Tag: winter

How to use Firemizer

Firemizer could not be easier to use! This award-winning fuel saving device optimizes the performance of fuel in solid fuel fires and stoves.

How it works

Firemizer is not catalytic and does not contain any chemicals, the beauty is its simplicity! It slows the air flow to reduce the burn rate of fuel and conducts heat evenly across the fire to ensure all fuel is fully combusted and prevents small fuel fragments falling through the grate or being left unburnt in the ash bed.

How to use

Simply remove from the pack and place it on the base or grate of your fire or stove. Then build your fire with dry wood or coal as usual on top. It should cover most of the base of your fire/stove but does not have to be an exact fit. You can cut it down to size with household scissors if it is too big for your fire, and for really big fires you can place two side by side.

 

How long will it last?

Your Firemizer will last 500 burn hours which is equivalent to approximately 6 weeks at 12 hours per day. All you need to do is lightly brush off the ashes in between fires. Once it starts to deteriorate simply remove and recycle with your normal household metal waste.

We recommend wearing gloves when handling Firemizer to protect your hands from the metal fibres and sharp points. Also keep the product away from children and pets.

How much will you save?

Firemizer will save you up to 38% of your fuel costs, see for yourself with our fuel saving calculator!

For more information or to order, visit www.firemizer.co.uk.

 

5 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter

It’s especially important to stay happy and healthy during the colder months. Here we have 5 tips to help you fight off the colds and winter blues.

With winter just a few weeks away, it will soon be time to snuggle up indoors by the fire, hot drinks, stew in the pot and cosy blankets. But it’s also the time of year for the dreaded shovelling of snow, scraping your car windscreen and those unwelcome colds and bugs.

1. Keep Warm

Cold weather can affect your body’s ability to fight off viruses and infections. By keeping warm, you can help yourself stay well this winter. Your home should be heated to around 18-21ºC especially in your living room during the day. If you have a wood burner, not only does it do a great job of keeping your home toasty through winter it also helps to reduce your blood pressure. Just watching a fire and listening to the sounds of the crackling wood will bring your heart rate down leaving you feeling both relaxed and warm.

2. Exercise

It’s easy to let your exercise routine slump during the cold, dark months of winter. It’s harder to get out of bed in a morning and all you want to do is cosy up by the fire of an evening. Keep up with your routine and you will feel the benefits. Exercise is great for physical and mental health and will help to keep your stress levels down. If you don’t fancy a run in the cold and wet, head to the gym instead or stick on a fitness program at home to get your heart pumping. It’s important to not over do it either as that’s when illness can strike!

3. Sleep Well

8 full hours of sleep every night is recommended. Sleep boosts your immune system, your immune cells and proteins get the rest they need to fight off whatever comes their way, like colds or the flu! Other benefits include weight loss, better moods and it can also strengthen your heart.

4. Eat Well

Eating a healthy, varied diet is essential all year through. Are you getting your 5 a day? Fruit and vegetables should make up just over a third of the food you eat each day. There’s evidence that people who eat at least 5 portions have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

5. Supplement with vitamin D3

Because there’s less sun in the winter months, we don’t get as much vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system so supplementing through winter will give you a boost.

 

What is A Yule log

The Yule log began as a Nordic tradition. The Yule log is the largest log picked and would be placed into the fire hearth. This Christmas tradition is carried out in several countries all over Europe.

  • It is a tradition to light the log with a previous year’s log. Keeping the wood in storage it is slowly fed to the fire through the 12 days of Christmas
  • In France, it is a tradition for the whole family to help cut down the log.
  • A tradition in Cornwall uses a dried out and bark-free log call the mock.
  • Barrel makers in the UK had unused logs that they couldn’t use therefore they gave their customers them for Yule logs.

Similar traditions

Ashen faggot is an old English tradition from Devon and Somerset. A faggot is a large log or bundle of ash sticks bound with nine green lengths of ash bands preferably from the same tree. They would burn this on Christmas Eve and in the heart of the fireplace.

Types of wood

  • The UK  uses oak
  • Scotland uses birch
  • France uses cherry. They sprinkle wine over the log before its burning, therefore, it smells nice once lit

Sprinkle Chemicals on the log to create coloured flames;

  • Potassium nitrate violet,
  • barium nitrate green,
  • copper sulphate blue,
  • table salt bright yellow

However, throwing ashes out on Christmas Day can be unlucky

Chocolate Yule log

Eaten in France and Belgium this is a popular Christmas pudding. Additionally, made with a chocolate sponge, layered with cream and covered with chocolate and decorated to look like bark.

 

How To Roast Chestnuts This Christmas

Get into the festive season by indulging in the best Christmas food. One of those being roasted chestnuts. They can be used for turkey stuffing, cakes or crumbles.

They are at their peak over the festive season. For the best flavour look for the largest nuts and choose those that are shiny and feel heavy.

  1. First, you cut the shell carefully. Make an x shape on the nut but be careful not to cut the nut inside just the outer shell
  2. Heat the oven to 200 degrees fan or gas 6. Roast for 30 minutes until the skin splits open.
  3. Let me cool and then you can peel them. Serve immediately or chop ready to add to another recipe.
chestnuts Roasting over an open coal fire

If you want the ultimate festive experience this is how to roast chestnuts over an open fire.

  1. Prepare the charcoal grill for direct heat. Light charcoal, for a medium-hot fire you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the flame for around 5 seconds.
  2. Use a knife to cut an x into each chestnut
  3. Cook for 20 minutes or until chestnuts have split

To roast them in the fireplace wrap the chestnuts in a foil packet then place into a medium-sized fire. Roast for about 15 minutes then leave them to cool before unwrapping. When the chestnuts are cool enough to handle you can peel them.

 

How to keep your pets safe this winter

It is important to keep your pets safe over winter, as the temperature drops and the chance for snow increases there are things we can do to help our pets.

1. Wrap up before a walk

As you would put a coat on your dog may need one too. Especially if they are fine coated such as a greyhound or staffie.

2. Check their toes

After being outside it is best to check their toes for snow, salt and grit. The snow between their toes can gather together and create ice balls which can be very painful. To help prevent this you can trim the hair between their toes as this can get very long.

3. Fire safety

This time of year the fires will be going and dogs love nothing more than cosying up by the fire. Check out our other blog about keeping your pets fire safe.

4. Keep them warm and dry

Make sure they are dry once inside and have somewhere warm to return to away from cold drafts.

5. Active cats

Your cat may want to stay indoors more over the winter months. If they do like to go outside make sure they have a warm dry shelter outside they can go to or get a microchip cat flap. This will stop other cats from entering your home and allow your cat to come and go as they please.

6. Keeping small pets warm

If you have pets like rabbits, guinea pigs or ferrets that live outdoors think about bringing them indoors in a sheltered area such as a shed or garage. Give them some extra bedding to keep them warm and keep them away from cold drafts.

7. Winter hazards
  • Antifreeze and de-icer used to stop cars from icing up when in contact with pets they can be very toxic. Cats are at the most risk as they like the sweet taste. Make sure you mop up any spills.
  • Salt and grit, this can irritate pets paws, if you salt around your home choose a pet-safe product.
  • Poisonous plants, holly, ivy and poinsettia are all toxic to pets if they eat them.

3 Reasons To Love The Cold

As the nights are darker and the days can seem very gloomy and cold its hard to see the appeal of winter and the cold. However, there are some benefits and true pleasures to be had in the winter months.

  • Cosy by the Fire

This time of year is perfect to get your log burners going and enjoy the warmth. Your fireplace can create a festive atmosphere especially when decorated. Make sure you stock up on wood get your chimney swept a minimum of once a year.

To give your fire that extra bit of Christmas spirit you can add spices to your fire. Cinnamon sticks create a lovely spicy and sweet smell. Just place two sticks with the logs alternatively you could add a few drops of essential oil to your logs, allow them to dry and then burn away.

  • Warm drinks

There are so many lovely hot drinks to enjoy this time of year from hot chocolate to mulled wine. These are perfect to enjoy in the cold gloomy weather and a great pick me up. Here are some classics that’ll get you in the Christmas spirit;

  • Coconut milk hot chocolate
  • Eggnog
  • Hot buttered rum

If you’d like more ideas and recipes click here

  • Food

Winter brings around all the best food that you can enjoy. From roast dinners and mince pies to cheese boards and lots of chocolate. This Christmas why not try something new at a Christmas market like the chimney cakes or strudel.

Do you like winter or summer?

Four Common Mistakes When Using Wood Stoves

Wood stoves are a great way to reduce your heating bill as well as providing aesthetic value to our homes.

However, burning wood takes some preparation and you have to make sure it is ready to burn safely through the winter months.

Below are 4 major mistakes people make with their wood stoves!

Not inspecting & cleaning your stove

You need to make sure your stove and chimney are ready for the season. There are a few things you’ll need to check

  1. Examine the firebrick lining and see if it needs replacing  – the lining will keep the stove from overheating
  2. Make sure the chimney is cleaned. This will prevent chimney fires and help your stove burn more efficiently.
  3. Check the sealed door. You want a tight seal to make sure smoke doesn’t enter your house. The cord that’s around the door may need replacing on occasion.

Don’t neglect these steps as you could be at risk of a chimney or house fire.

Not having enough fuel

Running out of fuel in the middle of winter is not ideal. It is best practice to have too much wood than too little. How much you’ll need will depend on several things;

  • How large your house is
  • The efficiency of your stove
  • They type of wood you’ll burn
  • How often your light your stove
  • Not storing your wood properly

Once you have your wood you need to make sure it is stored in the correct place it could affect the performance of your stove.

You don’t want your wood to get too wet as burning wet wood reduces the efficiency of your stove.

The best practice is to keep the wood out of the way in a dry shed and on a pallet so the air can circulate. Check out another blog about storing your wood!

Not having a backup plan

If something happens to your wood supply then you need alternatives. Some will burn quickly while others with smoulder for a while.

  1. Rolled old jeans
  2. Rolled paper logs
  3. Coffee logs
Bonus mistake

Not using the Firemizer winter pack! This will help you light your fire with an odourless firelighter and firemizer will increase your fire efficiency and reduce harmful particulates. 

Are you prepared for the winter season?

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Can you hear that creepy organ playing in the background? The distant rumble of thunder coming from the distance? The shadow of a black cat from outside the window? Shrieks of terror and squeals of joy as the streets are packed with tiny ghosts and ghouls? It must be Halloween again! While you’re preparing for the scariest evening of the year (whether you’re trick-or-treating, or having a movie-marathon), this week’s blog post is all about why we love the 31st!

Food and Desserts

Of course, when most of us think of Halloween, our first instinct is to think of the massive amount of candy we’ll consume. Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand. It’s really the one time of year that amassing a huge haul and eating it in one night is encouraged! However, it’s not just candy that gets our taste buds going, but all the cool and creepy desserts too. From candy apples, to skeleton cookies, to a big bowl of spooky punch, there’s an endless list of ideas. To get you started, there are 11 ideas for you here.

Costumes

In true holiday spirit, Halloween is certainly one of those holidays that has a tendency to… creep up on you. The days are getting shorter, and we’re all still suffering from the post-summer blues. Before you know it, you’re drowning in invitations to haunted houses and Halloween parties, so it’s no surprise a lot of people struggle to get a costume sorted in time. If you’re among them, here’s 22 cheap and cheerful costume ideas that require little-to-no time at all.

Arts and Crafts

One of everyone’s favourite ways to celebrate Halloween is carving the pumpkin! It’s a way to really unleash you’re inner-creative demon with something spooky, funny, or just totally imaginative. Obviously we’re not all carving-experts, and often the worse the carving the funnier and scary it is! Here’s a fantastic collection of the best and brightest pumpkins from last year.

Traditions

It wouldn’t be Halloween without Halloween traditions! If haunted houses and big parties aren’t quite your speed, there’s nothing better than a spooky movie-marathon. There’s always the black-and-white Hitchcock classics, but they’re definitely a bit too scary for those with kids. If the trick-or-treating is done and the fire is still roaring (up to 38% longer with a Firemizer), then there’s plenty of child-friendly Halloween-themed films the whole family can enjoy. Find a list of them here.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Following on from last week’s commemorative International Day of Forests, this week we celebrate Earth Hour! Hosted by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the event encourages everyone to show his or her commitment to the planet. It has not fixed date other than it takes place at the end of March – this year it’s March 24th. Between the hours of 8:30 – 9:30pm, from individuals to communities to business, everyone is encouraged to turn off non-essential lights. This is to display a unified message of solidarity, a symbol of commitment in protecting preserving our beautiful planet. It is not an exercise is reducing energy however, but rather a simply gesture that highlights the fight against pollution.

Earth Hour’s History:

The event originated in 2007 when Sydney turned off all the lights of their major landmarks. The following year saw 35 countries join in, and larger companies like Google shut down their websites. Over the succeeding ten years, various TV and Radio stations have joined the cause in going ‘dark’ for the hour. Last year, 187 countries and territories took part, from New York to New Zealand; over 3,100 landmarks turned their lights off, nearly 16,000 Facebook pages donated their feed, and #EarthHour trended in 30 countries.

Do Your Part:

Doing your part is as effortless as turning off lights at home, or as involved as hosting a candlelit dinner! Get your workplace involved and go ‘dark’ for the hour, or turn off your phone, grab a bunch of friends and go enjoy a walk in the park – it’s that easy to take part and spread awareness of the cause.

It is all in the name of showing solidarity and support for the protection of our planet. Firemizer and Firebuilder are both emission-reducing, recyclable products – Firemizer helps reduce your solid fuel consumption and amount of particulates produced by your fire, and Firebuilder is completely kerosene and chemical-free, meaning your fires stay clean and green.

Keep updated over at the Earth Hour blog and post your contributions using the hashtags #EarthHour and #togetherpossible.

Still to come in 2018

Still to come in 2018! 

Now that it’s 2018, Microtex have lots of exciting things on the horizon for Firemizer and Firebuilder this year. From new offers and campaigns, to new partnerships and products, to more exhibitions and shows – there’s so much going on! 2018 is going to be Firemizer and Firebuilder’s biggest year yet.

New Website:

We saw a completely redesigned Firemizer website (courtesy of M360), so everything is optimised and revamped for the New Year. The new design includes a simpler layout, sleek design and much more content! This means that picking up a Firemizer or Firebuilder for your home has never been as straightforward or enjoyable. Try out the website and leave us your thoughts or your experiences using our products at https://firemizer.co.uk/product/firemizer/. By doing this, you’ll automatically be entered in a competition that could win you a free Firemizer and Firebuilder combo!

Exhibitions and Shows:

2018 will be a bigger year for us in shows and exhibitions after such a great success at Grand Designs. We’ll be attending the Dispatch Home & Garden Show in Columbus, OH introducing Firebuilder to the U.S. this month! With the help of our partners over at Ribtec, we’re certain this show will be both educational and exciting. Back in the UK, the Firemizer team will be attending the Countryfile Live! show in August. Hosted at the beautiful Blenheim Castle, we’ll be amongst the best and most innovative products the countryside has to offer. If you’re attending either of the shows and have questions about the products (or just want to see why Firemizer and Firebuilder could be the perfect products for you), swing by and come say hi!

Finally, our partners at OPR have invited us up to Newcastle for some training in social media and website upkeep. These guys are professionals and will really help us get the most out of our online mediums to make sure you get the best content wherever you are and whatever platform you follow us on.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments and news as the year unfolds – this is only the beginning for us!

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