How To Weatherproof Your House For Cold Weather

9 Housing Checks To Ensure That Your Family Home Is Ready For Cold Weather

Keeping your home well maintained is not only important for ensuring the comfort and warmth of your family.

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With the autumn months upon us, you may be preparing your wardrobe for the colder, damper weather by swapping out sundresses for cozy jeans and cardigans for winter jackets — complete with last year's receipts and that bonus bit of loose change.

But have you put any consideration into getting your home ready for the autumn and winter temperatures?

This time of year, when the evenings still offer a soft glow and the temperatures are more manageable, is the perfect time to consider checking over your house and carrying out necessary repairs and maintenance to ensure you will be well protected during harsher weather.

Keeping your home well maintained is not only important for ensuring the comfort and warmth of your family, but it keeps you safe from illnesses associated with damp or cold living conditions.

Consider Your Energy Bills

This is not only good for your family, but it's good for your pockets. Keeping your home maintained has a positive effect on your energy bills so carefully check the following around your home.

Consider Your Health

During the colder months, when you are more likely to stay indoors and around other people, colds and illnesses can quickly spread. Consider these housing checks to ensure your home isn't making you ill.

Boiler Maintenance

Your boiler works hard in the autumn months, when the chill rolls in. But it works even harder in the winter, when temperatures can drop below freezing. Make sure your boiler has had its annual check by a qualified gas engineer before it gets too late in the season. Any repair calls in the winter are going to take longer, and no one wants to be left in the cold.

Radiator Check

With boiler maintenance comes a radiator check, but this one you can do yourself. Regularly bleeding your radiators releases the trapped air that gets into the system and causes inefficient heat transfer, resulting in higher radiator bills.

You can check for trapped air in your radiators by feeling them as they heat up. If you notice cold spots toward the top, your radiators need bleeding. If you notice your radiators making lots of noises, such as gurgling, this can also be a sign of trapped air in the system.

Insulating Pipes

While your indoor pipes will be safe against frost and ice, your outdoor pipes are less protected without sufficient insulation. Lagging pipe insulation can be picked up inexpensively from any good heating merchants or DIY store. It can also be easily wrapped around outdoor pipes to prevent burst and frozen pipes.

Hot Water Cylinder

If you have one of these in your house, ensure it has a well-fitting insulated jacket, as this prevents huge amounts of heat loss.

Insulation Around the Home

A huge amount of heat is lost in the home through drafty areas like cavity walls, and more commonly, the roof. Ensuring that these areas are sufficiently insulated can save over $100 a year on your energy bills. Undertaking roof insulation is no small feat, but there are plenty of informative guides available.

Health and Safety

When the cold hits, you are more likely to be running some sort of heating appliance in your home, whether it's a fireplace or a boiler. Don't forgo the safety of your family. Ensure you have a carbon monoxide monitor fitted on all levels of your property.

Clear Your Gutters

Overflowing or clogged gutters can lead to leaks and improper water flow. If water is constantly flowing or dripping down external walls, your home is vulnerable to penetrating dampness, which can encourage mold and fungi growth indoors.

These types of growth are renowned for releasing spores into your home, and spores can trigger allergic reactions or increase the likelihood of coughs and colds. If you are already suffering from penetrating dampness, you may need to speak to your local damp-proofing company to solve the problem.

Check Your Roof

Your roof is a staple of your home, protecting you from the elements and improving the stability of your property. If your roof is damaged or leaking, not only can this lead to damp conditions and rot in attic spaces (which, like mold growth, can trigger allergies), but can also eventually lead to structural defects that can be costly to repair.

Your roof is also great protection against pests like insects, birds and rodents which can cause damage to roofing structures, particularly if you are suffering from damp which can cause the perfect environment for woodworm beetles. If you suspect your property is suffering from an infestation, you may need to seek professional help to get rid of woodworm in your home.

Prepare Your Garden

Have you got trees on or nearby your property that could be susceptible to damage from high winds? Make sure to cut back any problematic branches that could potentially come crashing down on your home or belongings. Similarly, in the garden, ensure all loose items or furniture are either safely packed away in sheds or garden buildings and bolt down anything too big to store.

When it comes to general home maintenance, it's always better to be prepared against the worst possible outcome. Keeping on top of small jobs during the year could save you a large payout should the worst happen.

So, make sure you get around your property before the weather changes.

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I Will Always Call Myself A Dreamer

The new thing you should practice: reading the vibrations that surround you.

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In "The Science That Will Change Your Future", Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about how everything in life communicates through vibrations. We can simplify everything, even to the atomic level, to good and bad vibes. Before you snort at the person who says you're giving off bad vibes, maybe consider this first. Dr. Lipton talks about how the gazelle doesn't go up to the lion and asks, "Are you my friend?", instead the gazelle can feel its bad vibes. How can the gazelle do this?

Vibrations do one of two things when they interfere with each other: mesh or clash. Good vibes are vibrations that mesh together. Bad vibes are vibrations that clash. The gazelle can sense its energy clashing with the energy of the lion (he terms this as destructive interference).

Dr. Lipton talks about how we are trained to not sense these vibrations. We see animals do it! Some people will tell you that cats just don't like them, for whatever reason. I have had many friends who said that if their dog didn't like you, then you probably aren't a good person.

Animals base everything off of their intuition to these vibrations; it is their key to survival. Everyone knows that dogs and cats can't see color. But have you ever really watched your pet? How their eyes dart around the room, or they growl at nothing? They are seeing things we aren't able to see. They are sensing vibrations in the room that we are not capable to sense.

What does any of this have to do with classifying yourself as a dreamer?

Those who are classified as dreamers are mainly those who pursue careers dealing with their artistic abilities. Having artistic abilities means you are more in-tune with not only your emotions but the emotions in the space around you. You are more perceptive of others and your surroundings. Thus, you are more in-tune with the vibrations that your art comes from. Your brain makes a neural connection between an emotion (a vibration), and what you produce (your art).

If you are a dreamer, you are unrealistic. You are perceived as driftwood; floating on idealism. If you are stiff and follow a designated path, you are practical and considered a "realist."

But who is more real? The one who ignores the vibrations in their environment; the businessman guiding the Caterpillars? Or the dreamer, who not only recognizes the vibes, but is able to portray them in a way that others can not only comprehend, but feel in their own ways?

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