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What is a heat pump and is it environmentally friendly?

Heat pumps are the new thing that the government is encouraging all households to switch to instead of a traditional boiler.

A heat pump takes low-temperature heat from the air outdoors and then increases that heat. The heat is then transferred into water that circulates around radiators in your house or an underfloor heating system. The heat pump then uses electricity to drive a compressor that increases the temperature of the heat source very efficiently – like your fridge, but in reverse!

For the heat pump to work most effectively, the house needs to be well insulated. This is best achieved through investing in good loft insulation and modern windows and doors if your home does not have these already. You may also want to consider replacing older radiators with new, larger more efficient ones to ensure that the heating system operates effectively.

You can also get hot water from a modern domestic heat pump. To do this, you would need a hot water cylinder. If you already have one of these with your current gas boiler system, it is likely that you will need to change this for a specific cylinder that is designed to work with the heat pump.

So there may be quite a large amount of initial set up costs involved, however over time the heat pump system should save you money on your monthly bills.

Is your business doing its bit for the environment?

We are all aware as to how important it is that we try and reduce our carbon footprint and do our bit for the environment. Many homes are having solar panels installed, upgrading their appliances and boilers to ensure they are more efficient and replacing bulbs in our home for less energy consuming LED ones. But are businesses doing their bit too?

If you are a business owner, then it is your responsibility to review your carbon footprint and see if there is anyway that you can reduce the number of emissions you produce or the amount of energy you use. If for example you have a factory, then you should try and ensure that you use renewable energy where possible. You may want to offset your carbon footprint by committing to planting new trees. Some do this based on the number of trees they have destroyed to make whatever it is they manufacture, or it may be to cancel out the waste they produce. Another way is to have times when the factory shuts down to reduce the amount of emissions you produce over the course of the year.

Businesses that are office based can also do their but by having solar panels installed on their roof and opting for an energy company that only produces green energy.

Hiring an Environmental Officer on Site

When you are running a construction site, you will often need to think about hiring an environmental officer to oversee your project. This might be something that you are required to do by law, or it might be something that you choose to do yourself due to the demand and nature of the project. Either way, an environmental officer can really add a lot to your project and is definitely going to be an asset for you.

An environmental officer will usually be involved before a project commences, surveying the construction site to make sure it is being used in an environmentally-friendly way. You should enlist their help from a reputable firm and look into the specialisms of the environmental agency you are working with. Make sure they understand your area of the construction industry and, if possible, work locally, so that they have an understanding of the challenges you may face in your area.

Make Building Eco Friendly

As an industry, construction doesn’t always have a reputation for being the most environmentally friendly. It can be dirty, use lots of equipment and therefore a lot of electricity, petrol and other resources. However, there are many ways in which construction can be made better for the environment. Here are some ideas:

  • Use sustainable materials from sustainable sources. Make sure you know where materials like wood and metals have come from, and keep records of all these. Any environment office will want to know this information.
  • Choose a good insulation. This means it will last longer, so you won’t need to carry out any building work again in the near future.
  • Monitor all energy consumption and do what you can to minimise it. When you know exactly what is being used on site, you can find new ways to cut down on this. You might even want to think about using electric vehicles for transporting your construction materials.

What to Consider when Building an Extension

An extension is a big decision for your home and your finances. You will have to think carefully about the logistics of the building process, as well as how you will use the room and what you want to get out of it. If you are going to commit to having a new extension, then you really need to make sure that it is going to be right for you.

The aesthetics are very important, as this will shape the room and the way you use it. Make sure there is plenty of natural light – if your extension is a conservatory, this won’t be a problem, but otherwise, corners of the room could become dark. You can use rooflights to make this better if required.

You should also think carefully about the insulation. Make sure the new part of your home will use good insulation and will be cost effective for you to have.

Are New Homes Well Insulated?

People always assume that new buildings will be very well insulated. However, this might not always be the case. Some buildings are inevitably better insulated than other buildings, and it all depends on how the building has been constructed. If you are thinking of buying a new home, insulation is something that you will need to check.

Here are some of the factors that will affect insulation:

  • Windows and doors. They should be well fitted, and made of a thermally efficient material like uPVC. Make sure they have been fitted well and you can’t feel a draught around them.
  • Insulated walls. If you have something like cavity wall insulation or rendering, this will help the building to be more thermally efficient. However, it isn’t the be all and end all and there are other ways of insulating a new building.
  • Rooflights. These will help reduce energy bills and keep a room an ambient temperature.

Compressed Air Systems and Efficiency

Compressed air is a very efficient way of generating energy, for a wide variety of applications. It can save a lot of energy and time, plus air can be stored as potential energy, to be used later when it is needed. Some brands will supply better compressed air systems than other. If you are concerned about efficiency, you might want to think about choosing HPC compressed air systems, as this is a quality brand and a well-know, reputable company.

HPC supply a wide range of compressed air systems, and add on systems for treating air, like compressed air dryers. They have become one of the most well-known brands in the UK and supply air compressor equipment to some of the leading manufacturing brands in the UK. Here are some of the reasons why people choose HPC:

  • Reliability. They know the marketplace and supply products that people want and can rely on.
  • Quality. Machines work as they should and are covered by guarantees should anything go wrong.
  • Major brand. As an industry leader, it makes sense to choose someone you know will deliver on their promises.
  • They offer service and support. They will be able to help if you experience any problems and if your compressor needs servicing, which should be carried out on a regular basis.
  • They will offer value for money. With a good, honest, reliable brand, you know you are getting a good return on your investment.
  • Their machines are highly efficient, so you can rely on them to do the job in your industry.

Using an air dryer – essential for productivity 

If you do not use your air compression system in the right way, you will not gain the maximum benefits. You need to make sure your machines are running effectively and efficiently if you want maximum output. This is why you need to dry compressed air.

Water vapour is within the gasses that are drawn into an air compressor. The condensate will be removed by a centrifugal separator, however this does not account for the air that remains saturated with water vapour. If this air cools inside the machine, it is left in the pipes and will inevitably cause issues, including corrosion and break downs. This can be avoided by using an air drying system, which will keep compressors working so that you don’t lose productivity time. There is a wide range of air drying systems available from HPC.

Remaining efficient when using compressed air 

There are some steps you can take to make sure your compressed air system is serving you as well as possible. You should have it serviced regularly, along with air drying systems, to make sure everything is safe and working to full capacity. There may be rules about minimum servicing times in the manual that comes with your equipment. Check for leaks on a regular basis, to ensure that air is not escaping. You should only use the machines when needed to help save time and to reduce manufacturing costs as much as possible.

What is an Electric Hoist?

An electric hoist is a piece of lifting equipment that is used to lift heavy or difficult loads, usually up to around 50 Tonnes. They are used in many different sectors and for many different applications, such as rigging on ships or lifting on a construction site. They are generally used when the load is large, bulky or difficult to lift and requires a more robust solution than a manual hoist.

What are the benefits of an electric hoist? 

An electric hoist can be used to lift much bigger loads, giving you greater flexibility on site. These are some of the key benefits:

  • Increased productivity. An electric hoist will allow people on site to carry out more work, in a shorter space of time, because it no longer has to be done by hand.
  • Safety. It is much safer to life a heavy loads with an electric hoist. People working on site won’t have to move loads by hand, or by using a manual hoist. This improves health and safety.
  • Financial benefits. Whilst an electric hoist will cost more than a manual one, it will allow you to be much more productive. This means you can make more money and make better use of your labour.
  • Good brands. There are lots of good, reputable, well-known brands that make electric hoists. These include Stahl, Yale, GIS and Donati.

Different Types of Electric Hoist 

There are two main types of electric hoist – the chain hoist and the wire rope hoist. Both have their own advantages for different applications and you can buy quality hoists in both versions.

Electric chain hoists are extremely hardy and robust. They can be successfully used in all kinds of weather conditions and will stand up to a great deal of wear and tear. They also tend to be cheaper than wire rope hoists, making them more economical. They can have duel speed controls and limit switches to control the hook path. They might also be fitted with a radio remote control function to make the hoist easier to use and operate.

Wire rope hoists allow for quick lifting speeds and a great deal of accuracy. The way in which they lift is different to an electric chain hoist – the cable is wrapped around the whereas a chain hoist is attached differently. The chain hoist operates in much the same way, and also has the option of remote controls for safer usage. They will usually take up to around 30 Tonnes.

Buying an Electric Hoist 

An electric hoist should only ever be purchased from an approved manufacturer or supplier. Never buy from third parties without having the equipment checked over first. It is safest to buy a chain hoist from a supplier who is known in the industry, and if you need to save money on your purchase, to buy one second hand. Have the equipment thoroughly checked on a regular basis once you have purchased it – see if the supplier also offers crane and lifting equipment servicing packages for future upkeep.

How Good are Electric Cars for the Environment?

Electric cars are becoming more readily available and are now increasingly popular in the UK. It may be the case that by 2040, all cars have to be electric, if government plans go ahead. Are they really that much better for the environment?

There is no doubt the electric cars are much better than diesel cars. Diesel has had some very bad press recently, especially after people were told that they should be buying diesel cars to help the environment. This is now very much not believed to be the case and people are having to pay more to drive diesel cars into London and to park them in some boroughs.

If you have an electric car, it is certainly going to be better for the environment. Electricity still mostly does not come from renewable sources, but there is the potential to make it more renewable as fossil fuels run low. This means electric cars could serve us well into the future.

Environmentally-Friendly Construction – Hiring an Advisor

There are laws in place to protect the environment when construction is going on. They are there to make sure that new building work is safe, eco friendly and won’t threaten any habitats or wildlife that may be close to the building site. If habitats are going to be threatened then you will need to proceed with caution.

It’s essential that you hire an adviser for a construction project, who will be able to help you to execute your construction work with minimum impact on the environment. They can help you with everything, from avoiding threatened habitats to ways of making the new building environmentally friendly. You will need to think about impact during the construction process as well, for example, by using solar power to generate energy, or using rainwater for the drainage systems on site.

Hire an adviser from an agency or take advice on who is best to use from someone you know.