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Monthly Archives: January 2019

  • How to minimise your impact on the environment

    With growing environmental awareness, there are a number of easy, everyday ways in which you can reduce your ecological footprint, whether it be in the home, garden, or whilst you’re out and about.

    In the Home

    One quick and easy way in which you can reduce your impact on the environment is by turning off your electronics when you are not using them, as well as being sure to select energy-efficient light bulbs and home appliances. You can save the electricity used by tumble drying your clothing, instead allowing your clothes to dry naturally on the washing line.

    You can also be more mindful of energy usage by ensuring that you have the most energy-efficient equipment, such as good quality circulating pumps and central heating pumps. For example, a Grundfos central heating pump can use up to 80% less energy than many comparable pumps. This is not only good for the environment as a result of a reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but it will also help you save approximately a notable percentage on your annual electricity bill.

    In the Garden

    There are a number of steps you can take to reduce your ecological footprint whilst in the garden, such as collecting rainwater for watering your plants instead of using tap water. Watering your plants early in the morning or late at night can significantly reduce water loss as a result of evaporation. Installing a water-efficient irrigation system can also be a worthwhile investment in reducing water usage.

    Organic waste from the kitchen can be turned into soil-enriching manure, simply by making a compost bin. Sweeping fallen flowers and leaves into your flowerbeds and under shrubs is also a great way of improving soil fertility and reducing the need to water as frequently. Be sure to avoid using chemicals in your garden, as they can end up in the water table. A number of organic and environmentally friendly fertilisers are available which are better for wildlife and will not contribute towards pollution.

    Out & About

    When you’re shopping, remember to take a re-usable bag and try and purchase local or in-season fruit and vegetables, as this will not contribute towards the transport costs of importing produce. You can also be more environmentally conscious in the workplace, simply by printing on both sides of paper and being sure to switch off computers, instead of leaving them on standby.

    When it comes to transport, reducing air travel is another effective way of improving your ecological footprint, in addition to using public transport or cycling/walking instead of driving. Disposing of rubbish responsibly is another crucially important aspect whether you are at home or abroad, as this can have a hazardous effect on wildlife.

    In booking a holiday, you may wish to do some research before choosing a destination in order to determine whether the area or the resort you are planning to visit is environmentally sensitive and responsible.

  • Encouraging efficiency: saving water and energy

    Saving water and energy has never been more vital. The good news is that, with just a few simple refinements, your household or business can drive down energy costs and promote greater efficiency.

    If you’re interested in cost saving while being environmentally aware and sustainable at home and in the office, there are plenty of small wins that can drive down those bills and lower your environmental impact.

    Switch up your appliances

    The average household can save £30 a year by saying no to standby, so imagine how that could multiply out across all the devices in your business. Invest in a standby saver to turn appliances off in one go, and use timer or motion activated switches to ensure lights automatically switch off when not in use.

    Another quick fix is to invest in appliance upgrades and regular maintenance. An eco kettle that only boils as much water as you need can save 20% in energy use while A+++ rated appliances are the most energy-efficient available.

    A regular tune-up for all appliances and devices ensures that they’re running at maximum efficiency. And if you currently rely on desktop computers, try making the switch to energy efficient laptops that can save you 85% on your energy costs.

    Let there be light

    Turning off lights is an easy win for homes and businesses, but there are some other tricks that can make your lighting more efficient. If you haven’t switched all your bulbs to low-cost LEDs then make the switch now. Lighting is typically 10% of the average energy budget and the next generation LED light fittings can save 90% compared to older bulbs.

    But did you know that dust can affect light intensity by up to 25%? Regular cleaning improves efficiency and means that you can use fewer lights to illuminate a room.

    Be smart with heating

    Turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree during the day and 3 degrees overnight can make significant savings on your heating bills and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by up to half a tonne.

    Get smart with your heating and energy use by installing a smart energy meter and thermostat. Being aware of your energy use can help you to save up to 3% a year on electricity while controlling your heating via app makes it simple to only heat the areas you need, when you need it.

    Central heating pumps are the heart of any heating system. These circulating pumps send hot water around the system before it cools while typically using no more energy than a kettle. Invest in a next-generation Wilo central heating pump with automatic power adjustment and you’ll improve the efficiency of your central heating with reliability, power and easy maintenance.

    Be wise with water

    Spending just 1 minute less in the shower when getting ready for work can save an estimated £75 on your water bill. If you don’t already have a water meter, get one fitted so you can be aware of your water usage and invest in a low flow showerhead to save over £100 a year in water and energy costs.

    When it’s time for a tea break, never overfill the kettle and wash up in a bowl of warm water rather than under a running tap and use the grey water for your plants. Install a dual flush and encourage family and employees to use the half tank flush when appropriate. We each use 150 gallons of water a day, so it makes sense to implement small changes that can collectively reduce resource wastage and improve efficiency.

  • How to Heat Your Office for Less

    All year round, heating an office seems to be a constant battle. With staff too hot, or staff too cold, it can be difficult to find a happy medium – especially with conditions changing through out the day. If the heating has been turned off the night before, the mornings can feel baltic and the afternoons’ roasting, with an unbearable haze of static filling the confined air. Keeping the office a reasonable temperature doesn’t just contribute towards a happy workforce, but it is also the law! With our weather becoming more extreme, in this post we look at some tips for keeping your work environment warm as the mercury starts to drop:

    Insulate Effectively

    During the darker mornings, it may take some time for some real daylight to want to shine through. Until this happens, keeping any blinds/curtains closed will help to retain any heat. If you are to leave your office heating on overnight, ensure that any radiators are not being covered, leading to heat escaping up and out of the windows. Once the sun has began to make an appearance, open those blinds/curtains to let that light in! Not only will it naturally start to warm the space, it will actually kill the bacteria that lives in dust – this can help to decrease the likelihood of respiratory problems for those in the office. Be sure to deal with any drafts by using excluders on doors and windows, and where possible, think about re-sealing any of these windows and installing quality insulation.

    A Personal Touch

    Try to encourage your staff to dress with layers, so that as the afternoons begin to feel warmer, they can remove any outerwear – highlight the benefit on the environment that this is having, through minimising energy use. If you operate a more casual office space - support them in this by purchasing some blankets, the small cost incurred initially will more than pay for itself in savings on heating bills. It will show care towards your employees and show that you too are trying to provide a solution. Hot drinks are always a go-to way to warm up (and wake up - particularly in the morning!), if you don’t already, supplying quality products for staff to use in the kitchen or even buying in a round of hot drinks for your staff occasionally, will boost moral and temperatures respectively.

    Ensure Any Heat is Emitted Efficiently

    If you are to turn the central heating on, you want to ensure that your system is running effectively. Where possible, check the functionality of your boiler and that the building is fitted with quality central heating pumps. So much energy and money can be wasted on heating a building inefficiently, this really is of prior importance to inspect. Another way of warming the office, is to purchase some under desk heaters - these heaters are electrical and work incredibly quickly. They can prove a great purchase in Spring and Autumn as you may not wish to use the central heating when the temperatures are a little warmer – just make sure that staff remember to switch them off!

  • Manufacturer spotlight: Biral pumps

    Biral pumps

    Our manufacturer spotlight series today continues with a look at one of our best manufacturers: Biral pumps. A Swiss manufacturer whose products we have stocked for many years, they are an exceptional company with fantastic values, a storied history and a fantastic selection of pumps. To familiarise our readers with the Swiss company, we have produced this hopefully illuminating introductory post.

    History

    2019 marks Biral’s 100th anniversary as a company. It began life in 1919 as Bieri Pumpenbau AG in Switzerland. Founded by Friedrich Bieri, it started as a repairs shop. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the company underwent serious changes: new premises were built, several subsidiaries were established, and export business was expanded. Since then, Biral has only gone from strength-to strength. In 1988, Biral Germany and Biral Holland were founded. In 1999, Biral invented the very first high efficiency circulation pump. And in 2009, they were recognised for their superb total quality management by Esprix, receiving their TQM award.

    Values

    Expertise, reliability and close customer relationships: the three values Biral prizes above all else. Their expertise shines through in not only the sophistication of their products, but also in the training and information events they hold at their Swiss campus. Biral products are unfailingly reliable and their 24/7 support ensures customers always feel valued.

    Additionally, Biral have shown that the emphasis they place on energy efficiency applies to their company buildings too. In 2011, two of their buildings in Munsingen were renovated, culminating in a massive reduction in heating oil consumption of 75%.

    Products

    Our own range of Biral pumps encapsulates all these aforementioned values: they are all innovative and remarkably well-designed, they are robust and reliable with a long working life and they are incredibly easy for customers to install and use.

    One of their most popular on our site is the Biral domestic variable speed circulator. One of a range of tremendous central heating pumps manufactured by Biral, the AX-123- domestic variable speed circulator is extremely energy efficient. For homeowners looking to reduce their heating bills, it is a great option. The integrated electronic inverter controls the speed of the pump to ensure that the demands of the system are always met, guaranteeing peak efficiency always. It’s exceptionally user-friendly too: it has intuitive and easy to understand controls. Domestic circulating pumps don’t get any better than this!

    If you have any questions or queries about the suitability of Biral pumps for your home, please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. A member of our friendly and knowledgeable team will be in touch to help you find the perfect product.

  • Get rid of a cough with a shower

    Coughs can range from slightly annoying to extremely debilitating. In the winter season, coughs and colds are commonplace and can leave you feeling exhausted from lack of sleep and aching chest muscles.

    There are many different causes of coughs and most clear up by themselves in three to four weeks. However, if you have had an unexplained cough for three weeks or more, you should seek medical advice.

    You should also see your GP about a cough if you have difficulty breathing or chest pain; if you feel disorientated or confused; you are coughing up blood stained mucus or you are cyanosed. This is when your lips or skin have a bluish tinge and indicates that your oxygen levels are low.

    Older people, children under five, pregnant women and people with a compromised immune system should also see a doctor if they suspect that they have a chest infection.

    Help your cough with a shower

    Most coughs can be treated successfully at home and one way to alleviate symptoms is to make use of your shower. Steam and humidifiers have been used for many years to help with lung conditions. Standing in a steamy shower can often help to loosen sticky secretions in the nose and upper respiratory tract and moisten the passages, making them more comfortable.

    Whether your cough is the result of an allergy or a viral infection such as a cold, a lovely hot shower can help to relieve your symptoms and make you feel better. If you are feeling dizzy or unsteady on your feet because you have a severe cold or flu, simply running the shower and sitting beside it to inhale the steam can sometimes help.

    If you don't have a shower or need to replace an existing one, remember that it is now possible to install an efficient and invigorating shower in a variety of places in the home and with varying water pressure. For example, if you have a loft conversion and want to install a shower higher than the level of the cold water storage tank, there are various negative head shower pumps that can be used to give you the water pressure you need for an efficient, steamy shower. In areas where the water pressure is low and all you get from your shower is a pathetic dribble of water, a shower booster pump will give you much-improved performance.

    Having an efficient steamy shower is a good way to cope with an annoying cough that seems to hang around. Breathing in steam helps to loosen the phlegm and makes your cough a little more bearable.

    You can also try using a shower gel that contains eucalyptus, rosemary or tea tree extracts that are sometimes helpful for coughs and colds. If your shower runs efficiently, it is easy to use it in the morning and again before bed to help to clear out your respiratory passages. Today’s shower pumps make it possible for anyone to enjoy a good showering experience and may help to treat the symptoms of a cough at home.

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