Lady indoors trying to cool down

Keeping Your Home Cool In Summer

The UK spends a lot of time at home. When the weather is nice many of us would prefer to be outside if we could. The summers in the last few years have proved to be hot. The Met Office says that heatwaves in the UK are becoming a normal event with each passing year. 

The weather in the UK can often be unpredictable – sunny and warm one day, then cold and wet on another day. When hot weather arrives, it does not take long for Brits to start complaining about heat. We must look for other solutions to keeping cool during the sizzling summer months. Recently though the UK summers have been some of the hottest on record. These changes could be down to climate change, which is predicted to get worse in the future. We all need to reduce energy consumption. 

Never was this truer than during the COVID-19 lockdown! However, going out is not always that easy for some of us. Many vulnerable people need to spend prolonged periods indoors. 

How do you keep a house cool in summer? 

Electric fans 

There is nothing more cooling than an electric fan. Did you know that a bowl of ice placed in front of the fan makes them more effective? The ice cools the air, in an equivalent way that an air conditioning unit works. The downside of course is that fans consume electricity, which is not great for conserving energy. 

Close the blinds 

Rooms with windows that face South can get very warm when it is sunny. Your room can very quickly act like a greenhouse, especially during a heatwave. An uncomplicated way to keep a room cool that faces the sun is to keep blinds or curtains closed during the daytime. It is important to keep the windows closed though as doing so will just let warm air into the room. Wait until sundown before opening windows again when it is safe and secure to do so. Blinds are perfect for regulating daylight as they are adjustable. Powered automated blinds can be fitted with a sensor so that they open and close automatically. 

Turn off electrical appliances 

Electric light bulbs consume a lot of power when left on for prolonged periods of time. Older incandescent bulbs generate a lot of heat after a certain amount of time. Try switching to energy efficient bulbs instead. 

Fridges are cold, right? 

However, it is not just electric lights that generate heat. Some electrical appliances in the home generate unwanted heat. Would you believe that a refrigerator produces a small amount of heat? Heat inside the fridge needs to be transferred outside to work. This is a normal part of the cooling process. The heat is pumped around the fridge using an electrical compressor, which in turn also generates a small amount of heat. Check for dust build up on the condenser coil at the back of the fridge. A vacuum cleaner fitted with a nozzle brush is the best way to remove dust. 

Eat al fresco 

When you are feeling hot and bothered, who really feels like cooking anyway? A lot of energy is required to cook food in an oven. This means adding even more heat to your kitchen! Try eating food that does not need a lot of cooking, such as salads. And if you have access to an outside space, it is a perfect time for a barbeque! 

Get a meter 

Many energy providers can install a smart meter in your home. One of the advantages is that you can monitor your consumption in real time. They also serve as a reminder if lights are accidentally left on in a room that is not being used. 

In summary 

We hope this blog post has been helpful to you. These are only a few things that you can do to keep cool. Whatever you do, try to stay cool and make the most of the fine weather while it lasts. 

Internet enabled devices can turn your home into a smart home

Guide to Smart Home Automation

Smart home technology is a catch-all term that refers to devices in the home that can connect to the internet. In many cases these clever electronic devices can function independently, without the need for any human interaction whatsoever. Smart devices can controlled using a users voice. Amazon Alexa and Google Voice are good examples of this type of technology.

What is smart home automation?

Smart home automation is a way of controlling appliances around the home from a single device. It’s common to use a smartphone app or a computer. We use appliances in the home everyday such as dishwashers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners to help us with our domestic chores. We have come to rely on technology in the home as it allows us more leisure time to do the things we prefer, especially in our busy lives. Home automation connects all of your devices together.

Devices in the home can be centralised – adding security, control and ultimately create a better environment for you & your family to live in. A fully automated smart home offers benefits for people living with disabilities and also adds a higher level of security than basic surveillance equipment.

People who can benefit the most;

  • Disabled living market
  • Security conscious homeowners
  • Environmentally conscience homeowners
  • Luxury home owners

Where to begin

A good Wi-Fi connection is all that you need to get started. The home has many Wi-Fi enabled devices. These include doorbells, security locks, security cameras, intercoms, electric meters, lighting, televisions, even your central heating system. It’s not just computers and mobile phones that can connect to the internet anymore! A network of smart devices can create a home automation system.

GSM Systems

An alternative way of connecting your smart devices together is to use a GSM System. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications. It is a system that allows the user to make use of their mobile phone as a method of communicating with smart devices such as heating, lighting and actuators. GSM technology is especially useful in situations where the internet connection is very poor or not available.

Smart Speakers

The easiest way to integrate your smart devices is to connect them is through a smart speaker. These internet enabled devices are fitted with a microphone & speaker and are inexpensive. For under £100 you can usually pick up a brand new smart speaker. The user can make commands to the speaker simply be using their voice. It only connects to the internet to carry out the task once the command has been received. This can be as simple as playing a song or relaying information back to the user. There are many devices available but 3 of the most well known brands of speaker are Amazon Echo, Google Home Mini and Apple HomePod. They all vary in price but each have the ability to control any internet enabled device such as lighting, security systems, entertainment systems and even electric window blinds – all from the comfort of your chair.

Home Security

One of the biggest benefits of the smart home is home security. A computer can network with many security appliances. Cameras can monitor visitors, in real time, coming to a property. Home surveillance is a very useful feature when you are away from home and you want to see who is at the door. Many smart doorbells such as Ring are fitted with a sensor so that the camera is automatically activated when someone is at your door and sends an alert to your mobile phone in real time. Other device that can help with home security are intercoms such as video phones that are fitted with cameras, so that you can see who is at your door before you answer it.

Control Heating and Save Energy

Another great benefit of home automation is to have a smart thermostat added to your heating system. Devices such as Nest can connect to the internet to monitor, control and regulate the temperature of your property, even when you are out and about. You can use your phone to monitor how much energy your home is using at any time. These devices are not cheap but they can save you money in the long term.

Bringing apps and devices together

There is an excellent piece of software that brings together all of your smart devices and apps called IFTTT (If This Then That). This cloud based system is freely available with an app available for both Apple and Android devices. The program lets you pair up different apps and devices to work together seamlessly.

IFTTT uses basic commands called ‘menus’. When linked together they carry out tasks. IFTTT comes with some popular menus for you to use. You can also set up your own menus. For instance, you might have a taxi booked to take you to the airport. You could set up a menu that makes your lights dim when the taxi has arrived. You could even set it to automatically turn off your lights and heating as soon as you leave the house.

Smart homes are for everyone

There is a misconception that home automation is just a gimmick, that it’s only for mega rich luxury home owners. Everyone can benefit from smart home technology including the young, old and disabled.

Blinds that close automatically, self regulating heating and lights that can detect when it is dark outside sounds luxurious, but are perhaps unnecessary. Many people would prefer to do a lot of these tasks by themselves. However, some people are not quite as mobile in the home as they would like to be. Elderly and disabled people might not be able to get to the front door as quickly as everyone else. A smart device could act as a virtual assistant. For instance it could be programmed to alert the user when someone is knocking at the door. This type of set up would be highly beneficial to people with disabled needs.

To find out more about home automation please get in touch, and we will try and help.

Contact Us.

Essential Work During The Covid-19 Crisis

Dear Valued Customer,

As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister announced in a press conference yesterday (23rd March 2020) that only key workers would be exempt from quarantine. Further to this, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office Minister, stated today (24th March 2020) that construction and manufacturing should continue as “there is some essential work that needs to continue”.

At ADS, we deem our staff to be essential workers, keeping the infrastructure of the country running, working on entrances and keeping key establishments such as hospitals, care homes and grocery stores, running smoothly. In light of this, ADS will only be conducting essential works for the foreseeable future.

Where essential works are to take place, ADS will be implementing stricter safety measures for all staff including:

  • Provision and use of disposable gloves
  • Extra hand sanitisation measures
  • Social distancing of at least 2 metres away from others.
  • Where possible, jobs are to be completed individually and all precautions will be met, ensuring the health and safety of our staff and the public.

Please also rest assured that ADS’ remote capabilities have been extended to staff, who are contactable on the following:

ADS Helpdesk 0800 220329

Or email us at info@automateddoorsystems.co.uk

Your business is important to us and we thank you for your continued loyalty.

All the best,

The ADS team

Your chance to meet ADS and see our revolutionary Vertical Sliding Actuator in action!

Your chance to meet ADS and see our revolutionary Vertical Sliding Actuator in action!

ADS are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at the London Homebuilding and Renovating Show on October 4th-6th 2019.

This exciting event brings together a whole range of industry professionals, and visitors can attend workshops, book one to one consultations and experience the many innovative products on display.

It’s the go to place for anyone undertaking home renovation projects and attracts many of the biggest names in the business including Sian Astley from BBC’s Your Home Made Perfect. She’s joined by a panel of ‘ask the experts’ who will be offering tips in the Advice Centre.

What’s the Vertical Slide Actuator?

ADS will be showcasing their brand-new product the ‘Vertical Sliding Actuator’. This automated sash window opener is a game changer in the world of window automation.

Whether you want to modernise existing sash windows, or wish to install new ones, the Vertical Slide Actuator means that you no longer have to struggle with those difficult window openings.

It’s an easy, positive and affordable solution for older people, those living with disabilities or those who simply want to add a touch more convenience to their home.

The discreet and simple design means that it’s suitable for conservation areas and can be retro fitted to existing window systems.

Our team will be demonstrating just how easy it is to work, with either wall switches or by remote control.

Swing into the 21st century

Need to open doors via automation? ADS will also be exhibiting our brand-new swing door operator which makes everything about opening doors easy as pie! Its clever design means that it fits neatly into the head of the door with no unsightly operator on display, resulting in a stylish aluminium door that has the same look as a manually operated door. This is ideal for those who require beauty as well as automation and perfect those looking to implement innovative technology in their homes.

Bolonia Entrance Door

But wait…there’s more!

Our sister companies, DG Supplyline and DG Servicing will also be joining us on the ADS stand.

They’ll be showcasing one of their most popular products ‘foiling’- which is sure to appeal to the budget conscious renovator.

Foiling is a method of changing the look of your windows, without replacing them.

It uses a heat bonding process to create an unbreakable laminate finish and can completely match the colour and texture of any timber. The process is impressive, and the finished result is endurable and long lasting.

This is great news for those working to a budget – you can replace your windows without the cost and mess of a total refit. Let our team show you just how good it looks.

Come and find us…

We’ll be at the show for the entire weekend – just look out for the ADS stand!

Our teams will be on hand to demonstrate and explain how these products can revolutionise your home renovation projects.

We’re ready to give you a warm welcome and answer any questions on our products.

Weekend and day tickets can be purchased here:

https://london.homebuildingshow.co.uk/tickets

But our followers are able to claim 2 free tickets for the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2019! Click here to claim them (before 3rd October 2019).

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5 reasons to love our automated doors

At the push of a button: 5 reasons to love our automated doors

Stuck in a rut

The sight of your own front door is something most people find comforting – we all long to step through it after a long hard day and shut out the world behind us.

Opening and closing a door may seem easy enough, but when space and strength are limited, a simple task can turn into a complex challenge.

For people with disabilities, especially wheelchair users, the challenge of navigating confined spaces and hard to reach locks can really hinder their freedom. Sometimes it’s easier to rely on other people to help, or to not go out at all.

So, imagine being able to dump those clunky keys and constant need for assistance, and leave the house without a worry – just by pushing a button.

That’s the reality for people who have one of our fully automated front doors – their lives have altered dramatically from this one simple change.

But is it really that easy to refit your entire door system? This recent case shows just how quickly it can be done.

From urgent phone call to freedom – in 3 weeks!

Before and after image of automated door - externalWhen someone contacts us with a pressing front door issue, we don’t hang about!

In April this year, we were contacted by a customer whose adult son was having trouble managing their front door by himself. With a limited hallway space and small door frame, things were tight with his wheelchair, and this client wanted to give his son the freedom of access that he rightly deserved.

But they’d already been turned down by other companies who couldn’t find a practical solution for their space.

Our team quickly got on board with a free consultation and site survey and came up with a bespoke design; we were the only ones who had the skills and experience to replace the entire door frame.

Within a few short weeks, we’d visited the family, worked with them to design their new front door, completed VAT exemption paperwork, and installed the brand-new system! That’s a pretty good turn around, and the result is a happy, independent client.

Before and after image of automated door - internalOur photos tell the story better than we can. The change is noticeable, but more importantly it’s practical; no more relying on dad every day! And the whole set-up looks really pleasing too.

But they’re not the only reasons to consider installing one of our automated doors; here’s our thoughts on why they are just so good.

5 reasons to love our automated doors

1. You’re in control – from initial thoughts, to choosing colours, glass and frames, we consult you at every stage of the process. And when your door is finally installed, it’s controlled by you with an easy to use key fob. The door is set to a timer, and you can decide on how long it opens for – from 10 to 60 seconds – it’s entirely up to you.

2. They’re safe and secure – the door is self-locking, meets full security standards and contains a high security locking mechanism. Other members of the family can also open and lock the door with standard keys.

3. They’re energy friendly – the door is powered by a low energy opener, so won’t drain your bills. And in the event of a power cut, there’s also an internal handle so it will still open.

4. It’s not one size fits all – each home is different, as are each persons’ needs. Our clients can choose from a range of colours, designs, glass and doors. We’ll always find a solution for your space, and because our doors are VAT exempt for most disabled people, they’re affordable too.
5. They’re on trend – smart homes are heading our way! Automation is quickly taking hold of many homes, and you’ll be ahead of the crowd. We can automate any moving part in a house, and we’re sure that in just a few short years, most houses may well have features like this.

Having automated access really does change lives. All you need to do is to go out and enjoy yourself, and return home to the comforting sight of your own front door – without worrying how you’re going to get through it.

Contact us for a free site survey and to discuss your specific needs – 0800 220329 or email info@automateddoorsystems.co.uk

www.automateddoorsystems.co.uk

Sponsored Charity Fundraising for SCOPE

As part of Automated Door Systems ongoing pledge to support social responsibility, this year we will be sponsoring Daryl Tollervey, who will be running the London Marathon on the 28th April 2019.

Daryl is the son of Jan Tollervey who has worked at DG Servicing (part of the DG Group of companies) for the last 16 years.

Daryl is fundraising for the charity Scope who are a national disability charity that campaigns to challenge and change negative attitudes about disability and provides direct services. Scope campaign to create a fairer society for disabled individuals which is an issue close to our hearts at ADS.

Daryl’s blog can be accessed via the following link: https://dtollervey.wixsite.com/marathon.

Daryl Tollervey

Scope.org.uk

Justgiving.com