6 articles Tag cold

Tips on Selecting a Heating and a Cooling System (HVAC System)

One of the main ingredients of productivity is a comfortable working space. In a 2018 report, comfort in a working environment was ranked above remuneration, on the most critical factors of productivity. These statistics indicate that having a well-controlled space, in terms of temperature, is key to a successful company. The report also pointed out that a majority of employees in the USA and other developed countries have a negative attitude towards work. Fortunately, a better approach to temperature controls can help employees in changing their view on work and more importantly improve their productivity. Heating and cooling is the best remedy for the unproductive environment and unsatisfied employees.

What is the relationship between productivity and office temperatures?

Did you know that over 25% of the global workers waste approximately 30 minutes every day due to unfavorable temperatures? This percentage represents the amount of money the USA and other developed countries waste due to unproductivity. Due to the complexity of the heating and cooling system, different institutions have tried to establish the connection between temperatures and productivity.

According to most of these reports, the optimal temperature for an office is 71 degrees Fahrenheit. In most parts of the world, temperatures are inconsistent and to maintain balance temperature, using heating and cooling is essential.

This is a guide on how to select cooling and heating systems that are in line with your company’s needs.

Tips on selecting a heating and cooling system

The most important factor you should consider when investing in a heating and cooling system is the size of your office. The golden rule in selecting a heating and a cooling system is to understand office needs and more importantly, which system can give the best results without overpaying. Other factors such as your office design and the age of your office can assist in the investing decision.

When investing in a heating and cooling system, you should also consider a system that offers the following benefits. First, any system should be quiet. A quiet system means that there are no distractions when people are working. Second, any system selected must blend well with the office décor, inside and outside the office. Although most of the heating and cooling systems are mass-produced, some few exceptions give investors value for money. In addition to the system blending with the company’s décor, any system selected must not take a lot of the office space, whether inside or outside.

The functionality of the system selected must be at par with the global standards. For example, the heating and cooling system must produce less moisture. Most of the earlier versions of HVAC were synonymous with a high percentage of moisture, but fortunately, modern makes are solving this problem. In addition to producing less moisture, any heating and cooling system must use energy efficiently.

Do heating and cooling systems need repairs? Yes, heating and cooling systems need repairs due to some reasons. Just like other systems, they are prone to some factors that can make them less efficient and consume more power. A faulty system is also a recipe for unproductivity and pundits point out that lack of a proper working system can lead to loss of money.

Three tips on hiring a professional to maintain a heating and cooling system

  1. Hire a professional that offers a holistic office evaluation

Unlike most repairs, heating and cooling systems repairs need a holistic approach. The main reason why a holistic approach is important is that most of the issues that affect heating and cooling systems are because of the environment. Therefore, a holistic approach helps in repairing a system and preventing future damages.   

  1. Compare rates with companies

Comparing prices is arguably one of the hardest criteria when hiring a professional maintenance company. Therefore, you should check if the company is justified to charge the fees they are charging. It is, however, advisable to hire a professional maintenance company that has a good repairing history instead of a cheap company with zero experience.

  1. Do a background check on a maintenance firm

Unlike three decades ago, doing a background check on a maintenance firm is essential. You should check the company’s rating and if the firm can repair your specific system model. Although there are tons of companies that deals with heating and cooling systems, very few can check and fix many systems.

Staying Toasty Over the Winter

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash

Yes, it’s on the way, alright! The mornings have a definite chill to them and the leaves are turning a lovely shade of russet. Aesthetics aside, the thermometer will start to head downwards and you’ll be eyeing up thick jumpers in shop windows. So, when the cold season comes around for real, should you pick up that thick jumper or turn the thermostat up?

That full tank, courtesy of Supersaveroil.ie, came pretty cheap over the summer, but you shouldn’t be so smug about it – you have to make it last until March! Here’s some good ideas to help you to do just that.

Add some new insulation

You could lose up to 60% of your hard-earned heat via the roof and walls of your home, so they both need to be insulated. You’ll need to use at least 10” of insulation material in the loft and you should examine your windows to look for – and fill in – any cracks.

Lower the heating by at least a degree

Just a degree lower can reduce your fuel oil usage by 10% and you shouldn’t even notice this, especially if you’ve used some insulation and less heat is escaping.

You can also start turning off your radiators 15 minutes or so before you go to bed. They’ll still be warm for a while and by the time they’ve cooled off you’ll be fast asleep with your hot water bottle!

Bleed all the radiators

You should do this at least once a year. Radiators develop air pockets and this prevents them from working properly – you’ll have to turn up the heating to get the benefit. Try to bleed them two or three times a year and especially before winter sets in.

Go retro

A great way to get the most out of your heat is to place old-fashioned insulation panels behind all your radiators. These panels look like stiff metallic bubblewrap and what they do is reflect heat back into your rooms, as otherwise it’d seep into the walls and simply get lost.

Try to service your boiler twice a year

Boilers are very complicated machines – they can develop airlocks, let in water, accumulate soot and sometimes, manage a combination of all three! Any one of these problems can reduce your boiler’s efficiency by up to 8%, so effectively, you’re wasting 8% of your fuel.

You should have a service at the end of spring and at the beginning of winter, ideally. However, if you can only manage one service, the autumn one is the one to book so you can identify and sort out problems before you’re left with no heating on the coldest day of the year.

Keep your supply safe

Fuel poverty is a problem in Ireland, with around 400,000 households spending more than 10% of their annual incomes on heating their homes. This has the knock-on effect of making fuel theft more common, so you’ll need locks on your tank at the very least. You should also keep your tank as hidden from view as possible and use motion-sensitive lights and alarms. You can also install tank sensors that alert you on your phone if oil levels suddenly drop.

Creating a Kid’s Wardrobe for Bad Weather

There’s nothing like a sudden-onset Snowmageddon to make me realise how woefully underprepared we are for cold weather. The girls both have decent winter coats, as do Husband and I, but in terms of proper cold weather gear, it’s only Husband who was sorted. Not only does he have water-resistant jeans and gaiters to protect his lower legs, he also has all-weather boots and merino layers for his top half. As you can tell, he spends a lot more time outdoors than the women of this household do!

We went out sledging on Wednesday, and it was so wonderful and fun, but we had to go home after an hour as the cold started to seep in and Sausage’s legs ended up damp after she decided to cheese-roll down a hill! I’ve been looking at kids winter clothes on the internet, in the spirit of being a bit more prepared if more snow turns up and thought I’d share some of my favourite items with you:

Didriksons 1913 Moarri Overall

Aside from the fact that this base layer is SUPER cute, I think both girls could really benefit from a proper thermal base layer to wear when it gets cold. We’ve been layering with wooly tights under their trousers but it’s not very comfortable or practical, so something like this would be properly fit for purpose.

Color Kids Tudo Pants

These fleecy pants would be so much better for outdoor fun, because they’re nice and loose fitting, unlike jeans which can be really restrictive and hard to run around in. These would make an excellent mid-layer over thermals and under a snow suit and the girls would find them super comfortable.

Isbjörn Panda Sweater

As well as being water-repellent, this fleece protects against sharp wind and is a brilliant mid-layer for wearing under waterproofs. Layering like this would give the girls the ability to still move around and either add more layers or take some off, depending on their environment.

Color Kids Klement Overall Children

This waterproof overall would be absolutely perfect for cheeserolling down hills in! The girls could play in the snow for as long as they want witout ever having to worry about getting wet, and the bright colours mean they’re really easy to see on a background of pure white. In fact, I love this overall so much that I wish they also made it in my size!

Sorel Whitney Short Boots

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my very outdoorsy Husband, it’s that good footwear is VERY important. Having the right pair of boots for your environment is basically the most essential part of any outdoor wardrobe, and these snow boots look as though they’d be perfect for the girls. They have a decent sole, are lined with microfleece and are waterproof – ideal for afternoons gadding about in the snow.

Are you regular outdoorsy people? Do you have a favourite selection of clothes that you wear when the temperature plummets? Leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.

How to Cope with Winter Illness

This time of year seems to be the prime time for illness. The weather is still cold and most of us would rather stay indoors and wrapped up even when we’re well, let alone when we’re poorly, but for most of us, that level of hibernation just isn’t an option! Being the only driver in the house and living as far from Sausage’s school as we do, I’m all too aware of the “make do and mend” approach that most of us mums have to take when we’re struck down, so I thought I’d put together a list of things that you should be doing when illness strikes.

1. REST

I know its easier said than done for most of us, but rest is so important when you’re ill, and it’s so much harder to recover if you’re on the go all the time. The key to resting is picking your battles – school runs, cooking and other vitals obviously still need to be done, but things like hoovering and washing can usually wait for a day or two. Leave these until you’re feeling up to it – we promise, the world won’t end if you don’t vacuum!

2. Get Some Advice

Most of us know the difference between feeling under the weather and being truly ill, but sometimes we’d like a little bit of medical advice and if you can’t get an appointment with your GP, you’re left in the dark. The Independent Pharmacy has an online doctor who can help to advise you if you feel you need medical attention and can suggest over-the-counter medications which might help you to feel better.

3. Accept Help

As a Mum, I know how easy it is to be stubborn and brush off offers of help even when you really need it. Now is the time to swallow your pride and accept that you need help. Call in favours from fellow Mums to see if they can do school pick ups for you, or let your Mum/Mother in Law make a fuss of you – they love to do it really and you can repay favours when you’re felling 100% again.

4. Exercise

If you exercise regularly and don’t want to let it slide, the usual rule of thumb is “if you’re ill from the shoulders up, exercise. If you’re ill from the shoulders down, don’t!”. If it’s a head cold, going for a light jog might help blow the cobwebs away and speed up your recovery, but if it’s anything else, refer to point number one and REST!

5. Dose Up

Dosing yourself up with paracetamol, anti-inflammatories or decongestants might be enough to allow you to get on with everything you need to do if you really can’t bear to take a day off. There are loads of magic potions which are available over the counter which can make a cold of virus seem like to big thing and although we’d prefer it if you sat at home in your PJs, watching Netflix and drinking tea, we also know that sometimes that’s just not possible. Our one bit of advice would be to check that none of your medicines make you drowsy if you intend on driving anywhere.

Get well soon!

Keeping Kids Germ Free During Cold and Flu Season

cold and fluYesterday, I was talking to a friend about Burrito Baby, explaining how my tactile almost-three-year-old doesn’t LOOK with her eyes, she looks with her hands. When BB says “Mummy, can I look at that please?” she doesn’t mean can she cast an eye over it, she means “can I touch it?” – I’m fairly certain that’s normal for a kid of her age but it does make me chuckle that she’s such a feeler and it also made this video by The Global Hygiene Council about cold and flu prevention ring absolutely true:

I’m ENTIRELY unsurprised to hear that kids are 25% more likely to catch colds and flu, which is exactly why both of mine will be having their flu jab this year. Many people seem to underestimate just how poorly flu can actually make you and often liken it to a simple cold but proper flu can be absolutely debilitating, especially for someone with asthma like Sausage, the young, old or people with a compromised immune system.

We had ‘proper’ flu in 2008 on Sausage’s first Christmas and honestly, it’s one of the occasions during my adult life when I can say that I felt more ill than almost any other time. Sausage’s temperature skyrocketed and she actually ended up in hospital on Christmas Day night because we were so worried about her. I was the next to come down with it, followed by Husband and between us we were basically bedridden for a week – not easy to deal with when you have a five month old baby and two sick adults.

Sausage has pretty good habits when it comes to cold and flu prevention, like flushing her tissues once they’ve been used and keeping her hands clean, but it’s not so easy with BB. She hasn’t had a dummy for ages but she still has a bit of an oral fixation, which means that we have to constantly remind her to get her hands out of her mouth and I’ve lost count of the amount of times that she’s sweetly caressed my face…with a SOAKING wet hand!

We find it really handy to keep disinfectant wipes around for keeping surfaces clean. They are so easy to use and don’t require a sponge or cloth to be kept on hand at all times, and they’re perfect for using on hard plastic toys which, quite frankly, are little germ farms if one of the kids has a cold.

How do you ensure that the spread of germs is kept to a minimum? Are you hot on hand-washing and a disinfecting diva? I’d love to hear any little tips and tricks that you use at this time of year to keep germs at bay, so do leave me a comment below.

Which horse rug is right for your horse during Winter?

Shires Winter Highlander ComboSelecting the correct rug for ones horse during the winter can be very important. A horse rug will allow the horse to stay warm in the winter as well as provide other protection that he may need. You may be asking yourself which horse rug is right for your horse during winter? Choosing the correct size is one of the most important details to keep in mind. A properly fitting horse rug will cover the horse from his chest to his tail. A rug with straps around the girth as well as the back legs will help to keep the rug securely in place as well as still allow freedom of movement for him.

A Shivering Horse Is A Cold Horse 

If a horse is shivering during the winter months, it means that he is cold and a quality horse rug will allow him to stay warmer and more comfortable. Horses get cold and shiver just as people do so this is a great sign to watch for. If a horse spends time in the pasture or field during winter months a warm rug can be a great way to help protect him.

Older or Weaker Horses May Require A Rug

Horses again can be like people and the older they get the colder they get. Making sure that they have access to a warm rug can provide a great deal of protection to them. Horses that are experiencing illness should also be fitted with a rug for winter. Protecting him with a warm rug can help to prevent illness or keep him warm while he is recovering from an illness.

More Reasons For Warm Rugs

Wondering which horse rug is right for your horse during winter? Consider the age of the horse, a young horse can also find cold winter months difficult and a good rug can help him to experience a more comfortable winter. A horse that has been clipped can also enjoy the benefits of a warm rug as well. A horse that is lacking in a good winter coat can also be protected with a rug. Perhaps a warm rug for a show horse is a great idea as well, not only will it keep him warm but it can also provide a great deal of protection to his coat while helping to keep him clean.

Consider All Winter Elements

There is more to winter than just cold, with the cold comes snow and freezing rain and having a good rug for a horse can help him to be healthier during these types of extreme weather. If the days are warm but the nights are cold the rug can be used during the night and removed during the day for his comfort. Cheap Horse Rugs

Which horse rug is right for your horse during winter? The rug that fits, provides protection from the elements and is comfortable for the horse to wear. Ride 4 Less offers a great selection of horse rugs that are not only affordable but that also protect the horse during the long cold winter months. A large variety of styles as well as thicknesses will allow all horse owners to care for their horses in the best way possible. Shopping is easy and convenient and winter can be more bearable for the horses. Rugs that fit a bit more loosely will provide the maximum comfort for the horse. Protect horses for the harsh winter weather in your area with the most quality rugs available for them.