How to Perform a Home Energy Check Yourself

home energy checkMaking your home more energy efficient has multiple benefits. It’s not just beneficial for saving you money on your energy bills (although this should be enough to convince you), it will also increase the comfort of your home, improve the resale value of it and massively reduce the carbon footprint it emits.

There’s just one problem: who do you turn to when it comes to finding out what part of your home is wasting the most energy? You could call in a professional to include an energy audit for you, which is fine, but did you know you could just as easily complete this process yourself and save a few of your hard-earned pounds?

Scrutinise your insulation

Did you know that over 60% of the heat generated in your home can be lost due to improper insulation? If possible, check out the condition of the insulation in your roof by going into the attic and see if you can find any wear/damage. At the time of your home being built, the builder will have followed the recommended levels of insulation at the time, which have steadily increased over the years – if your home is older, you’re much more likely to need more than you already have.

Go draught hunting

Draughts can waste up to 20% of your energy bills per year, so be sure to make a list of all the areas you can feel a leaking of air around your house. When you have this list, make sure you’re using the appropriate materials to seal these cracks, such as caulk or weather-stripping.  

Take a look at your central heating

Sometimes the machinery that operates the central heating in your home is massively outdated. If this is the case, you may want to think about updating to a newer model. A grundfos pump is a quality pump and a stellar choice for any setting (whether it be domestic, commercial or industrial), and are proven to save you much more money than you invest after a few years of purchasing.

A recent project undertaken Grundfos saved a hospital Brussels an estimated 65,000 euros a year in wasted energy by replacing over 200 of their old pumps with new ones.

Check yourself

Often it’s your own habits that cost you the most money. Just think to yourself: am I doing enough to save energy around my home? It might be things you won’t even pay a second though to, such as, leaving the light on in the hall when you’re not using that room or leaving an appliance plugged in and switched when you’ll rarely use it. Here are some more helpful tips for adjusting your own behavior around the house.

Inspect those lights

Lighting in your home is barely given a second thought, however, it’s actually responsible for 10% of your energy bills. While we have discussed turning them off when not in use, you can also add further efficiency to them by swapping the bulbs for something more economic. LED (Light Emitting Diode) or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs are proven to reduce the energy needed to light your rooms and will save you a ton of money in the process for a fraction of the price.

Think about renewable energy

With so much of a push towards renewable energy today, you may want to be ahead of the curb before it becomes mandatory, and we suspect it probably will soon. Renewable energy technology such as solar panels, which enable you to generate your own energy and save you a substantial sum on your energy bills.

home energy check

Grundfos Motors Achieve World-Class Rating

grundfosSome exciting news coming from Grundfos this month: the IE5 rated MGE motors are now considered to be world class in their energy efficiency. Already an industry leader in energy efficient pump technology and performance, Grundfos are now delighted to announce that their new IE5 rated motors, offer 10% in saved energy as well as a massive 25% reduction in payback time as opposed to the older IE3 models.

Guaranteeing some of the best performing motors available on the market right now, this machinery vastly surpasses IE3 legislative demands and meets all the features of the strict standards of IE5, which is the highest energy efficiency level electrical motors can attain. All of the Grundfos MGE motors (from 0.75 kilowatts to 11 kilowatts) have achieved this IE5 efficiency status.

The secret behind these MGE motors impeccable performance is their quality artificial intelligence. Its control technology is able to adjust to the system that surrounds it and thus reduce the energy it needs to use to operate and when you combine the IE5 motor & it’s integrated frequency converter with Grundfos experience in pump motor technology, you’re sure to optimise the performance.

We at Anchor Pumps are proud to say that we stock a broad range of Grundfos pumps, one of the world’s leading manufacturers in their industry. The pumps feature unbeatable design and are outstanding features of engineering that are applicable to many applications, whether it be domestic, commercial or industrial uses.

The strength of these pumps are a key feature, as their high-grade stainless steel construction are ensured to withstand constant high usage, so they will not be damaged by issues regarding corrosion. They guarantee quality in every product that they sell, and we stock many of them, whether it be home boosters, liquid circulators or waste-water & drainage pumps, you can be assured that you are buying the best. These products are simple to maintain and install.

Grundfos are constantly pioneering new technologies, have helped a vast amount of industries and we are positive that they’re sure to continue doing so in the future.

Easy Energy Saving Ideas for your Business

Easy energy savingWith so many different costs to worry about when running your business, often your energy bills don’t have much attention paid to them. However, if you take a few steps into reducing wasted energy you could really notice a difference in your overhead costs. Here at Anchor Pumps, we have come up with a few energy saving ideas that are sure to keep your wasted energy to the bare minimum.

Lights off

Are the lights in your building on 24/7? Do they need to be? Often businesses will leave their lights on in the day when daylight is at its strongest or on all night when there is no one in the building. Monitor when you do and don’t need the lights on and adjust them according, this can be done through a timer. You could also utilise a dimmer switch if need be.

Energy saving bulbs

Ok, so maybe you can’t turn the lights off in your building for whatever reason, that still doesn’t mean you won’t be able to cut costs. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) or Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) can help reduce costs for your lighting and will also last longer than standard bulbs.

Get your staff involved

Often when dealing with cutting costs, if you don’t include your workforce in the process they can become somewhat complacent about your ‘penny pinching’ when it’s dropped on them without a reason. If you hold a meeting with your staff explaining about increasing energy efficiency they will be more inclined to understand. You can also brainstorm with them about ideas for helping and even have people in charge of reducing energy costs.

Hibernate those computers

The hibernate feature laptops and desktop offer is far more cost-efficient for energy usage as opposed to shutting down as they both use the same amount of energy. The difference between the two is that when you hibernate your computer it doesn’t need to go through the long and drawn out start-up process, so you can start work immediately where you left it.

Shut out the draughts

During the winter months, you can be liable to chills seeping in through draughts in your doors and windows. If you seal these off, you can keep the warm where it’s supposed to be and stop the constant upping of the radiator temperature.

Turn off the power during the holidays

If there is a long period of time where nobody is using the office space (like Christmas) then make sure you turn off all unnecessary appliances. If nobody is there to use the coffee machine, microwave or water cooler, then why would you want to waste your money running the thing?

Optimise your central heating

Sometimes the machinery controlling the temperature in your building may be past its prime. If this is the case, you may need to invest in a new central heating pump. When something is running efficiently, you will notice the difference.

Set your heating to come only at times when it’s needed! If your working hours are from 9am-5pm each day and your building is relatively small, then setting your heating to come just before 9 and turn off after a couple of hours will give you enough heat to last the day and avoid overusing your boiler. Contrary to popular belief, leaving your heating on at a low heat will not save you money in the long run, as you will end up needing to replace your boiler sooner!

Go paperless

With more and more importance being placed on not wasting paper, you should make a point of telling your staff to only print something when absolutely necessary. Not only will this help the environment but it also reduces the cost of running a printer. Going digital is the future.

Complete an energy audit

If you want a second opinion about what you think is costing you the most money on your energy bills in your business, why not ask a utility company to complete an energy audit for you? Alternatively, we have put together this useful guide to perform a home energy check yourself.

6 Steps for a Bathroom DIY Makeover

Bathroom DIYEveryone loves to complete a bit of DIY around the home in the new year, it gives you something to do in those boring winter months! When thinking about where to start your next project, have you considered the bathroom?

If you’ve had your bathroom for a long time, there’s a good chance it will have started to look a bit worn and washed out. You should give it a nice and thorough clean, but if you still feel like the room looks a bit stale, why not challenge yourself to a bit of DIY to spruce up the place?

Stack those shelves

Is clutter a big problem for you? If so, you might want to consider building some floating shelves. It’s a great place to start putting your towels and toiletries to bring a bit more order to a messy bathroom. Some nice oak or marble shelves placed on top of each other can really help with storage in your bathroom, while helping with the overall look of the place.

For anything too heavy, wicker baskets are draw are a great option here to put them out of sight and out of mind, but easily accessible.

Look into a mirror

Adding a mirror to a room will instantly brighten up any room and give the illusion of a larger space, and the bigger the mirror, the bigger the difference. A full-length mirror could add a massive amount of depth to your bathroom (at least visually). You could also get some mirrored cabinets, which will help by adding some much-needed storage to your bathroom.

Think about your bath/shower

The centerpiece of anyone’s bathroom: your bath and shower. If you’re going to spend the most time in the bathroom in either of these, you want them to offer a relaxing vibe. There are minor changes you can make yourself that won’t cost you an arm and a leg or take too much time.

One thing that will make a big difference is improving your water flow; this is not as complex as you might think, simply upgrading your shower pump will make a massive improvement to the flow of water! Most manufacturers offer advice on their websites for installation, with videos and ‘how to’ guides.  

Making minor cosmetic changes such as fixing or replacing broken tiles, regrouting or even cleaning dirty grout can also make a significant difference to the overall look of your bathroom!

Tap into potential

Nobody ever thinks about the taps in their bathroom, but there are actually so many sleek and stylish designs for the faucets in your home nowadays. Our favourite has to be the taps that come with a waterfall feature. If your budget allows, investing in some brand new taps can give a bathroom a chic new look and it’s not as difficult as you think to replace them. You can look at this handy guide to give you all the information you need to complete the task yourself.

Consider a new throne

We’re all used to the standard white toilet seat, but just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean yours must be. Jazz it up a bit and go for something with a bit more identity, whether it be a different colour, style, or simply get a new toilet seat lid – after all, not all DIY ideas need to be so drastic.

Accessorise to your heart’s content

A lot of the time your bathroom might only need a few ‘finishing touches’ – this is the time when you can start experimenting with accessories. Even little things like a new bathmat, soap dispenser or glass jars to put your toiletries in can really brighten up a room and make it feel vibrant. A great idea to add some freshness to your bathroom could be to include a houseplant, which won’t even need much looking after as it’s already in a moist environment!

How to Get Rid of Mould in Showers!

How to Get Rid of Mold in Showers!

Mould in your shower room can be a real problem. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can cause serious health problems if left unchecked.

Mould can appear because your bathroom is humid and not well ventilated, so try to air out the room by opening a window frequently. This will allow fresh air to circulate. If the problem persists, consider using a dehumidifier.

Mould frequently appears around showers, sinks, baths and toilets – in fact, anywhere where moisture accumulates. Make sure you have no leaking taps and that any shower pumps are functioning correctly. Keeping unnecessary moisture to a minimum by promptly mopping up any spills will also inhibit the growth of mould.

Regular cleaning will also inhibit the formation of mould. Give bathmats a regular wash and invest in a mould-proof shower curtain if you use one. Make sure any products are wiped down and stored after use so they don’t remain in your shower, creating conditions where mould can grow.

If mould has taken hold in your shower, there are several methods you can try to get rid of it, either using household products or off-the-shelf mould-cleaning solutions. Whatever you use, remember to always wear gloves to prevent any irritation, and always read the instructions carefully.

Brilliant Bicarb

Check in your baking supplies and you’re bound to have some bicarbonate of soda. Bicarb can be an effective mould cleaner – just mix one cup with one teaspoon of washing-up liquid and enough hot water to make a paste. Work the mixture into the mould – an old toothbrush can be very effective – and then rinse off.

Try Bleach

You can buy bleach sprays in the supermarket. Or you can make your own by mixing one part bleach with two parts of water in a spray bottle. Spray on to tiles and allow to dry.

Now spray again and scrub with a brush. Rinse with water and repeat until the mould has gone. You may need to regrout if you can’t get rid of all the mould, so use a product with a mould inhibitor.

An old toothbrush dipped in bleach can be an effective way of removing mould on grout lines and in hard-to-reach places.

Kill Mould with Hydrogen Peroxide

Yes, the stuff the hairdresser users for your highlights can make an effective household cleaner. Many people prefer it to bleach, as it’s environmentally friendly. You’ll need 3% hydrogen peroxide for cleaning away mould.

Use a dark spray bottle, because hydrogen peroxide becomes less effective when exposed to light, and add a little vinegar to boost your solution’s cleaning power.

Because of its effective bleaching properties, hydrogen peroxide is best for cleaning white tiles. Do a patch test on darker tiles to see whether it fades the colour.

Now spray all over the tiles and leave to work for up to two hours. Ventilate your bathroom, as the fumes, though non-toxic, can be very strong and unpleasant. Then simply wipe down.

Go Natural with Vinegar

Vinegar kills 82% of all household moulds, so spraying surfaces with vinegar once the mould is gone is a good preventative.

You don’t need to dilute it: simply fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and then spray on mouldy surfaces. Leave for an hour, airing out the bath. Now spray the tiles with hot water and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Vinegar is also extremely effective against limescale. Spray it neat on to any scale build-up, then leave overnight before rinsing.

Use Borax

Borax is a good natural cleaner and insecticide. It’s simple to use – just dilute one cup of borax in one gallon of water. Before you apply it, vacuum the tiles with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner to get rid of any loose spores.

Work the borax solution into the tiles with a scrubbing brush, being careful not to dislodge any stray spores as they will rapidly spread to a new location. Now clean off with a cloth and let the tiles dry. For extra security, spray the area with vinegar to inhibit regrowth.

Disinfect That Mouldy Shower Drain

Vinegar is excellent at getting rid of mould in the shower drain – simply pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain, followed by half a cup of bicarb. Leave to work overnight, then flush with hot water. Repeat a couple of times a month to keep the drain mould-free and sweet-smelling.