Easy-fit letter box draught excluder

Month: August 2017

Catflaps: A to Z of draughtproofing

Catflaps

catflaps

The draughtproof Petflap

Catflaps – cat owners will know all about these. Do you prefer a prolonged rattle and bang every time your cat goes through the catflap together with a draught round the ankles, or getting up every five minutes to open the door for your cat?

These have traditionally been the options for cat owners whose cats go outside (which is the majority) but now the Petflap draughtproof pet door gives you a third option: carry on with what you’re doing as your pet comes and goes as it pleases through a quiet, gentle and draughtproof pet door.

Draughtproof

The Petflap works on the same principle as our Ecoflap letter box draught excluder. It’s cut fractionally larger on one face on each side, so that any draught blows it more firmly against its frame instead of allowing it to blow back and forth. This eliminates noise and prevents draughts from blowing in to your house. We haven’t come up with a solution for wet and muddy paws, but the Petflap (and the Ecoflap) keep out rain too.

Gentle

Many traditonal catflaps are spring loaded in order to shut properly, but this can lead to trapped tails (mentioned in this amusing article about cats and catflaps). The Petflap relies on physics to shut properly so doesn’t put any pressure on any part of the animal until the animal is completely through.

Top-hung catflaps tend to crash down on an animal, something cats particularly dislike, but the Petflap pivots vertically. The animal exits one side and enters the other (in our experience it takes them very little time to get the hang of that), taking their time, dignity completely intact.

Aesthetics

The catflap is a utilitarian item of homeware, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be ugly or a design-free zone. We’ve modifed the design of our Petflap to make it easier to fit into glass, but we’ve been keen at all times to maintain its good looks. So not only can your cat come and go quietly and safely, but your door can look stylish too.

Bespoke

catflaps

The new round shape

When our final manufacturing ducks are lined up we plan to release and larger size, and we’ll be able to return to making bespoke Petflaps.  We’ve had so many enquiries about spaniel-size Petflaps that we plan to create a door big enough for a Cocker. Our circular design allows us to create larger animal access areas within more reasonable size overall frames. Our previous rectangular design was getting too big for the average door when it was scaled up for a medium-size dog.

If you’d like to go on the list to be notified when we have stock, please email info@ecoflap.co.uk.

Building regulations: A to Z of draughtproofing

Building regulations

building regulationsBuilding regulations give a specification for many aspects of constructing a house. Building regulations for England are laid out in the Building Act 1984. Part L deals with “conservation of fuel and power” and covers:

the insulation values of building elements, the allowable area of windows, doors and other openings, air permeability of the structure, the heating efficiency of boilers and the insulation and controls for heating appliances and systems together with hot water storage and lighting efficiency

Sadly most new build houses are quite legally woefully short of insulation. Many buildings experts point the finger at poor building standards.

Enforcement

Buildings inspectors sign off new builds in England. This should mean that all aspects of the build are measured against the published buildings standards by a qualified person from the council or the Construction Industry Council, a QUANGO. However, according to this Wikipedia entry, Energy Efficiency in British Housing,:

A 2006 survey for the Energy Saving Trust revealed that Building Control Officers considered energy efficiency ‘a low priority’ and that few would take any action over failure to comply with the Building Regulations because the matter ‘seemed trivial’.[23][24]

So not only are regulations on insulation in English new build housing considered weak, those that do exist aren’t enforced properly. The result is a poor deal for householders aiming to keep their homes comfortable and their bills low.

The problems faced by owners and residents of new build properties go much further than this. Some report cavity wall insulation completely missing. Others report badly-fitted windows and holes in external walls. There are shocking reports of a new development in Peckham so badly built that parts have been pulled down. Other residents have had long fights with their house builders with little joy. Some had to move out for months while problems were fixed. Others were unable to move in at all.

Optimism

Despite the doom and gloom, some local authorities and developers are doing a good job. Two areas of Ireland have made passivhaus mandatory for new builds. Social housing in Exeter has been built to passivhaus standards and a similar project confirmed in Norwich. In terms of the number of new builds every year this is a drop in the ocean, but it’s a start. If building regulations as they stand aren’t up to the job, let’s do something better.

Image credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/alehlic-30782

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