or be of benefit to someone else?

Five considerations when choosing a dry film lubricant

When considering a lubricant to employ in an industrial context, there are a wide range of choices out there. One of the first questions to answer is whether you should use a dry or oil-based lubricant for the job.

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According to Science Direct, one of the biggest factors for people who choose to go for a dry lubricant is superior cleanliness, along with increased performance in conditions with extreme temperatures or within a vacuum. Oil-based lubricants are fantastic for certain applications, but if you’ve already decided that your lubricant will be dry, let’s look at some key factors to consider.

Why does the part need to be lubricated?

Have other types of lubricant failed in previous installations, or has an issue of sticking just emerged with the part? Does your part idle for a large amount of time, then spring into action when required? Is there noise when this part interacts with others? Carefully considering these key points about lubrication can help you narrow down the lubricant to be employed in your system.

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Check out the substrate

Dry film lubricants all cure at different rates and at different temperatures. It is important to select surface treatments that will cure at the temperatures employed during the application of the parts. This is vital to ensure that all parts perform at the optimum level. If the lubricant needs to sit at temperatures higher than 300 degrees F to cure, its use must be carefully considered.

Are the parts plated?

If the parts to be treated are plated, to reduce corrosion, but also require lubrication in order to perform at a high level, the correct lubricant is essential. Some platings can break down at high temperatures, rendering the lubricant useless.

Does the coating need to be food safe?

If the parts that need lubricated are to be used in the production of food, ensuring that the lubricant is safe is essential. Talking to the experts at https://www.poeton.co.uk/treatments will help you choose the correct lubricant. Some lubricants are manufactured with food safety in mind and others are not, so the application of these parts is a hugely important consideration.

What about corrosion?

Some dry film lubricants also protect against corrosion. Selecting an appropriate lubricant for this can help if your parts are to be installed in less-than-favourable conditions.

 

Reline or replace: which drains service do you need?

If you’re experiencing problems with your drains, you might wonder what kind of services you’ll need to get them in working order. Your options are to have your drains relined, or, in some cases, it may be necessary to get them replaced.

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Relining

By far the easier of the two methods is to get your drains relined. This is also the least disruptive option. In order to know whether this is possible, a professional drainage company will take CCTV images of your drains to assess the extent of the damage.

If there’s only a small section of wear and tear, and no other problems have presented themselves on the images, then you might want to consider relining your drains.

In order to do this, you should choose a reputable drain lining company such as https://www.wilkinson-env.co.uk/sewer-repairs-drain-lining-concrete-cutting/. They’ll first clean and descale the area to be lined using machines and high-pressure water jets.

The drain lining will then be installed using air inflation, where it will cure against the drain over a period of a few hours. Once this is complete, the inflation tube is taken out and the drain is further cleaned to remove any leftover resin.

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Although you will have to wait until the lining has cured, this is still a quicker solution to solve your drain dilemma, compared to replacement. These days, it is also a standard procedure for any drain lining company.

Replacement

In some cases, your drains won’t be suitable for drain lining and will need replacing. This is often necessary where large areas of damage has occurred, or if there are other problems with your drains. It’s not a straightforward task, however, and involves a lot more work compared to lining.

According to The Telegraph, drain replacement involves digging a trench and laying a new drain. This could involve excavating and re-laying your drive, so it will be expensive and disruptive. It could be a particular problem if the drains lie underneath a building, for example, which would mean that pipes would need diverting.

However, the real benefit of choosing this more time- and money-intensive option is that it provides long-lasting results. Lining your drain may need re-doing over time, if there are bigger drain problems that need tackling, whereas once your drains have been replaced, they should last for the foreseeable future.

 

Strategies to re-engage disengaged secondary school students

There is little more frustrating for a teacher or a Maths Tutor Gloucester based such as https://www.achieverstutoring.org.uk/ than a disengaged, demotivated student. Often disruptive to the extent that they frequently disturb the rest of the class and affect their own learning, disengaged pupils are the source of much misery and feelings of failure amongst those who teach them.

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We all recognise the signs of a disengaged pupil – the refusal to join in with other students and the seeming inability to complete or even start tasks or homework, often coupled with disruptive behaviour – and know this can affect the future success of not only the disaffected student but also their peers.

What can teachers do to turn the student around? Aside from acknowledging the cause of the problem, are there certain strategies that will enable you to make a positive change?

The causes

The first step in attempting to help a disengaged student is discovering the reasons behind the behaviour. Most of these are pretty obvious – and unfortunately quite common. They include a complex or abusive home life, lack of friends, feelings of failure associated with low grades and low expectations of success, and overall low self-esteem.

According to Education Week, many young people feel that they don’t matter enough to their teachers and schools as a whole. This perception of low self-worth translates into feelings of futility and a lack of willingness to try for fear of failure.

What can be done?

There is no one strategy that will overcome these issues, of course. Every child is different, every situation unique, and every teacher has their own techniques; however, the main strategy should be to establish a good relationship with the student involved. Finding out more about them, their likes and dislikes and their feelings about themselves will help you as a teacher to come up with ways to engage their interest.

Above all, the advice is not to get frustrated and not to chastise; instead, praise the student at every opportunity and offer support where needed in whatever form this may take.

The environment in which students are taught has a role to play in engaging their attention and creating harmonious, productive environments. This is why some students work best in the one to one environment of a tutor.

We may never be able to get through to every disengaged student, but we can certainly try.

Heating Through History

As the harsh cold of winter descends, it makes you wonder how people overcame the biting cold before we had central heating. How did our ancestors keep warm and out of the freezing temperatures of winter?

Going back to the construction of Stonehenge, fire was the only source of heat when the temperature dropped. In the middle of each Neolithic home, fires were the focal point for the family to cook and warm themselves. Of course, for those cold nights – cosy animal furs and skins would have been used as clothing and blankets.

During Roman times, an ingenious method invented was under-floor heating. Harsh winters of the UK may have come as a bit of a nasty shock for wealthy Romans, so the hypocaust system was to be the answer to the problem of their cold villas. The hypocaust was the beginning of a smart central heating system that involved a stove being lit with fire and space being created between the walls and under the floor where the hot air could circulate. As you can imagine, it was a heavy and expensive system and the fuel would have been available for the very richest.

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Fortunately, our homes are much more comfortable today but if you don’t think your central heating is working properly, it could be a problem with your boiler. For Boiler installation Bristol, contact a company like www.greenerhomesgroup.co.uk/boiler-installations.html

Less well-off Romans were able to retreat to a public bath for heating. With hypocausts making rooms warm, others would have had sauna-type heating. Many Roman bathrooms had both warm and cold areas, along with sudatoriums (sweat rooms) like a sauna. The baths were very popular and played a big role in the cultural life of the entire Roman Empire.

The English are proud of their large number of castles but spare a thought for those citizens who had to put up with the cold medieval stone walls, unglazed windows and small fires to heat the vast rooms! This explains the large woven tapestries that were hung on the wall and on top of the windows to try to protect as much space as possible. Fires would have been lit and kept burning for months, which not only increased the risk of fire but would not be good for ventilation either.

Jump several hundred years into the future, Elizabethan architecture shows great niches where large fireplaces were installed and ornately decorated. This may be the first time that home heating also became a fashion statement. Chimneys were added to the rooms to improve ventilation and fire risk.

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The Victorian era saw coal became the fuel of choice with several large plants burning up to 30 tons of coal per day to keep buildings warm! A boiler room was required under the house that had a hot water boiler to feed dozens of different fireplaces.

These days the gas used for central heating is piped directly into our homes so that we do not have to suffer the chills of a stone castle or smoky conditions of an open fire kept burning in the middle of the house!

The right windows for you

We hardly ever think about windows, unless they need washing; however, when it comes to replacing them, there are numerous choices we must make. Size, depth, how many, safety and security.  Once you have had them installed you might consider having a Locksmith In Dublin company like locksafe.ie to come and fit new locks for you and repair any broken ones in old doors.

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Here is a simple guide to the main types of windows available and a few tips on getting the right windows for your home.

Double or triple?

The first choice you must make is what level of glazing you require. Most modern homes have double glazing, which offers a good degree of heat and sound insulation and is adequate for the majority of households. Triple glazing is usually not necessary unless you live in colder climates or areas in which noise is a problem.

Both double and triple glazing help to keep heat in your home. According to the Energy Saving Trust, energy-efficient glazing helps to reduce both your carbon footprint and your utility bills.

Material

The next major choice you are faced with – and the one most people take the longest time deciding – is from which material your windows will be made.

The most popular choice is plastic, commonly called PVCu. Cheaper than other materials, PVCu is durable and easy to care for, providing you with years of trouble-free enjoyment of your windows.

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Wooden windows are also popular, especially on older properties where they may suit the style of the home better. Wooden windows can be made of softwood or hardwood. They undoubtedly look good, although they require more maintenance – such as painting – than plastic ones.

Softwood is cheaper and will suit those on a lower budget; meanwhile, hardwood is more expensive but more durable and stable, promising to last longer than softwood.

Windows are also available in other materials, including metals such as aluminium and steel and composites such as timber clad with aluminium. These windows suit more modern-style homes better and may be expensive, as they often have to be specially made.

Style

The last issue you need to decide on when choosing windows is which style you desire. Most traditional homes opt for casement windows, which open outwards. They come in a number of different configurations.

Alternatives include those that tilt and turn – opening inwards – and sash windows, which are usually reserved for older homes.

How to maximise your workout

You do not want to spend hours in the gym, but you want to get fitter, slimmer, stronger and just plain healthier. However, there is a possibility that you are not getting the most out of your workout time.

It is quite possible to get a highly effective workout in just half an hour, and only a few times a week, if you maximize your workout.

Limit your exercise to 30-40 minutes. Many people, who really want to get as much out of their training as possible, spend a lot of time in the gym. However, the truth is that after 30 or 40 minutes, the benefits are not so great. To go for it, you should increase the intensity of exercise, so that you spend less time working. It is preferable to work out at a higher intensity for less time.

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High-intensity workout

If you are just getting started with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. Jogging or cycling, for example, it’s important to build up your endurance for at least 4 weeks before you get into something more intense. That means it will be at a level where you can easily talk without running out of breath. However, once you have a base of endurance, increase the intensity to increase the effectiveness of the exercise. For help and advice at a Gym Dublin, visit https://southsidegym.ie/

Protein

Many people do not pay enough attention to the protein they need to rebuild muscle. If you do not, you’ll get little out of your workout, as cardio and strength sessions both need protein for muscle building.

Water

Be sure to hydrate well throughout the day. It takes several hours for your body to absorb water, so you cannot just drink right before exercise. Try to make water drinking a habit all day long.

Carbohydrates

You will no doubt have heard that carbs are bad in terms of dieting, but carbs are our body’s main source of fuel. If you do intense exercise, you will need carbs, or you will not have enough energy. If you do use protein shakes, be sure to include carbs such as bananas which are a good source of fibre / high-low glycemic carbohydrate that you need to exercise.

Shakes

Use before and after exercise. It’s best to take a protein / carbohydrate shake before your workout and then one after as well. Taking one before your workout increases the flow of amino acids into the muscle during training, giving them the building blocks they need. Post workout, the protein helps to stimulate muscle growth.

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Slow lift

Many people contract their muscles slowly and then do a faster release. However, you can maximise your exercise by lifting slowly in both directions. Lift up and down for a count of 5 seconds in each direction.

Mix it up

Try to avoid completing the same workout routine repeatedly, otherwise your body will get used to that level of stress and you will not get an effective workout. When training for strength, mix up your routine every few weeks. When looking to do cardio training, it is recommended to cardio, it’s preferable to do some cross training, as opposed to jogging each time.

The best choice for hanging your baubles

Christmas is almost upon us and nothing gives a traditional and festive spirit quite like a real Christmas tree. There are actually several different types of trees used for this purpose and you probably didn’t know that there were so many varieties. Here are some of the most popular types of trees to decorate with baubles and Christmas lights:

The Firs – there are several types of Fir tree. The Nordmann Fir is very popular because it has excellent needle retention. They come from the mountains of southern Russia and have a beautiful dark green colour with a more rounded needle. It is one of the favorite trees for both symmetrical and strong branches for decorating.

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The Balsam Fir trees are traditional in the US and have a wonderful aroma. It is also a very dark green with silvery hue and needles that stay in place for a very long time.

The Douglas Fir is a bluish-green color and also very fragrant. It has a conical shape and is a firm favourite as its needles radiate in all directions from the branch. When the needles are crushed, they emit a wonderful sweet aroma.

Fraser Fir has dark green needles with a silvery hue on the underside. Offering a good retention of the needles, a pleasant smell and pyramid-like branches with great strength which turn upward. It became very popular in this country and makes a beautiful Christmas tree. For a Real Christmas Tree Leicester, visit https://www.welfordchristmastreefarm.co.uk  

Norway Spruce has long shiny needles but without proper care, the needles will fall off quite easily. The trees have a nice conical shape and smell sweet. This tree is found naturally in Central and Northern Europe and is a popular choice in the UK. Blue Spruce is one of the top examples among this species for needle retention and has very stiff needles that are great for hanging heavy ornaments from. In nature, the tree can live up to 600-800 years!

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The Pines – Austrian Pine has dark green needles and a good retention. It also has a moderate scent but not the strongest. Scots Pine is the most common type of these species that will be used for Christmas trees. It has stiff branches and dark green needles that will remain in the tree even when dry. This is a nice open tree that needs plenty of space for decoration with a beautiful bright green colour. This tree was introduced to the US by European settlers and is now the most common Christmas tree in the US. It has an excellent survival rate and will remain fresh throughout the season.

Other trees that you would not necessarily associate with Christmas but are used for this purpose include Cedars and Cypress trees. The Leland Cypress is good for people with allergies as it is light and fluffy with not much smell. They also don’t produce sap, which is ideal for people allergic to sap.