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4 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Costs this Winter

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Heating costs are always a major concern for most homeowners. Winter time is often when we use up the most energy and many are trying to find ways to reduce costs whichever way they can. Fortunately, there are tons of adjustments and lifestyle changes that you can make to not only reduce your energy bills, but to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Here are a few things you could do to help you save on your energy bills this winter.

Switch to UPVC Windows

If you’re trying to conserve heat and save on your overall costs, UPVC windows are a great option. UPVC is one of the most energy efficient materials there is and UPVC windows installed by a UPVC windows Belfast manufacturer will make sure that your home is sealed tight and that no air escapes or gets in.

UPVC as a material is not a great heat conductor, which means that hot air won’t be transferred out. And if your house was built before 1995 and you have never replaced the windows, chances are they do not fit the current standards for energy efficient, insulated houses. So, if you haven’t made the switch already or haven’t changed your windows in a while, UPVC windows could be the perfect choice.

Move the Dial

Did you know that lowering the temperature in your house by one degree could save you up to 3% on your next heating bill? The optimal temperature inside your house should be at about 20 degrees, so if you can, try to lower the temperature by a few degrees if you’re above that. You also have to take things like insulation into consideration and make sure that your house is properly insulated, not only to prevent outside cold air from getting in, but for preventing inside heat from escaping.

Close Unused Radiators

Make sure that you add thermostats to any radiator that you’re using and close the radiators in empty rooms that don’t need to be heated. And when you’ve reached the optimal temperature in the room that you’re in, close off the thermostat and let the residual heat do its work. You should also make sure that your radiators are free of any air pockets by giving them a good bleeding before the winter.

Make Sure Your Door Frames are Properly Sealed

People are often unaware of it, but a lot of heat can escape through your doors’ framing. As a rule of thumb, if you can see any light penetrate around or under the doors, then it means that they are not properly sealed. You can fix this by adjusting the thresholds with a screwdriver, provided you have any installed. If not, installing thresholds is pretty simple and shouldn’t cost you much either.

Cutting your energy bills all boils down to the choices you make and installing the proper upgrades. Make sure that you consider these options if you want to reduce your energy load and minimise your overall costs.

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6 ways to prepare your home for the holidays

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Your home is about to be the center for all of the wonderful holiday festivities, and here are a couple ways to help you prepare for it all.

One of the best parts of the months of November and December is that it is the time when friends and family gather together and celebrate.

It’s a time for counting your blessings and enjoying good food and good company.

But it usually means that your home is also the center of these festivities, and you want to make sure it’s ready for all the company and parties you are about to have.

Here are six ways to make sure your home is holiday ready for entertaining and that everything and every party is merry and bright.  

  • Time for a good scrub-a-dub

Before the guests arrive it's a good idea to go through the house and give everything a good wash down, from the curtain to the carpet.

Steam cleaning your carpet is a great way to get it fresh and clean, and even if you don’t own one you can rent one or hire a service to do it for you.

Another good place to focus on for a good deep cleaning is the fridge, especially considering how much it will probably be in use. You don’t want bad smells from the fridge ruining your fun.

  • Set the table

Setting the table with some beautiful plates and silverware and a really nice centerpiece is a great way to have your home ready for your guests to arrive.

You can be as fancy or simplistic as you want, but it’s a great opportunity to bring out your lavish side and pull out all the stops.

You can even make your guests feel really special with things like name cards at each of the settings so everyone knows they have a place.

  • Bring out all the candles

Nothing is more inviting than a home that smells deliciously good as soon as you walk in the door.

One great way to make that possible is to have a great smelling candle in each room, or multiple if you want to give it an extra kick.

Make sure they are out of reach of little hands and that you make sure to extinguish them before everyone goes to bed. 

  • Make sure there is plenty of linen

Lots of guests mean lots of blankets, pillows, towels, etc., and before they get to your home make sure there is enough for everyone and then some.

It’s a good idea to make sure all the beds are ready with clean sheets and blankets, and that there are also enough blankets to pass around for the guests who aren’t necessarily sleeping over but are wanting to get cozy and warm.

  • An open fire

Speaking of cozy, there is nothing cozier than a roaring fire to go warm up your hands or feet by after a cold winter’s night.

If you have a fireplace make sure you are stocked up on enough wood and have plenty of extra to pop in when you need to.

If you don’t have a fireplace but want the feel of a fire, there are many fake-fire options that can have your guests thinking it’s the real deal.

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5 ways to prepare your lawn for the wintertime

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Although during the winter there isn’t very much that needs to be done to your lawn, there are some things you can do to prepare for the winter so your lawn thrives after the cold is over.

For most of the year, you have to worry about watering, mowing, and all the other things that involve taking care of your lawn to make sure it is healthy and green.

But when it comes to winter, that’s when the lawn usually takes a backseat because, well, it tends to get covered by snow or frost.

But despite the little care that is required during the winter months it's definitely important to prepare your lawn for the snowy season and for the time when the snow melts away.

Here are five ways to prepare your lawn for the wintertime, so you don’t have to worry about it during and after winter passes.

  • Clean it off

Fall is called fall for a reason. It usually means lots of leaves falling off trees. When the colder weather starts to hit in October and November that usually means these leaves have started to gather in big piles on your lawn.

For the health of your lawn, before the snow is also added on to the pile, it's best to make sure that your lawn is cleared of these fallen leaves and other debris.

The reason is that when these fallen leaves start to gather up and create a thick layer and then get wet and muddy they can harm your lawn by suffocating it or even bringing diseases to your lawn.

  • Prepare while the time is right

Once that chill comes in the air the rest of the cold and all it brings is sure to follow, so make sure to have all you need to prepare your lawn before it gets just a little too cold and snowy to do it.

Come up with your winter lawn care plan in place that way you can do it quickly and easily, so you know your lawn can pick up right where it left off at the end of summer.

  • Don’t walk all over it

Because it seems as if the grass underneath your snow and ice is dead, it might be tempting to not pay attention to the foot traffic that goes over it, but that’s not a great idea.

Walking too much over your lawn even in the winter can still damage the lawn and prevent it from growing back properly in the spring.

If you can monitor the number of people and things that go over your lawn that would be best, especially if you want it to be healthy for the rest of the year.

  • Aerate it before the snow

Lawn experts like The Yard Butler recommend aerating your lawn before the cold months really hit your lawn hard.

Aerating the lawn before snow covers it can have many benefits, such as air for the roots of the grass as well as churning up the soil and its minerals.

  • Still, give the lawn a good mow

You are probably not going to have to mow the lawn as much as you do in the warmer months, but it’s still a good idea every once in a while to mow your lawn.

This will keep whatever surviving grass that’s under the snow healthy, as well as kill any weeds that begin to lurk up.

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Learn the Pros and Cons of Using Massage Chairs as a Creative

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Massage Chairs – one could argue that they are man’s best gift to himself!

From a 10-year-old child to an 80-year-old adult, no one won't enjoy using one, making it one of the most sought out products in the 21st century.

And if you’re a person who’s an architect, poet, story-writer, painter, or engaged in any line of work that’s fueled by the creative side of your brain, then a massage chair can possibly boost your craft to the next level!

But there's always a flip side to every major invention, and massage chairs are no exception.

Even if they are one of the best things in your living room, they might also fall short in one way or the other but if you are already decided, Homesthetics has reviewed the best massage chairs out there with all their pros and cons listed, feel free to cast a glance over their review!

Here are a few Pros and Cons of having a massage chair.

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Pros and Cons of Using Massage Chairs as a Creative

Pros

  1. Reduces neural pressure  

Massage chairs by its unique motion aligns the spine and reduce any pressure on nerves. They are a  mechanized substitution of acupressure. If you work for long hours or are approaching a certain age, then massage chairs are perfect relief therapy for you.

  1. Reduces stress on muscles

Stress and pain on muscles are one of the most common issues. Be it corporate lifestyle or getting creative at home, every physical activity can add to the stress. The therapeutic massage chairs relax the muscles and maintain a good body posture. Regular usage increases body's agility and overall balance.

If you had a rough day at work, then you're always one session away from relaxation. Must have for people who play a professional sport, or indulge in heavy lifting.

  1. Reduces stress and relieves many medical issues

If you're going through mental stress, anxiety, depression then you might have a hard time relaxing. Massage chair makes your body loosen up and help you relax. Problems like sleeplessness can also to tackled by getting a massage done.

Massage chairs are also useful in dealing with blood pressure. A perfect stressbuster if you can't find enough time or energy for recreational activities.

  1. Improves blood circulation

Due to prolong work hours it's possible for the body to get numb at certain places, leading to coagulation of blood and poor circulation. That is why getting a massage is so important. It eases the muscles, so that blood flow is at its average pace.

  1. Convenience

Precisely the reason why everyone wants one in their living room. Massage chairs can be used at any point in time with no prior setup. There is no hassle of getting oil, making sure it's at the right temperature, and getting a masseuse. All you need is do is sit and relax.

Additionally, massage chairs give you privacy, which makes sure you can relax without any worries of being judged. People who are shy in front of a stranger or are just insecure about their body will be able to reap the benefit of a message without making it awkward for themselves.

Cons

  1. Less effective when compared to traditional massage

This might seem like a contradiction to the point above, but it isn't. Don't get me wrong. Massage chairs are useful, but they fall short when it comes to the traditional massage means. If you're going through acute pain, then massage chairs won't help much.

  1. Limited functionality

Massage Chairs have come a lot way, but the mainstream ones are still limited to some selected motions. These limitations explain why massage chair falls short when you compare it with a traditional hand massage.

Chairs have a hard time with adjusting to an individual body and their respective level of stress. The less personal and more mechanized approach makes chairs somewhat limited.

  1. Maximum weight limit

Massage chair in all their glory come with a weight restriction. If you are clinically obese, then you might have a hard time trying to use one. Hence making it a dealbreaker for people who can’t afford to go out to exercise.

  1. Expensive

This is a dealbreaker for most people. Massage Chairs are extremely expensive, and it’s a status symbol to own one. Even people who are health-conscious find it hard to get their hands (literally) on one.

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Final thoughts

Despite a few shortcomings and high price, there is little to no reason why you shouldn’t go for one if you can afford it, regardless of the type.

A massage chair has many health benefits and has made massage and stress relief far more accessible.

While traditional massage is still a wonderful experience, the massage chair has been successful in bringing the experience of massage to your living room at your convenience.

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4 easy ways to make your house Pinterest-worthy

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Everyone wants an Insta or Pinterest worthy home, and here are a few simple ways to make it happen.

Your home is where your heart is, but it’s also where your family’s clutter, food, and dirty clothes are.

Many of us love to scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and see beautiful homes that have both beautiful interiors and are also so well organized.

Sometimes, it can feel like no matter what you do your home won’t ever quite look like those beautiful photos and it won’t look and feel quite like you want it to.

The good news is there are a few simple tips and tricks that can actually transform your home into something you would definitely heart or pin, as well as everyone else.

Here are four easy ways to make your house Pinterest worthy and make you beam with pride about it as well as not have to break the bank while doing it.  

  • Create a gallery wall

Nothing says Pinterest more than a gallery wall, and the good news about creating your own is it is relatively simple but looks so sophisticated and cool.

The great thing about gallery walls as well is that they can be completely customizable to any room and space, and you can create the theme and style that you want for it.

Also, there are so many second-hand or thrift stores that you can buy frames from and just sand and paint to the colors you want, meaning that it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money either.

  • Add style to your shelves

Shelves are often used to store and place things in your home, but they can also be a place to show off your style and taste.

Shelves can be used as an opportunity to show off cute decorations, books, or other objects that you have around the house.

For example, you can have a few cute books stacked or lined up against each other, a cute interchangeable farmhouse truck, and a little plant, and boom! You have your Pinterest-worthy shelf.

This is also a great way to declutter and get rid of the things you don’t need. Just find the things that you want to put on display and make them the focal point.

  • Add some color and contrast

Sometimes all a room needs to pop is a bit of color.

A really great look is to have most things be more of a neutral color and then have some furniture or pillows with a brighter color to really stand out and make a nice contrast.

Once you’ve picked out the colors you love and that go well together, use those colors throughout your house for continuity. They don't have to be the same exact color, but you can use a shade of the colors and if you need inspiration you can look up the color wheel online and see what hues and shades go well together.

  • Plants and flowers 

Adding in some beautiful plants or fresh flowers throughout the house is a great way to make your home look and feel fresh.

The great thing is that nowadays you don’t necessarily need a green thumb to have greenery in the home, and you don’t have to necessarily bring in fresh flowers every day because there are some very real-looking and gorgeous fake options available.

You can also swap out the plants from season to season which can really take it to the next level and have you posting away the great pictures of your home.

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Improving a Home’s Curb Appeal

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First impressions last – this quote has been shared through the ages, and it is proven real. One’s first impression of a person, place, or thing would be their primary basis for judgment. For homeowners, having a good curb appeal is important to provide a positive first impression, not only with the property, but also with the people living inside it. Curb appeal is a slang known to most Americans, and it pertains to the overall look of a property when viewed from the street. There are so many ways on how to improve a property’s curb appeal, and the homeowner should focus on methods on how they can make their property’s exterior presentable.

One of the first things to be considered would be the budget for improving the property’s curb appeal. Homeowners could apply for advance loans for financial help with improvements. Once they receive the money, they could start planning on how they wanted their homes to be presented. Home renovations would require the assistance from professionals, and all of the expenses made would be worth it once the results are shown. There are so many things to consider when trying to improve a property’s curb appeal, but the following features some of the most important locations or parts of the house that would give a greater impact with regards to the curb appeal.

  1. Paint – the first thing to consider would be a property’s paint color. Homeowners need to work with professional artists to determine the best color for a property that matches the personality of the people living inside. The color of the property can also be matched according to the location where it is built. There are so many color combinations that could create the best curb appeal for homes, especially if professional artists have given their expertise when it comes to this specific matter. Another thing to be considered would be the materials that will be used for the home’s exterior. Its color should match the surroundings, making it more natural looking and pleasing to the eyes.
  2. Doors and Windows – these two staples for a home affect its total curb appeal. One should seek help from a professional interior and home designer to determine where the best place to install the doors and the windows are. Old doors and windows could also affect the curb appeal of a property, and it is important to change them or buy a new set that will be installed in a property. If the home has an elegant looking door and the windows are placed perfectly, the property’s curb appeal would greatly increase. Homes with properly decorated doors and windows frequently look comforting for someone driving by, and it can also affect the mood around the neighborhood.
  3. Roof – a roof is as important as the home’s paints, doors, and windows, and it is used as a means of protection. Roof shingles can be used to enhance the exterior look of a property, but other materials can also be considered. Other homeowners consider having a rooftop that has a striking design, which can also act as an outdoor party area. Renovating the roof for the sake of curb appeal can be challenging, so try working it out with professionals to get the proper advice about the property.
  4. Outdoor gardens – a property that has a garden has a higher curb appeal compared to other properties. For homeowners who have a smaller home, they could consider planting flowering plants and shrubs that could act as a fence. It will greatly enhance the exterior look of a property, especially if the flowers used for the outdoor lawn exhibits a color that complements the paint on the home’s exterior. For those who have larger homes and lawns, they could consider building an elegant fountain, or a maze featuring topiaries. Either way, gardens would easily increase a curb appeal, and it would give other people a positive impression about the property.

Improving the curb appeal of a property can be done easily, especially with the assistance coming from the professionals who are expert in the field. Make sure to follow all of their advice, and you will see how the property’s curb appeal would improve.

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