Are Solar Panels and Energy Storage a Viable Solution to Reduce Electricity Bills ?

By: Alan Levine

Solar panels can do an awesome job on sunny summer days. However, you can’t expect them to produce as much energy on a dark and freezing winter day. The good news is that you may be able to store your electricity for the future by linking your solar panels to a home battery. This growing trend has been followed by Tesla and Nissan, both companies launching their own home battery brands. Unfortunately, none of them is really affordable just yet. In addition, Ikea has launched an offer of solar panels and an energy storage bundle, which they claim can save up to 70% on your annual electricity bill.

Energy companies have reacted to this trend by selling packages of solar panels and home batteries to homeowners willing to reduce their electricity bills. Residential construction companies such as Woodhams Group have also noticed a large influx of solar panel incorporation in their building plans. We’ve studied their offers, and the way home batteries work, so we are able to tell you what you need to take into consideration when making your choice.

What Are the Home Battery Options?

A home battery is an energy storage system that enables you to save the energy you produce or take from the gird, in order to use it at a later time. This energy can come from solar panels or wind turbines, but it can also be captured from the grid at the lowest price times. Powerwall, Tesla’s home battery, is one of the best in its class, as it links to a special app that allows you to see how much energy you’ve stored. Tesla’s energy storage solution costs about £5,900 and it appears to be maintenance free and almost totally silent.

Nissan’s battery, xStorage, is slightly cheaper in its basic variant, but also has a lower storage capacity. Apart from these two major players, Varta has its own home battery, which is about the size of a dishwasher, and which claims to be able to give a household complete energy autonomy. Whether this is true or not, only actual users can tell. You may want to search for user reviews on discussion forums and in other similar online communities before buying one brand or another. In addition, you should contact the representatives of each company, and ask them for more details about the features and the benefits …

Floor Plans and How to Draw One

By: SHRI Group

A floor plan is a diagram drawn depicting an entire building, a single room, or even one floor of a building. It can also be defined as a diagram of a structure or room viewed from above. A complete floor plan should measurements, appliances, furniture, and everything else obligatory to its purpose.  When marketing a property, a floor plan can be used in combination with high-quality photography to show it to its best.

Floor plans are valuable tools as they help design wiring systems, furniture layout, and overall room setups. These plans also help leasing companies and realtors rent or sell space.

The Significance of a Floor Plan Design

Floor plans play an important role when designing or building a home. A properly designed floor plan ensures proper utilization and flow of spaces, improved home value, and even makes the house more practical.

Characteristics of a Good Floor Plan

1. Flexible and Versatile

The floor plan needs to be versatile and flexible enough to allow future modifications when needed. An office space, for example, should be flexible/big enough to be converted into a child’s bedroom should the need for one arise.

2. Ideal Room Layout

Entertainment spaces should be far away from bedrooms, study rooms, and offices. The bathroom too shouldn’t face entertainment spaces or living rooms. The kitchen can be designed just next to living or dining rooms to enable one to interact with guests or the family while preparing meals. This also allows parents to keep an eye on their kids.

3. Size

The size of each room matters a lot in a floor plan. Several essential factors such as the number of people that will be using the room, their age, and possibility of furniture in the same should be considered when designing any room. How the room is to be used is another factor to consider as well.

4. Lifestyle and Priorities

The sustenance room, home office, and bedrooms should be placed strategically to serve their purpose. The entertainment room, for instance, needs to have an easy access from the kitchen to the living room and vice versa. For those working from home, it’s important to have the office designed in the quietest area of the house, and also ensure it gets enough natural light from the outside. The laundry room too needs to be ideally placed to avoid having to climb/descent …

Noise Abatement Technology for Community Health and Safety

Commercial, industrial, and manufacturing industries typically generate a lot of machinery and equipment noise as part of the production process. When located near residential areas, the sound emanating from the source could disturb the quality of life of the residents. While most industries are typically located outside communities, management still has a responsibility to ensure the noise is within acceptable levels, and the health and safety of their workers are guaranteed. Acceptable sound limits vary from industry to industry. To keep within federal and state noise regulations, sound reduction solutions have to be installed and carefully monitored on site.

Noise Abatement Laws

The Noise Control Act, which is supported by statewide regulations, mandates a noise-free environment for communities. These federal rules set emission standards for noise level and duration across industries where heavy machines are used extensively. These industries include oil and gas, air and road transportation, and manufacturing.

Initially, the US Environmental Protection Agency coordinates federal-wide programs relating to noise pollution control. Now, it is up to state and local governments to oversee the implementation of regulations. These rules ensure that acceptable environmental noise levels are implemented for the health and safety of the community.

Noise Abatement Solutions

Noise mitigation solutions have to be implemented by commercial businesses, manufacturing, and industries in order to comply with environmental regulations. Power plants, gas compression and turbines, factories, and drilling platforms produce massive amounts of equipment noise. Massive transport areas such as airports and highways also produce noise from the continuous flow of air and land traffic.

Even residential areas could be exposed to noise pollution from various power and water infrastructure. Proximity to massive HVAC equipment setup without abatement solutions could also produce discomfort in residents of nearby homes and apartment complexes. To address this issue, specialists offer solutions such as the installation of noise reduction panels with absorptive capacity. Many soundproof barriers utilize technology that deflects instead of absorbing the loud sound emanating from the source. These barriers are typically made of concrete instead of a porous material that dampens the noise.

Worker Safety Solutions

The US Department of Labor, specifically the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implements a set of standards for workers in the manufacturing and industrial sector. Noise reduction solutions not only protect nearby communities, but it also safeguards workers from harmful exposure to occupational noise. The OSHA recommends an acceptable noise exposure level of less …

Bi Folding Patio Doors-Elegant, Secure & Durable

Bi-folding doors are becoming more and more popular especially in heavily residential areas in London, here’s why.

A) Elegant

These doors naturally infuse the outside environment into the inside by bringing in a perfect blend. They will open up your interior of the living room and merge it with the outside area. This might be a garden area or any other space, but clearly, you will get a perfect view and feel from the inside. They as well allow maximum light from the outside and will provide for privacy if needed.

Designed for both homes and business places, and coming in several innovative techniques, bi-folding patio doors are for those who appreciate light with a fusion of the outside to come up with unimaginable elegance. Of course, with a great aesthetic appeal to boot. The slide and fold ones can easily open the entire space to the outside, immediately transforming the feel and look of your home and add a great sense of value. In good weather, bi-folding patio doors will guarantee you a seamless integration between the outside and the inside and will as well allow for ease of movement in and out of your domestic property.

B) Secure

Frames for these doors are typically made of timber, PVC, and aluminium. Bi-folds designed from aluminium will offer great strength and are suitable for openings of up to 7 meters. This also allows for a slim profile that leaves more space for the glass area, providing a great amount of light and visibility to the outside when the doors are closed. Apart from the fact that they are weatherproof, the doors will as well ensure excellent thermal efficiency. This is because the external and internal components of each frame have a thermal division that stops them from touching hence inhibiting heat or cold from being conducted from surface to surface.

This makes these doors reasonably secure, whilst offering incredible access in the domestic or commercial property. Indeed, many designs today come with a double-glazed glass that provides an extra layer of security for your home and family. With a multi-point locking system, together with an inline hidden tracking system, the doors cannot easily be broken into by unwanted persons. Further, you can install security screen doors at the external parts of the doors as an added security measure. This way, the doors can remain open and still maintain a high-security …

Everything You Need to Know about Roller Blinds

If you are looking for a simple solution to create privacy, and you want a modern and simple covering for your windows, roller blinds are likely to be a top solution.

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How do they work?

A roller blind is a solid sheet of fabric that is wound around a tube that sits at the top of your window frame. They can be pulled up and down quite easily, either by pulling a tab at the bottom of the fabric, or by pulling on a chain that hangs from the top of the tube. The majority of blinds can be set at different levels depending on your needs. It is even possible for larger blinds on doors or windows to be motorised, and operated by remote control.

Are they suitable for wet rooms?

Roller blinds can also be very suited to bathrooms and kitchens. They can be made of a waterproof PVC fabric, which is ideally suited to the humid environment of a bathroom, and which provides a great deal of privacy. Waterproof roller blinds are also available in a great many different styles and patterns. Roller blinds are easy to care for and clean, and it is no surprise that more people are turning to roller blinds, as explained by leading online style magazine Decoist.

Is there a choice of styles?

The real beauty of choosing a roller blind for your window coverings is the variety of styles, prints and patterns that are available, from stockists such as http://www.ucblinds.co.uk/PVC-Waterproof-Roller-Blinds. With styles ranging from modern clean lines to traditional patterns, and from contemporary pictures to something completely different, your roller blind can totally represent your interior design tastes.

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What window protection to choose?

The type of fabric that you choose can depend on the purpose of your blinds. It is possible to use blackout roller blinds that completely obstruct light. Certain types of material are also better at providing insulation and protection from light damage. Alternatively, if it is just privacy that you are after, a more translucent material can let in a little light. This will result in less insulation and sun protection, but it will allow warmth to penetrate even when the blind is down. The thinnest fabric to use is a sheer material, which would let substantial amounts of filtered light into your room.…