Tag Archives: heating

Steam Showers pay for themselves!

Many of us do not need a reason to purchase a steam shower enclosure for our own home, as there are already many obvious explanations including health and relaxation benefits. One reason that may have already been overlooked by yourself and many others is how much financial gain you can get from installing a steam shower in your home. According to real estate experts, individuals who install steam showers or saunas can expect to gain back at least 5 times what you initially paid for it, increasing the overall value of your home.

The Cascade Duo – A popular 1200mm x 900mm corner model

In addition to this, having a steam shower or private home sauna immediately makes your home unique and compelling to buy. Luxury additions such as these are considered just that – Luxurious. If a potential buyer finds themselves torn between your home and another with very similar price tags, the inclusion of a sauna or steam room may be the exact thing that sways them towards you. Not only does it increase the overall value of your home, you improve the chances of selling your home quicker.

A typical freestanding steam shower enclosure combines standard showering features such as a shower head, with the added benefit of a steam generator. Users can then enjoy a 30 minute steam session followed by a cold invigorating shower to wash away all the toxins – All in the same space. There is no need to allocate the steam generator at another point in the house, as typically they are built onto the back of the unit itself. This results in a straightforward installation that’s completed at a fraction of the cost of a wet room.

Unlike a wet room, you dont’ need to worry about creating a water resistant enclosed area, inclusive of membrane and selective tiling. Furthermore, you need to ensure your door system is air tight to ensure that water and steam alike stays in the room. Creating a waterproof membrane can be quite costly, especially if not done correctly in the first place.

If you’re looking to add instant proven value to your home, consider the option of a steam shower enclosure when upgrading your bathroom. You’ll be benefitting both your body and your wallet.

Februarys Hearty Seasonal Offerings

The start of a New Year can mean new beginnings for many people in their own different ways. A common NY resolution involves some sort of “naughty” food being banished from the cupboards for as long as you can mentally bear it. Others include squeezing in more exercise, cutting down on drinking, and of course the classic – losing weight. Healthy targets such as these are great for your well-being short-term, but it’s the long term changes that really make the difference.

February brings more than just another month – Seasonal produce that you’ll see in most supermarkets will begin to offer some of the best nourishment the winter month has to offer. Below are our top four foods that are guaranteed to add a seasonal flavour to any dish:

Artichokes

Often overlooked by many, the humble artichoke is often left behind due to the daunting preparation methods required. Don’t be put off – once you start peeling back the layers, you’ll realise it’s a lot easier than you think. This vegetable is high in nutritional value, and can be very tasty when prepared properly. Artichoke is packed with antioxidants to help defend against illness, whilst providing cyanic properties to help ward off cholesterol. Serve as a side salad mixed with pesto and a generous squeeze of lemon – delicious!

Cockles

Bare with us on this one – the typical British seaside snack really doesn’t appeal to the majority. The truth is the pocket-sized cockle is rich in Omega 3 which has been proven to help protect the heart. They’re naturally low in calories, whilst being rich in vitamin B12 which literally translates to “brain food” to you and me. Steam them mixed into pasta or use them liberally in your next fish pie.

Kale

The rich deep greens of Kale play into the often spoken rule “if it’s green then it’s good for you.” Kale is a perfect example of a winter super food  sprouting from the cabbage family with an endlist list of benefits. Packed with natural sources of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, Kale is great for your hair, teeth, skin and bones. Serve steamed as a side dish or drop into soups & stews for added nutrients.

Grapefruit

Certainly not a typical addition to a winter list of super foods  the grapefruit isn’t just for those looking to cut out unwanted calories. This juicy fleshed fruit can be found in a variety of colours, naturally low in calories making it a perfect kick starter for your metabolism. Eat it on it’s own or get creative – it works great with a leafy nutty salad!

What superfoods do you look forward to you in the fall of Winter / Sprout of Spring? Tweet us or get in touch! @healthyhideout

 

10th Annual Sauna Championships!

It’s that time of year again – Quite the challenge if you ask me, but one that these folks take on board with great dedication. The concept – Stay in the sauna the longest and you win. Seems pretty simple really, but when you realise the temperatures they’re playing with, this is no relaxing endeavour. This is an event that works up a great deal of sweat whilst competitors simply sit still.

The 10th Annual Championship took place in Heinola, Finland, over the space of a weekend with 160 men and women from 23 countries pitting their wills against one another. It was to no surprise of the audience, to see the Finns dominate for the 10th year running.

Finnish born Timo Kaukonen won the men’s only event by lasting in the sauna for 3 minutes and 46 seconds. The women’s title was taken by Russian born Tatyana Arkhipenko with an impressive 3 minutes and 9 seconds.

Now you may be scoffing at those times, especially with my use of the word “impressive”. However, please take into account that the saunas they used were heated 110C with half of litre of water being poured onto the stones every 30 seconds! This makes it everything a relaxing sauna isn’t, which is normally heated to around 70-80c.

Organiser Ossi Arvela admits “It’s no fun after two or three minutes. It’s difficult to watch.”

Bathroom Tips: Effective underfloor heating

Jumping out of the shower first thing on a cold morning isn’t a pleasant experience, and it can only be made worse by stepping onto an ice-cold bathroom floor. That’s partly why underfloor heating is quickly becoming the popular must-have in bathroom renovations across the UK. Here’s a few points to consider when installing your new heating system.

Some materials are far more effective at heating than others, due to the levels of conductivity, but it’s important to consider a material’s ability to store heat rather than just transmitting it. Tiled floors are very good at keeping the heat stored, but if the tiles are too thick it can take a long time to heat up. The thinner the tile, the quicker the warm-up times, but it can feel cold when barefoot if the heating system is not turned on. Carpet is comfortable regardless if the system is on, but be sure to use one with a lower tog factor otherwise the underfloor heat simply won’t get through.

Real hardwood materials warm quickly, and will continue to retain a good heat level throughout the day and feels comfy underfoot even when the system is off. It is important to note that engineered board should be used in order to prevent the board from shrinking or moving when heat is passing through. Underfloor heating can be installed under solid, natural timber flooring but be careful how you lay the heating system to avoid movement issues.

One element that shouldn’t be overlooked is running costs – Cheaper to install electric systems may seem like the wallet-friendly choice short term, only to cost a significant amount to operate on a regular basis. Water-based systems aren’t the cheapest, but running costs are far lower.

One man and his sauna.

Former President of the Philippines, Mr Joseph Estrada has revealed that the secret to his trouble free health has been due to his daily use of a sauna. Estrada claims that he doesn’t believe in skin care products, health supplements, surgery that defies ageing or sunblock. He states that his sauna health regime quite simply involves a 30 minute sauna session every single day, which he has kept strict to over the last 50 years.

“I don’t take vitamins, I just make sure I have my sauna once a day for 30 minutes. I’ve been doing it for 50 years and it’s the reason I don’t get sick,” said Estrada, at a television interview for THE STAR who at 72 claims that he in perfect health. After having a complete executive health check at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City, Estrada requested that the results of the check-up be made public.

“The figures speak for themselves. You see, I’m pretty healthy” he declared with confidence. Besides from having recovered from osteoarthritis just over four years ago, where he underwent knee replacement surgery, Estrada’s records show just how well he has kept himself.

An individual instance such as this one is yet another testament to how remarkable using a sauna regularly can actually be for your health. With many different sauna options now easily accessible to the general public it seems that you can’t deny yourself this life luxury any longer.

Bathroom Advice: Tackling Damp

Damp, a problem we have all experienced, is something that occurs most frequently in older houses. Unquestionably a common problem for home renovators, it’s important to know how to eliminate the issue and work to keep your house damp free. The most common occurrence of damp comes in the form of condensation, easily identifiable when you find water running down windows.

In some cases, water can be found running down walls creating dark mould spots, ranging from small speckles to big patches on ceilings and walls. Getting rid of this mould is vital, as not only does it look unsightly, it can release spores which individuals with respiratory problems can seriously be affected by.

So what causes this damp to occur? In short, the amount of water that is carried in the air varies dependent on the temperature of the environment. Hot air can carry more water than cold air, and with our homes being fairly warm during winter, the air contains plenty of vapour.

Condensation occurs when the warm air comes in contact with cold surfaces such as windows or walls, where the water can no longer be supported. The vapour condenses back to a liquid and remains on the surface. The main causes come down to poor cavity insulation, or insufficient ventilation.

Treating this type of damp is fairly straightforward providing you stick to certain control methods. Better ventilation is a good starting block therefore environments that create plenty of vapour or steam such as the shower room, require an automated ventilation system. Upgrading your insulation on outside walls will also create less cold surfaces for vapour to settle on.