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New Year's Resolutions – not only for homebodies...
New Year, new challenges, plans, dreams and... resolutions. Most of us wish for success, achievements, stamina and determination in everyday life. Some of us, with the New Year, devise a list of special tasks which they haven't been able to fulfil and which turn into priorities in the next 12 months.
Others avoid New Year’s resolutions like the plague fearing that later they will have to measure the achievements. Polish New Year's resolutions are as different as the Poles’ characters. The most common ones include: giving up smoking, losing weight, embarking on the path of healthy lifestyle, doing sport, being more patient, finding more time for oneself, learning ten foreign languages, frequent foreign travel and visiting the world. The plans tend to be ambitious. When the year ends it turns out that they were too ambitious. Or too numerous. Maybe one should focus on more achievable goals. A few suggestions – the nice and easy ones, might be worth considering.
1. Will activate the saving mode
The costs of heating are growing faster than trees in the garden. Cold days and freezing nights make us turn up the radiators to maximum in search for heat. In such cases winter may cost us an arm and a leg. If we consider the long heating season which in Poland may last even 7 months on average, we shouldn't be surprised to receive high heating bills. What can we do to decrease the cost by several hundred zloty in comparison with the previous year? It's simple – we should change windows into energy-efficient ones. The Uw coefficient defines the heat loss through the window. The lower it is, the better, because the house loses less heat. We need to remember that Uw coefficient is the resultant of a few factors, such as the thermal transmittance of the glass and frame. If we can't afford a comprehensive replacement of the windows in all the house, the best solution is to replace first the north-facing window. The next step for good thermal insulation is the insulation of walls and roof and exchange or modernisation of the heating system. If we are very careful about the money we spend on heating we will appreciate windows with shutters. Shutters are the most popular kind of window cover. Shutters gain particular importance in winter when we seek to reduce the heat loss. In winter, external shutters act as an additional barrier for the cold. Before we buy the window it is important to check with the seller the tests and certificates which confirm the parameters declared by the producer.
2. Will take care of my health starting in January
…and will breathe fresh air. What can we do to take care of our health and good climate at home? Here's some information. The optimum temperature at home ranges from 18 to 21 degrees Celsius, and the best humidity level is 45 to 55 percent. Higher humidity may cause mould and fungus, lower humidity will make the air excessively dry. What guarantees the perfect microclimate in the flat is the ventilation. It greatly depends on the quality of the windows – their tightness and ventilation capacity. Leaky windows will chill the flat and increase the heating bills. However, it is important to maintain the proper level of ventilation guaranteed by modern systems which ensure the right air circulation in various rooms.
The proper fittings system which enables air circulation through a gap between the window frame and sash (micro ventilation) , decreases the probability of condensation and it ensures the proper air humidity in the flat - advises Artur Kurniewicz, the main DRUTEX S.A. technologist.
3. No more haste, will finally cool off
But, how can one stick to the resolution if even outside the window the noise is unbearable? On April 25 we celebrate International Noise Awareness Day. It is an initiative which is organised to raise awareness of how noise affects our health. Noise is defined as oppressive sound of 65-70 dB frequency. Noise hampers work, learning, concentration, rest and sleep. It often leads to headaches, insomnia, heart disorder, breathing and even indigestion.
No matter if it is roadwork starting at 7 am, children screaming in front of the house, the noise of trains or means of public transport, or a neighbour who cuts the grass from dusk to dawn. Unfortunately, most of the disturbing noises do not depend on us and we can't influence them. What can we do to minimise its effects and enjoy blissful peace and quiet? The solution turns out to be simple. It is enough to invest in high-quality windows which create a sound-proof barrier. Their sound insulation is measured by Rw quotient, expressed in decibels. The higher the Rw, the less noise will penetrate into the house. It is also good to know that if we reduce the sound volume by 10dB, our ear will perceive it as decreasing the noise by half. The standard assumption is that windows have the acoustic insulation factor Rw at 30 bD level. However, it is worth investing in windows which offer significantly higher Rw coefficient. - adds Artur Kurniewicz from Drutex.
4. Will invest in my privacy
Ensuring safety and comfort is the priority for every home-owner. Considering that house burglaries most often are carried out through windows and doors, one should invest in the windows quality. Round ones, colourful, plastic, with and without grills. When we decide to buy a new window, the choice isn’t easy. We should remember that the window should be not only pretty, but it should also protect the flat against external factors. This is why when buying a window it’s good to know which parameters we should consider and what to ask the seller before we make the final decision. Surely, the profile is important, since it determines the resistance of the window, its proper functioning and the sealing system. Thermal and acoustic insulation are of vital importance because they indicate if the window will protect the house against heat loss and noise. What also matters is resistance to wind load, water tightness and air permeability – these parameters determine if the house will be dry and warm even in huge rainfall and gale.
5. Will think positive
Good mood is often the result of a lot of factors – how you got up in the morning, your diet, how often you do sport, where you spend your free time. And, last but not least, which colours surround you. It has been proven scientifically that the inner peace and satisfaction are influenced by the proper, often unconscious, choice of colours that surround us. This is why it’s worth to know their importance and apply the colours which have positive influence! Maybe we should start with windows. There are so many options! A dozen years ago we chose mainly white windows, the standard rectangular shape was the most common option, there was even talk of a typical size. Nobody thought of deciding about the handle, grills or glass. The products currently available demonstrate the advancement of window technology. Nowadays, the window is a different product from the one we had a few years ago. Today we can choose between a number of shapes, colour range, glass or other window accessories. When it comes to PCV windows, our company offers a wide range of 30 colours. We custom-make our windows depending on individual tastes. They may be i.a. red outside and brown inside, matching the interiors. They may have wood grain shade, or grey - very trendy in Sweden and Germany. Or simply white. It really is the matter of preferences – adds Artur Kurniewicz from Drutex.
6. Will take care of my family safety
Every policeman we ask will confirm that most house burglaries are carried out through windows and balcony doors. Thieves don’t waste time. Burglaries often happen when we are away, at night when the household is asleep. How can we take care of the safety and security of the family? It’s worth considering safe windows in order to minimise the risk.
What is more, fittings are important to ensure the window tightness and determine its functionality, meaning a comfortable opening, tilting and closing. They are also responsible for the usage safety and protect against burglary. A current market trend is to assemble envelope fittings which are positioned alongside the window sash. Windows may be equipped with burglar-proof fittings in order to ensure full safety and protection against burglary. They are fittings of various levels of anti-theft system, equipped with latches which impede the opening of the window by an intruder from the outside.
New Year’s Resolutions are easy to fulfil? Obviously, if they are realistic. You just need to choose them carefully and be coherent In their implementation. We have 12 months for that, so it is good to start now. Maybe we should start with the ones connected with the household, since taking care of the house and family is the most important challenge – always, no matter how the trends and preferences of next generations might change.