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Energy Saving

  • 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!

  • How to save money on your water bill

    Grundfos Selectric Grundfos Selectric Central Heating Pump

    On 1st April this year, homeowners across the UK saw their water bills rise by 2% - culminating in an extra £9 expense annually. After this development, you can forgive many for believing that they have little to no control over their water bills. Armed with the right advice however, homeowners can very easily reduce the amount they are paying. Opting for more energy efficient appliances, making an effort to collect, conserve and reuse water as well having a better understanding of both water-greedy and water-efficient processes, will put you in the best position possible to save money on your water bill.

    Install a heating circulating pump

    Circulating pumps will minimise the amount of money you spend on heating water. Grundfos central heating pumps are able to do this by expending a small amount of energy to distribute hot water throughout the home, so that an instant source of hot water is available from any outlet at any time. Without a circulating pump, huge tanks of water are heated and allowed to cool without being used up; a far from efficient process. The addition of a Grundfos selectric circulating pump can alleviate this problem, making your home’s heating of water far more efficient - both in terms of energy used and money spent.

    Cut water usage by opting for eco shower heads

    There are a plethora of products out there that are tailor-made to make your home more energy and water efficient - one of the most affordable yet convenient of which is an eco-shower head. By affording you with complete control of your shower’s flow rate, you can adjust the amount of water you use. Eco-shower heads vary in the way that they are able to manipulate your shower. Some simply reduce water flow, others will aerate the water (increasing the water flow without using more water) and some even include a flow regulator that limits water output from the bottom of the shower hose. What unites all of these eco-shower heads is their ability to reduce your home’s water usage and consequently, your water bill too.

    Make better use of your water supply through reuse and recycling

    With the global population set to continue to rise, global water demand is expected to increase by 50% between 2000 and 2050. Freshwater supplies have never been so scarce, making it more important than ever to reuse and recycle water where possible. We can help you do just that. At Pump Sales Direct, we have grey water recycling systems and rainwater harvesting pumps that will dramatically improve the efficiency of your home’s use of water.

    Change your showering habits

    Just as important as the physical changes you make to your home, are the behavioural changes you make. There are plenty of slight adjustments you can make that genuinely do make a difference. If you normally take baths, take showers instead. If you have become accustomed to taking long showers, try to cut it down by a few minutes. Simple changes that often get overlooked can be just as effective.

    By incorporating this advice into your own home, you are bound to cut down on the amount of money you are spending on water. We are more than happy to help make this transition as smooth as possible by answering any questions you might have about any of our products. You can contact us by phone, email or through this contact form.

  • What is the most efficient way to heat a home?

    Efficiency is something to strive for - whether that means completing tasks at central heating pumpswork as quickly as possible, trying to cram a month’s worth of shopping into a single visit, or using up a full tank of petrol before refilling. While these are all examples of measuring efficiency in terms of time, the efficiency of a home's heating system can be assessed in a number of different ways. In environmental terms, efficiency means generating the necessary amount of energy needed to heat your home at the lowest possible cost to the environment. Financially-speaking, the same is true - you want to sufficiently heat your home at the lowest possible cost. When it comes to heating your home, the two don't always go hand-in-hand (as you'll find out later) but there are a select number of solutions that meet both criteria. Below, we have discussed some of the most and least practical ways you can improve the efficiency of your home’s heating.

    Why it isn’t worth switching to alternative energy sources for heating

    It is important to note that there are a number of different energy sources you can switch to, that will heat your home in a more energy efficient manner. However, because the technology designed to support them is in its nascency, there are both practical and financial barriers preventing everyday homeowners from making the switch from gas boilers. Solar heating, for example, has floundered because of its prohibitively expensive entry point. The same can be said of most renewable heating technologies. Ground source and air source heat pumps occupy a great deal of space and have lengthy and complex (not to mention expensive) installation processes.

    Why you should consider installing a heating circulator instead

    No matter what kind of heating system you have installed in your home, the introduction of one of our circulating pumps into your home can help cut heating costs.  By circulating hot water throughout your home, and removing the need for large tanks of water to be heated and re-heated, central heating pumps can dramatically reduce the amount of energy required it takes to provide your home with hot water. By cutting your home’s energy consumption, domestic hot water circulators make your home more environmentally-friendly, but there is also a financial incentive too. Because your home spends less energy heating up water, your heating bills will be reduced. Over time, you will easily be able to recoup your initial investment.

    Improving the efficiency of your home’s heating can be a tricky, time-consuming and expensive process, but you should leave this blog post armed with the knowledge to make better decisions about your home’s heating going forward. For more information on any of our products - or if you need some help or advice - please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can do so by telephone, email, or via the contact page on our website.

  • The Wastewater Treatment Process

    Over time, the pressure imposed on water supplies in the UK by climate change has facilitated the construction of close to 9000 wastewater treatment plants. Slowly but surely, they are becoming an important and even ingrained part of how we as a society push back against global warming. Yet so few of us understand or are even aware of the process that transforms the wastewater that leaves our toilets, sinks and showers into potable drinking water. To provide you with a bare-bones look at the basics of the process, we have put together this summary of the role of the wastewater treatment plant.

    wilo pumps

    Screening process

    After wastewater is carried away from homes and, via a network of pipes and submersible wilo pumps, arrives at a wastewater treatment plant, it undergoes a screening process. To separate all of the biggest debris that so often accumulates, from the wastewater itself, the wastewater travels through a screen that essentially acts a sieve.  The type of screen used varies from plant to plant but the most commonly used screens include both coarse and fine screens, as well as the newer step screens.

    Primary treatment stage

    At the primary treatment stage, the mixture, newly relieved of its biggest and most easily extracted debris, is placed in a sedimentation tank. Within the settlement tanks, the heaviest material sinks to the bottom to form a layer of sludge. Large arms or scrapers then push this sludge towards the centre of the tank, where it can be disposed of or treated further, leaving a more refined fluid behind. The purpose of the primary treatment stage is to remove solids from wastewater in order to

    Secondary treatment stage

    The secondary treatment stage involves treating the wastewater to rid it of any remaining organic matter. This happens two ways - through the aeration of the wastewater and through the addition of bacteria. By pumping air into a large tank containing wastewater, bacteria are allowed to grow and thrive, where they break down any remaining nasty substances into harmless organic matter.

    Final treatment stage

    After undergoing this chemical treatment, wastewater is placed into a humus tank which separates the wastewater into its final constituents. Any remaining bacteria sinks to the bottom, forming sludge, which is then sent for secondary treatment, leaving clean water behind. Depending on which body of water the cleansed wastewater is sent to, an additional step is sometimes carried out - the remaining water can be filtered through a bed of sand to remove any resolute particles.

    Once the entire water reclamation process has been completed, the treated water can be sent to any number of different locations. The majority of treated wastewater in the UK goes back into the country’s streams and rivers and some is even discharged into the sea. Because treated water is subject to such rigorous testing by regulatory bodies, all reclaimed water bolsters the quality of water throughout the UK, not to mention availability.

  • Money-Saving Tips for Winter

    Winter is a time where we all get to relax more than we should, eat more than we should and spend more than we should. When it comes to spending money though, we want to be sure that it goes on gifts for our closest friends and family – not on mundane but essential updates to our home. Unfortunately, the festive period also brings with it some of the worst weather the year has to throw at us, making repairs to plumbing and heating apparatus all too common. To ensure none of this seasonal reaches you over the winter months, you may want to consider some of the following changes to keep your bank balance as healthy as possible.

    Shower pumps

    salamander shower pump

    Salamander are one of the leading pumps brands around, and from their base in the South East, they have been providing UK homes with the highest quality pumping products for years. A core part of their range that will guarantee you perfectly pressured showers in spite of any boiler problems that may arise during the colder months, is the salamander shower pump. A shower pump of this quality is as effective as they get, and will keep your water pressure intact without any of the associated extra cost that you might otherwise expect.

    Circulating pumps

    circulating pump

    Whilst you may not be familiar with circulating pumps, they are actually one of the most cost-effective heating products money can buy. By ensuring that hot water is distributed evenly throughout the home, any additional and unnecessary expense is circumvented. Not only does the efficiency of a circulating pump minimise the cost of your water bill, it also ensures that extra energy won't be expended heating up water that won’t be used - allowing you to rest assured that your actions aren’t taking a toll on the environment.

    Grey water recycling

    grey water recycling

    Similarly, a grey water pump is ideal not just for those of us who are desperate to safeguard the health of the planet for the foreseeable future; it is also perfect for those of us who are more conscious than ever of exactly how much money we are spending (which is especially true during the festive period). A grey water recycling pump achieves both of these things by repurposing all of the grey water that would otherwise go to waste (from your baths, showers, dishwashers and sinks) for use elsewhere in the home. Given that a grey water recycling system is more than capable of reducing water usage by up to 50%, the upfront investment is miniscule and one you should be certain of considering.

    Sump pumps

    sump pump

    The threat of flooding is never higher than over the bitterly cold and wet winter months - whether that is from a particularly heavy downpour or pipes frozen to the point of bursting. Fortunately, there is one simple step you can take to stave off costly water damage. Installing a sump pump provides a hardy barrier to flooding by automatically casting away any water that may accumulate in the home. Once again, it is an essential initial investment that will easily repay itself over time.

  • Innovative Ways to Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

    With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, more and more of us are reaching for that extra blanket or hot water bottle in a desperate attempt to cut back on our energy bills. More often than not though, these attempts are in vain. But what if I told you there are a number of simple and cost-effective ways you can keep your home a few degrees warmer without breaking the bank?

    Grundfos Magna 32

    DIY draught excluders

    In the modern age, it is easy to obsess over increasingly intricate and complex technologies and how they can make our lives better - and the same certainly applies to heating. But sometimes we are better off looking to the past and the use of draught excluders is one such example. Designed to prevent heat escaping from beneath your door, draught excluders are a necessity for a pleasantly warm home. If you are feeling particularly money savvy, you can easily create one of your own using nothing more than an old pair of tights and a few socks.

    Imitating double glazing

    You don’t need to shell out on double glazing to reap the rewards of it. In spite of its garish appearance, bubble wrap is a surprisingly effective alternative to double glazing. Thanks to its insulating properties, it is a more than worthy mimic. By coating your windows with bubble wrap, you can keep your home considerably warmer. Because of its appearance though, it certainly isn’t going to appeal to everyone. There is another option for the more aesthetically conscious - a transparent film.

    Capturing sunlight during the day and keeping it trapped at night

    If you aren’t going to rely on conventional heating methods during the winter months, you have to make the most of what little sunlight is available to you. The most effective - and simplest - way to do this is to open your curtains during the day and close them during the night. Any sunlight that filters into your home during the day will have a warming effect and closing your curtains or blinds when the sun goes in will ensure as much of the heat is retained as possible.

    Installing the right heating pump

    As much as you can maximise the temperature of your home using a variety of DIY methods, there is no substitute for a quality heating pump. The Grundfos Magna 32 is a stellar example. As an ‘A’ rated circulator, it is widely recognised as one of the best on the market today - and it owes this status to its efficiency. It uses up to 80% less energy than a ‘D’ rated circulator, culminating in an annual saving for the average household of around 10% on electricity. Whilst saving both energy and money, the Magna 32 will ensure that you have hot water whenever you need it - whether that be to run a hot bath or to switch on a radiator.

  • The Evolution of Irrigation

    Put simply, irrigation can be defined as the process of applying water to a crop for the purpose of aiding its growth. Thousands and thousands of years ago, the incorporation of irrigation as a mainstay of human society, also formally marked the transition of the human civilisation as a species; from one primarily composed of roaming hunter-gatherers, to the more cohesive, conventional agrarian society that is more familiar to us today. For that reason, the importance of irrigation cannot be overstated, and it retains its importance today as a cornerstone of modern society. In order to chart how irrigation has evolved and changed over the years, we have put together this whistle stop tour of the most important benchmarks in its transformation.

    qanat (1024x683) Qanat

    While archaeological evidence tentatively proves the existence of 8000 year old irrigation canals in both the Middle East and South America, the exact origins of irrigation remain murky. The first development of any significance in the world of irrigation however, is more clear-cut and first materialised around 550BC. A product of Mesopotamian ingenuity, the qanat allowed farmers to repurpose ground water for crop irrigation for the first time in history. Mesopotamians used the collective effect of a vertical well and an adjacent channel to generate a source of surface level water.

    The growing population of the 1700s propelled the rise of the European agricultural revolution. The unprecedented experimentation of the era gave birth to a host of irrigation techniques - increased experimentation with crop rotations, improved livestock breeding, the invention of seed drilling, the use of fertilisers and the introduction of new forms of machinery.

    impact sprinkler (1024x683) Impact sprinkler

    It wasn’t until 1932 though that any of the techniques we are familiar with today rose to prominence. Building on the arrival of the domestic lawn sprinkler thirty years earlier, the invention of the impact sprinkler became the building block upon which modern irrigation was founded. As the impact sprinkler became more and more popular, it ushered in a new era of automated watering. American farmers had hitherto been reliant on gravity to carry water along the antiquated furrows that supplied rows upon rows of crops with nourishment.

    The next major development in agricultural irrigation came in the late 1960s with the introduction of drip irrigation. Not only did it do a better job of increasing crop productivity than any technique that preceded it, it also did so using a far lower amount of water. And thus, the practice of micro irrigation was born. Characterised by small fixtures that are capable of administering water with unerring accuracy, micro irrigation has since become a mainstay of agricultural irrigation.

    jabsco pumps Jabsco self priming pump

    As you’d expect, irrigation systems have become infinitely more complex as time has passed. The pressurised systems that power both of the most popular administration methods - sprinkler and drip irrigation - are always composed of a water source, a pump to pressurise the water, a network of pipes that distribute the water from the pump, as well as the sprinklers or emitters themselves. The centrepiece of these systems is the pump, and without one of sufficient quality, any crops are unlikely to flourish. Jabsco pumps provide a range of versatile pumps that can adapt to often tricky pressurised irrigation systems.

  • An Introduction to Agricultural Irrigation

    For the unfamiliar, agricultural irrigation is the manual application of water to land for the purpose of growing and sustaining crops. What sounds like a simple process is actually bewilderingly complex at times. With climate and crops differing by region, a variety of irrigation techniques have emerged, which, while useful, also serves to complicate matters further. To help you sift through the confusing world of irrigation, we have produced this guide to the most popular, effective and efficient techniques.

    Flood irrigation

    flood irrigation

    Flood irrigation is the oldest and most inefficient form of agricultural irrigation. As its name suggests, flood irrigation essentially consists of allowing water to flow freely through a field of crops. Its haphazard application makes it an attractive choice for farmers that are reluctant to splash out on a complicated (and sometimes expensive) delivery system of pipes and pumps, but it also makes it extremely inefficient. Over half of the water intended to nourish crops is actually lost to evaporation, run-off, transpiration and infiltration of unintended areas, making flood irrigation a poor choice for those who are environmentally conscious.

    Pressurised irrigation

    Unlike flood irrigation, which can occur almost without human intervention, drip and flood irrigation is reliant on an elaborate system that provides them with a supply of pressurised water. Composed of a water source, a pump that is capable of pressurising the water, as well as a means of actually transferring water to the crops; pressurised irrigation systems are far more complex than their flood irrigation counterparts. This complexity allows pressurised systems to be far more efficient and effective, but it also makes them far more likely to break down.

    Drip irrigation

    self priming pump

    Drip irrigation is, by some distance, the most efficient form of agricultural irrigation, but it is also one of the most difficult to maintain. A network of pipes, interwoven with emitters at strategic locations, allow water to be dropped directly onto the root zone of crops with unerring accuracy, so much so, that it can result in a 95% distribution uniformity, which, for the unaware, is a measure of how evenly water soaks into the ground during irrigation.

    Sprinkler irrigation

    Sprinkler irrigation works in much the same way as drip irrigation does, just in a slightly less efficient manner. Water travels from the source, becomes pressurised thanks to a self-priming pump, and is then distributed across crop fields by a selection of sprinklers. If the sprinklers are positioned optimally, and water is applied in a uniform fashion, sprinkler irrigation can be relatively efficient. What makes sprinkler irrigation less efficient than its pressurised cousin drip irrigation, is that it can be thwarted by adverse weather conditions - even a simple breeze can drastically affect the trajectory of water from sprinklers.

  • How to Fight Back Against Food Waste

    As a society we’ve grown disturbingly accustomed to wasting resources and destroying our fragile planet. Hundreds of trillions of gallons of water are wasted globally in food production alone, an unfathomable number to the average person. And yet the water we use to drink, bathe in, shower in, and flush the toilet with, accounts for less than one per cent of the world’s overall supply. In a century where the global population is expected to surpass nine billion, it’s never been more critical to manage our use of resources and limit waste.

    We’re all guilty of wasting food but not all of us are aware of the dire impact this is having on the environment. Landfills of rotting, wasted food are potent sources of methane - a greenhouse gas with the potential to accelerate climate change even faster than carbon dioxide. A reduction in food wastage would also mean a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases in general, as the environment-harming chemicals associated with the production of food will be lessened.

    So what can we do to reduce food waste?

    Planning meals in advance

    Shopping list

    Efficiency and management is the key. At the supermarket, try to shop with a list, reducing impulsive purchases. A weekly planning schedule could help, giving you an idea of what to prepare and when. In time, you’ll develop a knack for portion sizes, and will learn what’s right for you and others, you may even find you’ve overspent in the past, making your weekly shop more cost effective.

    Getting creative with leftovers

    pickled goods

    As much as proper planning can help, leftovers are unfortunately more or less an inevitability. Freezing anything that is left over can preserve it for months. Canning, pickling and drying are three effective ways of ensuring your food goes further. The Love Food Hate Waste website is an invaluable resource - it is full of unorthodox, underrated and underappreciated cooking techniques and recipes that can help you create something delicious from what you would otherwise assume are incompatible ingredients.

    Invest in a wilo central heating pump

    wilo central heating pump

    While it won’t technically reduce the amount of food waste you generate, a wilo central heating pump will help to reduce the guilt you’ll feel after hearing the following statistic: throwing away a single burger wastes the same amount of water as running a shower for an hour and-a-half. Whenever food is wasted, so too is a mass of water.

    These ingenious central heating circulator units from Wilo regulate and maintain the water temperature in pipes even if they aren’t located near the storage tank or boiler. Although some initial energy is expended maintaining a uniform temperature, in the long term you can expect a drastic reduction in both consumption and wastage. After all, there’s no need heat up the water if it’s already at a desirable temperature, and you’ll no longer have to let the water ‘run’ as you turn on the tap - because it’ll already be hot.

  • Bathroom Design by the Decade

    Bathroom décor of the past fifty years has been riddled with developments both delightful and disastrous. From minimalism to shabby chic, it is fair to say that the trends that emerged divided opinion at the time, and continue to do so today. There were, however, some definitive triumphs (upcycling and increased efficiency) and definitive disasters (avocado bathroom suites). In order to chart this turbulent history, we have put together this guide to bathroom design by the decade. Who knows, you may even be inspired to borrow from a bygone era.

    1970s

    bathroom 70s

    The 1970s might be the oldest decade featured in this list but they were far from the most traditional. Continuing the momentum created by the 60s, bathroom décor in the 70s was typically outlandish. Bold pastel colours reigned supreme in the world of bathroom fixtures and they were more often than not accompanied by even bolder and brighter botanical coloured wallpaper. While 70s style bathrooms have threatened to make a full-blown resurgence in recent months, you can rest assured that not all aspects of 70s bathroom decor will be welcomed back with open arms - avocado bathroom suites are a glaring example of the era clearly overstepping the line between outlandish and garish.

    1980s

    bathroom 80s

    The 80s were a decade marked by extravagance, and the bathrooms were no exception. Wall-to-wall carpets and sunken bathtubs featured in many a bathroom of that era, and helped to paint the 80s as a decade of excess - especially in the US. With arguably more investment than ever into interior design, bathroom decor became wilder than ever - you were just as likely to encounter a bathroom with floral chintz shower curtains as one covered with real ferns. And whilst it gave rise to unprecedented experimentation, it also gave rise to some tasteless trends. There are practical and aesthetic reasons why bathrooms are no longer completely covered in shag carpet.

    1990s

    bathroom 90s

    Almost as a backlash to the brazen boldness of the decades that had preceded it, the 90s adopted a minimalist approach to bathroom décor. Monochromatic colours were an ever-present. Black, white and beige ruled the roost. Corner baths established themselves as the go-to bathroom feature of the decade, but they were better in theory than in practice and failed to outlive the 90s. Another staple of the decade - track lighting - was far more successful and long-lasting. As well as being unobtrusive and versatile, track lighting allowed homeowners to focus light throughout their home.

    2000s

    pedrollo pumps

    The newly-minted environmental ethos of the 2000s was ushered in, at least partly, by the popularity of Grand Designs. The programme brought attention to the environmentally-conscious Walter Segal method of construction amongst others, and introduced Britain to a plethora of green ways to outfit our bathrooms - the efficiency of pedrollo pumps made them a household name. Upcycling was commonplace as shabby chic became not only an indication of environmental awareness but also an indicator of cool. The noughties saw a break from the past, as bold and bright-coloured feature walls defied the minimalism of the previous decade.

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