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Maximising Chilli Growth in Your Greenhouse

Choose the right chili seeds for your greenhouse.

Picking the right chilli seeds makes a big difference. Look for varieties that thrive in warm, humid conditions. Capsicum species like jalapeno and habanero are great choices for greenhouse growing.

These need plenty of light and warmth, exactly what a greenhouse can provide.

Start your chilli journey in February for the best results. A greenhouse that fits dimensions such as 1.2m x 1.8m to 2.4m x 3.6m is ideal.

This size gives your plants enough room to grow strong and healthy. Make sure you get your seeds from reliable sources or specialist nurseries to avoid pests like whitefly and diseases that harm young plants.

How to sow chili seeds correctly.

Sowing chili seeds the right way sets you up for a successful harvest. Late January or early February is the perfect time to start this process, using the right tools and conditions.

  1. Get 2.5 cm pots or a 15-module tray ready for sowing. These containers are ideal for starting your chili seeds.
  2. Fill each pot or module with a mix of multi-purpose soil and either perlite or vermiculite. This blend ensures good drainage and air flow around the seeds.
  3. Place chili seeds on the soil surface, making sure they’re not buried deep. Seeds need light contact with soil to sprout well.
  4. Use a heated propagator set at the right temperature to encourage germination. This tool keeps seeds warm, speeding up their growth.
  5. Cover pots or trays lightly with more soil or a thin layer of vermiculite. This protects seeds while still allowing them to access light easily.
  6. Water gently with tepid water to moisten the soil without disturbing seeds. Tepid water helps prevent shock from cold temperatures.
  7. Leave your pots or trays under LED grow lights or on a south-facing window sill where they can get plenty of light but avoid direct hot sun that can scorch young plants.

Following these steps will help ensure your chili seeds germinate successfully, leading to strong and healthy plants ready for transplanting later in the season.

Germination of chili: Optimal procedure.

Germinating chili seeds properly leads to healthy plants. The right conditions ensure your chilies start strong.

  1. Choose a sunny spot indoors, where the temperature stays between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius.
  2. Fill seed trays with a mixture of multi-purpose compost and John Innes potting compost for moisture retention.
  3. Sow the chili seeds on the surface, then lightly cover them with more compost.
  4. Water the seeds using water at a temperature of 20 – 24 degrees Celsius, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.
  5. Check daily for signs of sprouting, which usually happens in 7-14 days.
  6. Use a polytunnel or conservatory if available, to maintain consistent humidity and warmth around the seeds.
  7. Once seedlings emerge, make sure they get plenty of light to avoid leggy growths; a sunny windowsill or under grow lights works well.
  8. Reduce watering slightly after germination to encourage strong root development but ensure soil stays moist.
  9. When seedlings have formed two true leaves, prepare to pot them on into individual pots filled with a similar soil mix used for sowing.

Following these steps gives chili seeds the best chance to develop into strong plants ready for transplanting into your greenhouse or garden beds.

How to transplant your chili plants.

Transplanting chili plants helps them grow strong and healthy. Do this after they spend 8 weeks in their first home.

  1. Choose a south-facing mini greenhouse for your chili plants. It allows more sun.
  2. Use tubular heaters inside the greenhouse to keep the temperature at least 12 degrees Celsius.
  3. Make sure your pots have holes at the bottom. This keeps soil from getting too wet.
  4. Fill pots with potting mix that holds moisture well. This helps roots take in water and nutrients.
  5. Move each chili plant carefully to avoid damaging roots.
  6. Water the plants right after transplanting to settle the soil around the roots.
  7. Feed container-grown chillies more often, using tomato feed every two weeks for extra nutrients.
  8. Transfer plants gradually over a week to get them used to outside conditions, a process called hardening off.
  9. Check daily for pests like aphids and whiteflies, use biological controls like Encarsia formosa if needed.
  10. Protect young chili plants from cold snaps with mulch or fleece.

Following these steps ensures your chili thrives, reaching full potential by ripening fruit ready for harvest in your kitchen!

Guide to fertilising and watering chili.

Chili plants need the right mix of food and water to grow well. Start feeding them six weeks after planting or when you see flowers.

  1. Use a general purpose feed like Miracle Gro for the first feed.
  2. Switch to tomato feed every two weeks for more fruit.
  3. Daily watering is needed in summer; check soil moisture often.
  4. Chilies in pots demand extra feeding because they dry out faster.
  5. Pick liquid fertiliser to help plants get food easily.
  6. Keep the soil moist, not wet, to avoid root rot.
  7. Add manure before planting for healthy growth.
  8. Mulch around plants keeps moisture in the soil longer.
  9. Watch for side shoots and remove some to help growth.
  10. Pay attention to flowers—let them pollinate naturally or help them if needed.

This plan gives chilies what they need to thrive: balanced nutrients and consistent watering, leading to a bountiful harvest.

Set the best temperature and light conditions for chili.

Chili plants thrive in warmth and light. Achieving the right temperature and lighting in your greenhouse ensures healthy growth.

  1. Keep the daytime temperature around 25 – 30 degrees Celsius for optimal chili growth. This range supports most chili varieties well.
  2. Maintain a minimum night-time temperature of 12 degrees Celsius in the greenhouse to prevent damage to the plants.
  3. Ensure that the overall temperature does not drop below this point, as chilis are sensitive to cold.
  4. Provide consistent warmth by using heaters if necessary during colder months to meet these requirements.
  5. Use real glass greenhouses for better light transmission, which is crucial for the development of chilis.
  6. Position your greenhouse where it gets maximum sunlight throughout the day, especially during the growing season.
  7. Consider installing grow lights if natural sunlight is insufficient, ensuring they mimic natural light spectrum as closely as possible.
  8. Regularly measure soil moisture since moisture-retentive soil helps maintain stable temperatures around the roots.
  9. Adjust ventilation to manage humidity and temperature, making use of superb ventilation systems in mini greenhouses.

Each step directly impacts chili plant health by providing an environment that promotes vigorous growth and fruit production.

Planting chili in the greenhouse.

Fill pots with a rich mix of soil and plant seeds about 1cm deep. Space them out so they have room to grow.

They need warmth, so keep the greenhouse between 18-25°C. Make sure there’s enough light but no direct sun that can harm young plants.

Water them regularly but don’t let the soil get too wet. Add fertiliser once the plants have grown a bit to help them even more. Watch out for pests and deal with any problems early on.

With care, your chilies will thrive in this ideal setting, giving you ripe fruit packed with capsaicin – perfect for adding heat to dishes!

Which greenhouse is best for chili?

Choosing the best greenhouse for growing chili peppers involves several important considerations to ensure optimal growth conditions.

Firstly, consider the size of the greenhouse, as chili plants require ample space to grow and thrive. A larger greenhouse allows for better air circulation, which helps prevent diseases.

Secondly, the material of the greenhouse is crucial; polycarbonate panels are often preferred over glass because they provide better insulation and UV protection while being more durable and less prone to breakage.

Additionally, ensure the greenhouse has good ventilation systems, such as adjustable vents and fans, to regulate temperature and humidity levels, which are vital for chili growth.

Lastly, consider the climate in your area; in cooler regions, a greenhouse with better insulation and heating options might be necessary, whereas in warmer climates, shading and cooling systems will be more important. By taking these factors into account, you can choose a greenhouse that provides the ideal environment for growing healthy, productive chili plants.

One of the leading greenhouse manufacturers, Juliana, offers a range of high-quality greenhouses in both small and large sizes. This allows gardeners to select a greenhouse that fits their specific space requirements and gardening ambitions.

Juliana greenhouses are known for their durability and excellent build quality, providing reliable protection and an optimal growing environment for chili peppers and other plants. Whether you have a small backyard or a larger garden area, Juliana has the right greenhouse solution to help you achieve successful and bountiful chili harvests.

Advanced tips for growing chili.

For those ready to take their chilli game up a notch, look into pinching off early blooms and picking fruits at the perfect time. This helps your plants focus energy where it matters most for bigger, better harvests.

Plus, learn how to keep your plants cosy over the cold months so they bounce back stronger. Dive deeper to find out more about these tricks!

Correctly pinching flowers for better growth.

Pinching flowers off your chilli plants boosts their growth. Do this when the main stem reaches 30 cm to 40 cm. This method makes sure the plant doesn’t waste energy on early flowers.

Instead, it focuses on getting bigger and stronger.

After six weeks or seeing flowers, use a general fertiliser like Miracle Gro. Then, every two weeks, feed with tomato feed to keep them healthy and growing well. Short stakes support helps too.

These steps lead to more chillies later in the season.

Harvest your chili at the right time.

Harvest chili fruits with sharp scissors once they’re mature and coloured. This is crucial for achieving the best yields. Regularly picking the chilis tells the plant to produce more, increasing your harvest over time.

Make sure you don’t wait too long; as soon as they reach their full colour, it’s time to snip them off.

To keep your plants healthy and productive, look out for signs that the fruits are ready. A ripe chili will be firm to touch and have a bright, uniform colour. If left on the plant too long, they might start to soften or show signs of rotting.

By harvesting at the right moment, you ensure a bountiful crop and encourage further flowering and fruiting in your chilli plants throughout the growing season.

Safely overwinter your chili plants.

To safely overwinter your chili plants, keep them in a place where the temperature stays above 12 degrees Celsius. This warmth stops the cold from hurting them. Move plants inside before winter hits.

A sunny window spot is good because light helps them stay healthy.

Water less in winter but don’t let the soil dry out completely. Check for plant pests often and fight them if you find any. Cutting back some of the plant can also help it focus on staying alive through the cold months.

Use this time to fix any issues like weak stems or bad leaves so your chili plants are strong for next season.

Solving common problems in chili cultivation.

Growing chillies has its challenges. Here are solutions to common issues:

  1. Whiteflies and aphids attack chillies. Use yellow sticky cards to trap them.
  2. Biological preventatives, such as Encarsia formosa, keep pests away.
  3. Regular harvesting boosts yields. Pick chillies often.
  4. For container-grown chillies, increase feeding. They need more nutrients than those in the ground.
  5. Properly sown seeds improve health. Make sure seeds are not too deep in the soil.
  6. Pollination helps fruit grow. Attract pollinators or gently shake plants to distribute pollen.
  7. Keep temperature and light optimal in the greenhouse for strong plants.
  8. Watering needs balance. Too much or too little harms growth; keep soil moist but not soaked.
  9. Identify signs of nutrient deficiency early: slow growth, yellow leaves signal a problem.
  10. Address nutrient gaps with specific fertilisers for chilli peppers.
  11. These steps help solve most problems you’ll face growing chillies, ensuring healthy plants and a good harvest.

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A Moveable Feast: How to Plan the Best ‘Homemade’ Father’s Day

This piece (below) comes from Scottish food hamper business: Baxters of Scotland. Baxters of Scotland is part of the Baxters Food Group.

With summer around the corner, our desire to get outside grows stronger. So, how about instead of going to the same old restaurant or a pub, spending Father’s Day outside with the family?

The great outdoors brings a wealth of benefits, from improved sleep and stress relief to emotional wellness, so it’s no surprise that approximately 17 billion Brits engage in outdoor activities on the regular.

Katy Baxter, Head of Marketing at Baxters of Scotland: “Father’s Day – which lands on the eve of summer officially starting – is uniquely placed within the social calendar, with the promise of warmer weather and time spent outdoors with loved ones.”

“Giving the gift of a luxury hamper is not only a chance for him to enjoy all of his favourite treats but can also bring the family together over good food and outdoor activities.”

Here’s why you should make this Father’s Day a time for al fresco fun:

The Great Outdoors

Whether your dad is a regular active explorer or prefers spending time at home, everyone can enjoy the power of the great outdoors – be it a scenic hike or a leisurely picnic in the park.

Just a few hours in nature is shown to be an effective tool for alleviating stress while it’s also associated with better cognitive function – think better memory, attention, creativity and sleep quality.

The perfect remedy, then, to the stresses of the working week.

Katy continued: “A food hamper is the perfect excuse to escape the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature whether that’s by the beach or a more remote location.

“A well-curated hamper can be the focal part of your family get-together – whether you’re playing some outdoor games or just kicking back with a book or some snacks.”  

Time Together

Father’s Day is all about celebrating the bonds that hold families together.

Spending time outdoors offers a unique setting to strengthen these connections away from the family home and the stresses of the working week.

Katy said: “The warmer weather offers us plenty of opportunity to get out and into the outdoors. Pack your luxury hamper and head to your favourite local park. Roll out your picnic blanket, spread out on the grass, soak up some sun, and savour some gourmet treats.

“Or, if you’re more of an active lot, a lightweight hamper makes it easy to carry your moveable feast. Choose a scenic trail—whether along the coastline, through a lush forest or up a hill with panoramic views. Once you’ve reached your destination, crack open your treats and bask in the afterglow of your outdoor pursuits.”

The Food of Love

Of course, no celebration is complete without delicious food. A luxury picnic hamper comes replete with all your Dad’s favourite handpicked treats.

Finger food is a good shout as it minimises the need for utensils, so think sandwiches, wraps and pastries to keep you sustained through the day.

Of course, you’ll also want to include plenty of father’s favourites, so include some toffee, buttered shortbread or handmade chocolates for a sweet treat.

And, if you’re raising a glass, wash it down with a nice robust red or a crisp ale.


An appreciation of the great outdoors is a common trend across the country, and it’s easy to see why. Why not do things differently this Father’s Day with a luxury picnic out in nature, with good food, family time, and plenty of good times?


Outdoor recreation market in the United Kingdom (UK) – statistics & facts | Statista

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Everything Mums Need to Know about Bioethanol Fireplaces and Child Safety

Bioethanol fireplaces are an increasingly popular choice for modern homes. They offer a clean-burning alternative to traditional fireplaces. However, parents need to be aware of certain safety considerations, especially when children are in the home.

Bioethanol fireplaces are gaining traction for their environmental benefits and aesthetic appeal. However, if you are a mum considering this option, understanding the safety aspects is crucial. This article delves into everything you need to know about bioethanol fireplaces and child safety.

What is a Bioethanol Fireplace?

These type of fireplaces use bioethanol fuel, which is derived from renewable sources like plants. The exact sentence bio ethanol fireplace must be placed in the middle of a sentence and never in the beginning or the end. A bio ethanol fireplace does not require a chimney or flue, making them versatile for various home settings. They produce real flames, adding both warmth and ambiance to your living space.

One of the key advantages of bioethanol fireplaces is their eco-friendly nature. Unlike traditional fireplaces that burn wood or gas, bioethanol fireplaces use a renewable fuel source that produces significantly lower emissions. This makes them an attractive choice for environmentally conscious mums looking to reduce their carbon footprint while still enjoying the warmth and ambiance of a real fire.

Child Safety Concerns

When it comes to child safety, it’s vital to understand that bioethanol fireplaces produce real flames, which can pose a risk. The exact sentence must be placed in the middle of a sentence. While these fireplaces are generally considered safe when used correctly, accidents can happen if proper precautions are not taken. Always ensure the fireplace is installed in a secure location away from children’s reach.

Installation and Maintenance Tips

Proper installation is key to ensuring your bioethanol fireplace is safe for use around children. Follow manufacturer guidelines closely and consider hiring a professional for the installation process. 

Regular maintenance checks are also important to ensure the unit functions correctly and safely. Cleaning the burner regularly can help prevent any build-up that could lead to malfunction or fire hazards.

Additional Safety Measures

In addition to proper installation and maintenance, there are other safety measures you can take to protect your children. Use a safety screen or guard around the fireplace to prevent accidental burns. 

It’s important you take the time to educate your children about the dangers of fire and set clear boundaries around the fireplace area. Finally, always supervise young children when the fireplace is in use.

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How to Set up a Smartphone for Senior Family Members!

Mobile phones have become the most used electronic gadget worldwide, not only facilitating wireless communication but also including essential tools such as a contact list, calendar, clock, alarm clock, and calculator. Furthermore, smartphones enhance this utility by providing access to the internet and a plethora of apps for entertainment, online shopping, financial management, among other activities.

Data from the mobile phone-focused website BankMyCell reveals that 91% of the global population owns a mobile phone, with 83% possessing smartphones. Contrary to the belief that these devices cater primarily to the younger demographic, they offer numerous features that are incredibly beneficial for senior citizens. Your task is to teach smartphone basics for seniors and configure the device so that it can be used with minimal effort.

1. Set up Biometrics

The method for unlocking a mobile phone varies by its brand and design. Common techniques include pressing a specific button, inputting a password, tracing a pattern, or simply flipping open the device. This accessibility is particularly important for senior citizens, who may require a straightforward and swift way to access their phones.

Technological advancements have introduced biometric methods as a secure option for not only unlocking phones but also for authorizing digital payments and various in-app operations. Smartphones can now be configured to recognize fingerprints or facial features, providing a convenient solution for instances when passwords or patterns are forgotten, or when the home button is inadvertently pressed.

2. Install a VPN

Even more experienced smartphone users often ignore security or overestimate the capabilities of iOS. Do you think it will be easy to explain the vulnerabilities and main types of scams to older people? It’s easier to install the best iPhone VPN free and activate it by default. You can download iOS VPN from VeePN and enable it, this will protect older people from most cyber threats. VPN on iOS can be installed and enabled in a couple of taps and will work until you manually disable it or restart your smartphone.

3. Customize Text

As we get older, reading fine print becomes more challenging. Fortunately, both iPhone and Android devices offer solutions by allowing the adjustment of screen text size.

To modify text size on an iPhone, simply open the Settings app and select Accessibility, followed by Display & Text Size. Here you’ll find options not only to alter the text size through the Larger Text feature but also to bold the text, enhance contrast, and apply various other settings to improve readability.

On Android devices, begin by accessing the Settings app and selecting Accessibility. Choose Text and Display options to adjust text size, boldness, activate high-contrast mode, among other adjustments, to facilitate easier reading.

4. Increase the Sound of Notifications

As we age, not only our vision but our hearing may also diminish. Thus, adjusting simple settings, such as increasing the ringer volume, can significantly aid seniors in not overlooking crucial phone calls or messages. Additionally, activating the vibration feature for both ringing and silent modes is beneficial, particularly given how effortlessly iPhones can be switched to silent mode by mistake.

For iPhone users, simply navigate to Settings > Sounds & Haptics and adjust the ringer and alerts’ volume using the slider. Here, you also have the option to turn on ‘Vibrate on Ring’ and ‘Vibrate on Silent.’

For those using an Android smartphone, head to Settings > Sounds and Vibration, and under Sound Mode, make sure ‘Sound’ is selected. Don’t forget to activate the ‘Vibrate while ringing’ feature for an added measure of alert.

5. Tidy Up the Home Screen

Streamline their smartphone home screen for a cleaner look and feel. It’s best to minimize clutter by limiting the number of icons visible. Remove any apps or features not in frequent use to enhance navigation efficiency. Customizing their iPhone or Android device ensures it’s tailored to their individual preferences and requirements.

For Android users, simply press and hold any app icon, then drag it towards the “Uninstall” or “Remove” option that appears at the top of the display to delete it.

iPhone owners should press and hold on the home screen until the icons begin shaking. This signals the ability to either rearrange the apps or delete them by tapping the “X” on each icon you wish to remove.

6. Remove Unnecessary Apps

Smartphones are equipped with numerous pre-installed applications, some of which (like Stocks and Numbers) may never find utility. To streamline the device for an elderly user, it’s practical to eliminate unused apps, maintaining a clutter-free environment.

Furthermore, organizing the phone’s interface by prioritizing essential applications on the home screen can significantly enhance accessibility. Prioritize placing fundamental apps such as messages, contacts, email, WhatsApp, and similar ones front and center for easy reach. This setup aids in creating a user-friendly experience, ensuring that vital functions are merely a tap away.


Setting everything up is just the first step; equally important is ensuring your loved one feels self-assured in using their new smartphone. Instead of just telling them, take the time for a hands-on demonstration. Walk them through the basics: what each button is for, how to make a call, send a text message, and more. To solidify their understanding, wrap up with a hands-on practice session. Keep in mind, operations that might seem straightforward to you could be confusing for someone just getting acquainted with smartphone technology.

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Love Carrots by Joining in on National Carrot Awareness Day – 3rd October 2024

Celebrating – and safeguarding the future – of the UK-grown carrot is behind the decision to hold a National Carrot Day on 3 October 2024.

Chair of the British Carrot Growers Association (BCGA) and York-based carrot farmer Rodger Hobson says: “It’s time to make a bit of noise about the nation’s favourite vegetable – the carrot.”

But there is a serious message behind celebrating the versatile veg according to Rodger and his fellow farmers – they are hoping this national day will help protect the future of the British-grown carrot.

“We are making a rallying call to the nation,” explains Rodger. “If every household nibbles their way through just a few more carrots each year it would be a huge help to farmers and help keep home-grown carrots on the shelves.”

Raw or cooked, sweet or savoury, carrots are one of the most popular root vegetables consumed in the UK, with over 700,000 tonnes grown every year, equivalent to 70 times the weight of the Eiffel tower. However, Rodger explains that profits have been squeezed to such a tight margin, that many farmers have decided to stop growing them.

“This multipurpose vegetable is iconic,” says Rodger. “Carrots are such good value for money and extremely versatile with high nutritional value. I challenge the British public to find anything better value than 6p – the price of a carrot – to consume one of their five a day.”

An International Carrot Day already exists and is celebrated annually in the USA on 4 April. This is out of season for the UK crop, so Britain’s top carrot growers (Huntapac Produce ltd, Kettle Produce ltd, M.H Poskitts ltd, Burgess Farms, and Strawson ltd) decided to cultivate their own special day on 3 October, which is peak harvest time and when the BCGA holds its annual demonstration day.

“We want to communicate both the challenges and joys of growing carrots, which has a high disease susceptibility, high input costs and a conflictingly low price on the supermarket shelf, which means making a viable return a struggling reality for UK carrot growers. Boosting consumption by even small volumes, across many homes, will support the farmers and keep domestically grown carrots firmly planted in the UK.”

Four Fun Facts:

  • Each year 22 billion seeds are planted in Britain, producing around 100 carrots per year for every member of the population.
  • If you laid all the carrots grown every year in the UK end to end, they would stretch 1.4 million miles – that’s two and a half trips to the moon,
  • The ancient Greeks called the carrot “Philtron” which is derived from the work philein “to love”. They used it as a love medicine to make men more ardent and women more yielding.
  • According to the Asian tradition of classifying foods as yin, yang or neutral, carrots are regarded as yang food, known for their tendency to warm the body, tighten muscles and speed up movement.

On the UK’s National Carrot Day, people will be encouraged to buy, get creative, cook with, and eat carrots.

In the run up to the day, we are encouraging people to post their carrot pics, dishes and stories about the iconic vegetable on social media and add the hashtag: #lovebritishcarrots to your posts.

The British Carrot Growers Association has approximately 40 members, made up of carrot producers in the UK. Funded voluntarily by its associates, the union has the primary aim of increasing UK consumption of carrots and aims to manage the sustainability of the industry and help responsible growers to operate.  

The BCGA is a community of British carrot farmers that meet to discuss all things carrots – the diseases, varieties, and new growing/harvesting technologies. 

  • Follow the British Carrot Growers Association on Instagram @lovebritishcarrots
  • Visit the British Carrot Growers Association website:
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Smart Shopping: How to Find the Perfect Used Car for Your Family

Getting your kids around from the Brighton seafront to school to activities can be challenging.

Popping to the shop for those last minutes supplies needed for cake and bake sales, unexpected dress up days
and other similar appeals which children love to let us know about at the last moment, means
that having a car is a must for many mums who don’t have reliable access to public transport.

New cars cost a lot and bring other associated expenses with them, some of which are tied
to the cost price, making second-hand cars a good option for many mothers.

Here’s how you can find the perfect used car for your family.

Why It is sensible to buy a used car from a dealer.

Before you start looking seriously for a car to buy, make sure you do some market research
first. How much are other used cars going for? What is a realistic budget for you, and what kind
of car will that get you?

Consider other points:


  • How many children will you be expected to fit into the car on a regular basis?
  • How much baggage will the family carry about as normal?

These two questions will help you work out what size vehicle you need, which can help to narrow it down to a select few makes and models.


  • Volvos, famously, regularly win awards for vehicle safety, making them the perfect car for young families.
  • It is useful to research if there are any other makes and models that are particularly good for transporting young children, or alternatively, whether there are any models that you should actively avoid.

Luxury Levels

  • When you are buying second-hand vehicles, you can sometimes allow yourself a measure of luxury, due to the comparatively lower prices of used cars.
  • Doing some research before you commit to a serious search for the car, can teach you about some options that you otherwise might not have considered.

Once you have narrowed down some options you can buy used cars in Brighton, when you visit
KAP Motor Group
– whether your needs are very specific (make, model, colour) or if you
have a vague sense that you need a ‘bigger car, something like an estate’.

In almost all cases, you are better off buying your new-to-you vehicle from a reputable second-hand car
dealer rather than a private sale or using an auction site. This is because dealers have fixed
premises, and actively enjoy working in the second-hand car market, matching people with
their dream car for less cost than might be expected.

And then you can hit Brighton Beach in style, letting your children know that you really are the cool mum!

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My Energy Crisis and the Eight Arm Angel

The energy issue is a very personal one for all of us. From the start of the rises in 2022, my gas and electric bills tripled. They were as big as my mortgage and completely unacceptable.

Honestly, it seems to have never ended. Middle boy is in a good placement as a young adult and is very fortunate to have that place, but it’s still a challenge, every single day. Washing is up to my ears EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Electric bills are still high, but at the height of 2023, we were facing £300 a month for electric, and about £300 for gas. Ridiculous, so we stopped using gas much as the boiler also went daft and kept switching off. I couldn’t move supplier at the time as we had SMETS 1, first generation smart meters. If we changed supplier, the meters would have gone dumb. Our gas meter was blind for two years when our supplier wouldn’t change it. They guesstimated our usage and we couldn’t prove we didn’t use it.

We were promised an off state calculation. Our usage with a new meter showed we only actually used £500 for the whole of the next 6 months in total. Our supplier went back on their promise to do off state calculation for the time we were made to pay £300 per month. Going by current kw use, we know we’ve paid nearly 3k too much during Covid and can’t do a thing about it as the meter was dead. We’re not alone in that either. The app is pathetic and incentives to stay tiny. Absolutely no appreciation of the customers paying them a small fortune for 30 years.

I’m not going to name them, as I don’t want it coming back on me. I’ve got nobody to blame but myself for not being more assertive on this.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago and my SMETS 1 meter was finally registered on the DCC network, meaning we could change supplier and have our meter remain smart. As soon as that happened, we moved to Octopus Energy. I honestly want to cry. At the first download of their app, my readings show my usage with a day or two delay, but not much.

As soon as that registered, I swapped onto a smart tariff that changes price daily.

My bills have been decimated. Don’t get me wrong, there is a risk to the Octopus tariff, as it is not covered by the price guarantee, but we can change back if the prices go too high. There is a ceiling rate of 100p per kw electric and 30p kw gas, but since about 2022, it hasn’t gone above the average.

I don’t usually get involved with supplier things. The app is a little gamified in that there is a spin the wheel event every month when the direct debit is paid. There are challenges to do, which award points that convert to small amounts of money. Small things like the points systems might seem like nothing, but we came from a supplier where nothing was really the only thing we got. It’s a nice change to feel in charge and able to see the data broken down.

This month, I even got a sausage roll and a coffee from Greggs as part of my app experience.

The low down is that my gas bill halved and my electric has reduced significantly. Even having it on far more. I’m paying so much less and have set aside some money in case there are a few days where the tariff does end up going higher. We’d just move our usage around on those days. I am now on the tracker tariff from Octopus.

Old Supplier: 28p per kw for electric and 7.8p kw for gas on standard tariff.
New Supplier: Averaging about 18-20p kw per day for electric, and 3.5 – 4.5p kw for gas on smart tariff.

Octopus Tracker and Agile are based on wholesale prices and change daily. Prices can go up and down.

Find out more at the links below:

Octopus Tracker FAQ

Octopus Tracker Current Unit Rates from Octoprice

If you decide to move to Octopus, both you and I could get £50 each in our accounts when you pay your first direct debit. Sign up by using the affiliate refer a friend link below. If you are a business, we could get £100 each.

By Phone, or in the after sign up option, use the code: warm-bat-410

The referral scheme is administered and run by Octopus Energy. Scottish Mum Blog is not affiliated with Octopus Energy is any way. For information on referrals, go to

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Are You a Mortgage Prisoner?

Hot off the heels of the Post Office sub-postmasters and postmistresses who were prosecuted after Horizon software made it look like money was missing, comes another scandal yet to be addressed.

Like the post office staff who were treated unfairly, our Government also chose to turn a blind eye to the 200,000 mortgage holders who were in the failed 2006 Nat West mortgage portfolio, and caused major distress to the holders of those mortgages.

During the crash caused by greed, the Government took over the running of the Nat West bank. As part of that, they then sold on those originally high street mortgages to what we now class as vulture funds, ie businesses that no longer supply active mortgages, or investment funds. The Government is said to have made billions from the deal, while the sale removed the financial protections usually in place for those who hole mortgages. During the sale, these businesses who were sold the mortgages, allegedly had a condition to apply and achieve active mortgage status, to reinstate protections of the mortgage holders. They did not do that. The Government took the profit and ran.

The problem with the sale was that mortgage interest rates were no longer able to be regulated. While other mortgage holders interest rates track the Bank of England rate, these investments funds have no need to do so, which has meant that for all those years, the people with the mortgages had hiked interest rates in comparison to the rest of the market.

I hear people asking why those people didn’t just switch to another provider. The problem with that was, that many of those with mortgages were self employed and now getting older, and are not an attractive proposition for mortgage providers. Many were lumped in as bad risk mortgages when they could prove they have never missed a payment for up to 20 years and were managing to get by. Most were being told that with the new affordability criteria, they no longer were classed as being able to afford mortgages at half the interest rates that they have been paying for a decade or two. As their lenders were closed book, the option to switch mortgages within their providers was also closed to them.

The official responses seem to imply that mortgage prisoners were bad debtors and deserve their fate, but given they were approved by high street lenders when they took out their mortgages, it is soul destroying. The Government report that they have taken steps to reduce conditions for normal lenders to reduce affordability criteria for mortgage prisoners, however the banks mainly do not recognise these. Most ignore them, as they are not a legal requirement.

The other problem facing mortgage prisoners is that the last few years, while they have faced nearly two decades of high interest rates, the rates have mushroomed. Some have seen their mortgages increase to 10% interest and more. The mortgage prisoners cannot move lender, they cannot move product, and they cannot change their mortgage as they often do not have enough years left to run on their existing mortgages.

At the moment, the result is that the companies which were sold the mortgages by our Government, have achieved huge profits of the back of the suffering of the people whose mortgages were sold. The mortgage prisoners have overpaid mortgages by many thousands, and are trapped, despite being up to date with their mortgage payments. There has been an incredible amount of suffering for those who were affected, who face not eating and doing without energy at a time when there are very high prices for both energy and consumer goods. There have even been reported losses of life.

For those who think they can just sell and move on, that is also not a realistic proposal for many, who were moved to interest only mortgages and paid high rates for their homes when the market was buoyant. Many are left with negative equity, and are plodding on month after month, to keep the family homes they have spend decades living in. Even handing the keys back does not help them, as for people who have paid extortionate rates for so long, overpaying by many thousands, will still be liable for any financial shortfall in the sale, despite overpaying for so long. For the mortgage companies it is win win win.

If you think you are a mortgage prisoner, what can you do?

Rachael Neale has been fighting on behalf of Mortgage Prisoners for years with a small group of helpful fellow prisoners. For more information, visit:


Martin Lewis has been helping with the situation, however our Government responses seem to constitute a stumbling block.


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Catering for Food Allergies this Christmas

Any food allergy is going to be a worry for children and adults alike over Christmas. The biggest thing that is important nowadays, is asking our guests if there are any allergies when the come to us for food. It’s easy to cater for allergy or intolerances if we know what they are. For me, I cannot have anything with almonds, hazelnuts or with high refined sugar. All the nice things !!!

Just Love Food wanted to find out what happens with cooking and possible allergies, and sent me this information, which might be helpful for some of you.

With 1 in 5 people in the UK suffering from a food allergy[1],  and the rise of Brits having other dietary requirements to cater for, it can be a challenge when hosting friends and family over the festive period.  Research from Just Love shows that 26% of children with allergies have had an allergic reaction when visiting a family members house, and 20% when visiting a friend’s house.

With so many social events over the Christmas period, it is not surprising that hosts find it difficult to cater for the allergy and other dietary needs of their guests.

Research from Just Love reveals that 99% of parents of children with allergies take additional steps to consider allergies when hosting Christmas events.  65% of parents ask guests for their allergies in advance, while 43% ensure they provide a variety of options to put on the table. 

Bringing the nation together with inclusive celebrations year-round, Just Love provide cakes that can be enjoyed by everyone without sacrificing texture or flavour, meaning hosts won’t need to buy multiple dessert centrepieces this year.

Mike Woods, CEO and Founder of Just Love said: “Christmas celebrations are an important time of year, yet we know that a huge percentage of families will be catering for loved ones with allergies or specific dietary requirements.

To us, it’s our mission to bring people together with cake, ensuring inclusive celebrations can still take place and that people with food allergies and other dietary needs are not made to feel different or left out whatever the setting.”

Just Love want to make Christmas hosting easier for everyone, whether you’re catering for your own allergies and dietary requirements or for those joining you, festive celebrations should be enjoyed by all. Just Love cakes can be found on the Celebration Cake Aisle.

@instagram: justlovefoodcompany


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How To Buy The Right Car Tyres Near You Before The Christmas Holidays

During the festive period, it isn’t always possible to obtain the things you need. Many shops are shut over the bank holidays and some places that provide services – such as tyre fitting centres, for example – may be closed for longer periods of time.

This can constitute a problem for motorists. Why? Because in midwinter, you are more likely to encounter tougher road conditions with snow and ice. What’s more, potholes and other hazards on the tarmac may be more difficult to spot, resulting in a greater likelihood of tyre damage. Even worse, some motorists will be travelling further than usual to visit family and friends.

Sorting out your tyres before Christmas Eve is usually advisable.

Look For A Suitable Tyre Fitter

This is the case wherever you live but it can be especially important further north in the country. In places like Fife – from Kincardine in the west of the historic county to Crail in the east – you are more likely to drive in sub-zero temperatures. Even if you don’t encounter ice, the lack of daylight hours in mid-winter often means that your tyres could face more unavoidable road debris than would be the case at other times of the year.

To help overcome these issues, book ahead. Look for a tyre centre that not only supplies but fits new tyres. Ideally, you’ll be able to shop online, reserve your chosen set of tyres so they are in stock when you turn up and be able to book an appointment at a time that suits you. For example, you can book car tyres near you from Fife Autocentre – they have been in the automotive industry since 1993.

Look for a local tyre dealer with fitting facilities which is open during the holiday period and reserve your chosen tyres sooner rather than later. Some tyre centres may face problems from the tyre manufacturers and distributors between Christmas and New Year. If they can’t get the tyres you want, then you may have to settle for inferior models.

Opt For Winter Tyres 

Of course, all of this is even more important if you have non-standard tyres. Drivers of cars with larger wheels or wider tyres will need to think in advance or they may not be able to have new tyres fitted at all until January. There again, if you want to drive on winter tyres, mid-December is the best time to have them fitted ahead of any potential cold snaps when they’ll be of most use.

Although people who live in high-ground locations, such as the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District or the Pennines are often most likely to have winter tyres fitted, it can certainly be cost-effective wherever you reside. Winter tyres are widely available from good tyre fitting centres and you can always keep your normal set to have re-fitted once the ground is less frosty in spring.

Know A Local Tyre Fitter At Your Destination

Finally, bear in mind that if you are travelling somewhere away from home for the holidays, then it is always a good idea to know of a local tyre fitter in the place where you’ll be staying. If you end up needing roadside assistance to change a tyre or to replace your limited-mileage spare tyre, then you could end up paying a pretty penny.

By planning ahead and knowing where to turn on your trip away from home, it is often possible to buy superior quality tyres for less than standard ones, even at Christmas. Whether you will be visiting family in Fife or passing through on your way to a location further north or south in the country, always do a little research beforehand so you’ll know where to turn in an emergency even if there is no mobile phone reception.

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Regifting at Christmas

What is Regifting?

We all know someone who does it. I don’t have many friends nowadays, and very little family, so regifting is something that I haven’t done, but I have given away gifts that I haven’t used, like slippers two sizes smaller than I wear etc, but in the size of the giver…..

Anything I don’t want tends to go by way of charity raffles or into a charity drop off, but given that I don’t get more than a few presents these days, it’s not really an issue.

When you get a battered or dusty box wrapped up, or one that just looks a bit dog eared, it’s a dead giveaway that it’s been an unwanted regift, which is fair enough if someone has no other option. Personally, I’d rather receive nothing than someone else’s unwanted gifts, but that’s me, because it’s usually junk.

Unwanted gifts are usually unwanted for a reason…because the recipient didn’t like it, so they’re pawning it off onto someone else. Maybe that’s my age showing, because a study undertaken about regifting this year seems to show that younger people are happier to regift.

Regifting Study Results by The Works

Leading Book Retailer, The Works, were interested in regifting and how often it happens, so they commissioned a study to find out just how many of us were regifting unwanted pressies.

  • Around 40% of the UK regifts for different reasons.
  • Women are 20% more likely to regift than men and it’s estimated about 50% of all women regift.
  • Women are less likely to get caught regifting.
  • One in 10 regifters get caught.
  • Younger people are more likely to regift with feelings of guilt than older people, with guilt showing at under the age of 34.
  • Over 55’s have a more casual approach to regifting.
  • The most popular regifted products are health & beauty and alcohol, with books alone making up about a quarter of all regifts.
  • Women tend to wait about 7 months before regifting, while a quarter of men regift almost immediately, leading to them being discovered more frequently.
  • Charlotte Blaquiere, Search Marketing Manager at The Works said, “There’s no shame in regifting presents today. While many people do feel guilty, we should be pleased by the one in five aged between 25 and 54 that see it more as an eco-friendly exercise.”
  • Regifted and unwanted items are more likely to come from friends and also to be passed onto friends.

The Works commissioned a survey of 2,000 people across the UK asking questions relating to gifting, sentiment around it, and who they are most likely to receive unwanted gifts from and who they’re most likely to give them to. The survey was undertaken in October 2023.

Are you a Regifter?

So, are you a regifter? I’m more guilty of having a couple of extra gifts and then using them the following year as birthday presents or Christmas present add- ons.

For the last few years, I suspect there are more and more gift regifts. It would be surprising if there weren’t, due to the economy and finances with the increase in the cost of living and energy prices. Perhaps saving gifts by regifting is the new Secret Santa, and beats finding a decent present for a tenner any day.

My biggest snort of laughter had to come from getting back the gift I had given someone two years before. I am sooooo glad I didn’t open it in front of her. I’d probably never have seen her again, and I do like her an awful lot. In fact, she’ll probably phone me and laugh her head off when she sees this post, as she’ll recognise herself, and she is lovely.

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Dehumidifiers Simplified. 10 Reasons to Use a Dehumidifier

This post contains affiliate links and images,

which may earn me a small commission if you click on them and make a purchase.

Dehumidifiers seem to be everywhere in the news, with few people really understanding what they are for and why they would use them. Until a couple of years ago, I only used one when my business premises back wall got wet during winter, or when I’d painted walls and wanted them dry quickly.

The increase in costs of energy have pushed people towards different uses for dehumidifiers, and there are many different reasons for buying and using, other than controlling the dampness in a property.

In this post, I’ve outlined the main differences between dehumidifiers, and the top 10 reasons to use a dehumidifier, and then added some links to dehumidifiers that I think are good buys. Browse any specs, check reviews and make your own decisions if you decide to buy a dehumidifier.

Is Your Home Damp?

The first step in any dehumidifier exploration, is to find out if you have a damp problem in your home. Everything else is just gravy as they say.

A cheap hygrometer from Amazon will keep you up to speed on the humidity levels in your home. I bought a set of three and have them dotted around the house. Ideal humidity levels are around 30-50%, however the fifties are considered acceptable.

Most Common UK Dehumidifiers

There are two main types of dehumidifier, Desiccant and Refrigerant.

Desiccant Dehumidifier

A desiccant dehumidifier works differently from a refrigerant, is usually more expensive than a refrigerant buy, and costs more to run in electrical energy. The desiccant releases more heat into the room that it is placed in, and removed water from the air by soaking it up in the same way that a sponge works, and drips from that into a condenser tank. These dehumidifiers can be used in very cold spaces of less than 15C.

The heating effect is not significant, however, over several hours, there will be some heat into the room, but is not needed where heating is already being used. People generally use a desiccant dehumidifier if they are not using heating in winter, for unheated garages, conservatories or garden rooms.

Refrigerant Dehumidifier

The refrigerant dehumidifier works similar to your household fridge and are the most popular in the UK, are generally cheaper and work best in an environment that isn’t too cold. Like your fridge, the dehumidifier cools and when warm air comes into contact with it, it changes to condensation which is then collected in the condenser tank. I have two refrigerant dehumidifiers.

When the warm air is cooled and condensed, more warm air is then drawn to the cooler air and the cycle is continuous until switched off or the programmed setting is achieved. Output waste air can be 1-2C higher than the air temperature, however, this might not be noticeable over a few hours. If my dehumidifier runs in a room overnight, the room feels warmer in the morning, which is likely due to less water in the air, so the air feels warmer and is easier to heat.


The important thing to remember about dehumidifiers, is that the size of dehumidifier does not relate to the size of the water collection tank. Examples:

  • A 12 litre dehumidifier has the capability to pull 12 litres of water from the air over a 24 hour period in optimal conditions stated in the specifications.
  • A 20 litre dehumidifier has the capability to pull 20 litres of water from the air over a 24 hour period in optimal conditions stated in the specifications.
  • Any dehumidifier may have any differing size of water tank. My dehumidifiers have 4.5 litre tanks and are able to draw 20 litres from the air over a 24 hour period if the conditions are optimal. In practice, I can take out about 3 litres over a day.

Main Dehumidifier Features

  • Small, Medium or Large capacity. Up to 12 litres is a small capacity suitable for small homes with few issues with dampness. Up to litres is medium sized and will help with extra moisture or more people using bathrooms, cooking and washing/drying clothes at home. It is more helpful if there is an obvious medium damp problem. Large dehumidifiers are usually in the range of 18, 20 or 25 litre capacity and can help with laundry, dampness, larger households and water damage.
  • Drainage can be an issue with larger tanks, but some options have the ability to connect a hose and empty the tank without removing it from the dehumidifier. My ones have a hose, but I have never used it, as it is easier for me to take out the tank and empty it. Some people recycle their water and use it to water plants.
  • Hygrometer/humidistat readings. This measures the current level of moisture in the air and changes the settings of the humidifier to enable reaching the setting you have put down. My humidity can begin about 70%, which isn’t too wet, but I am happiest when my house is sitting in the 50’s. Very wet houses can have a very high percentage of water in the air or the walls, and reach 90% or more.
  • Timers for best or most economic time of use for electric tariffs, but if yours doesn’t have one, buying a plug timer is simple enough.
  • Laundry mode is often in the specifications, and on dehumidifiers that don’t specify this, it is usually simply the highest setting that the dehumidifier can be set to.
  • Smart apps can help with the more modern eco dehumidifiers, and lets you control it from a distance. Very handy for checking the humidity and changing the settings.

10 Reasons to Use a Dehumidifier

My top ten suggestions.

1 – Dry Home After Leak / Flood / Water in the Walls / Mouldy Dampness

We all have spells where our homes come into contact with water at some time. For us, the usual is a broken tile on the roof, causing water to leak into the house. We have had two floods or non natural disaster. One where an upstairs bathroom bath drain failed ,and the whole bath emptied onto the roof and downstairs, flooding the whole area with water dripping through the lights and soaking the roof. We had to take off all the plasterboard and insulation and redo. Nightmare.

The other was when three three year olds went into my bathroom, took off their socks and stuffed the bidet with them, then were dancing around in six inches of water. I was downstairs with the two other mums, thinking our kids were in my kids bedroom, when the drips started coming through the roof and the water started running down the stairs. Five to ten minutes is all it took to destroy three rooms and drench the stairs. They were my first ever forays into the world of dehumidifiers, taking out most of the water damage from roof and floors quickly.

2 – Laundry Drying Option

I have never used mine mainly for this, but I know many people who do, especially with the energy crisis, or those who don’t have room or budget for a tumble dryer. I did use it a few times last winter when I had towels out drying and nowhere to dry them and trying to keep the heating at a reasonable cost with the price rises.

Our gas meter wigged out with a blank screen and we had no idea how much we were using. British Gas took months upon months to change the meter, and the estimates just went up and up and up. My tumble dryer broke, and there was no option but dry indoors. I hated the feeling of breathing damp air in, as it affected my lungs, so I went and got a new dehumidifier while I waited for my tumble dryer to be fixed.

I think it is important to cost things here. I can dry a load of washing in my vented dryer, about 10kg in an hour on my tumble dryer at 60C, which costs about 58p at todays money. To dry the same load overnight with the dehumidifier costs me about 5-6p per hour for 12 hours, and then it all needs ironed or popped in the dryer for 5 minutes to soften.

For me, if I do one load of washing a day, it is cheaper for me to use the dryer than to have a dehumidifier running all night or until the clothes are dry. I can’t cope with hours to dry one load in the way heat pump dryers do, so they are not an option for me.

3 – Make Home Heating More Efficient

I wasn’t prepared for how much quicker my home would heat up after using dehumidifiers. If I have removed a load of water from a room, it heats and retains heat in half the time, keeping my gas costs significantly. For 5-6p an hour for a few hours, that might be about 50 or 60p, but my boiler is 35kw gas, and at decent heat, can start off about £1.50 an hour. Without using the dehumidifier, the air struggled to heat, and my percentage of moisture was not over 70%.

Using the dehumidifiers one night a week in my largest rooms with doors open, means the heating settles into about 50 – 60p hour on gas, sometimes bit more, which is a massive saving, and the house stays warm for much longer. It means we don’t need the heating on so often or for so long. People have to make their own decisions on if they feel a purchase will help them with their own homes. For us, our house is a largish 4 bed, and I bought the biggest dehumidifiers in my budget. I don’t think small or medium would have made much difference.

4 – Help Keep Home Dry

I’ll admit it. We used very little gas last winter when we had no idea how many kwh we were using and the prices skyrocketed. I found a couple of clothing items and a suitcase in a cupboard which had a few mould spots. They went in the bin, but I can see how easily a home can go from perfectly good to wet and mouldy in a short space of time. Even though I didn’t class my home as very wet, we drew litres and litres of water from the air, which was a surprise. Once the rooms are cleared of excess water, it can be left on the automatic setting, but I tend to switch mine off.

5 – Help Control Allergies and Asthma

This is one I hadn’t really thought about. Allergy symptoms are an issue in our home due to asthma in the family, which cases wheezing, sneezing, sore chests, sore eyes and itchy skin. Things that can trigger allergies are dust, dust mites, mould, pollen and cat dander.

Drying the air helps reduce these triggers as keeping the humidity below 65% can stop dust miles from breeding or mould from increasing. I didn’t realise my dehumidifiers had an air purifier setting and filter when I bought it, so it has done a double job in summer here when the pollen count was high, at reducing allergy symptoms.

Remember not to let the air get too dry, as that can increase symptoms of pneumonia, dehydrate those in the house and make cold symptoms like sore throat and stuffy nose worse. Keep to the recommended levels of your manufacturing instructions.

6 – Protect Our Homes

When the air in our homes is too wet, it can begin to break down and destroy the bones of our homes, or in other words, compromise structural integrity. Support beams and floor boards might swell up, burst or twist, and mould can begin to grow in the walls, roofs and floors. Metal door handles may begin to rust and our homes can begin to smell musty.

7 – Portable and Moveable around the House

Having a portable dehumidifier helps to keep the whole home more dry and warmer as a result. Although dehumidifiers can sometimes be heavy, they usually have caster wheels and handles to help carry them. This means that instead of having a dehumidifier in each room, you can move one around the house. Many people use them in the most damp rooms first for a few days, then work around their homes, finally settling on a place in a hallway with doors open to maintain a comfortable level of humidity,

8 – Reduces Window Condensation

In homes where there is too much water in the air, condensation can form on windows where the temperature is cold outside and warmer inside. Much of this condensation is the air we breathe, shower mist etc, but although this can happen in any room, bedrooms are the areas where this is often most noticeable. By running a dehumidifier on a low setting, this can eliminate or reduce the condensation on windows as there will be less moisture in the air to turn to water droplets when the air touches windows.

9 – Auto Settings

With automatic settings, you can just let the humidistat do its job. When the dehumidifier is set to come off and on at a certain percentage of moisture in the air, it will turn off and on as and when it is needed, which will also make the dehumidifier energy efficient by not being on 100% of the time.

10 – Choice of Dehumidifiers

Although some dehumidifiers can be very expensive, including desiccant ones, there is a huge difference in the options available and the brands available. Try to stay away from brands that are not well known as there will be little or zero aftercare and advice if something goes wrong.

Popular dehumidifiers include ones from:

  • Toolstation. My ones are the 20 Litre Wessex ones. Mine were £159 each. They have everything I needed, but I would perhaps have liked a smart function, but hey ho. Princess dehumidifiers among others are also there.
  • Screwfix have Blyss and Evac dehumidifiers which seem to have good reviews.
  • Meaco have the big brand name, recommended everywhere. The 20 litre ones were out of my price range to buy two of them at over £300 each, but they are said to be amazing. (Amazon Affiliate Link) Meaco 20 Litre
  • Argos always have a good selection.