Tag Archives: winter months

Home Energy Efficiency Myths

Home Energy Efficiency Myths

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Over recent years, home energy efficiency has become a major talking point, with more and more people seeking tips that can help keep their bills – and their home’s impact on the environment – as low as possible. As tends to happen when a topic becomes popular, the good advice tends to be joined by a few myths that can potentially stymy people’s ability to actually improve the energy efficiency of their home as a whole. Below, we’ve outlined a few of these myths, so you know which measures aren’t worth your time – and which ones are. 

MYTH: Hand washing dishes is preferable to using a dishwasher

It’s claimed that there are two benefits to hand washing over using a dishwasher. The first is related to the energy needed to heat the water for washing; according to the myth, less hot water is needed to wash dishes by hand, and thus less energy needs to be used to heat that water. The second is in terms of the water itself, with the myth suggesting that dishwashers use more water than people generally use to hand-wash, which means dishwashers increase water waste.  Neither point, however, is accurate – dishwashers are the more efficient choice, by every metric, every time.

MYTH: Black radiators are preferable to white radiators when it comes to heating your home

If you were to leave two shirts, one black and one white, out in the sun for an hour, the black one would be much hotter to the touch than the white – so this myth does have a basis in scientific fact. However, the difference is in the type of heat; in our example, it’s thermal heat that makes the black shirt feel hotter, but radiators primarily produce convective heat – which colors do not impact. While radiators do produce some thermal heat, it’s not significant enough for you to see any real benefits from black radiators. If you paint a white radiator black than you might see tiny benefits due to the extra layer of insulation, but it’s not significant enough to be worth going out of your way for – if you like the idea of black radiators as a design feature, then go for it, but doing so won’t make an appreciable difference to your heating bills.

MYTH: It’s better to leave your home heating on all day rather than turn it off and on continually 

This myth would make sense if everyone lives in a hermetically-sealed property where it was impossible for internally-heated air to escape – but no one does live in such a property. Our homes are losing energy all the time, which means that if the heat is left on all day, then heat is being lost all day too. It is far preferable to turn your heat on and off as and when needed. 

MYTH: Use plastic wrap to cover windows and prevent heat from escaping

Around 25% of a property’s heat is lost through the windows, so this myth seems to pose a sensible solution to this problem – simply use plastic wrap to add an extra layer of insulation but without preventing natural daylight from entering the room. However, the benefits of doing this are negligible, it’s unsightly, and plastic wrap at all is less than ideal from an environmental standpoint. Realistically, modern double-glazed windows that have been properly installed and are well-maintained are always the best way to prevent heat loss via the windows in your home. 

So what does work? 

All of the myths developed for a reason: because people want to make their home more efficient and cut their energy bills, especially over the winter months. The fact that the above myths have been busted doesn’t change the fact that people still want to see the benefits of a more efficient home – so it’s worth discussing the measures that can actually make an appreciable difference in this regard. 

Most of the principles of good energy efficiency will be familiar to most; there’s simply no magic remedy that will slash bills and cut energy usage dramatically. Instead, focus on the fundamentals: 

  • Ensure that your home is adequately insulated
  • Replace old or damaged windows to help retain heat in your home
  • Keep the thermostat as low as is comfortable and safe
  • Swap your conventional light bulbs for LEDs
  • Turn the lights off when a room is not in use
  • Unplug devices rather than leaving them on standby

The above methods can really help to keep your home as energy efficient as possible, so you can set the myths aside and focus on achieving tangible results.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

10 Home Hazards You Should Never Ignore

10 Home Hazards You Should Never Ignore

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As much as we may all love for our homes to run smoothly and always look great, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you can put an incredible amount of time, energy, and effort into creating the perfect home, for it to all far apart the next day. Because accidents happen! You may take pride in how your home looks, but if you’re not careful about the practicalities of things, you may find that you’re faced with a bunch of issues. Your interiors may be your pride and joy, but they’re only the superficial side of your property. In order for your home to truly look great, you have to take care of the bricks and mortar too!

 

While it’s not always possible to be prepared when issues arise, there are things that you can do to make sure that your home stays as hassle-free as possible. By both doing a little DIY and bringing in the professionals, you’ll be able to keep it together. But first of all, you need to know exactly how you do that. Because it’s only easy to keep on top of things when you know what you’re looking for. So we’re going to take a look at some of the main areas of your home that you need to keep an eye on. When you do, you should be able to keep your home hazards at bay.

 

  1. Foundation Issues

 

We’re going to kick off with something that can really impact on how safe your house is, and that’s your foundation. Because if you ever have issues with your foundations, such as basement floor cracks or subsidence, you need to get it look at as soon as possible. Ignoring these problems or writing them off as non-serious could cost you your home. With foundation issues, all it takes is a small shift and you home could end up collapsing! So be sure to get these issues looked into to save you stress and further expenses in the future.

 

  1. Roof Leaks

 

From the very bottom all the way up to the top, we’re now going to head to the roof. Your roof may leak for a range of reasons, but you should never just think that’s just how your particular roof is. Because you may find that the leak is a huge problem and it could cause the structure to weaken over time. If you’re worried about the source of the leak, bring a professional in to analyze the area to make sure its safe and carry out the repairs.

 

  1. Bathroom Leaks

 

Another place that can commonly get leaks in the home is your bathroom. A lot of the time, these leaks are more annoying than anything else. But if you find that you have a leaky faucet or pipes anywhere, you’ll want to get a plumber in to check the source. Sometimes, a small leak will cause a pipe to burst and your bathroom to flood. But you can avoid this by getting it looked at.

 

  1. Boiler Issues

 

If you have a boiler in your home for your heating system, you’ll probably always be weary of this breaking – because nobody wants to be without hot water. If you’re worried about issues, take a look at the most common boiler problems so that you can take action as soon as something happens. Reading up may save you money too!

 

  1. Appliance Problems

 

Heading into the kitchen, if you find that any of your major appliances seem to be on the blink, do not just put it down to age. Remember, these items are electrical items – so that use water! Whether they’re just not working properly, you’ve got issues with lights, or anything – unplug the appliance and get it repaired. You could stop someone from getting hurt by doing this.

 

  1. Window & Door Drafts

 

A less serious, but equally frustrating, issue around the home is drafts coming through your windows and doors. Sometimes, you’ll find that they can be fixed easily with covers, but you may need to get them replaced. You could end up paying more on your heating bills when you live with drafty doors and windows.

 

  1. Badly Drawing Chimney

 

During the winter months, there’s nothing quite like lighting a fire for comfort and warmth. But when the chimney just doesn’t seem to be drawing strongly enough, it can be incredibly frustrating. That’s not all, when you can’t seem to get the fire going as strongly as you’d like, you’re likely having chimney airflow issues that need sorting. Sometimes, a good old clean is all it needs, but be careful about lighting too many fires when the smoke can’t clear, as this will be a health hazard.

 

  1. Poorly Ventilated Rooms

 

It’s easy to forget about opening little windows around the home to keep the air flowing – especially when it’s cold outside. However, when you’re not ventilating your rooms, you may find that mold and mildew tends to set in! This can then really affect your health, and it can cause issues with the structure of your home too. So open those windows and if you do have some mold and mildew setting in, get a professional in to remove it and reinforce the walls.

 

  1. Faulty Locks

 

When your find that one of your main entrance doors is having a few problems locking properly, you always think that you’ll get it looked at – but you really do have to do this now! If you leave it, you may risk a break in. Securing your home is incredibly important if you want to keep your family and possessions safe.

 

  1. Faulty Electrics

 

Finally, you should always look to be weary of faulty electrics. If you ever notice that fuses seem to blow frequently, or you’re having electrical issues with any plug or appliances around the home, call in your electrician. It’s important that you get these taken care of as soon as possible so that no fires are caused as a result.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.