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An Eco-friendly motion sensor gadget that can turn the lights ON

Philips Hue, an advanced technology facilitated to automatically put the lights ON. This accessory adds the comfort of managing lights via Wi-Fi with an extraordinary motion sensor fixed to it. Philips is the very first and foremost to create this wireless device which is very simple to install with its powdered battery, incorporating all kind of artistic and magnificent colors.

How does Philips Hue work?

It set the lights ON only when the motion is detected by its sensor in the room and turns off automatically when no motion is sensed.

The sensitivity button helps to select Low, Medium, high options. Choosing a higher option means creating a smaller movement and choosing a lower setting generate larger movements.

Day and Night settings:

The sensor can help to trigger the lights ON when you wake up in the middle of the night without fumbling to the switchboards to turn on the lights. Also, you can set the timer to a ‘night scene’ for a dimmer and warm glowing light to make the obstacles visible.

During the daytime, the activated ‘white light’ helps to see the surroundings better and when no motion is detected it will dim down before automatically switched off.

The procedure is effortless and very simple. It lets to chose out which lights to turn on as well as pick out the time duration to keep the lights on when everyone has left.

Some advanced options:

  • lights will get dim before they turned off, select the option ‘ daylight sensitivity’, the motion sensor can be set to trigger lights on when the room is dark and saves energy during the daytime.
  • Sliding the button up and down helps to adjust the sensor during the daylight.
  • The ‘delete’ or ‘reset’ button is required when the device is no longer in use or relocating the device to some other place.

Set it up where it matters:

This is, of course, a very standard small white box shape comprised of AAA batteries to automate the lighting. The set up is supposed to be placed in or around the home. Simply mount the device to a wall, ceiling or attached to the metallic surfaces like refrigerators etc.

Adjust the detection angle in the correct direction by adjusting the sensor. The sensor does have detecting limit up to 16.5 feet away, so, set the device to the most used area in the house.

It is perfect for the garage area, basement, bathrooms, and hall where the light is needed for a shorter duration, One can set a longer limit through the app for a specific area  like a living area, and shorter duration limit in an area like kitchen, lawns etc

Here’s What You Need To Know About Biomass

Burning fossil fuels has been the staple for heating homes across the world for millennia. However, increased pressure on homeowners to reduce carbon emissions has seen a shift to renewable sources of energy and an investment in improving energy efficiency. One option for many homes is to install a Biomass heating system. There are several industrial-sized biomass heating systems, alongside biomass electricity generators in many UK cities, but companies are improving and refining the systems for use in the average UK home.

Biomass

 What are Biomass heating systems?

Biomass boilers are very similar to conventional gas boilers that you will be familiar with, providing you with space heating and hot water for the entire home, but instead of using gas (or oil) to produce the heat, they combust sustainably sourced wood. There are three Main Types of Wood Fuel:

  • Wood pellets are the most common type of domestic biomass fuel and can be packed and delivered in bags or bulks. Buying larger quantities at once is often cheaper than otherwise.
  • Wood chips are more expensive when it comes to transportation as they are less dense compared to pellets. In addition, they are only appropriate for homes that have space to store them.
  • Logwood is a source of energy relatively stable in price. Logs and other types of wood fuel are the first choices for those who are conscientious of their impact on the environment.

Every four weeks or so, the biomass boiler will need to be emptied of the ash. This can be put straight onto a compost heap to help fertilize the soil. Biomass boilers are designed to work all year round; however, you may choose to turn them off in the summer and use an alternative heating source, such as solar.

biomass energy source

Why is Biomass a good option?

  1. Affordable heating fuel – Although the price of wood fuel varies considerably, it is often cheaper than other heating options. You can also source your own fuel rather than relying on national suppliers. In more remote areas a well-stocked log pile will keep a biomass heating system running for many years without the need to purchase wood elsewhere.

 

  1. Financial support – Wood fuel boiler systems could benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). These government subsidies will vary for the type of property and expert advice should be sought.

 

  1. A low-carbon option – The carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is the same amount that was absorbed over the months and years that the plant was growing. The process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture, and transportation of the fuel, but if the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.

MCS-approved pellet fired, or gasification biomass boilers are comparable with the most efficient conventional gas boilers and, through the Renewable Heat Incentive, they produce a very healthy return (provided the heat demand on your EPC is sufficient). Therefore, provided you have space to house the fuel and the boiler itself and you are happy that you are going to have to ‘feed and clean’ the boiler on a regular basis, then a biomass boiler is certainly worth considering.

Also Read: Going green at home?

Obviously, they are very expensive to buy upfront, so this too is something you must bear in mind. If you have access to cheap finance, then installing a biomass boiler could be a no-brainer!

Costs and potential savings

Biomass boilers start at about £7,000 for a 12kW domestic version, which is sufficient to provide heat and hot water for a 4-bed house. A comparably sized gas boiler will only cost around £2500 to install. A bigger biomass boiler with an auto-feed hopper may cost closer to £12,000.

In terms of the cost of fuel, the average price of wood pellets is around 4.2p/kWh which is very much in line with mains gas, while oil costs a little more at 6p/kWh. However, the price of wood pellets is likely to become more attractive going forward since gas prices have continued to rise in recent years, and this trend looks to continue. Biomass boilers are completely independent of the fluctuating import prices of foreign fuels such as gas and oil.

However, if you are lucky enough to have a free supply of wood, then you can heat your home at zero cost. Maybe it’s time to consider planning your own patch of woodland or buying one which has permission for sustainable felling and clearing. The other option for those in urban areas is wooden pallets; these are often available for free from building yards and depots. However, care needs to be taken with these as some have been treated with chemicals and painted which will then release noxious fumes when burned.

Other things to consider

  • Wood boilers are larger than gas or oil equivalents and you will need space to store the fuel. This area will need to be somewhere that’s handy for deliveries as well as appropriate for feeding the boiler.
  • You will need a flue which meets the regulations for wood-burning appliances. This could be a new insulated stainless-steel flue pipe or an existing chimney, though chimneys normally need lining to make them safe and legal.
  • You may not need planning permission, but you should always check. All new wood heating systems must comply with building regulations, and the best way to ensure this is to use an installer who is a member of a competent person scheme.
  • Biomass boilers and stoves should be kept clean and swept regularly to remove ash. Ash quantities are generally very low (less than one per cent of fuel volume), but you will still need to empty the ash bin of a wood burning stove or boiler. This is likely to be weekly and never more than once a day. A log fire requires ash removal before every use.
  • Biomass boilers are much bigger than conventional boilers, since they will have to have some element of an auto-feed option. In the case of the Baxi Bioflo, it is 1.2m high, while a conventional gas boiler is half the size.

UPVC French doors – a buyers guide

uPVC French Doors: A buyer’s guide

French doors can add an elegant and classic look to any home, offering an easy flow through the home and linking outside spaces to the home effortlessly. French doors have been popular in British homes for a long time and the classic look will never go out of fashion. There are three options for homeowners in the modern market; French doors, Sliding Doors and Bi-folding doors. French doors are perfect for a medium opening, with two doors which open from the center to give the feel of a large, unobstructed gap. This gives a much wider area than a single door and provides easy access with no central bar or pane of glass, such as you would find on a sliding door. Sliding doors have become less fashionable in recent years and have been criticised for people walking into them and knocking them off their runner! Bi-folding doors are excellent for a large opening but are often excessive for a medium space as they are costly for a limited space.

UPVC French doors

French Door Materials

There are significant differences in the 3 types of material used for French door manufacture each one has its own features.

Timber: The main issue with using wooden external French doors is that, if not properly sealed, timber will saturate or dry out. This “instability” is what causes timber French doors to deform. They can develop draughts from gaps surrounding the door when the wood shrinks as it dries out or sticks & jams when the wood swells as it absorbs water. However, with good maintenance, hardwood timber doors will last 40 or more years, much longer than other materials.

Aluminum: Aluminium French doors are a good option, being very light and strong. However, also
being made from metal, they are cold to the touch.
The metallic structure of the frame necessitates a thermal break between the inside and outside
surfaces. If this thermal break is not made well, then the frames will transmit heat, cold and even
develop condensation on the inner surfaces.

UPVC French doors: This material has such a lot of things going for it. Light, strong, cost-efficient and a natural
insulator, UPVC frames used for French doors offer the best features of all the other material
combined. Most uPVC doors will last 20 or more years, giving excellent value for money and with a
wide choice of colors on the market now, they are the most versatile. Most uPVC doors also come
with multipoint locking systems as standard, improving the security of your doors.
In addition, uPVC doors are very easy to look after. All that they need to keep them looking as good
as new is a wipe/wash clean. They will never need painting and should retain their colour. They are
not affected by bad weather such as rain, frost, and snow nor should the colour fade in strong
sunlight. The door will not warp due to a change in the air temperature and moisture as a wooden
door does.

Energy Efficiency and Insulation

upvc french doors The door should be well insulated to stop the cold getting in and the heat getting out of your home thus making them very energy efficient. If you have glazing in the door it should either be double or triple glazed. Another benefit of being well insulated is that they should reduce noise levels inside your home if you happen to live on a street that is busy with traffic passing by. A good indication that your door has a quality seal is that when you close it shut it should do so with a good solid feel.
To make the doors as energy efficient as possible, a standard UPVC French door is fitted with double glazed sealed units. To further enhance the performance, the sealed units can be filled with Argon gas and low-emissivity glass can be substituted for standard glass. Some companies are offering triple glazed windows as well but always look for the A+ rated windows as they will be the most energy-efficient available. The UPVC frames themselves are multi-chambered (much like a honeycomb), which also benefits the overall energy efficiency of the door set. If you’re interested in making your home more eco-friendly, read our guide

Security

As mentioned previously, uPVC doors are often the most secure set of patio doors on the market. The security of French doors has, in the past, been subject to question. Modern French door designs have addressed previous criticism and can now incorporate security features such as:

1. Multi-point locks that engage at the top, bottom and sides
of the frame.
2. Deadbolts that secure the doors to the top & bottom of the
outer frame.
3. 5 lever mortice key locks on each door leaf.
4. Pinless hinges. 3 sets per door.
5. Internally operated thumb-turn locks (cannot be operated
from the outside).
6. Internally glazed & beaded so the glass cannot be removed
from the outside.
7. Toughened, tempered safety glass.

All these features mean that uPVC French doors are much more secure than their rivals and you can be secure in the knowledge that your doors are just as resilient as your hardwood front door! To make sure you are fully secure, buy a uPVC door with a British Standard PAS 24-1. This means that the door and frame, as well as the locking mechanism, have successfully gone through several physical tests.

Going green at home?

In this post we look at what constitutes a green home 

 

Eco-friendly. Energy-efficient. Sustainable. Responsible. Comfortable. Healthy. Economical. Smart. Fun.

Green Building is a whole-systems approach through design and building techniques to minimize environmental impact and reduce the energy consumption of buildings while contributing to the health of its occupants.”
—  City of Scottsdale Green Building Program

Ready to make the move to a green, eco-friendly, sustainable, energy-efficient home? It makes complete sense: Green homes are built using sustainable practices that conserve not only energy, water and other natural resources, but also preserve our environment, strengthen our local economy and promote a better quality of life for those who live there.

Benefits of a Green Home

  • Peace of mind – knowing you are contributing to global sustainability rather than global warming
  • Healthier for the occupants, the planet and future generations
  • Highly desirable from a resale value as demand — and energy costs — grow
  • Economical because it saves energy, water and other resources – and money
  • Eco-friendly and environmentally responsible thanks to use of resource-efficient and low-impact materials
  • Durable, comfortable and low maintenance
  • Cheaper to run!
     

Green Home Features

  • Built with local or regional materials such as adobe, block, brick, straw bale or advanced energy-efficient materials (i.e. Integra block or autoclaved aerated concrete)
  • Proper orientation, shaded areas and passive solar
  • Protected, shaded outdoor spaces to reduce the extreme temperature range between the exterior and interior of the house
  • Powered or supported by non-polluting sustainable energy sources including solar hot water, photo voltaics or wind
  • Super-tight building envelopes with upgraded insulation and high-performance windows and doors
  • Xeriscape (low water use) landscaping plus rainwater collection and storage systems
  • Energy Star-rated or better appliances
  • HVAC systems: Minimum 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating or better air conditioners utilizing efficient ductwork with adequate returns and filtration plus ceiling fans in all major rooms
  • Air source heat pump
  • Insulated properly
  • Healthy, comfortable indoor air quality and room environments
  • Sustainable interior materials (flooring like bamboo, concrete or cork and low VOC paint)
  • Water-efficient toilets, low-flow showerheads, graywater recovery systems, hot water recirculation system and other innovations

 

How to plant a tree

Trees reduce CO2 fact. You should know this….

How to plant a tree

  1. Choose at least a 5-to-6-foot tree grown to nursery standards.
  2. Select a site with enough room for roots and branches to reach full size. Avoid overhead and underground utilities.
  3. Dig a planting area as deep as the root ball and 3 to 5 times its diameter. Add fertilizer or other soil amendments.
  4. Set the root ball in the middle, even with ground level, but do not pack down the soil.
  5. Water generously.
  6. Stake the tree to flex with the wind. Mulch to within 6 inches of the tree trunk.
  7. Water regularly to keep the soil from drying out.

Did you know that…

  • Planting three trees around your house can block incoming sunlight by as much as 70 percent and reduce air-conditioning cost by 10 to 50 percent.
  • Awnings, overhangs, and shutters mounted on the south, east and west sides of your house will save you $100 to $150 each year thereafter in cooling costs.
  • Tree-filled neighborhoods can be up to 9 degrees cooler than unshaded streets.

Trees, Please

Have you ever noticed how much cooler it is in a grove of trees, or even how much more comfortable you feel just hearing the sound of the wind rustling in the leaves? Besides the aesthetic pleasure they give, trees can improve our quality of life in other ways as well.

Because they use carbon dioxide as they grow, trees can offset and even reduce CO2 emissions. If you plant three trees on the southeast and southwest sides of your home, you can cut your air conditioning bills as well as clean up the air and cool the globe. According to American Forests, the nation’s oldest citizens’ conservation organization, there are at least 100 million spots around our homes and in our towns and cities suitable for trees. When trees shade houses, buildings and pavement from the sun, they help cool down the “heat islands” that build up around pavement and other dark surfaces. “Nature’s air conditioners” also help clean up he air, by filtering airborne particles with their leaves and branches.

Trees and the forests they create play a critical role in maintaining the health of our environment. Their root systems prevent erosion and thereby protect water quality. Their leaves filter the air and, through the shade, they cast, reduce global warming. The natural community that develops around forests also helps protect the planet by providing a safe and nurturing environment for all kinds of fish and wildlife.

Unfortunately, forests in this country and around the world are being squeezed by increasing demands for wood and paper. For example, between 50 and 100 acres of tropical rainforest — an area the size of ten city blocks — are destroyed every minute. At that rate, there will be no intact tropical forest left within one hundred years. Forests in North America, particularly the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, are also under stress.

Many offices and individuals have already begun to address deforestation issues at home and abroad by recycling paper and by buying recycled paper products. Here are a few other actions you might consider to minimize your need for wood:

  • Hire eco-conscious carpenters or contractors.
    A growing number of construction suppliers are using wood salvaged from other construction projects, particularly in applications that will be hidden from view when the construction is complete. Other contractors are opting for lumber that is “sustainably” harvested from forests, so that the trees are removed from the forest selectively, without destroying the entire forest ecosystem.
  • Consider alternative building materials.
    Agricultural by-products such as wheat straw, coconut palm and bamboo have become viable materials for home and office construction.
  • Try paper alternatives.
    Some consumers and companies are turning to kenaf, a paper-like product derived from the fast-growing hibiscus cannabis plant. The plant produces 3-5 tons more fiber per acre than comparable trees that are harvested for paper production, and require 15-25% less energy during the production process.
  • Use computer technology for correspondence.
    Instead of printing out memos or letters on stationary, use electronic mail to get your messages across.
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