As summer approaches, it’s the perfect time to refresh your bathroom and ensure it’s ready for the warmer months. Start with a thorough deep clean. Scrub tiles, grout, and fixtures to remove any built-up grime. Don’t forget to clean showerheads and taps, which can accumulate mineral deposits over time. For a sparkling finish, use a vinegar solution to tackle stubborn stains.

Next, inspect your bathroom for minor repairs. Check for leaky taps and running toilets, as these can waste water and increase your utility bills. Replace worn-out washers or seals to prevent further leaks. Examine your shower and bath seals; if you notice any cracks or mould, re-caulk these areas to maintain a watertight seal.

Summer is also a great time to declutter. Clear out old toiletries and expired products, and organise your storage spaces. This not only makes your bathroom look tidier but also ensures you have easy access to the essentials.

Consider updating your bathroom décor to reflect the bright, airy feel of summer. Add fresh, colourful towels, a new shower curtain, and some greenery to bring a touch of nature indoors. Plants like aloe vera and peace lilies thrive in humid environments and can enhance your bathroom’s ambiance.

By following these tips, you can create a clean, efficient, and inviting bathroom that’s ready for summer.

Revamping your bathroom doesn’t have to drain your wallet. Explore these savvy strategies for transforming your space without breaking the bank.

Focus on Paint: A fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look of a bathroom. Choose light, neutral colours to make the space feel larger and brighter.

Update Fixtures: Swapping out old, outdated fixtures like taps, showerheads, and drawer pulls can give your bathroom a modern look. Keep an eye out for budget-friendly options at home improvement stores or online.

DIY Vanity Refresh: Rather than replacing the entire vanity, consider giving it a facelift with a fresh coat of paint or stain, new hardware, and a stylish countertop. You can also replace just the sink for a more budget-friendly upgrade.

Accessorise: Adding new accessories like towels, rugs, and shower curtains can instantly refresh the look of your bathroom. Look for affordable options in coordinating colours or patterns to tie the space together.

Maximise Storage: Get creative with storage solutions to keep clutter at bay and make the most of your space. Install floating shelves, over-the-toilet storage racks, or baskets to corral toiletries and towels.

Update Lighting: Good lighting can make a big difference in any room. Swap out old fixtures for energy-efficient LED lights or install a stylish pendant light to add a decorative touch.

Regrout and Caulk: Over time, grout and caulk can become discoloured and worn. Refreshing these areas can make your bathroom look cleaner and more polished.

Add Greenery: Incorporating plants into your bathroom decor can add a touch of freshness and colour. Choose low-maintenance varieties like succulents or air plants that thrive in high humidity environments.

Refinish Bathtub and Tiles: Instead of replacing your bathtub or tiles, consider refinishing them for a fraction of the cost. There are DIY kits available or you can hire a professional to do the job.

Shop Second-hand: Don’t overlook second-hand stores, salvage yards, or online marketplaces for budget-friendly finds. You might score a gently used vanity, mirror, or accessories at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

By focusing on these cost-efficient upgrades, you can give your bathroom a fresh new look without spending too much!

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

The UK is ranked 23 out of 28 European nations for “national environmentally conscious housing practices”, according to the landmark Green Living Index report.

The report looks at energy and recycling as well as sustainability and engagement, with Portugal, Sweden and Germany scoring well. Portugal places at the top of the Green Living Index, which is in part due to the low levels of private energy consumption, and Germany, in third, is a pioneer in solar energy.

Austria, Denmark, Spain, Latvia, Greece, Slovakia and Finland all rank in the top ten.

Why is UK so low on the list?

More of our homes are cold, old and leaky than not. Just 12% of the UK’s household energy comes from renewable sources, and a mere 8% of energy used for UK domestic heating and cooling is fuelled by renewables.

Smaller household sizes also contributes to a higher per capita consumption, with fewer extended families, more household split-ups and an ageing population, meaning that the average British household is made up of just two people. Not only that but only 15% of us live in flats, which are easier to heat than houses.

The UK did, however, score well for recycling, with 44% of household waste being reused. And we are committed to sustainable living (even if our homes aren’t well-insulated) according to the report.

What does any of this mean and why should we pay attention? Well, perhaps we have to try a little harder. Some of this is down to policy makers and money spenders; making smart decisions that enable us to upgrade our homes to more energy efficient models. Some of it is down to homeowners; to invest now for long term gain.

If you’re thinking about home improvements (plumbing, energy or installations), feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

This year, bathroom trends are honing in on comfort, relaxation and well-being with spa-style bathrooms becoming more popular. The emphasis is on creating tranquil sanctuaries with neutral colours, natural materials, and minimalistic décor.

Here are 10 top spathroom trends for 2024:

  1. Smart Technology Integration: From voice-activated fixtures to intelligent mirrors, spathrooms are incorporating cutting-edge technology for enhanced functionality and convenience.
  2. Natural Elements: Like stone, wood, lighting and the inclusion of indoor plants.
  3. Sustainable Features: Such as recycled glass countertops, reclaimed wood vanities, and low-flow fixtures are gaining popularity as homeowners prioritise environmental consciousness.
  4. Minimalist Aesthetics: Clean lines, neutral colour palettes, and clutter-free designs (a de-cluttered space equals a de-cluttered mind!).
  5. Luxury Showers: Multi-functional showers with features like rainfall heads, body jets, and aromatherapy options.
  6. Freestanding Bathtubs: In various shapes and materials, from sleek acrylic to classic cast iron, are both elegant and indulgent.
  7. Wellness-focused Spaces: Incorporating elements like steam showers, infrared saunas, and chromotherapy lighting promotes relaxation, detoxification, and overall well-being. A designated space could also be as simple as a purposeful corner dedicated to just face cleansing or hand and nail care.
  8. Customised Storage Solutions: Tailored storage options, such as built-in shelving, drawer organisers, and hidden cabinets, optimise space and keep spathrooms organised and clutter-free.
  9. Luxury Accents: Brass, copper, and matte black fixtures provide striking contrast against neutral backgrounds. Creamy white porcelain or marble are also luxurious details in a spathroom.
  10. Statement Tile Designs: Bold, patterned tiles in geometric shapes, intricate mosaics, and textured finishes add visual interest and personality in a spathroom.

There are so many great ideas to help you create your very own personalised retreat.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

From basic functionality to maintenance and energy efficiency, there is so much to know about central heating. It is best to seek professional advice on all required information but independent learning is also a good thing. Check out these 5 top questions asked by UK homeowners about central heating—maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t already know!

How does central heating work?

Central heating systems work by heating water or air in a central location and then distributing that warmth throughout the house via pipes or ducts. In the UK, most homes use a gas boiler to heat water, which is then circulated through radiators or underfloor heating.

How can I improve the efficiency of my central heating system?

Regular maintenance, such as bleeding radiators, checking and adjusting boiler pressure, and scheduling annual servicing, can enhance efficiency. Additionally, installing a programmable thermostat and ensuring proper insulation in your home can contribute to energy savings.

What should I do if my central heating is not working?

Check the thermostat settings, ensure the boiler is powered on, and examine the pressure gauge. If these are in order, consider bleeding radiators to release trapped air. If issues persist, it’s advisable to contact a qualified heating engineer for a professional assessment.

Are there government grants or incentives for upgrading central heating systems?

Yes, various government schemes in the UK offer incentives for upgrading to more energy-efficient central heating systems. These may include the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or other local initiatives. It’s recommended to check current programs for eligibility and details. Visit gov.uk for more information.

What size boiler do I need for my home?

The size of the boiler depends on factors such as the size of your home, the number of radiators, and your hot water usage. A heating engineer can perform a heat load calculation to determine the appropriate boiler size for your specific requirements. Oversizing or under-sizing a boiler can lead to inefficiency and increased energy costs.

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

The most efficient heating system for a house depends on multiple factors, including the size of the house, insulation, energy costs, and personal preference. Here are some common heating systems used in the UK:

Gas Central Heating:

Pros: Gas central heating is common in the UK and generally considered cost-effective. Gas boilers are efficient, and there’s an extensive gas infrastructure in the country.

Cons: Gas is a fossil fuel, and while modern boilers are more efficient, they still contribute to carbon emissions. Gas prices can also fluctuate.

Electric Heating:

Pros: Electric heating systems, such as electric radiators or underfloor heating, are easy to install and may be suitable for smaller spaces.

Cons: Electric heating can be more expensive than gas, especially if electricity prices are high. It may not be the most environmentally friendly option, depending on the energy mix.

Heat Pumps:

Pros: Air source heat pumps (ASHP) and ground source heat pumps (GSHP) are more environmentally friendly as they extract heat from the air or ground. They can be highly efficient.

Cons: Initial installation costs can be high but there are government incentives and savings on running costs over time.

Biomass Boilers:

Pros: Biomass boilers use organic materials like wood pellets, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. They can be cost-effective in certain situations.

Cons: Biomass systems require storage for fuel, and the sourcing of sustainable biomass is crucial. They may also require more maintenance.

Solar Thermal Systems:

Pros: Solar thermal systems use sunlight to heat water for domestic use and sometimes space heating.

Cons: Their effectiveness is weather-dependent, and they may need a backup system for periods of low sunlight.

District Heating:

Pros: District heating involves a centralised boiler providing heat to multiple buildings. It can be efficient and reduce individual system maintenance.

Cons: Availability is limited to areas with district heating infrastructure, and the initial setup can be expensive.

When considering a heating system, it’s essential to evaluate the upfront costs, running costs, environmental impact, and compatibility with your home’s characteristics. Additionally, government incentives, such as grants or subsidies for certain systems, can influence your decision.

Consulting with a heating professional can help you determine the most suitable option for your specific circumstances. For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk

More than a quarter of UK homes suffer from damp and mould, according to new research by University College London (UCL). Experts say that six and a half million homes (approximately 27% of the total) are not being properly heated, and with the ongoing cost of living crisis many are choosing to reduce ventilation and heating to save money. Preventing damp in the home is, however, crucial to maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment.

Here are ten top tips to help you avoid damp issues (in warmer and colder months):

Insulate Properly: Ensure your home is adequately insulated. Proper insulation not only helps regulate temperature but also prevents condensation on walls and ceilings.

Control Indoor Temperature: Maintain a consistent indoor temperature. Sudden changes in temperature can cause condensation, leading to dampness. Use heating during colder months to keep the home warm.

Seal Windows and Doors: Check and seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors. This helps prevent cold air from entering, reducing the likelihood of condensation on surfaces.

Use Moisture-Resistant Paint: Consider using moisture-resistant or anti-mould paint in areas prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and kitchens. This type of paint helps inhibit mould growth.

Keep Furniture Away from Walls: Allow air to circulate around furniture by keeping it slightly away from the walls. This helps prevent the trapping of moisture between furniture and walls.

Use Humidity Monitors: Invest in a humidity monitor (hygrometer) to keep track of indoor humidity levels. Ideally, maintain humidity levels between 30-50%. High humidity can contribute to damp conditions.

Proper Ventilation: Ensure good ventilation in your home by using extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, open windows regularly to allow fresh air to circulate and moisture to escape.

Use Dehumidifiers: Invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. This is especially important in areas prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.

Repair Leaks Promptly: Fix any leaks in the roof, walls, or plumbing as soon as they are detected. Leaks can contribute to dampness and provide an environment for mould growth.

Regularly Clean and Ventilate: Regularly clean your home to prevent dust and mould buildup. Ensure that air vents are not blocked and that air can circulate freely throughout the house.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, or energy-related queries, feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

A new survey by water supplier Affinity Water has found that the UK is potentially wasting £697 million on water bills annually due to leaks within homes. This amounts to 900 million litres of clean drinking water daily – equivalent to filling Wembley stadium, or supplying water to another one million people a week.

The survey also found that one in five people leave home leaks for four weeks or more before getting them fixed. Almost one third (32%) of those with a leak have put off fixing it due to how much they think it will cost to repair them, while 33% had other home repair jobs they deemed more critical, and 28% didn’t know a reliable plumber to ask for help.

Over two thirds (68%) of the nation have had a leak in their home, but the majority (55%) don’t know how to check their toilet or tanks for leaks, which are responsible for the biggest water loss.

To help us save money and reduce waste, Affinity Water has offered five top tips on how to identify leaks in the home and when to call in the experts:

  • Look out for damp patches, changes in water pressure, limescale build up, and changes to your plaster or wallpaper.
  • If you have a water meter, turn off all water using appliances in the home, and check the meter to see if it is still moving. If the meter is moving, you may have a leak.
  • Listen as well as look for signs when identifying a hidden leak. Noisy pipework, whether that’s in your tank or around your home, can be a sign. Try listening at night when your home is quiet.
  • If you suspect a leak in your home, or have identified one, it’s important to get it sorted quickly. Don’t try fix it yourself if you don’t know how. Call in a plumber to make sure it’s fixed properly.
  • If the leak is big, turn off the internal stop tap, which will stop water running within your home and prevent any further damage until the plumber arrives.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Saving energy in your kitchen is not only good for the environment but can also reduce your utility bills. Here are some tips on how to save energy in your kitchen:

Use Energy-Efficient Appliances:

When purchasing kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers, look for the Energy Rating label, which indicates that the appliance meets specific energy efficiency standards.

Cook Efficiently:

Use the right-sized pots and pans for your cooking needs. Using a smaller pot on a smaller element/hob can save energy compared to using a larger pot on a larger element/hob.

Cover pots and pans with lids while cooking to retain heat and cook food faster.

Use a pressure cooker or slow cooker for cooking when appropriate. These appliances can be more energy-efficient than conventional stovetop cooking.

Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator instead of in running water.

Optimise Oven Use:

Preheat your oven only when necessary. Most dishes do not require preheating.

Avoid opening the oven door frequently while baking, as this lets heat escape and requires the oven to work harder to maintain the temperature.

Use Microwave for Reheating:

Microwaves are generally more energy-efficient than ovens for reheating small portions of food.

Maintain and Clean Appliances:

Keep your refrigerator coils clean and well-maintained to ensure it operates efficiently.

Clean the lint trap in your dryer after each use to improve drying efficiency.

Regularly clean and maintain your dishwasher to ensure it cleans effectively.

Switch to LED Lighting:

Replace incandescent or CFL bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting in your kitchen. LEDs use significantly less energy and last longer.

Use Energy-Saving Settings:

If your appliances have energy-saving settings, such as “eco” or “power-saving” modes, consider using them.

Turn Off Lights and Appliances:

When you’re not using lights, appliances, or chargers, make sure to turn them off or unplug them to prevent “phantom” energy usage.

Seal Leaks and Insulate:

Check for drafts around windows and doors in your kitchen and seal any leaks to prevent heat loss in the winter and cool air loss in the summer.

Ensure your kitchen is well-insulated to maintain a stable temperature.

Cook in Batches:

When possible, cook in larger batches and freeze the extra portions. This reduces the need to cook daily and can save energy over time.

Utilise Solar Energy (if possible):

If you have access to solar panels, consider using solar energy to power your kitchen appliances during the day.

By following these tips and being mindful of your energy usage in the kitchen, you can reduce your energy consumption, lower your utility bills, and contribute to a more sustainable household.

There are some fairly obvious factors that have been (and continue to be) priority for house buyers, like location, local amenities, employment opportunities and property specifics. There are, however, some new and interesting ‘must haves’ creeping onto the list.

Prospective homeowners have always wanted to know that they have easy access to transport routes that will enable a convenient commute. Important amenities include gyms, shops, bars, restaurants and, for young families, schools! Also important is the quality of the neighbourhood.

Whether prospective homeowners are looking for a fixer-upper or a minimum maintenance property, the size and design of a property (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, en-suites, a good-sized kitchen, gardens, off-street parking) have huge impact on a decision to buy but something that house buyers are adding onto their wish list is energy efficiency.
New research by YouGov has revealed that 64% of house hunters want solar panels to be fitted as standard to a new home. Forty-two per cent said EV charging points in homes are a must-have and 35% said an air source heat pump was top of their list.

In addition, a massive 71% surveyed felt that high-quality insulation was a deciding factor when looking for a new home.

Rising energy costs and an increased awareness of climate change are likely to change the landscape of the property market. If you’re thinking about home improvements (plumbing, energy or installations), feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.