Cleaning Up - Energy Efficient Hoovers

~ Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 11:25 PM ~

If you’ve been shopping around for a vacuum cleaner you’ll probably have noticed ‘energy-efficient’ labels stuck to the body of the machine. These environmentally-friendly cleaners are designed to use less energy to do the same job as traditional models. This should result in reduced household energy bills, which always gets a thumbs-up!

Many countries have now banned the use of powerful, energy-sucking household appliances and this includes vacuums rated above 1600 watts, but are there real benefits to low-energy cleaners?

A manufacturing challenge

The introduction of eco-friendly vacuum cleaners has obliged manufacturers to find innovative ways to create a product that allows people to hoover but uses less energy to do so. As a result, they’ve actually started creating models that required only 1000 Watts and even 800 Watts to clean thoroughly and efficiently. For the consumer, this meant their machine produced the same results but used much less energy to achieve them. Ultimately, this means another household appliance has been introduced that is not only kinder to the environment but will also help to keep utility bills down.

Performance through design

Thanks to the rise in home electronics, we’re consuming more energy and this is one of the reasons why it makes sense to use low-energy products. But manufacturers know that the design of the product, not the actual energy consumption, is what makes a difference to performance. To this end, some manufacturers have gone back to the drawing board to produce quieter models that feature a higher pick-up rate than traditional cleaners. There are also models that offer turbo features for deep cleaning, including pet hairs, which are hard to pick up.

Additional features

The new cleaners do come with some excellent additional specifications, including filtration layers to remove particles from the air when cleaning. This has been designed to help people who have allergies. New, 3D dust bags are also part of this process. Charcoal filtration is available on some models too to absorb odours such as pet smells, which can become ingrained in carpets. The features available will depend on the brand of cleaner and there will be price differences depending on the technology involved.

In some countries you now have no option but to buy energy-efficient vacuum cleaners. However, low-energy cleaners make financial sense when it comes to a cost-effective household purchase that’s also kinder to our planet.

** Image by Photographing Travis, used under Creative Commons licence

Save Money And Get Faster Broadband…

~ Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 12:02 AM ~

Most parents have enough on their plates without having to worry about how much money they’re spending on the family’s internet access.

But if you never make time to compare broadband deals, there’s a strong chance you’re paying more than you have to for your internet.

To save money, and maybe get a better service with faster speeds in the process, the best place to start is a trusted broadband money-saving website that’ll do most of the hard work for you, showing packages from all the main UK providers available where you live.

Here are some tips to help you compare broadband and get the best deal:

1. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains
Internet providers are constantly updating their deals and offers, so even you’re happy with what you’ve got at the moment it doesn’t hurt to keep a lookout for something even better. If you use the web to shop around, you’ll often come across online exclusives such as half-price broadband for the first six months of your contract.

2. Pick value for money over price
It might seem slightly counter-intuitive to say you can save money by not getting obsessed with prices, but a certain extent it’s actually true. If you skimp on your broadband - signing up to a cheap basic package with a low usage limit - then you’re likely to rack up extra costs further down the line, for example if you need to increase your download allowance.

3. Don’t get stung by expensive hidden costs
It’s easy to get carried away when you see a broadband deal with a super-cheap price, but it’s important to look a bit deeper to make sure you’ll definitely be saving money. The main thing to watch out for is line rental, which you need to pay in order to receive the vast majority of broadband services in the UK. Prices vary a lot, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

4. Bundle with one provider for everything
If you’re trying to save money, one of the worst things you can do is have separate providers for your family’s broadband, home phone and TV. It almost always works out cheaper if you bundle the whole lot with one company, such as BT, Sky, Virgin Media or TalkTalk, which all offer landline, internet and digital TV packages rolled into a bundle.

5. Switch every couple of years
Providers generally save their best offers and discounts for attracting new customers, so while you might get everything half-price for a few months you’ll usually have to pay the full amount for the remainder of a 12 to 24-month contract. As soon as your contract period expires, it’s time to shop around again. There’s usually a better deal to be had.

Author bio:
Anthony Hill is a writer for broadbandchoices, where you can compare broadband, TV and mobile phone deals and that’ll save money for you and your family.

Modern Day Pressures on Family Life

~ Posted on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8:08 AM ~

People’s lives have changed immeasurably over the course of the last 50 years. Modern day pressures can take their toll on relationships and leave you feeling as though you have nowhere to turn. While it is self-evident that the vast majority of us in the western world no longer experience the levels of poverty that our parents and grandparents did, there are now different burdens that can affect our home life. Just because we are financially better off than previous generations doesn’t mean that we are richer in every aspect of our lives.

Many of us now face a different type of financial worry, one of keeping up. The need to maintain our lifestyles by working longer and longer hours, often by both parents, can place an enormous strain on a relationship. Couple this with the physical stresses placed upon our bodies as we neglect our health by not doing enough exercise or getting enough sleep, and it is easy to see why our patience with each other can sometimes wear a little thin. What are we to do when our intolerance of each other reaches a point where a decision has to be made about our family’s future?

Although it may be stating the obvious, divorce is never an easy time for children, so even if you feel that you can no longer carry on as things are at the moment it is prudent to look at how your next step will affect your family. This, however, is where the subject becomes tricky. As with so many things in life, it really does come down to individual circumstances. Each relationship needs to be carefully judged on its own merits. Nobody is better equipped to make the right decision about your family’s future than you. So, while advice will no doubt be in abundance, it should always be your sole decision as to how you proceed.

Either staying together or getting a divorce can work out, there really is nothing set in stone to say that one is right and the other is wrong. There are many couples that have stayed together just for the sake of the kids that have gone on to rediscover their love for each other and have stayed married long after the children have left. Equally there are others that have gone their separate ways and got a divorce, only to re-marry a decade later. Many have found true happiness by making a fresh start without their other half; there are no hard and fast rules.

Your main focus should be the well-being of your children. They may be small, but children are not stupid. Even if you think you are hiding things well, we all have our built in instincts that have been finely tuned to pick up on the slightest hint of something not being quite right. So, make sure that your decision includes them and do what is right for your whole family, not just for you. They’ll thank you for it later.