Why It Is Within Your Best Interest to Invest in a Quality Air Conditioner

Having a new quality air conditioner in summer and in winter is absolutely exciting and promising. Many people understand that a quality air conditioner is effective and saves one’s pocket from the costs of maintenance. However, most people do not know that having a good cooling air conditioning unit has other benefits. 

Photo by Mak on Unsplash

The benefits of a good quality air conditioner are, however, realized when the conditions both inside and outside your home are unbearable. This is usually during winter or when the heat waves of a hot summer season drive you nuts. You, of course, need to be extra cautious when purchasing your air conditioning unit because it’s going to be catalogued as one of your most valuable possessions. In addition to this, it’s going to help enhance the comfort of your home. With that in mind, below are reasons why it is within your best interest to invest in a quality air conditioner. 

1. Lower Energy Consumption

A quality air conditioner does not consume a lot of energy. Compared to others, a quality air conditioner like this mounted option as explained by Tom, a seasoned HVAC expert, has features that help energy preservation. Before investing in just any type of air conditioning unit, it’s important to check its features as well as its wattage. Among other factors that will need  to be factored in when it comes to investing in the best HVAC unit include:

  • Reevaluate your comfort levels – Before investing in just any type of air conditioning unit, you’ll need to consider your comfort levels. This is because some units are not cut out to provide you with the cooling you need for your entire home. For instance, central air conditioning units are best suited for commercial buildings and larger homes while window air conditioning units are made to cool individual rooms. These are among factors that you’ll need to carefully consider before investing in an air conditioning unit 
  • Check the unit’s quality – This will play a significant role in your unit’s longevity. Quality air conditioners will last longer as compared to low-quality ones. To ensure that you’ve purchased the best quality, ensure that the unit is manufactured by a trusted brand and that there are reviews that support its authenticity.
  • Don’t go wrong with sizing issues – Bigger is not always better when it comes to air conditioning units. This means that you’ll first need to calculate the size of your cooling areas before purchasing an air conditioning unit. You can relay this information to your vendor and they’ll help you in picking the right unit best suited for your needs. 
  • Check for additional equipment and accessories – Most, if not all air conditioning manufactures will provide you with additional accessories and most probably installation tools to go with your HVAC unit. Before leaving the HVAC vendor, ask them if there are any additional equipment or accessories that go with the unit. 

Most importantly, check on the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings) ratings. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient your air conditioner will be. A SEER rating that is above 14 is a quality choice.

2. Reduced Energy Bills

Image by Alexander Stein from Pixabay

Since a quality air conditioner consumes less energy, you will pay lower bills at the end of the month. If you can get an opportunity to use the Energy Guide label to estimate the energy consumption, you will be surprised. You will be even more surprised at the total amount of cash you can save throughout the life of a quality air conditioner.

3. Enhanced Air Conditioning

Having a quality air conditioner will earn you a cool or warm indoor environment. You can choose to run the conditioner at full speed or vary the speeds depending on your needs. Quality air conditioners are very effective and very quiet in their operations. This is an advantage that you cannot achieve with low-quality air conditioners. This will allow you to enjoy reading, listening to music, or watch your favorite TV programs peacefully while you enjoy a cool indoor environment. 

In addition to this, quality air conditioning units will improve the quality of air in your household. Quality cooling systems come with indoor air quality technology that lets you regulate the quality of airflow in your house. This helps you and your family members to breathe much better. The technology features enhanced air purification and air ventilation. This is definitely essential to healthy living, don’t you think?

4. Unmatched Durability

Quality air conditioners feature unparalleled durability. They have quality construction fortified with the best materials. When you combine quality construction and design, you get superior capabilities. These capabilities enable the conditioner to:

  • Resist corrosion
  • Maintain high efficiency and effectiveness for as long as it lasts
  • Provide excellent air conditioning during cold and hot weather

You can find this level of durability combined with consistent performance in only high-end air conditioners.

5. Great Control Capabilities

One of the most exciting aspects of quality air conditioners is that they put you in control. You get to choose which room you want to cool. Some of the most advanced options can connect to your phone via Bluetooth functionalities for easy access and control. You will not have to wake up and go all the way to the socket to turn on the unit, alter the settings, or switch it on and off. Talk about advanced tech! 

Quality air conditioners provide not only superior cooling but also offers additional benefits. This helps you to stay comfortable, sleep better, and relax better. These units are durable, effective, and very efficient. The above pointers will provide you with insights on what to look for in the pursuit of investing in the best HVAC system. 

Basic Tools That Every Camper Should Have

Whether you are a seasoned, lifelong camper or you are getting ready to challenge the great outdoors for the first time, you need to ensure that you have the basics of camping down to the T. There are different camping guides out there that can help you out, but before getting into these kinds of activities or the setup processes you need to include in your camping trip, you must first know which tools you need to ensure that you are never caught unprepared.

A Knife

Not just any knife will do, so don’t go thinking that you could simply take one from your kitchen drawer and be on your way. There are knives specifically made for the outdoors, in this case, you’ll need a survival knife for a variety of tasks throughout your camping trip, including opening cans of food, cutting cords, or gutting fish. Looking for a high-quality knife is crucial if you want to survive out in the wilderness and avoid the unnecessary hassle and frustration.

First Aid Kit

We cannot stress enough how important it is to be prepared for all types of emergencies when you are camping, especially if your chosen location is many miles away from any civilization. Your first aid kit should include the regular bandages, an antiseptic solution, and pain killers that you would normally have around, but you can also take it a step further and include a burn cream, some allergy medicine, and eye drops.

A Flashlight

Everyone underestimates the importance of having a flashlight around when they go camping. Sometimes, flashlights are even better than lanterns because they are more compact and easier to carry. Before buying just any flashlight, you need to ensure that it is reliable and that it won’t fail you when you need it most. Look for one that does not require more than two batteries, but can still provide you with enough light. You could also look for a flashlight that is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged if you encounter any rain, or if it accidentally falls in a stream.

An Axe

This may seem like an excessive thing to have when you are camping, but it can help a lot. You can use an axe to cut firewood into smaller logs that are easier to use. An axe can also be used to cut through cords and other thick materials, but you need to be extra careful when using it because, unlike a knife, controlling an axe can be difficult. Also, an axe is much sharper as the blade is designed to cut through thicker materials such as wood, which makes it more dangerous than a knife.

Fire-Starting Tools

You cannot start a fire without having at least one fire-starting tool on hand. Some people prefer going the easy route and getting waterproof matches or simply using a lighter, while others like the old-fashioned way of using a flint and a scraper or knife. Whatever method you choose, you need to have the tools ready, otherwise, you might be in for a cold night out and you won’t be able to cook anything.

Cooking Utensils

If you plan on staying on a camping trip for longer than a day, you will need to have cooking utensils at hand because pre-made food can get boring pretty fast. Plus, there is nothing better than eating a fresh-cooked meal under the open sky. Cooking utensils include pots, pans, and eating utensils. You can also go a step further and get a grill— if you have the space in your car that is.

Mallet/ Hammer

You will need a mallet or, if you don’t have one, a hammer mainly when you are setting up camp. This is especially true if your tent is one that comes with stakes or pegs that need to be planted firmly in the ground to keep the tent standing upright and anchor it in place. Having one of these will ensure that wind or other forces don’t easily make your tent fall apart.

Navigation Tools

If you are planning on hiking while on your camping trip, then you will need to have at least one navigation tool on you at all times. Navigation tools include compasses, GPS systems, and maps. Depending on the skillset you have, you can choose which navigation tool would work best for you. If you have no sense of direction, it is best to get a GPS system, at least until you can navigate using a compass or a map.

Photo by Mac DeStroir from Pexels

There are plenty of camping tools out there, but these are some of the basic ones that you need to have any time you go camping. The tools mentioned above are going to make your trip much more comfortable. Not to mention that some of these are vital if you want to simply survive away from the comfort of your home.

Primary School Homework: Struggling During Lockdown?

It dawned on me today during the usual morning planning session we conduct that there is a key reason why homework is such a struggle for Year 6 pupils.

It’s actually very simple.

They are used to working on a collaborative basis.  The classroom environment at this age is all about learning and sharing together.  And, because it’s all about learning as a team, there is less censure, less judgment and less pressure when things are wrong.

The journey to learn is more important than the result it seems.

Now this seems to be different from the way I was taught all those years ago (40 years!).  Classrooms were places of quiet (mostly).  Heads bowed we used to complete our work in near silence.  Books were handed in to be marked on the spot.

No Google Classroom for us. It was all about flexing those memory muscles and retaining information.

I will say that for all the advantages technology has given us, increased attention spans and the ability to focus don’t seem to be included.

So, my approach to making things easier is to get involved.  To adopt the approach I used when I was an English Tutor many moons ago.  To listen more and try to coach and motivate.

This, as many parents will no doubt agree, is tricky when you go through the list of work set (particularly for my Year 7) and feel stressed on their behalf!

It’s funny.  I always thought I’d take to home education like a duck to water but, as many experienced home educators have pointed out, this is NOT home educating.  It is taking over the reins from our beleaguered teachers temporarily in a crisis situation.

Home education requires strategy, materials, tools and techniques, a thorough knowledge of the syllabus and lesson planning skills.

It means pushing forward day in, day out.  Not getting to 3 and going “we’ve all done enough now, let’s put Netflix on”.

Or perhaps, depending on the age of the children it does.

Either way, I salute those who home educate on a full-time basis.

For my own part, we’re bumbling along, making sure work is done and deadlines are hit without too many tantrums (mine generally) and too much pressure being put upon kids who are desperate for fresh air, their friends and freedom.

Adding A Spring Touch To Your Kitchen

Now that spring is here I find myself inspecting all the nooks and crannies of Hobbis Towers that haven’t been apparent since last summer.  Once the clocks go back, it’s so easy to ignore all those little DIY jobs that need doing because come autumn, it’s time to start budgeting for Christmas.

We’ve been contemplating a complete kitchen renovation for a long while, but building projects can be so expensive, time-consuming and disruptive, it’s understandable that we still haven’t got round to it.

As any busy parent will tell you, all too often the time just isn’t right!

Despite this, I sometimes survey our living space with a sinking heart and turn to the odd quick fix to refresh a room and lift my mood.

Our kitchen fittings are light wood with a black worktop and adding a pop of colour is surprisingly effective.

Doing this is simple if you add a bunch of fabulous seasonal blooms and chuck out those less than pristine cloths and towels.  You could add a special touch with teatowel printing from Countryside Art.

Of course, if you are short of time (and enthusiasm!), you can always use a specialist cleaning company like SMC Premier who have the know-how to deal with the trickiest cleaning jobs to come in and give your home a thorough deep clean.

Otherwise, here are some more ideas to try:-

* Change the curtains or blinds – you could add more colour with a new roller or Venetian blind.

* Hang pretty string lights or stuff strings of battery operated lights into glass vases to add a cosy glow to corners.  You could take them outside into the garden for alfresco dining too.

*Install a new splashback behind your cooker and jazz things up with some funky ceramic tiles.

* Repaint – but if you are renting make sure you get your landlord’s permission first.

* If your kitchen units are past their best, consider changing just the unit doors.  You don’t need to replace the frames if these are still in good condition.

* Similarly, you could replace worn out kitchen carpet tiles (yes we have some!) with linoleum or woodblock flooring – or add some brightly coloured rugs.

* Create a unique display of family photos with mix and match frames – or indulge your artistic talents on the fridge door.

* If you have pets then now would be an excellent time to clean pet beds and blankets and treat them to new bedding, food and water dishes.

*Switch up any padded cushions on kitchen chairs with ones in a bright colour or get breakfast bar stools reupholstered if they are past their best.

*Tablecloths, napkins and your kitchen appliances (kettle, toaster, coffee maker etc.) can all be purchased in matching or toning colours to suit most budgets.

I’m hoping that these tricks will tide us over and give us stylish enough kitchen to avoid the full renovation for a couple more years!

Do you have any renovation tips to share?

How Pets Can Help with Depression

Depression is a condition that affects around 40 million adults in the United States alone. Thankfully, there are many ways for those who are suffering from depression to feel better. Having a licensed psychiatrist to speak with, along with being prescribed specific medications is often an effective path to recovery. With that being said, there are many different things that one can do on their own that can help their condition, such as eating healthy and exercising, for example.

Having Pets Lifts Us Up

In fact, according to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, dogs have the ability to combat depression in your life and actually create happiness in your world. They point to the fact that interacting with dogs actually reduces stress, depression and anxiety, along with easing feelings of loneliness.

If you are living with depression, there are many different ways that having a pet can help lift the fog of sadness for you. Let’s take a minute to discuss how this can happen for you.

Pets Help Our Physical Bodies

It has been proven that people who have dogs have lower blood pressure, and in turn have less of a chance of developing heart disease. Did you know that when you simply play with dogs, your dopamine and oxytocin levels become elevated? This translates into positive feelings felt by you, which will benefit your pet at the same time. In addition to this, having a dog in your life encourages exercise which can improve your overall health.

Pets Are a Comforting Presence

When sadness runs deep, and tears flow, your pet will be right there by your side. Their love is unconditional. Perhaps you are feeling lonely, but you aren’t really in the mood to entertain friends or guests. No worries, your sweet doggie is there to keep you company. Not wearing any makeup? Your precious pet sees your beautiful soul and never judges you.

Pets Encourage Touch

The healing power of touch is well-documented. When you pet a dog, your blood pressure lowers, and your body is flooded with serotonin and dopamine. In this way, your physical body and emotional wellbeing are closely linked. This is only one reason why some people who have been through traumatic experiences choose to have emotional support dogs. These animals offer invaluable support to those who are dealing with emotional disabilities or difficulties.

Pets Transform Our Behaviour

Here is how pets can transform our behaviour. Perhaps you had a bad day at work. Maybe it was one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong. So, you come home from work, and maybe you are close to taking your frustration out on someone that you love, when low and behold, here comes your furry friend. She comes over to you, rubbing her head on your leg, begging for your love. In turn, you kneel down and pet her. She lovingly gives her sweet kisses to you on your face. This makes you feel happy, and smile as a result. Your dog has just transformed your mood.

Pets Help Us Stay in the Present Moment

Many of us spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about all of the “what ifs” in life. For those struggling with depression, it can be hard to quiet all of the distracting thoughts in your mind that are causing you sadness and despair. However, when you have a precious animal that is in front of you, begging for your attention, you have no choice but to be drawn out of your thoughts, and step into the present moment.

Pets Need Us

Just like a child does, our pets rely on us to take care of them. Having a pet is a great responsibility. Taking ownership of a task, such as caring for a pet promotes positive mental health. When we succeed at taking good care of a dog for example, this creates a positive reinforcement within ourselves that we are capable enough of taking care of another creature, and in turn gives us confidence that we can take care of ourselves as well. 

Understanding Diabetes: Types and Causes

Whether you know someone with diabetes or you don’t know anyone that’s got it, it’s worth understanding what the different types are and how they can affect you, being able to identify the symptoms and causes is a valuable skill to have and could even save yours or a loved one’s life. So let’s take a look and gain a brief understanding of what it’s all about. 

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

What is Diabetes? 

First of all, let’s look at what it actually is. Diabetes is a disease that affects your blood sugar levels, also known as your blood glucose level, and occurs when levels are too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and we get it from the food we eat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and helps control the glucose from food and it assists with getting into your body cells so it can use it as energy. 

 

Type 1 Diabetes 

 

Type 1 is where the levels of glucose, or blood sugar, in your body become too high. This happens when your pancreas isn’t able to produce enough of the hormone insulin. This means that if you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to inject your body every day with insulin so it’s able to keep your blood glucose levels under control. Being able to manage this can take some getting used to but it won’t affect you being able to do many things in your life, you will still be able to live a normal life. 

Type 1 diabetes isn’t linked with age or being overweight and will often be with a person from birth, it also can develop over a few weeks or even days. They can develop very quickly amongst children. 

Knowing the symptoms is important and if you should see your doctor if you have them: 

  • Feeling very thirsty 
  • Urinating more frequently, especially during the night 
  • Feeling tired or lethargic 
  • Losing weight 
  • Having recurring thrush 
  • Having blurred vision 
  • Cuts not healing quickly 

If you go to the doctor due to concerns over having these symptoms, then they will most probably ask you for a urine sample and perform a blood glucose test, if they believe you might have diabetes then they will ask you to go to a hospital as soon as you can for an assessment. If you’re diagnosed then don’t worry, you aren’t alone. You’ll be shown everything you need to do and have everything explained in detail before you’re left to do anything alone. 

 

Type 2 Diabetes 

 

Much like type 1 diabetes, type 2 is a disease that affects the pancreas’s ability to make insulin, therefore, being unable to control the body’s blood glucose levels. The main difference between the two is that type 2 diabetes is most commonly down to diet and exercise and it’s unlike type 1 that can go into remission. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a serious disease and should be taken very seriously. 

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are largely the same as type 1 with some of them being more common than others, feeling tired tends to be a symptom that many people with type 2 encounter. Bearing this in mind, there are many cases where people have no symptoms whatsoever, but fortunately, we live in an age where you can easily check for type 2 diabetes with a blood glucose meter. It’s worth researching and getting a meter that you know is going to be accurate as you don’t want to believe you have diabetes when you don’t, this could lead you to medicate a condition you don’t have!

You can treat type 2 diabetes by eating healthier and partaking in regular exercise, having said this there are still some cases that require medication to keep it under control. 

 

Pre Diabetes 

 

Many people have high blood sugar levels and this is often referred to as ‘pre-diabetes’. This is where you have above normal levels of glucose in your blood. If you find yourself in this situation then it isn’t too late to change your habits and drastically reduce your chance of getting type 2 diabetes. If you feel that you might have it then it’s worth getting tested as soon as you possibly can because if it’s left untreated then it will progressively get worse the longer it’s left. 

What causes diabetes? 

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that you are either born with or develop due to your pancreas being unable to produce insulin. There are no lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent you from having this. 

Type 2 diabetes is predominantly caused by maintaining an unhealthy diet and not exercising, being obese is another cause that’s helped on by the previous. Other causes include genetics, medication, and stress. 

If you think you might have any of the symptoms, then it’s worth going to see your doctor for some clarity, there are 29 million diagnosed people in the USA alone with an estimated 8 million undiagnosed. Getting treatment early will stop the progression of the disease and enable you to continue living your life, so don’t want until it’s too late.  

 

Stuck In A Lockdown Slump? Here’s How To Get Going

If like me, you’ve spent most of the lockdown promising yourself that NOW is the time to take up yoga, write a novel and bake a loaf the beauty of which will compel Paul Hollywood to manifest at your front door (outside, obviously, he can’t come in), then I suspect you are as disappointed as I am in a lack of get up and go and zero enthusiasm for anything save crisps (or wine).

But I have a couple of ideas which might help.

 

The caveat being, for those of us discovering that, actually, homeschooling is not something we have taken to ‘like a duck to water’, and we would rather dig our own liver out with a spoon than contemplate the parts of a flower, the population of Europe and any maths question involving fractions – I should take it easy and stick to watching Death In Paradise reruns or playing Candy Crush.

Anyway ….

How Action Inspires Motivation

Have you ever hung around, waiting for inspiration to strike? Maybe you had work to complete that needed a little more creative thinking, but you weren’t feeling it. You might have even tried various things at the time to find motivation – maybe in scanning Pinterest for ideas. Or perhaps you looked for inspiration in nature, by taking a walk.

Did it work? Chances are, you might have found a dab of motivation wrapped up in inspiration and it might have launched you – for about ten minutes. And then you were back to feeling unmotivated, but now that feeling was coupled with the idea that maybe you just weren’t capable of creativity. Or lazy.

The problem is, by seeking out motivation first, you’re putting the cart before the horse.

Motivation works best when it comes after the action has already started. If that’s the case, then what can you do to get motivated?

Start by doing something.

Anything. Any action itself inspires motion. How do you do that? By using the momentum of a project that you’re already engaged in, you’re able to use your current forward motion to encourage you to keep going. It’s the difference between the ‘carrot’ and the ‘stick.’

In the old classic analogy, to move a donkey forward (donkeys being stubborn creatures) you have two choices. One is to use a stick. In this case, the ‘stick’ is the old way of motivating ourselves, where we try to force ourselves into action by throwing a lot of “You must do this now” statements at ourselves.

But in starting action first, we now switch over to the ‘carrot’ or the reward. This method of motivation is much more positive because you’re looking at the fact that you’re already doing something and asking yourself to keep going. Think, “Hooray for you, look at how much you’ve gotten done today, let’s see how much more you can do!”

The problem is, sometimes action alone isn’t doing it, and we’re still forcing ourselves along. That’s where the second method comes into play.

Act ‘As-if”

The idea behind this method is simple – you act like you’re already motivated, and amazingly, you’ll feel motivated. It’s kind of like making yourself smile when you’re not happy, only to find out once you’re smiling that you’re feeling happier.

Together these two tools will motivate you even when you’re not feeling inspired initially. Remember that action is the key. So act first – the motivation will follow. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

How to get inspired

Read on for more tips to get your inspiration flowing.

Read Profiles of Successful People

Don’t try to do everything on your own. Get inspiration from people who have gone through the pain and effort of what you want to accomplish. Use their success, and more importantly, their failures, to draw inspiration from.

Open Your Eyes to People Around You

Sometimes people get so caught up in their day-to-day activities that they don’t see what others around them are doing. Many times, these other people are doing extraordinary things, and we can use them for our own inspiration. You can do this both at work and in your community. People are always doing amazing things. It just takes some observation to see it.

Revisit Your Own Past

Most people have accomplishments they have forgotten about. Try to remember what you have done in the past that excited and inspired you. Sometimes, just thinking about them can inspire you for your present life.

Keep a Journal

You never know when your muse is going to pay you a visit. When you get an inspiring idea, if you don’t write it down, you will forget. It can be something as simple as a small notebook with a pen attached. You could also use a smart device for this purpose. Just make sure you carry it around with you wherever you go.

Rely on Hard Work

Inspiration alone will not get much done. When you work hard at something, you will often find the work itself inspires you. People often find different ways to do things simply by performing the tasks in their job. Sometimes, they try something they haven’t tried before, and it works out in ways they would never have imagined. This only happens because they chose to work hard at their jobs.

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

If you interrupt your brain from its normal way of thinking, it will think in ways you have never thought about before. Try to step outside your comfort zone. Do activities that you, and others, would not consider normal for you. When you do this, you are causing your brain to generate new neural pathways. This is a great method to become inspired.

Watch Videos on YouTube

Try to find videos that are inspirational or teach something. This is not about watching videos of cats playing with each other or doing other cute things. There are plenty of stories about people who have overcome adversity. This gets the creative process flowing.

Make Lemonade out of Lemons
Granted, this is a bit cliché. But, the message is clear. Try to always turn problems into opportunities. You will never know until you try.

3 Actionable Steps You Can Take Now

  1. Read two books in the next couple of weeks about successful people.
  2. Think about a failure you have had in the past year or so. What was the outcome of that failure? What would you do differently if you were given the chance to do it over? Record your answers so that you can refer to them in the future.
  3. Find a TED Talk on inspiration or a subject you have wanted to know more about. The ideal situation would be to go to a live Talk. However, you can find plenty of TED Talks on YouTube.

FURTHER READING

Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling:

 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy:

 Daily Inspiration From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

 The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything:

 

  1. Awaken the Giant Within:

 

 Why a Well-Maintained Roof is a Must

The roof of your home is perhaps the most essential and fundamental part of the house. Your roof acts as a shield protecting you and your family from the weather conditions outside. Some homeowners take their roofs’ maintenance for granted, thinking that they are sturdy enough and can go for long periods of time with no care. However, as strong and durable as most rooftops are, just like any other part of the house, they require regular care and maintenance for numerous reasons. 

Image by Russell Holden from Pixabay

Weather Protection

Extreme weather conditions in certain areas can be quite hazardous on houses. Your rooftop works as a shelter for your entire home that brings it all together and protects it against any harmful environmental factors. As can be seen, when you click here, regularly maintaining your roof increases its lifespan and allows it to be more efficient in protecting you and your family against the weather changes. A regularly cared-for rooftop would provide the needed insulation against different elements, like on snowy or rainy days where the water can cause severe damage to the tiles if they are not checked every so often. The same thing goes for warm days where the weather can get extremely hot and the rooftop insulation needs to be checked to ensure that extreme heat does not slip into the house and make it uncomfortable. 

Better Appearance 

The aesthetic of any house in most cases is decided by the shape and quality of its roof. The rooftop’s layout is probably the first thing anyone notices when they see your house; that is essentially why it should always be cared for to look on-point. With the constant changes in weather conditions and all that your roof endures during the year, it should be checked from time to time to ensure that it still looks presentable. Some small maintenance jobs might come up from time to time, but if you are always keeping an eye on the roof, then you should be able to fix any problems that may arise. 

Health Value

Many people don’t realize the number of health benefits that come from routine maintenance of the roof. The fact is, your roof protects your home from mould and provides you with enough ventilation so that fresh air runs easily through your home. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of developing respiratory problems and other health risks that may be present if the roof is not checked regularly and it starts forming mildew. 

Protection From Birds

Birds and other types of animals often invite themselves to stay on top of roofs where they can cause some damage that one would not realize if they don’t keep a keen eye on the rooftop. Sometimes it can even be the other way around where stray animals, like cats and raccoons as well as certain types of birds, are more attracted to rooftops with severe unnoticed damage to them which can then cause even more damage to the roof. When you properly check your rooftop every so often you can fix any possible damage that can be caused by birds or other animals and eliminate any safety risks that come up as a result. 

Eliminating Water Damage

Every house has its own running water system that can often go through walls or right by the roof. When you periodically do the necessary maintenance work for your roof you can be certain that no water damage caused by any of the water pipes can occur. If you don’t constantly check your rooftop for any needed maintenance or care that it might need, then you might miss spots that need fixing and allow for water damage to get worse and more complicated. 

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Adding Value to The Construction

A well-maintained and good-looking roof can increase the value of your house if you are considering putting it on the market for sale or even rent. Not only does it look great for anyone interested in the house, but if they decide to hire a home construction inspector, they can assure those interested in the quality of maintenance the roof has had for however long it has been built, which in turn, add more value to the house. Whereas if the rooftop is not regularly cared for, it will show quite easily and can severely reduce the price of the house because of how poor the roof construction would be. 

Rooftops are an essential feature in any home. They help shield the house against all environmental effects, including weather conditions and even wildlife. It is particularly important to routinely check the rooftop for any damage and do any upkeeping that you see necessary. When the roof is well-maintained and cared for, it gives the house a better look and aesthetic and accordingly increases its value on the market. Make sure you take safety precautions if you will be doing the roof maintenance yourself or do some research and consider hiring a professional to do the job on your behalf with the right gear.

 

Indoor Air Quality At Home Needs To Be Taken Seriously – Here’s Why

Everyone wants to live in a home where their safety, health, and comfort are guaranteed. However, this may not be the case if the quality of the air you breathe while inside your home is poor. In other words, poor indoor air quality can subject you to certain health risks while disrupting your comfort and potentially exposing you to various safety risks.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Additionally, poor indoor air quality can also have an impact on the structural integrity of your home or commercial premises. It can also have an impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of certain indoor appliances and equipment and while at it; skyrocket your utility bills.

These are only a few of the reasons why people install various systems, including air conditioning units, dehumidifiers, carbon monoxide detectors, air filters, and air purifiers.

A recent post at https://filterbuy.com/resources/air-filters-vs-air-purifiers/ outlines the various benefits of having an air filter or air purifier in your home, including dealing with airborne allergens and pathogens that may impede on you and your family’s health.

Once you get rid of pollutants and contaminants from the air entering your house, you can worry less about respiratory illnesses, allergies, and irritations that come as a result of air pollution indoors. But why exactly is the quality of air flowing inside your home important? 

Here are some reasons why indoor air quality needs to be taken seriously.

It Directly Affects Your Health

When present in the air we breathe, contaminants such as dust, pollen, mould, mildew, and pet dander can cause a myriad of health problems. For instance, many allergens are known to trigger or worsen the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory health issues. Indoor settings with poor air quality tend to have higher concentrations of pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses that cause disease.

Additionally, vapours and aerosols from chemical substances such as volatile organic compounds can also affect your health in various ways. Unbeknownst to many, these chemicals are often present in a wide range of household substances, including cleaners, fresheners, paints, and glues.

These vapours are often produced when these chemicals evaporate as indoor temperatures fluctuate. Poor indoor air quality has also been shown to negatively affect concentration, mood, and energy levels, which is why poor ventilation and airflow in workplaces can cause reduced productivity.

Some of the most common signs of poor indoor quality may include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Eye irritation
  • Breathing problems
  • Fatigue
  • Stuffy nose
  • Skin rashes

If you or a family member is experiencing some of these symptoms frequently, there’s a possibility that poor indoor quality could be to blame and as such, it needs to be taken seriously.

Moisture Problems

During the warmer months, it is not uncommon for indoor settings to be more humid. In other words, the air inside becomes moist, which can be extremely uncomfortable. In addition to making you feel hotter and sweatier, higher humidity may also encourage the growth of mould and mildew, which can be hazardous to your health as earlier mentioned above. Also, mould and mildew can make your home to develop a musty smell that is usually quite irritating and unpleasant. This is why having a dehumidifier is paramount during the warmer summer months.

On the other hand, winters are often associated with dry air. If the moisture levels aren’t kept in check, dwellers can suffer health effects such as dry skin, nose bleeding, and eye dryness, just to name a few. On top of these, moisture problems can even affect wooden belongings such as furniture and fixtures. To keep moisture levels in check during the colder winter months, many homeowners invest in a humidifier.

It can Cause Structural Issues

Poor indoor air quality may also affect the integrity of your home or commercial building. This is especially seen in cases of moisture problems, where mould growth causes rots on wooden parts and cracks on concrete. Combined with air filtration, proper ventilation can help protect your property from the effects of excess moisture and poor air quality.

HVAC Problems

HVAC systems are among the most important systems in a home or commercial building. They help keep dwellers comfortable by providing cool air in summer and warm air in winter. However, pollutants may accumulate on heating and cooling systems, causing them to develop defects if they are not properly cleaned.

This is why it’s important to not only invest in an air filter but to also change it at least once a month to keep your HVAC unit running efficiently. An air filter will help extend your HVAC unit’s lifetime while ensuring that the air getting inside your home is free from particulate contaminants such as the ones we mentioned earlier. It will also ensure your HVAC systems run efficiently, thus keeping your utility bills on the low.

Indoor air quality is not to be ignored. Your health and comfort while indoors depend on it. It can also have an impact on your property’s value and life expectancy and by investing in some of the equipment described above, you can improve the quality of air entering and circulating in your home.

How Using of Social Stories Can Help With Behavioral Issues

Raising a child is already a challenging job, but raising a child with behavioural issues can be a life-disrupting experience.

Now, your  2-year old’s tantrums don’t necessarily mean they have issues with authority. However, your fifth-grader, who shows angry outbursts or displays violent behaviour, may very well have some behavioural problems.

People with autism, ADHD, ODD, anxiety disorder, or a learning disorder, may develop behavioural symptoms in their childhood. While there’s no permanent cure for these disorders, you can manage them with some therapy – one such therapy is using social stories.

Social Stories – an Overview

You may be wondering what are social stories and how can they help with your child’s behavioural issues.

A social story is a special kind of story written to educate a child using some specific behavioural patterns.

Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to teach children with special needs. Your child will be able to learn about behavioural norms, expectations, and routines in a relatable and engaging way through social stories.

How does Social Story Work?

Social stories use written or visual cues to guide children who are struggling to get familiar with unknown social situations in the classroom and social settings (like the playground).

There are numerous applications of social stories. They can also be customized to your child’s needs and comprehension.

These stories are typically used in different steps with narrative words that best communicate the social situation.

Social stories can help with social skills, new experiences, transitions, learning routines, and even specific behavioural issues like hitting, spitting, etc.

Benefits of Social Stories

Social stories are quite easy to implement with children with behavioural disorders. It’s a quick way to help them learn appropriate behaviour.

Here are some of the reasons that will help you understand the importance of social stories.

Provide The Theory of Mind

This is one of the most important reasons why you should rely on social stories. Your child may have a hard time understanding others’ perspectives, particularly if they are on a spectrum like e autism, ADHD, or ODD.

If a child’s development in the theory of mind is delayed, they will have trouble coping with other people’s thoughts and feelings. Social stories help them piece together reasons why some people are acting the way they are, meaning that they will not overreact to certain behaviour.

Consistency in Learning

Whether you’re a teacher or a parent of a child with special needs, you might be struggling with many of their common behaviours such as hitting, talking out of turn, touching others, etc.

That’s why it’s essential to have a social story particularly designed for those behaviours, which will help promote an appropriate attitude.

The story can ensure consistency. As you practise the story with your child or student, you will find yourself using the same terminology with other children with similar behavioural issues.

Helps Children Make Friends

Does your child often fight with other kids? Or are they having trouble making friends due to their behaviour? Don’t worry! Social stories are here to your rescue.

The best part of a social story is that it can handle nearly any behaviour. Your child will learn appropriate behaviour such as talking with other children, responding in a friendly manner, not to get involved in a fight, etc.

Social stories encourage the development of empathy in children, which helps them make friends.

Some children with behavioural issues often struggle with remembering things. This is because they struggle to focus and concentrate on observing and learning.

Improves Memory

Social stories can help in developing your child’s memory. Reading a particular story every day, which includes a series of events can help kids practise their memory skills.

Can Prevent The Meltdown

Social stories can help prevent some common behaviour in children such as tantrums and meltdowns as they will slowly start to learn what you expect of them. Since they practice social stories specially written for them, they will begin to apply those stories to shape other parts of their day.

Using a social story, you will be able to make your child understand situations that once seemed unfamiliar to him. It will ultimately reduce the meltdowns associated with being overwhelmed by unfamiliar situations.

How to Write Social Stories

A social story can be created using words and pictures, which will help a child to learn what to do in a given situation. It will also help them understand how other people feel and why they should respond in such a manner.

For example, the sentence you’re writing must include the action a child must take, and how other people feel by that action, such as “When I enter the classroom I will say ‘good morning’ to my teacher, which will make her happy.”

Remember, you must write stories from the children’s point of view. Doing so will make it easier for your child to recognize the moral of the story, meaning that the lesson will be more fruitful.

Try to use photos of your child or include an artwork made by him to make the story personal. Your child will see himself in the story since he has had a hand in helping to create it.

How to Present a Social Story

Once you’re done writing the story, introduce it to your child. Ask them some probing questions, like “How do you think the little girl feels?” “What must she do?”

It takes considerable time and hard work to change the behaviours, so it is essential to read the story every day so that your child can understand.

You can ask them questions like “Do you remember what happened with the girl I told you about yesterday? Let’s find out how she fixed her problem.”

Final Thoughts

Raising children with behavioural issues is quite challenging and requires a lot of patience and understanding from a parent. While some of these problems pass with time, some may require long term therapy.

Using social stories can be a fun and engaging way to introduce your little one to new experiences, as well as expectations in situations. It will prepare them to navigate a social situation appropriately by teaching them the right behaviour.

6 Effective Ways To Support Your Child’s First Educational Travel

Education has never been something that could be tied down to one aspect, whether it’s academically or practical experience. Since education is a process that isn’t bounded by strict limits, exposure is one of the best ways to truly educate a child. As a parent, you’ll probably want to do your best to make your child’s first educational trip as beneficial as possible. 

Photo by Chris Nguyen on Unsplash

So here are the 6 most effective things you can do to support your child’s trip.

Ensure Your Child’s Safety

It’s natural for you to be a bit anxious about your child’s first educational trip, so you need to make sure you’ve taken all the precautions needed to put your mind at ease. As referenced on adaptabletravel.co.uk, School Travel Forum members follow the highest standards of safety for school tour operators. If you’re not in the UK, you should find equivalent certification from the Department of Education or other branches. In the rare case that you’re not asking for this information, make sure to mention whether your child has certain allergies or conditions to the organizer or supervisor of the trip.

Being Prepared

The last thing you want to do before your child goes on their first educational trip is to feel rushed. Rushing not only will make them feel anxious, but it will also cloud your head and make you forget many other important details. Start preparing for the educational trip as early as possible, especially if your child will spend more than one night away. Make sure you tell your child the location of the essential things you’ve packed to make it easier for them to remember. The school will probably provide food during the trip, but it doesn’t hurt to pack an extra snack in case your child gets hungry. It’s best if you have your child pack their bag while you supervise them to make them feel responsible and improve their organizational skills.

Take the Weather into Account

You’ll probably be handed a brochure with all the details of the educational trip by the school, but they may forget to mention the weather. If the trip is abroad or in another city, you need to do your homework and figure out the kind of weather to expect. Choose light cotton clothes for sunny days, and leave a jacket just in case it gets cold at night. You should also pack extra clothes if your child will be doing activities that can get them wet or dirty. If there is room in your child’s backpack or bag, you can add an umbrella if you expect rain at the designated location.

Pep Talk

It’s normal for many children to feel reluctant to go on educational trips if it’s their first time. You want to make sure that your child understands that there is a lot of fun to be had with their friends. Try discussing what your child is feeling, expecting, or worried about. You should provide them with a few protocols on how to act in public places if they feel sick, such as reporting to the supervisor. Since you know the program of the trip, walk your child through every activity to help them know what to expect.

Make Sure Your Child is Prepared

Make sure that your child doesn’t stay up too late the day before the trip, as they can often do out of excitement. You need to wake up earlier than usual to go through your checklist and make a healthy nutritious breakfast. Make sure not to rush through your checklist to avoid forgetting anything important. This is a good time to remind your child about the essential information related to their trip.

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Help Your Child Learn

Since educational trips are part fun, part educational, you need to make sure that your child gets the most out of both parts. Since there is practically no need to teach a child how to have fun, focus on nudging them towards learning something new on their trip. You can task them with writing notes on what they learn during the educational tour, which will help them remember the details and develop a good habit. You can also advise them to take photographs of anything of interest they find along the way.

The common and conventional ways of learning sure have their merits, but they are quite limited when it comes to real-life experience. This is why educational trips are one of the best ways that you instil a thirst for knowledge and experience in a child. A classroom can only offer so much when you compare it to travelling to new locations for a whole different experience.

6 Reasons Why Your Family’s Senior Cat Needs A Specialised Food

People who have pets often argue that it is more or less like having your baby. If you are one of these fur-parents, you know that caring for your fur-baby is not an easy task. Your pet gives you so much love and attention that you cannot help but try to give them the best of everything in return. From feeding them to bathing them, you probably have your hands full all the time. However, you know that it is worth the effort when you get to cuddle with your fluffy cat and fall asleep in front of the TV. 

Image by Deedee86 from Pixabay

As you age, your cat ages too, and those years can begin to take their toll on your pet’s health and well-being. This is when you need to take care of your cat and look after its wellbeing. You need to start making changes to their diet. The bowl of milk or can of tuna that they were once used to, are not going to cut it anymore. 

If you are looking after your family’s senior cat, read on below to find out why they now need specialised food.

Different Nutritional Needs

Just like humans, your cat’s nutritional needs will change with age. It is no longer about their growth, it is more about sustaining their health and keeping them in the best shape possible. As they age, cats commonly experience dehydration and a loss of vitamins and minerals. Providing your ageing cat with specialized foods will help to meet their body’s new needs and keep any related diseases at bay. Consult your vet first, however, if your cat is more susceptible to dehydration. You might want to go with a wet food option to make sure you are upping their water intake. Go for an option that has enough nutrients while supporting the health of their digestive system as well as their bones and joints. 

Dental Problems

Your senior cat has probably lost most of their teeth by now and it can be hard to chew her once- favourite dry treats. You have to start looking for soft food options with a paste-like texture that is specifically made for older felines who suffer from dental problems. If your cat is not a fan of the mushy consistency, you can still find some dry food options that they might find appealing. Look for small-sized grains that can give them the crunch they enjoy without exacerbating their dental problems.

Deteriorating Eyesight

One of the most common and early signs that your cat is growing old and tired is deteriorated eyesight. You will notice how they are constantly bumping into the furniture and walking clumsily. Unfortunately, at this point not much can be done to enhance their vision, so you might want to focus on vision preservation and protection. Special food formulas that are meant for ageing cats usually have high concentrates of Taurine, which is a type of amino acid that has antioxidant properties and can help preserve your cat’s eyesight. 

Allergies

It might be hard to spot any allergies in the first place, so you need to keep an eye out for changes in your cat’s behaviour or any other visible changes, like skin conditions and hair loss. Even if your cat has never suffered from allergic reactions before, with age, they can develop new ones that require a special diet. You would not want to risk giving them any foods other than specific ones that you know, for sure, are developed for their condition. Look for food options that are free from any allergenic ingredients, to protect your cat from allergic reactions that can sometimes be fatal.

Reduced Mobility

It will be hard for your cat to run around and jump up and down like they were used to. Their joints are probably aching and their bones are too brittle to maintain their previous activity levels. Scraps from the kitchen do not necessarily contain enough levels of essential fatty acids that help support their fragile muscles or give them enough energy to carry themselves around throughout the day without needing your help. With quick online research, you can identify the best, specialized food for senior cats who have the same mobility issues as your beloved cat. 

Multiple Health Issues

Your poor cat could be having it harder than others and suffering from several health issues all at once. Even if you have done your research and know the exact combination of nutrients they need, it can still fall flat. If you attempt to mix everything, the concoction might not be pleasant to eat. The last thing you want is to add to your cat’s ailments and steal away their joy of eating. Specialized cat foods are prepared to taste flavorful and come packed with all the nutrients that your cat needs for their age and special health condition.

Do not be overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to gather before you can find the right specialised food for your ageing family cat. Find a good vet whom you trust, and learn more about your own cat’s health problems. This way you can find out how to give them the best care you possibly can, so they can enjoy their golden years in peace. With the right care, your cat will be around for a long time.