How to make your door as energy efficient as possible.

Friday, 22 December 2017

As part of the latest government efforts to promote green living, all new builds need to have external doors that are compliant with the latest energy efficient regulation. This relates to something called a U-value which measures how effective a material is as an insulator. Anything with a bad U-value will enable heat to escape easily, leaving an expensive, cold home which is not very eco-friendly at all. Confusingly the U-value itself translates as the lower the better. This is why some companies opt for A+ and below as a ratings scale which makes things a lot easier to understand.
You might not believe upgrading a door will make much of a difference to a home's energy efficiency, but a lot of heat can be lost between the home and the door, particularly with older single pane doors. There are lots of doors in any one home and all provide different privacy, accessibility and visibility options. It is important to ensure that those doors are as energy efficient as possible to the benefit of your home value, heating bills, home comfort and the environment.
Here are the best ways to ensure the doors in your home are as energy efficient as possible: 

Replace Older Doors

If you purchased an old home it is likely it still has the original exterior doors. They are unlikely to have been replaced, and so they won't be as efficient as newer types. Newer doors are designed to fit better and so are more insulating. Choosing something with a good U-value will ensure your door is as efficient as possible. Certain companies use a green certified label to promote their most energy efficient doors. 

Ensure Interior Doors Fit Well

Interior doors help to trap the heat into one single space which is really useful if you choose to just heat one room. Make sure your interior doors fit well and consider installing additional glass doors or bifold doors into your home for extra privacy and heat retention. 

Keep On Top of Bad Habits

Keeping on top of bad habits in the home will help your doors be as energy efficient as possible. For example: with any glass doors letting sunlight in you should open the curtains in the day so that the light can get in during winter, and in summer keep the curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day to keep the home cool. Keep curtains shut at night to protect against window draughts. 

Add Draft-proofing

Draught-proofing around your doors can help to stop air leaking out. Your draught-proofing needs to be extremely durable with doors that are used a lot and a tension seal will help with durability. You can find tips on draught-proofing your doors and other parts of your home in this handy Energy Savings Trust video

Buy A Truly Eco-Friendly Door

Even though some doors are labelled as green or eco-friendly, this isn't always the case. In lots of marketing, green labelling is used and yet the door actually contains lead or CFC's. A truly green door will be free of CFC and will be made with various eco-friendly compounds including ingredients like calcium and zinc which have a lighter carbon-footprint. These materials are just as durable as non eco-friendly materials. You should also try to buy from a manufacturer local to you where the door is made and sold in the same location. 

Bifold Doors

Bifold doors are a great way to increase the light and warmth in your home and despite concerns or ill-founded worries about their energy efficiency, they can be just as energy efficient as a standard exterior door. Bifold doors can keep your home safe and secure all whilst adding to the aesthetics of your home and the accessibility of your outdoors space. There are some ways to ensure the doors you do buy are as eco-friendly as possible:-

Weatherproofing

By its nature, glass is not exactly as weather-proof as building materials like brick or concrete. That's not to say it can't withstand harsh weather as well as your standard exterior door though. Usually bifold doors are installed with a low threshold to ensure the weather has the least possible chance of finding its way inside. The seal between the floor and the threshold is also likely to be much more secure if it is made from rubber. This helps keep the cold and rain out and the heat in. 

Frame Materials

The material the door is made from is important. UPVC frames aren't always the best 
choice. Wooden frames tend to be more high maintenance and aluminium can cost more. In most cases you will pay more for an eco-friendly and higher quality door but you'll get a return with its efficiency and the fact it will last you a long time. 

Glass

You will want to look for low-e glass on your bifold door. Low-e means low emissivity and is a coating that reflects heat. With a good u-value door the glass is likely to be low-e, but it is worth checking. Read this handy Energy Savings Trust article about eco-friendly glass and what to look out for. 
There are many different contributory factors that have to be addressed in order to make a home as energy efficient as possible. The time and effort is well worth it in exchange for a home that is eco-friendly, efficient and comfortable to live in.

The best celebrity style interiors.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Are you looking for that picture perfect celebrity style home? Do you come across the big double page spreads on the beautiful interior of the Beckham’s home and think about what it would be like to be able to have their incredible eye for design - or their very expensive interior designer!

 

Turns out you don’t need to have a famous designer to be your fairy godmother because we have found the best of the best designs for you to transform your home into the fairy castle you desire. Sophistication? Class? Tropical? Edgy? We have found the most popular celeb styles for you to choose from!

 


 

Shabby chic 

 

The shabby chic look tends to be furnishings which display their age, the scratched paint look often tends to be a popular choice. Shabby Chic is more of an elegant, dainty style which celebrities such as Taylor swift, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Simpson love! Jessica Simpson especially, loves to decorate her home with light colours, glistening chandeliers and rustic side tables to really create a calming, relaxed retreat. To tie the room together, add some made to measure curtains from family run companies like Plumbs

 

 

Vintage farmhouse

 

The vintage farmhouse style has become increasingly popular in recent years, the grand entrances, tall ceilings and large fireplaces achieve a cosy and homely living space with plenty of room for friends and family gatherings - perfect for christmas! World famous stars such as Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Whoopi Goldberg love their farmhouse homes. I’m sure Anne Hathaway didn’t have any second thoughts on spending millions on her farmhouse home in Connecticut which houses a stone fireplace, peaked ceilings and a large, wooden dining table to seat all her guests!

 

Parisian Style 

 

If anyone does design right, it’s the Parisian’s, whether it’s fashion or interior design - they know what they’re doing. The parisian style interior is a timeless classic, the floor length drapes, the array of beautiful antiques and the tiny details of gold, whether it rims a photo frame or mirror etc. A simple bunch of flowers is a popular finishing touch which ties the room together. Celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg and Ellen Degeneres are huge fans of this styled interior, for example, Mark Wahlberg introduces gold into details within the ceiling and around the mirror and fireplace.

 

 

Retro

 

For more of a fun, lively feel, a retro interior could be for you. With bold bright colours such as reds, yellows, blues etc. Matched with a range of patterns and textures such as shaggy rugs and a pattern wall, you are sure to have that ‘funky’ look down to a tee. From checked tiled flooring to pop art on the walls, this style really is wacky and wonderful. This style is very popular with Pharrell Williams whose home is full of bright, uplifting furniture and lighting. He has large images of cartoon characters hanging on the walls and bold coloured chairs which stand out in the room.

 

Have you got a favourite style for you home?

Weight loss help with The Independent Pharmacy.

Friday, 15 December 2017

So I have a little personal update for you. A week ago today I finally bit the bullett and started what I hope will be my success story with the #SlimFastChallenge

Having been to classes and followed plans before, I have to say it's so nice not to have food on my mind constantly - with most diets it's planning, cooking, weighing all the time. 

On this SlimFast 3-2-1 plan  it really couldn't be any easier!

This is how it works:

3 - snacks - slimfast have a huge range of snacks for under 100 calories but it is also recommended to eat a piece of fruit. I have been having two pieces of fruit and either a delicious Slim-Fast snack or a Babybel.

Today I had some SlimFast BBQ flavour Tortillas, a Slim-Fast  Chocolate Nutty Nougat bar and a pear.


2 - shakes - either a ready made one or two scoops of powder with 200ml of skimmed milk blitzed up in the smoothly maker with ice - yum! There is also the option of a meal replacement bar if you are out and about. These are between 210 and 230 calories.

1 - healthy 600 calorie meal.

It is also advised you drink 2 Litres of water a day which I have to admit has been the biggest struggle. I am terrible for forgetting to drink, I pester Liv all day long to drink as she is the same, but forget to do the same myself.

The taste test!
I was quite surprised how creamy and filling the shakes actually are, they are quite sweet for my taste but I have got used to them now.



All of the savoury snacks and chocolate bars I have tried are genuinely delicious and aren't like "diet" food at all. They taste just like any other little treat you would have. They are all under 100 calories so you know you can have a treat without blowing your daily intake.

The meal replacement bars were quite a shock for me as they are so filling! The chocolate peanut one is my favourite with a cheeky cup of coffee.



As for my main meals, I usually eat healthily anyway so have been sticking to meat/fish and veg, salad or a jacket potato. I can honestly say I have not felt hungry or lacking energy even once which has really surprised me!

I have been recommended to try some pharmacy prescribed weight loss tablets too, which help by reducing fat absorption. They can help you lose an extra 1 pound to every 3! 

I will update you all in the new year, Merry Christmas!



Are you as superstitious as me?

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

One of the major things that changes when you become a parent is not being able to go out socialising as frequently as you once did (also without a pushchair and a suitcase full of essentials for the little one!)

To avoid becoming complete hermits, my Husband and I try to go around to our Brother & Sister in Laws - who also have Children - and sometimes as a treat when Livs gone to bed and I'm feeling lucky, I break out the laptop for a couple of games of online Bingo



It has saved me from some truly brain numbing evenings during football season *yawn* and even though I seem to have more bad luck than good (I must have smashed a mirror or two at some point!) it's still great fun to play and chat.

I haven't had chance to play since we visited the Donkey Sanctuary last month where we bought a lucky donkey shoe - here's hoping it does what it says!

Personally I am more than a little superstitious, my Husband thinks it is hilarious when I panic as he approaches the dining table with new shoes in his hand, yell at him in the street to avoid walking over 3 grids or stop yo salute a single magpie, although I think my Nana must have made up the new shoes one though because no one I know has ever heard of it!

My Nana was one of those hardcore Bingo Ladies who got cross if people were talking or heaven forbid - laughing! How times have changed - thankfully! No need to worry about that in the comfort of your own home!

Do you have any superstitions to avoid bad luck or anything you do/carry for good luck? 

Leave a comment and share I'd love to know!