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Which Trusted Trader of the Month, January 2017

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Easy ways to update your home

We all enjoy improving and updating our homes, but no one likes breaking the bank to do it. Whether you’re looking to upgrade certain rooms to make it more appealing to buyers, or simply improve the look and feel of your house to make you feel more at home, these inexpensive and easy DIY methods will help you succeed.

 

Wall decoration

There’s no need to fork out for an expensive decorator or brand new wallpaper, when you can easily update the walls in your home with simple peel and stick wall panels and paper. These can add texture and subtle designs to your walls and give the appearance of a interior face lift, with a wide range of colours and designs to suit everyone.

 

easy ways to update your home

 

Wall decals are another great way off adding something a little extra to your walls, especially if you’re not looking to completely redecorate. Add inspirational quotes or small designs, then remove it and replace with something new when you get bored. Perfect for those who like to keep up with new styles and tastes.

 

Appliances

Kitchen appliances, especially white goods, can sometimes be a bit bland. With metallic and stainless-steel paints now available to buy, it’s easy to upgrade your kitchen without the effort and the cost of replacing. Simply paint your appliances, leave them to dry, and enjoy your handy work.

 

Lighting

Lighting can add some serious character to any room and if standard light bulbs aren’t cutting it for you, there are plenty of quirky and unique bulbs on the market.

 

easy ways to update your home

 

You could also experiment with different lampshades, which can completely change how your room is lit, setting the mood in your home. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, consider upgrading your regular light fittings to chandelier style models instead.

 

Fixtures

Buying and installing new taps on your sinks and bathtubs can completely change their appearance, and fitting a new head and pipe on your shower will make it look brand new. Modern fixtures can make your bathroom look attractive, without the cost of installing a new one.

 

easy ways to update your home

 

Details

When it comes to home improvement, it’s the little things that matter. These additional details can add some serious character, set the tone of the room, and provide colour to your everyday life. Use throws and cushions to brighten up your living room and area rugs to liven up faded carpet or floorboards.

 

easy ways to update your home

 

Plants add life and decoration to any room, as do table and floor lamps. Installing shelves and hooks add storage space and can make rooms look less empty, whilst mirrors can give a room the appearance of being larger than it is.

 

Windows

Your windows are the eyes to your home, so it’s important to look after them. Use bright curtains and hanging crystals to frame them and check for any signs of failed double glazing.

 

repair failed double glazing

 

If you have a build-up of condensation within your double glazing, or if they are visibly cloudy or misted over, these are all signs of failed double glazing. This can have a negative impact on the aesthetic of your home, as well as reducing its appeal to potential buyers.

Cloudy2Clear replaces the glass within your double-glazed unit, instead of the entire frame, saving you both time and money. For more information, contact your local branch today.

Ask Kirk: How to audit your business to save on energy costs

Energy consumption is often a large financial drain for business owners, but reducing the monthly cost of your energy bills doesn’t always have to be complicated. In fact, there are many simple, straightforward steps you can take to reduce the amount you’re spending on your energy bills.
 
auditing your business energy

 

What steps should businesses take to reduce energy outage?

Business owners should first take a look at their current energy bills to identify exactly where energy is being used. This will help you identify any unnecessary uses of energy so you can either make changes, or get rid of them all together. The most effective way to reduce costs is to first work out where they’re coming from.

You could also consider installing sub-metres, which track the use of energy, helping you to identify key areas of usage and ultimately, reduce or remove them.

Other steps you could consider include:

• Energy saving lightbulbs
• Energy efficient appliances
• Ensuring items and appliances are properly shut down and switched off when not in use
• Only boiling water when necessary, and not boiling too much at once
• Shopping around for a cheaper energy supplier
 
saving energy in your business

 

What are the key problems in the workplace for energy related issues?

The smallest things can often be the biggest cause of energy usage in the workplace. Simple things such as windows being left open, lights, appliances and plug sockets being left on when not in use, items being left on standby and air conditioning or heating systems being left on a night can be a massive drain on your energy supply.

Setting targets for your business should help with this; communicate to your staff that energy usage in the workplace needs to be reduced and ask people to ensure they’re switching things off. Have the last person in the workplace at the end of the day do a final sweep, checking that everything has been properly turned off.
 
saving energy at work

 

Are there any issues that are often overlooked?

Many businesses fail to realise the impact that their windows can have on their energy bills. Failed double glazing is a problem that is often overlooked, but if your windows are faulty, they become inefficient in both summer and winter months, raising the price of your energy bills considerably.

Broken hinges, locks and handles can also have a surprising impact on your energy bills. Fixing these problems will enable your windows to function properly, keeping down costs for air conditioning and heating bills.

If the double glazing at your business has failed, or if the hinges, locks or handles on your windows are broken, Cloudy2Clear has over 40 branches throughout the UK, with experienced fitters and engineers ready to repair the windows at your workplace for you.

Static caravan maintenance tips

Summer is finally here and that means it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy your static caravan. Whether you’re pitched in a picturesque village or have a sea view, your static caravan or park home is your pride and joy, and maintaining it properly will provide you with years and years of beautiful holidays and breaks away.

 

We’ve outlined some of our most helpful maintenance tips to keep your static caravan looking spick and span.

 

static caravan

 

Clean the gutters
Having effective drainage on your caravan or park home is important. Water can lie on the roof and cause serious problems if there’s nowhere for it to run into. Cleaning your gutters on a regular basis, especially if your static caravan or park home is situated under trees, is the most effective way to prevent water build-up and avoid any damp issues.

 

Sweep the roof
Again, build-up of mulch and leaves on the roof can potentially cause problems in the future, as well as damaging the roof materials. Ensure you stay safe when completing this job however, by using an extending brush and having someone on hand to help out.

 

Clean the outside
Regularly clean the outside with warm water and detergent to remove any animal waste or tree sap, as this can damage your caravan. You should also make sure you treat any decking areas properly with a strong wood stain.

 

caravan maintenance

 

Look after the chassis
A rusty chassis is a common problem for static caravan owners and usually the first part of the caravan to fail, so ensuring that you regularly check and repaint your chassis can prevent any future problems. This is because corrosion can occur, especially if you’re located next to the seaside.

 

static caravan chassis

 

Repair any failed double glazing
Static caravans can be costly to run, especially if you enjoy a few winter breaks every now and again and need to keep warm. Having any failed double glazed units within your static caravan or park home can increase heat loss dramatically, as well as ruining the aesthetic appeal too.

 

Replace stiff or broken locks
Security is extremely important and, as this is your home away from home, you treat it as you would your normal house. Ensuring that any window locks, handles, or hinges are repaired, whether they’re stiff or broken, keeps your possessions safe and reduces heat escaping.

 

double glazing repairs

 

If you have any window issues with your static caravan or park home, Cloudy2Clear have branches up and down the country. Find your local branch today and contact us for your free, no obligation quotation.

How to keep your home cool in the summer

Although the weather has taken a turn for the worst recently and the June heatwave seems like a distant memory, forecasters have assured us that sunnier climes are on the horizon. With this in mind, it’s important to prepare for our next batch of warm weather by keeping our homes cool and saving energy while we’re at it.

Below, we’ve outlined our top tips for keeping your home cool this summer, from avoiding excessive use of air conditioning and electric fans to taking advantage of utilising your windows properly.

 

1. Enjoy al fresco dining

Our first piece of advice is certainly a pleasurable one. Choosing to stoke up the barbecue, rather than fill your home with the heat from an oven or hob is a great way to keep indoors cool. If you don’t have access to a barbecue, prepare delicious salads instead. You’ll keep your body cool as well as your home.
 
keep cool in summer

 

2. Make the most of electric fans

If you do feel the need to use an electric fan, you can boost its cooling power with ice. Place a large bowl in front of the fan and enjoy the chilled breeze. Try to use this technique on particularly hot days or if you have young children and pets who may be struggling more in the heat.
 
keep your home cool in the summer

 

3. Keep curtains or blinds shut

A simple, but effective technique is to ensure that curtains and blinds remain closed during the day. This can act as a barrier to the sun, preventing the full force of its heat to penetrate through. As well as being a cost-effective method, it can also help to prevent fading to your furniture and wallpaper.
 
keep curtains shut to keep cool

 

4. Repair any faulty handles and hinges

Your windows are a prime piece of equipment for keeping your home cool this summer. However, if they are broken or faulty, they can prevent you from using them to their full potential. Repairing any stiff or broken hinges gives you the opportunity to open them fully during the evening, to allow cool air to enter your home and circulate effectively.
 

lock handle and hinge repairs

 

5. Keep windows closed in the daytime

Similarly, you’ll want to keep your windows shut during the day, so that hot air is prevented from coming in. Make sure you have replaced any misted up or cloudy double glazing as this can affect the efficiency of your windows.

You should also keep your inside doors open, so nothing is closed off. This allows the cool air, which entered in the evening, to permeate throughout your home.
 
keep your house cool this summer

 

For more information on our window repair services, visit our website or contact your local branch today.

June heatwave causes spike in energy bills

Usually it’s the winter months that push our energy bills up, with central heating, gas fires, warm showers, and plenty of hot meals all contributing to keeping us cosy in our homes – but at a cost.

However, with the recent hot weather we’ve been experiencing (not that we’re complaining!) reports have shown that there is a potential for energy bills to increase, especially those households who use electric fans or air conditioning units.

 

energy bills summer

 

Although these forms of cooling devices come with their own benefits, they could increase summer energy bills by a potentially huge £214, especially if used throughout the day and night. Hot summer nights can make it far more difficult to get to sleep, so it’s tempting to keep your air con on low or even have a fan spinning all night.

We know the heat can be especially problematic if you have young children or pets, keeping them cool is important for both their health and well-being, but there are ways to do this without breaking the bank.

 

energy bills price rise summer

 

Your windows should be your most important asset when the weather becomes warmer, but if they are broken or faulty, it can be a hassle and much easier to reach for the fan. However, simple repairs to your hinges, locks, and handles will enable them to open fully.

If you live in a two-storey house, ensure you have both the bottom and top windows open, allowing the air to circulate effectively. Keeping your highest windows shut can trap hot air in, as heat rises. Make the most of the cooler temperatures in the evenings too. Although you may wish to keep the lowest windows shut for security, having a few windows open throughout the night allows the coolest air to settle in your home, allowing for a better night’s sleep.

 

energy bills set to rise summer

 

If the heat really increases, keeping windows shut during the day can actually be an effective method. This allows the cool air that entered in the night to last, without letting the oppressive and muggy air of the daytime to fill your home.

Keep doors open throughout your home too as this allows cool air to permeate throughout your home, without shutting off certain rooms. You should also take advantage of simply shutting curtains or blinds too as this can deter the greenhouse type effect that happens.

Another important and easy method of keeping your home cool and reducing your energy costs is to repair your failed double glazing. Having broken or faulty glazing makes your windows inefficient in both the summer and winter months. Cloudy2Clear have over 40 branches throughout the UK with experienced fitters and engineers. Contact your local branch to ensure your windows are repaired before the next heatwave arrives!

 

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Unit 802 Merlin Park, Ringtail Road, Ormskirk, L40 8JY.
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customer.services@cloudy2clearwindows.co.uk

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