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Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • 6 home modifications to help you save energy

    Money doesn’t grow on trees so we’ve put together six simple modifications you can make to your house and garden that will help you save on energy bills.
    drainage pumps home modifications to help you save energy

    1. Insulate or top up your insulation

    First, insulation. Not very glamorous and in fact hard to see once it’s done, but what a difference it makes. It can turn a draughty old property into a cosy home. It’s estimated that a quarter of the heat in a home is lost through the roof if it’s not properly insulated, and the payback is immediate.

    You may think that your roof has been insulated, but if it was done a few years ago, it’s probably nowhere near the standard of insulation that is now regarded as adequate. If your roof space is not too complex or irregular, you can try doing this as a DIY job. Use mineral wool, which is available in rolls. Start by putting a layer between the joists, and then put the next layer at right angles to cover the joists and achieve a sufficient depth.

    Be aware though that while the house is warmer, the roof space is colder, so any pipes in the roof will need lagging.


    2. Double-glaze doors and windows

    As well as making the house much quieter, and which of us wouldn’t welcome that, this will have a major effect on keeping draughts out and heat in. Other advantages include no more rattling window frames if you live in a windy area, so you can enjoy improved sleep and warmer mornings.


    3. Consider changing your boiler

    This is a somewhat controversial area, and you need to balance the energy-efficiency of new boilers with their shorter life and higher maintenance costs. With a new boiler coming in at £2,000, it’s not something you want to replace often. Yet some of the new energy-efficient boilers have poor reputations for longevity. And they really need to be on a monthly maintenance plan, which makes them less cost-effective. You need to weigh up your heating needs and consider the size of your house and the region you live in.


    4. Invest in a programmable controller for your heating

    One degree down on the thermostat is equal to 3% down on your energy use and therefore on your bill, so take a look at your thermostat. But once you’ve done that, make sure that your programmable controller is reflecting your heating needs and isn’t running when you’re at work. When the clocks change, adjust the heating timer straight away.


    5. Replacing drainage pumps

    People who use drainage pumps for ponds or swimming pools need to make sure they’re up to date. The new models are far more energy-efficient and retain suction, so they don’t have to be run for so long.


    6. Invest in new appliances

    You may think your freezer is a low-energy appliance, but you have to remember that it is on 24/7, so any reduction in the energy it uses is going to pay a big dividend. It’s worth getting a super-rated fridge and freezer next time, because these both need to operate at maximum efficiency. And keep the freezer filled as far as possible, because an empty freezer is even less efficient.

    Shop our drainage pumps online now. With these provisions in place, you should be sitting smugly when the next lot of winter storms rolls in.


  • Does your heating system need a condensate pump?

    In the UK, all new gas boilers installed after April 2005 and oil boilers after 2007 have to be condensing types. What this means is that they capture waste heat by condensing the steam, which on older types of boilers would have gone straight out of the flue.

    Does your heating system need a condensate pump?

    About your boiler

    These are not to be confused with combi boilers. Although combi boilers that generate hot water on demand rather than store it in a cylinder are condensing, there are also system boilers - ones that do have a hot water storage cylinder - that use the condensing principle too. These are usually found in larger properties or where there’s high demand for hot water, such as larger families.

    The process of capturing heat that would otherwise be wasted in a condensing boiler means they’re more efficient and use less fuel to heat the house. However, the capturing of that heat leads to the production of waste water, known as condensate. This is slightly acidic and needs to be properly disposed of. What usually happens is that the condensate is taken away from the boiler via a pipe, usually through an outside wall to a nearby drain. In most cases, this disposal of the condensate is taken care of by gravity, but if the boiler is sited a long way from a convenient drain or it’s installed below ground level - in a basement, for example - a different solution to the problem may have to be found.


    Condensate pumps

    If your boiler is situated so that the condensate isn’t able to drain away by gravity, then using a pump to remove the condensate is the most common option. Unlike the larger circulation pump in the heating system, these are small electric pumps designed specifically for the job.

    Because there’s only a relatively small amount of liquid involved, condensate pumps don’t need to run all the time. Instead, they use a small tank to collect and store the condensate as it’s produced. This has a float valve which switches on the pump when the condensate reaches a certain level so that it then gets taken away to the drain.


    Energy consumption

    Having the pump only run when it’s required means that less energy is used, so if you do need one in your system it will have minimal impact on your electricity usage. Suppliers like Grundfos produce a range of automatic condensate pumps suitable for use in most types of heating installation where a pump is likely to be required.

    The pump is usually installed close to the boiler so that it has a convenient electricity supply. They can be used in both wall-mounted or floor-standing installations, depending on the location. Most models are capable of lifting water up to a height of five metres, so there’s no problem with boilers installed in cellars. It’s also possible to add a neutralisation unit to some pumps in order to reduce the acidity of the condensate before it gets pumped out to the drain.

    If you do need a condensate pump, there are plenty of options to choose from, and it will keep your system running smoothly.


  • 10 energy-saving tips for your hot tub

    With the unpredictable British summer it’s important to make the most out of your hot tub when you can but that doesn’t have to mean costly overhead costs. The team here at Pump Sales Direct have put together a few energy saving tips to help you relax that little bit more.

    energy-saving tips for your hot tub with circulating pumps 1. Buy a multi-mode tub

    Make sure your tub has economy, sleep and standard modes of operating. Sleep mode generally heats the water to a few degrees below the temperature you’ve set, and only does so during filter cycles when the pump is running. When you want to use the tub, you only have to bring up to your preferred temperature - not heat the water from scratch.

    Standard usually maintains whatever temperature you have pre-set. Economy heats the water right up to the temperature you’ve set, but only during filter cycles.


    2. Investigate energy-efficient circulating pumps

    If you have an older pump, you’d be well advised to invest in a new one. Circulating pumps have become much more efficient, and pump efficiency is the key determinant of how much energy your hot tub uses.


    3. Two pumps may be better than one

    There are two pumping jobs in hot tubs. One task is moving the water through the system. The second task is pumping the water through the jets. However, some systems use a low-energy pump to keep the water circulating and another pump for the water jets. Since the water jets are only turned on when needed, a lot of the time the lower-wattage pump is the only one in use. However, this is initially a more expensive option, and some more sophisticated pumps can combine these options.


    4. Make sure you can adjust the duration of the filter cycle

    This can make a lot of difference to how much energy your tub uses. Good models will allow you to set any number between one and eight or ten hours.


    5. Put it in the right place

    Site the tub where it isn’t subject to strong winds constantly cooling the water and where you can possibly put an insulation layer below it to conserve heat and keep the base of the tub off the colder ground. If wind is a problem and it will be difficult to re-position the tub, you need to erect a windbreak such as a hedge or fencing panels. This will also make getting out of the tub a more pleasant experience.


    6. Use the sun

    Solar panels on your tub’s cover can store energy even when it’s not sunny; they use the daylight. If your tub is outside, this is an ideal energy store.


    7. It may be cheaper to leave your tub on

    If you are using your tub frequently, it may be cheaper to leave it on than to allow it to cool completely and then heat the water up again.


    8. Check the lid

    Make sure that the lid fits correctly and doesn’t have any damage from wear and tear. The more snugly it fits, the less heat will escape.


    9. Easy on the bubbles

    Bubbles are great fun, but of course producing them involves pumping air into the tub. As soon as you do this, the water temperature starts to fall so the heating has to kick in. So if you want to economise, run the bubbles program less often.


    10. It’s going to cost more to use on a cold day

    It's obvious really, but the greater the difference between the ambient temperature (the air) and the temperature of the water in the tub, the more rapidly the heat will escape into the surrounding air, and the more heating up will have to take place to maintain the water temperature.

    Find out more about installing a tub then sit back and relax!

  • Is it possible to be water independent?

    Whether they begrudge paying regular amounts to the water company, they hate to see a free resource going to waste or they want to make their lives a little greener, many people like the idea of becoming independent of the mains water supply. With it being Water Quality Month we thought we’d take a look at how practical is it to do this and if can you really make significant savings.

    Is it possible to be water independent with waste water pumps?

    The basics

    There are a few simple ways that you can start reducing the amount of water you use. Modern toilet flushes, for example, use less water each time, thus cutting your consumption. You can also look at getting a water butt to collect the water which runs off your roof and use it to water the garden.

    Although rainwater can’t be used for drinking, if you can collect enough of it, it can be used for tasks like flushing the toilet, thus cutting the amount of clean mains water you use. It is possible to get filtration or chemical treatment systems that can clean up rain water and make it drinkable. However, you’re getting into pretty serious territory here, and it might actually be cheaper to buy your drinking water in bottles.


    Out of town

    If you live in the countryside, you might be lucky enough to have access to a well or a spring from which you can source your water. You need to consider carefully what will be required in terms of pipes, pumps and so on to bring the water into your home. This also requires consideration of what will happen in the winter months. Do the pipes need to be protected so they don’t freeze, for example? And of course, you also need to think about how you’re going to dispose of waste water.


    Disposing with waste water pump

    Disposing of the wastewater is in many ways a more difficult task than exploiting free alternative sources of water. Again, if you’re in the countryside, you may be independent of the main sewer system thanks to something like a septic tank.

    You may still need to have a waste water pump in order to remove water from where it’s not needed, especially if gravity won’t do the job for you. Note that for waste water you need a specific type of pump that is able to cope with contaminant particles without getting clogged up.

    Of course, if you want to be truly eco-friendly, you might want to consider whether you can power the pump using solar- or wind-generated energy.


    It's not easy being green

    There’s a lot to consider if you’re thinking about becoming independent of the mains water supply. Yes, there are advantages in terms of freedom, ongoing costs and being kinder to the environment. On the other hand, you need to think carefully about the practicalities of going ‘off-grid’, as well as the costs and complexities of setting up your own water systems. Going completely independent is a big undertaking, but there’s a lot you can do to start reducing your dependence on mains water, and much of it is relatively straightforward.
    Find out more about waste water pumps and start your journey to being water independent.

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