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One Fall Prep Secret to Staying Warm All Winter

One Fall Prep Secret to Staying Warm All Winter

With summer becoming a distant memory, homeowners across the nation are trembling at the thought of another wintry season with frigid, blustery weather. Without the right fall prep to your home, you could be caught with your winter pants down – with not enough protection in place to keep your home cozy and warm.

As fall brings cooler temperatures, there’s one thing you should do to your home to ready it for winter – beef up the insulation.

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Is insulation getting the job done?

The home’s exterior can either make or break your comfort level this winter. As colder temperatures set in, your home’s shell acts like a thermos – or at least it should. The insulation keeps whatever’s inside warm, just like a portable thermos keeps hot chocolate at just the right temperature until you pull it out to take a swig. But over time, those thermos walls can break down. Maybe you’ve put it in the dishwasher too often, or maybe it’s just old.

Your home’s insulation can fall prey to the same circumstances. Over time, insulation wears out. Perhaps it wasn’t installed up to today’s codes. Maybe it was installed improperly. Whatever the reason, if the insulation can’t do its job of keeping heat inside, you’ll be feeling the wintry effects inside your home.

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Insulation in action

You see, insulation is actually a barrier to heat. When it’s not working, you’ll feel the cool effects — which is anything BUT cool when winter’s knocking at your door! When it does work, it keeps the cold at bay. Here’s how:

  • Your furnace circulates heat in the home.
  • Insulation stops it from moving through the structure.
  • Heat is always drawn to cooler places — a law of nature that’s always in effect.
  • So when the insulation doesn’t work, you actually feel cold in your home because it’s losing heat — not because the outside cold is moving inside.

This fascinating, scientific explanation doesn’t do much to alleviate your suffering. However, it does shed light on why insulation is the secret to keeping the cold at arm’s length.

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Fixing comfort issues

There’s almost nothing worse than knowing that a cold, bitter winter is ahead – except if you also know that your insulation won’t be keeping the heat in. If you’re less than absolutely confident that your insulation is up to the job, it’s time to take action.

Hire an expert to conduct an insulation evaluation – they’ll often do it for free – to find out how well your insulation is performing. If you need to upgrade it, consider choosing injection foam insulation. This unique material offers a few significant advantages for retrofits over common options like fiberglass or cellulose.

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Installers pump the liquid-like insulation into walls, filling every last nook and cranny to the brim. The insulation quickly hardens, creating an air barrier as well as a heat barrier (remember how you need to keep heat inside the home to stay warm?). Finally, installers won’t have to tear into your exterior walls (or do a complete interior remodel) to add insulation. Only a few small holes are required to fill the walls with insulation, which are easily and seamlessly repaired. When the job’s done, no one will ever know that you’ve had insulation added through the exterior.

What you will notice, however, is a big difference in the comfort level of your home. You may not even notice when temperatures dip into the frigid zone or when the winds whip. You’ll be cozied up on your couch with a good book, oblivious to your surroundings — all thanks to your new and improved insulation.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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