Blogs > September 2012

Comfort with Your Conscience


Contributed by Ingrid Mattsson, Director of Brand Management for Uponor North America.


I’m at a trade show this week and since we’ve been focused on the word “comfort” this month, I’m tuned into the use of comfort everywhere — on banners, as product names and even as company names.

I have to admit, I’ve also been thinking about comfort on a philosophical level as well. I’ve been thinking of the comfort level of our conscience. What we are willing to accept? To live with? To ignore?

I think we live in interesting, but very stressful times. If one has even a minimum level of empathy and awareness, we’re so far beyond the “normal” worries of paying bills, home and automobile upkeep, and staying ahead of the curve in our careers. I mean, that alone is enough to fill one’s worry cart.

But in our global reality, we are also bombarded with news reports about economies on the threshold of collapse, terrorism, potential nuclear strikes, increasingly destructive weather patterns and so many more mind-boggling and soul-stirring events.

It makes me wonder — is there any more room in our conscience to pay attention and make an active effort to live our lives in the most sustainable manner we possibly can? Can we even ask that of ourselves and of our society? I think we can — and should. We owe it to our environment — the place where our following generations will live, work and (hopefully) thrive.

What if everyone made an effort to be a little less complacent and make some changes? At a minimum, make sure your conscious comfort level is high because you’re paying attention to things like recycling in your home and office; shutting off lights that aren’t in use; making a strong effort to not waste precious water; walking or biking instead of driving when possible; cutting back on eating beef — even if for just one or two days a week. There are so many resources to learn what each of us can do. It’s not that hard to keep your conscience comfortable and content.

And on a really basic level, what if we all smiled more and complained less? Studies have shown that just the act of smiling (even if you’re not happy at the time) can actually improve one’s health by boosting the immune system. Seems to me that would be a gesture that could really help to sustain a level of social comfort that would just feel so great.




Posted: 9/22/2012 2:42:50 PM by Heather Wallace | with 0 comments

Comfort in Your Mind



Contributed by Kim Bliss, Sr. Writer, Technical Communications, Marketing Operations for Uponor


Last week I brought up an interesting concept for those building or remodeling a home: instead of ‘looking for’ or ‘finding’ comfort in the home after it is built, instead think about making proactive choices during the building or remodeling process to ensure the comfort is there from the beginning.

Think about all the areas in a home where you can ‘build in’ comfort. And I don’t just mean radiant floor heating. Think about a window seat in a four-season porch where the sun can wash you with warmth on a spring or fall day. Or maybe add warming lights to your bathrooms to bring that extra level of comfort when stepping out of the shower (and onto your warm radiant floors).

Now, comfort, as Ingrid pointed out, has many definitions. Some are nouns. Others are verbs. When you think about ‘peace of mind’, do you think ‘comfort’? Have you ever thought about the plumbing system behind your walls? Have you ever known someone that has experienced problems with their plumbing systems? What about safety? Have you ever known someone that has experienced the devastation of a home fire?

Being proactive by installing a reliable plumbing system that incorporates an integrated fire sprinkler system is the ultimate comfort for your mind. Combined plumbing and fire sprinkler systems (called multipurpose systems) are becoming the smart choice for consumers that want to upgrade their homes with safety and peace of mind. Yes, that’s right, I said upgrade. Think about all your priceless possessions in your home — especially your loved ones — and think about any other product you can add to your home that could actually save them from devastation. There are few.

It’s something people in the home-building process should start thinking about. It’s the ultimate comfort. It’s peace of mind.




Posted: 9/17/2012 11:35:31 AM by Heather Wallace | with 0 comments

Ensuring Comfort in Your Home


Contributed by Kim Bliss, Sr. Writer, Technical Communications, Marketing Operations for Uponor


As a fun activity last weekend, my husband sent our children on a treasure hunt to find a buried chest of goodies in our backyard. My three and five year old checked the map, walked around excitedly and eventually found what they were looking for with a giant X-marks-the-spot on the ground.

When I originally titled this entry, I was going to call it “Finding Comfort in Your Home.” But then I got to thinking. When deciding to build new or remodel a home, comfort shouldn’t be some elusive treasure you’re trying to find; instead it should be something you decidedly choose.

Working for a company that envisions “enriching people’s lives”, I have learned about one of the most effective — as well as efficient — forms of bringing comfort to a home. It’s called radiant floor heating.

For those of you who have experienced radiant floor heating first hand (or, rather I should say first foot), you are probably nodding in agreement. For those unfamiliar with the concept, imagine stepping out of a shower and instead of placing your feet on chilly tile, having a warm, inviting surface beneath your feet.

Radiant floor heating systems circulate warm water through tubing located under the floor. This heating concept (which dates back to Roman times) is a highly efficient form of heating. That is because water has the capacity to transport energy 3,500 times greater than air, so a radiant floor heating system can actually heat a home much more efficiently than a forced-air furnace.

Imagine that — a system that is actually both more comfortable and more energy efficient. Plus, it can be installed during new home construction, as well as remodels, and works well under any floor surface.

So, when you are thinking about where you can add comfort in your home, think proactively. Think about what you should choose before the build instead of what you can find after the structure is built.

Now that I’ve got you thinking about comfort under your floors, have you ever thought about what’s behind your walls and ceilings? Something to think about for next week…


Posted: 9/10/2012 7:10:25 PM by Heather Wallace | with 1 comments

Welcome to Comfort



Contributed by Ingrid Mattsson, Director of Brand Management for Uponor North America.


“Welcome to Comfort.” I read this on a sign in a fireplace and stove store on a recent shopping outing. It struck me odd — as if comfort were the name of a town. Then I got to thinking: What an interesting word.  What an overused word.

If you take a moment to look and listen to all the advertising that swirls around us, comfort is much sought-after, yet hard to realize. Through the miracle of marketing, we now know that comfort can be found in endless ways — cars, pillows, beds, snuggies, shoes (not really believing that one!), mashed potatoes, fireplaces, faith and the list goes on and on…

The dictionary offers several definitions depending if it’s used as a verb or noun, but it does seem to boil down to the idea of soothing, consoling and creating a state of ease and satisfaction with freedom from pain and anxiety. No wonder everyone is trying to sell comfort — who wouldn’t want that! Someone once told me that comfort was really the absence of discomfort. So is not feeling anything at all, a state of Nirvana? I tend to disagree.

The first known use of the word comfort was in the 13th Century. So if there was no word for it, was there no concept or feeling of comfort in the 1100s? When you read about the hard life of those dark ages, I suppose not. The Latin origin of the word is to strengthen greatly. I actually like that notion. Seems like something as powerful and far-reaching as the notion of comfort should come from a place of strength.

Over these next few weeks, we’re going to explore the notion of comfort and how it relates to ideas within the building industry. When building a house, one might think they don’t have to think about the comfort factor until they’re ready to buy the sofa or down pillows, but we’d like to propose that it should be considered much, much earlier than that. Think about the life you want to lead in this new home you’re building and perhaps there are systems out there that you aren’t even aware of that could bring your comfort experience to a whole new level.

So until next week, think about this — where do you find comfort or discomfort in your home and why?





Posted: 9/4/2012 12:57:09 PM by Heather Wallace | with 0 comments

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