Tips for sleep in the sweltering heat

summer sleepWell it’s no secret that we’ve been experiencing higher than average temperatures around the country this summer.

When the night time temperatures don’t drop off that much, remember that there’s actually a scientific basis as to why you can’t sleep when it’s hot.

You might not be aware of this, but sleep is actually dependent on a fall in your core body temperature, your internal temperature, so to do that we need to get rid of heat.

It’s also particularly difficult to sleep when it’s humid, as we can’t get rid of the heat.

Though the temperatures can seem overwhelming at times, there are things we can do to help sleep better.

Experts recommend keeping curtains closed during the day, using a fan, or air conditioning if possible, and keeping your windows shut until the late afternoon or evening, when it’s cooler.

Yes, it is tempting… to want to open the windows and doors and let in whatever “breeze” or “fresh air” there might be outside. But that just lets the hot and humid air inside, and traps it there.

Which window furnishings can keep your home cool? 

Awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows. You can use an awning to shade one window or have an awning custom-made to shade the entire side of your house.

In the past, most awnings were made of metal or canvas, which need to be re-covered every five to seven years. Today, awnings are made from synthetic fabrics such as acrylic and polyvinyl laminates that are water-repellent and treated to resist mildew and fading. Whatever the fabric, you should choose one that is opaque and tightly woven. A light-coloured awning will reflect more sunlight.

You can roll up adjustable or retractable awnings in the winter to let the sun warm the house. New hardware, such as lateral arms, makes the rolling up process quite easy.

Blinds—vertical or horizontal slat-type—are more effective at reducing summer heat gain than winter heat loss.

Interior Blinds

Because of the numerous openings between the slats, it’s difficult to control heat loss through interior window blinds, but the slats offer flexibility in the summer. Unlike shades, you can adjust the slats to control light and ventilation. For example, when completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45%. They can also be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-coloured ceiling. A light-coloured ceiling will diffuse the light without much heat or glare.

Curtains ability to reduce heat loss and gain depends on several factors, including fabric type (closed or open weave) and colour. With such a wide variety of curtains available, it’s difficult to generalise about their energy performance.

During summer days, you should close curtains on windows receiving direct sunlight to prevent heat gain. Studies demonstrate that medium-coloured draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%. Curtains also stay cooler in the summer than some other window treatments because their pleats and folds lose heat through convection.

To reduce heat exchange or convection, curtains should be hung as close to windows as possible. Also let them fall onto windowsills or the floor. For maximum effectiveness, you should install a cornice at the top of a curtain, or place the curtain against the ceiling. Then curtain at both sides and overlap it in the center. You can use Velcro or magnetic tape to attach drapes to the wall at the sides and bottom. If you do these things, you may reduce heat loss up to 25%.

Two curtains hung together will create a tighter air space than just one. One advantage is that the room-side curtain will maintain around the same temperature as the interior space, adding to a room’s comfort.

What else?

It’s helpful to avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine during extreme heat, and keep hydrated.

Wearing loose cotton clothing at night also draws sweat and heat away from your body, but avoid polyesters!

Though the weather is heating up, we hope you’ll use these tips to keep your home cool into the night, so you can rest easy.

The fashionline team.

Entertaining Outdoors? Stay cool with an awning.

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If you have an outdoor living or entertaining space, then you know how beautiful it can be outdoors – just not when it’s blaring hot with the sun beating down on you. That’s where a retractable, or folding arm awning comes in. They can be a great way for you to enjoy the outdoors. There are some factors that you should however consider when purchasing retractable awnings. We’ve outlined them below:

Price

You should always compare pricing when purchasing retractable awnings. Folding arm awnings are some of the most expensive shade furnishings, and you should expect it to be a significant investment, even for a basic set up. For a purchase like this, avoid buying a product of lesser quality for a cheaper price, as the cheapness will become evident in not much time at all.

Manufacturing

Australian made is a great choice for awnings. Australia make some of the best window treatments in the market, and for good reason. We have some of the harshest climate conditions in the world. It’s good to know that your awning is designed and fabricated within our local standards, and that the product will therefore withstand the harsh conditions we find here, especially when summer hits.

Again, beware of companies that offer you low-cost retractable awnings at prices that seem too good to be true. Often they are too good to be true.

Warranty

You should always purchase your awning from a reputable supplier who offers a full service warranty. You can expect to pay a bit more up front, but the cost is worth it. In many cases, suppliers will provide a five-year warranty, which will ensure that your awning gives you stress free service throughout the five-year period.

Installation

If you haven’t thought about the cost of installation of your folding arm awning, before you shop is the time to consider it. If you go for a cheap product, you will not only (no doubt) find quality issues, but you will also likely have to install the awning yourself. Unless you are a DIY awning expert, you should probably leave it to the experts. This will have some cost attached to it. Also keep in mind, if you do choose to install the awning yourself, that in some cases this may void your warranty. Find out all the facts before you do DIY or have the experts install your awning.

We hope these tips have helped you out for buying your own folding arm awning, and we hope that you have a relaxing, cool, shady area to enjoy this summer!

It’s almost the Holiday Season!

Fashionline Group would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a wonderful 2016. To all of our members, affiliates and all of your family and friends, we would like to wish you a safe, happy and healthy Festive Season. May it bring you joy and prosperity.

We thought it only fit to remind everyone of some important holiday safety tips – because times can get pretty crazy when the silly season comes around!

Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season using these handy tips:

Theft – Pick Pockets & Identity

Take with you only the cash and credit cards you need

Don’t carry your passport or other important documents unnecessarily

Don’t let others distract you in crowded areas when your personal belongings are at risk

Limit the use of your mobile phone in busy public places

Home Burglary

Install security screens or cameras

If you are travelling, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house

Put timers on lights in different parts of the house

Have papers, mail and deliveries collected by someone you trust

Personal Safety

Park in well-lit and well-travelled areas

Avoid overloading yourself with packages

Be aware of your surroundings

Auto Safety

Leave nothing of value visible inside the car

Keep all your car doors and boot locked

Keep packages in the boot while shopping

Don’t leave your GPS visible

Credit Cards

Only shop at secure websites

Never respond to emails that ask for your credit card or any other personal information

Check your credit card and bank statements regularly

We hope these tips have been useful, and again, we hope that you all have a wonderful break! Stay hydrated, look after one another. We will see you in the New Year!

The Fashionline Group.

 

 

 

Summer has arrived early…

The Australian Government has once again advocated the use of window furnishings to keep cool this Summer, keep energy usage down, and bills too!

Here is some useful information from the Government, that you can quote to your customers:

“Windows let in useful warmth and light in winter, but in warmer weather sometimes this can be too much. Heat gain through an unshaded window in summer can be 100 times greater than through the same area of insulated wall. In winter windows can allow up to 40 per cent of your heat to leak out. This means you’ll be using more energy to keep your home comfortable and paying higher energy bills.”

We’ve already had some very hot days this season, and it’s only November, so it’s worth reminding your customers about the benefits of getting the right window furnishing before the real Summer heat hits.

We know that snug-fitting curtains and blinds on windows can prevent heat gain as they trap a layer of still air next to the window.

If they are installing blinds, it would help to look for an insulating fabric and ensure they’re well-fitted to restrict air movement around the window to prevent unwanted heat loss or gain. For an energy-efficient option honeycomb or cellular blinds are an excellent choice as they trap air within cells and act just like a double-glazed window.

If your customers are in a very hot climate, external blinds and awnings can be installed to provide shade. Also, blinds which are white or near-white on the outside or have a reflective surface will reflect more heat back outside.

Don’t forget to value-add by reminding your customers that shutting curtains on the northern side during the day, and the western side in the afternoon will keep the sun from overheating the house.

And lastly, Automated home systems can make sure your window coverings raise and lower at certain times of the day. They can be pre-linked to sensors and timers to automatically respond to the outside weather conditions, meaning your customers have greater control of how much energy is being used in the home.

Are you feeling the heat this Summer?

Are you feeling the heat this Summer?

For most people summertime means family and friends and it’s the perfect season to take advantage of your outdoor entertaining area. A popular product choice for an outdoor entertaining area is the versatile folding arm awning.

Why a Folding Arm Awning?

One of the most popular reasons for this style of awning is that people are looking to cover an area from the
unbearable summertime heat. They are looking for an alternative to a permanent structure which can be very
expensive and in winter make their deck a dark, damp cold space. The folding arm awning is the perfect solution for you to enjoy your outdoor entertaining area all year round.

Folding arm awnings come in a huge range of colourful fabrics to match your home and are available as plains and stripes. Different styles of fabric include acrylics, canvas and mesh. Should the weather turn bad, there is also a range of waterproof acrylics.

The awning extends horizontally at varying degrees, without the obstruction of posts and beams, allowing for protection from the sun and creating an instant outdoor entertaining area. They can be mounted to a wall, a pergola, high next to the guttering, or under the eave of your home and operate by extending out the folded arms as the fabric rolls outs. To complete the look you can have them within a cassette, a semi­-cassette or without a cassette.

The folding arm awnings are also popular for commercial spaces such as cafes and can achieve widths of up to 14 metres and 4 metres projection and depending on the awning can achieve a pitch of 5 degrees to 85 degrees.

Folding arm awnings can be fitted with an adjustable pitch, achieving optimal sun and rain protection. This feature allows you to change the angle of your awning to protect from the late afternoon sun or to use as a rain shelter in calm conditions. They can be operated manually via a crank handle or to take advantage of the latest technological advances, motorised with either a remote control operation, or a wall switch operation.

Make no mistake; the greatest enemy of the folding arm awning is wind. Our awnings are tested to withstand up to 50km winds. It is best to retract the awning when it’s dry and clean which will help keep to the fabric lasting many years.

Damage can be caused to your home and the awning if left extended in a storm and this may not be covered by its warranty. It is recommended when purchasing an awning to invest in motorisation and heat/wind sensors. This mechanism can be programmed to retract the awning automatically when the wind is too strong alternatively the heat sensor can automatically extend the awning when the heat is to high.

The folding arm awning is a specialised awning and should be fitted by a qualified awning fitter or carpenter as they can check where you want it installed for the best safety.  Contact your local awning or blind expert to get specialised advice and service. Alternatively, contact us at Fashionline Group on 1300 854 853 or visit our website for more information.

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