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Top 10 Restaurants in Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Champaign/Urbana has so many GREAT restaurants to choose from depending on your mood and purpose of the meal. 

Here are the Top 10 Restaurants in Champaign....according to Yelp.
Do you agree?  If not, tell us who you'd pick!
 

1. Bacaro

Definitely a special occasion or date night restaurant!  Best of Italian fine dining in the classic Italian date night atmosphere.  The wine menu is terrific and you may just find yourself greeted with free Prosecco.  The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and will help you pair the perfect wine. Chefs Thad Morrow and Drew Starkey work with over 12 local and sustainably driven farms to prepare these delicious meals, and the menu certainly reflects that.  They also host Market Monday, which features a weekly prix fixe dinner menu inspired by the local farmers market, where guests can enjoy the flavors of the season.  

2. Maize Mexican Grill 

Absolutely Amaize-ing, sorry couldn't help myself.  Maize is an authentic Mexican grill inspired by the wonderful restaurants in the owners home town of Mexico City.  Maize emphasizes fresh ingredients in order to make true authentic Mexican food.  

3. Hot Pot Lab

You can never go wrong with homemade noodles! It's been called the best hot pot place in town.  Completely authentic Chinese made with the freshest ingredients.  The staff are friendly.  Perfect place to grab some quick food with friends.  

4. Golden Harbor Restaurant

Another great authentic Chinese joint.  This place has a lot more variety than Hot Pot, May be the biggest menu I've seen in a Chinese place.  Portions are great. Quality is great and service is quick!  The meats are of incredibly high quality.  

5. Sakanaya 

Sakanaya means fish market, so it's no wonder this place has the best Sushi joint in town!  Sakanaya orders more fish than any other place in town, so they naturally get the first pick, so if it's quality you're looking for, you've found it.  The prices are a little higher than neighboring restaurants, but once you eat here you'll understand why.  The place is always packed, call before and make a reservation so you don't have to wait.  

6. Papa Dell's Pizza

Papa Dell's never disappoints!  It's been compared to Gino's East and Giordano's in Chicago.  The reviews are some of the best reviews I've ever read on Yelp.  Dine in, take out, delivery, whatever you need.  They also ship their pizza anywhere in the USA, so if you're really craving Papa Dell's, they'll make it happen. 

7. Destihl Restaurant

Upscale gastropub known for it's award winning microbrews and unique entrees, featuring new twists on classic brewpub foods (stout ice cream sandwich anyone?!). Celebrate by enjoying a handcrafted draft brewed on site.  The selection of wines and specialty cocktails is extensive.  

8.  Seven Saints

Great upscale pub, known for it's sliders and easy going fun atmosphere!  Get a side of cheese curds and wash it down with a Bloody Mary and you have the perfect lunch or dinner!

9. Miga

Miga, which means "beautiful place" in Korean, is brought to you by the same people behind Sakanaya (also on this list) this modern restaurant and lounge won't disappoint.  The exposed brick offers a unique industrial dining experience, add the old projected movies and your in for a real treat.  Chef Jae prepares Asian influenced American cuisine, using as many fresh local ingredients as possible.   

10. Big Grove Tavern

This place is fantastic!  Big Grove offers the very best in fresh Farm-to-Table-New American Cuisine with a wide selection of house cocktails, Midwestern craft beers and carefully curated wines.

8 Things You Should Do When Moving Into A New Home

by Rose Price

Buying a home is obviously a BIG investment.  There are factors you've been considering for months: location, amenities, neighbors, schools, and more.  Once the papers have been signed, it's easy to relax and forget key chores every homebuyer should do once they move into their new home, but don't worry, here is a list of 8 important things you don't want to forget.   

1. Change the locks

You really don't know who else has keys to your place...when it comes to security, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re the only one with keys, and the only way to really be sure is to get new locks. This is done by either re-keying or buying an entirely new lock set.  You can replace dead bolts yourself for around ten dollars.  Another option, becoming popular these days, is digital locks.  These open with a code and work with a home automation system (smart home).  So, you can live "key free" as well as lock or unlock your doors remotely.  

2. Look for leaks

Ok, so you've probably had a home inspection done before you bought the property, however, even if this report came back clean, theres no harm in double checking.  The risk is too great.  One way people are combating these water issues is with a set of sensors linked to their smart home system.  These sensors give you real time information for- if and when- a water leak develops.  This way you can be absolutely sure leaks have been taken care of, and if one occurs, you can handle it before a lot of damage can occur.   

*TIP: Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.


3. Kick out the pests

 Pests are tricky.  You may not even know you have a pest problem. The previous homeowners may not have known about the issue, or maybe they simply "forgot" about the “friendly” squirrel living in the attic.  Well, there are a number of ways to get rid of these critters, some are more squeamish than others.  But, the easiest way is to hire a professional, which will run you usually costs about $100-$300, and there is a way to ensure these professionals don't miss anything; similarly to the water sensors, you can place motion sensors where suspected pests are, which will then alert your mobile device when motion is detected.  Now you know exactly where these pests have been hiding and can call a pest control company and point them right to where the problem exists.  

4. Inspect your Furnace / AC

Get familiar with your new HVAC system as soon as possible. Make sure to take a close look at the duct work around your furnace for broken or torn ducts and excessive taping.  Also, stand near the furnace while it’s running- the air should move through the system not into the room.  

Digital thermostats are also a great investment.  Especially ones you can control with your smart phone or tablet.  They give you the ability to set your temperatures remotely... say if you're on vacation and it is a super hot day back home.  

5. Update your Lighting

Everyone has their own unique lighting preferences.  I like being able to change the brightness of lights in each particular room, so I like the dimmable ones. Once you've lived in the house for a couple weeks, you start to get a feel for your preferences in this particular space.  Make it YOUR home.  And yes, you guessed it, you can also set these up digitally and control them from your phone! 

6. Get to know your Circuit Breaker 

It's always a good idea to figure out what fuses control which room and then label them accordingly.  It will take two people: One to flip the switch and and yell "How about now?" and the other to stand in the different rooms and yell back "yeah, that one!".  All kidding aside, it's good to figure out your new circuit breaker before you may really need it. If you need some assistance, your local hardware store is usually a good source for some of the more basic questions.

7. Get to know the Main Water Valve 

You want to make sure you can turn this valve off incase of an emergency; tornado or plumbing emergencies are common.  Another smart idea is to turn this valve off when you leave town.  You don't want to come home from vacation to find a pool of water in the basement.  It could be located outside or inside the home; find it and make sure you can turn it off.  Then test it by going inside and turning on the faucet.  

8. Steam Clean your Carpets

If you really want to get off to a fresh start, steam clean your carpets before you move any of the furniture in. You can hire a professional for around $50. a room or you can rent a steam cleaners and do it yourself.  Either way, you won't regret it.  

 

Champaign IL It's Back 2 School Time!

by Rose Price

School is right around the corner or in most cases in the Champaign/Urbana area, has already begun.  It can be a rocky transition from summer to school for many kids, here are some tips to help your child make the transition into a happy successful school year.  

Get on a regular school year sleep and meal schedule, and keep that schedule.  Talk about school, make sure they are familiar with their school environment and what will be expected of them.  Let them know what to expect moving up into a new grade.  Help them make a gradual adjustment rather than waiting until the last minute.  They will be better prepared physically and mentally, and will get off to a great start, which is important, as getting off to a lousy start can impact the rest of the year.  

START NOW

Build Excitement! 

Get your children ready for school, by making it fun.  Back to school shopping is a perfect way to do this.  Bring the whole family out for a shopping trip!  Have your child make a list.  Let them pic out their folders, notebooks, etc.  Have them cross things off the list as they get them…this will keep them engaged and excited during the process.

 

Establish a school year schedule

It's important to start getting back into your school-time routines.  That means everything from meals, showers, friend time and bedtime. Summers are the time when we eat differently, at different times and usually not at the dinner table. Get yourselves back to the routines that help children get into the "Good Habit's" that also help them get better grades.  Believe it or not, doing the same routines with meals, bedtime, friends, etc, help a child feel safe & secure and definitely boost their confidence in school with schoolwork, and with friendships.  So let's start the school year off right and give our children the best start we can. A schedule and routine that they can count on at home....everywhere else may be a little chaotic, but at home, they know what to expect!

Talk about school often

Discuss anxieties.  Keep the door of communication open and ask a lot of questions.  Stay engaged with your child. Don't let them get off with one word answers to your questions....engage them in a conversation before allowing them to go off and do other things.

It Begins:

Back To School Activities
Find back to school activities for your school; meet and greets with teachers, back to school picnics, a Back to School night where all the kids and teachers meet as school for an informal get to gather.  Many schools also offer athletic events, contests and fun things to get the kids relaxed about coming back to school.  Check their websites or visit the school office.

Practice your morning routine
It may sound funny but getting yourself ready for the beginning of school is as important as the kids routines.  For you to be calm, confident and positive & upbeat in the mornings, sets the tone for your kids day.  So figure out how ahead of time how long it takes to get everyone ready and out the door.  If your kids are walking… walk the route with them.  If they ride the bus, meet the driver with them.  Lay out their clothes, schoolbags, and shoes the night before. Help them feel completely confident about the process and the day.

 

Check yourself
Know what you need in order to keep these busy morning smooth.  Any prep you can do the night before, do it.  Make lunches. get the coffee ready, review homework & notes, etc. All of this makes for an easier morning.  Practice your own routine before the school year stresses accumulate. Believe me, it helps!

 

A little planning can make back-to-school time more exciting and fun rather than hectic and exhausting!  

 

Follow the links below for more information and upcoming activities for you school!

Champaign Unit 4 School District  Fisher CUSD 1  Gifford  Heritage CUSD 8  Mahomet-Seymour

Monticello  Paxton-Buckley-Loda  Prairieview-Ogden  Rantoul City Schools  Rantoul Township High School  St. Joseph CCSD 169   St. Joseph-Ogden High School 305  Tuscola 301 Unit 7 Schools

Urbana School District 116 Villa Grove

                            HAVE A POSITIVE SCHOOL YEAR!

CHAMPAIGN IL, Top 40 Commuter City in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Obviously there are many great reasons to live in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, but one often overlooked is commute time!  A bad commute can get old quickly and the daily back-and-forth to work can have a serious impact on your overall well being, turning your new dream home into a cage of sorrow. Well, no worries because now we've added a great commute to our list of great Champaign/Urbana traits.  Each of these cities are well below the average American commute time of 25.5 minutes.  

#7 Champaign

Coming in at number seven is Champaign!  That's pretty high on the list and here's why:  

Champaign IL is home to the University of Illinois' Research Park, which has received numerous high profile rewards over the past few years for it's unparalleled innovation and consistent creation of new high tech jobs.  The increasing job opportunities provided from the University means that residents no longer have to travel far to work a great job.  9 out of 10 Champaign residents make it to work in 29 minutes or less, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. 

#8 Urbana

Urbana IL, gets the green award on this one!  Over 10% of residents carpool and 4% telecommute!  So, obviously, less cars helps commuters get to work an average of 35 percent faster than workers across America and due to technological advancements, it looks like more and more people will be working from home, which will reduce commute times even more.    


#32 Rantoul 

The University of Illinois' Research Park isn't the only innovator in the area.  The Business Center in Rantoul IL is gaining a reputation as a new hub for innovation.  Not only does it offer new businesses high tech office spaces it is also home to the Rantoul Business Incubator and the Illinois Small Business Development Center and like The Research Park, more and more high tech jobs are being created here.  So Residents here don't have to travel far for a great job either.  Half of all workers in Rantoul travel less than 15 minutes to get to work, making the average total commute time 19.2 minutes.   

*All information and graphs taken from Obrella Insider.

Visit Obrella for a complete list of the 40 Best and Worst Commuter Cities in Illinois and check back with us for more information and useful tips for living in the Champaign/Urbana area.  

If you're sick of the lousy commute time in your area, then Champaign/Urbana may be the perfect town for you! give me a call, I'd be happy to show you around my fabulous community. If you'd rather look at some homes that are available first, visit the links below for homes available in each of the area's listed.  Then give me a call with any questions you have!

Champaign/Urbana Homes for Sale

Urbana Homes for Sale

Rantoul Homes for Sale

Mahomet IL One Of the Top 100 Places To Live In America!

by Rose Price

For those living in Mahomet, Illinois, it comes as no surprise that this thriving village has made Niche's 2015 list of Top 100 Communities to live in America. Niche ranks US suburbs based on livability; grading each for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation.  A high ranking then, indicates those particular suburbs offer a high quality of life to those living there.

MAHOMET IL

This midsize Illinois town of 7,412 is a great all around mid-western town.  Home Values are in the range of $185,300.  Rent Values are average and the Unemployment rate is extremely low at 3.1% (half of the national average).  Citizens here are usually highly educated and enjoy high income levels, with an average household income of $80,529. Housing here is varied; from turn of the century beautiful homes to high end new construction, so there's really a home to fit every taste and need.  The people are friendly and there's no shortage of unique local shops.  There are great parks in the area, providing many options for outdoor activities.  A favorite among residents is Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, which offers multiple walking/biking trails, swimming, boating, fishing and prime picnic spots, as well as a museum, botanical garden and golf course and in the wintertime, the preserve is a great spot for sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  

If this sounds like the perfect town for you, give me a call! I'd be happy to show you around the town and find a home that fits your personal needs. If you'd rather look at what is available first, follow this link to see all available homes for sale in special mid-western town. Mahomet IL Homes for Sale

I'm here to help make your Home Buying as easy & painless as possible, so please contact me with any questions you may have at 217-202-8843.

Getting your Champaign IL home ready for a walk through can be frustrating, especially when you're still living in your home, but keeping your home clean as you take all the necessary steps to sell your home is key; things like removing the personal items, staging, and ramping up your curb appeal.  Hiring a professional cleaning service isn't a bad idea, but those expenses add up over time.  So, here are some tricks to help you clean your house in a hurry, and  you'll be ready for a walk-through or a surprise visit from your inlaws, at a moments notice!

The trick is to start with the big rooms and move to the small:

1. Kitchen 15 minutes

  • Remove Clutter from all counter tops, cabinets and tables.
  • Clean Counters and Cabinets Wipe down counters and cabinets with all-purpose cleaner, speed up your process by brushing all crumbs and such on the floor (you'll sweep later).
  • Wipe Appliances Wipe down the fridge, dishwasher and cooktop areas as well as microwaves, toasters, etc.  
  • Load Dishes into your dishwasher.
  • Sweep and Mop Starting from the back and working your way to the front sweep those crumbs up and mop.  

2. Living and Dining Rooms 10 minutes

  • Clean Up The Clutter put anything that's out of place in boxes or drawers...if you put it in boxes, you're going to have to neatly hide the boxes somewhere.
  • Ditto for the Dust! Dust tables, fireplaces, mantels, window blinds and shades.  If any dust happens to fall on the floor, no worries, you will vaccuum at the end.  Don't forget to dust the ceiling fans and bookshelves... get yourself a long armed duster.  
  • Make that Glass Sparkle! Use glass cleaner to wipe down anything made of glass.
  • Ramp up the Vaccuum Now... vacuum all the dust you just put on your floor and on to the next room. 

3. Bathrooms 10 minutes

  • Start With Sink and Tub wipe down the sink and shower/tub with a good all purpose cleaner.
  • Clean the Toilet Thoroughly scrub the bowl with a brush, finish by scrubbing the outer area with a rag.
  • Wipe Mirror with your glass cleaner.  Start from the top corner and work your way down in a circular motion, think karate kid, "wax on...".
  • Wash The Sink Scrub the spots around the sink and fixtures with a brush to free up the grime, then finish with a rag and cleaner.  
  • Wipe the Shower/Tub Use a damp rag to wipe the shower and tub, if there are any tough-grimey spots, use a hard cleaner and brush to remove it...but don't scrub too hard. 
  • Mop the Floor Use a mop to quickly clean the floor of your bathroom, starting at the far corner and then working your way back to the door.

4. Bedrooms 10 minutes

  • Remake the Beds Remove the linens and replace with fresh ones so they look clean and crispy.  Don't forget to tuck the sheets in at the corner, go for the 5 star hotel feel, neat and crisp!‚Äč
  • Clear the Clutter Everything out of sight! Use drawers, baskets, the closet...you can organize more later.
  • Clean Furniture Wipe down furniture with a moist cloth or use a vacuum with hose attachment to suck up the dust.
  • Dust everything! tables, furniture, lamps, closets, shelves, ceiling fans, mirrors...everything.

Try these steps before your next showing, and be amazed at how quickly this can all be done.  If you are no longer living in the home or will be out of town you can hire a cleaning service and have this done for around $150. Check out my website for area businesses who are trusted individuals or companies who will provide these services in the area:  Preferred Vendors

For more Home Selling tips you can visit my website or check out my Facebook page.  Better yet, give me a call or stop in to see me!  I've been helping people Buy and Sell homes in the Champaign/Urbana area for 20+ years very successfully....and I'd like to do the same for you!

Champaign IL It's the Champaign Music Festival Weekend!

by Rose Price

 

WHEN: Saturday, July 11 from 6 pm-midnight

WHERE: Downtown Champaign

Admission is FREE; You'll pay for food, drinks and other vendors

One of the greatest events of the summer, formerly known as Mariposa Music Festival; guests get down to music from nationally recognized musicians.  This year will be an exciting evening with music from Smash Mouth and Toad the Wet Sprocket.  Attendees will also enjoy great food and beverages from local eateries.  So, come ready to rock out with your neighbors and friends!  It's FREE! So, why not?  

Schedule

6:00-6:30pm Brandon T. Washington

 

 

 

 

7:00-7:30pm Curb Service

 

 

 

 

 

8:00-9:30pm Toad The Wet Sprocket

 

 

 


     

10:15-11:45pm Smashmouth

 

 

 

Be a food vendor at our event! Click here!

Sponsor the Champaign Music Festival by clicking here!

Have Questions? Zoe.Stinson@champaignparks.com or call 217-819-3931

 

Champaign IL Top 10 Things To Do In Summertime!

by Rose Price

Summertime in Champaign Illinois is a great place to be! We have so many fabulous things to do ranging from outdoor fun; canoeing, swimming and fishing, to indoor fun at our fabulous children's museums and art centers. Or you can check out the local calendar's and visit one of the many festivals or events that take place on any given weekend during the summer months.  Whatever you and your family may choose to do....I know you will have a great deal of fun! 

OrpheumChildren's Science Museum The museum strives to inspire, engage and educate children through the exploration of Science and Art.  Great fun for families, schools, field trips, special events and birthday parties.  The building itself was actually a 1914 vaudeville and moving pictures theater.  

Kaufmann Lake is 24.2 acres of beautiful lake park.  Great for a day in the sun.  Families can canoe, swim and fish and there are plenty of picnic tables around the lake.  The park organizes a number of activities throughout the year, so check the Champaign park district website for more information.

Fannie May Chocolates Located at 402 S Neil Street, stop in and treat that sweet tooth.  Fannie May has been making gourmet sweets for 95 years and I think they've perfected the art of chocolate and they do have seasonal specialties...chocolate covered strawberries anyone?!

Zahnd Park Batting cages, baseball diamonds and football fields, set in a beautiful 20 acre park with a playground for the little ones.  Excellent for summer strolls or jogs. This park is especially busy with softball leagues in the summer.  

University Avenue Tree Walk  Join Champaign forester Bill Vander Weit and UI Educator Sandy Mason and learn some simple tricks in identifying trees.  A fun, interesting and educational walk on University Avenue.  For more information contact slmason@illinois.edu

Hessel Park Cool off! Get wet at the Waterplay Spray Ground in Hessel Park.  Kick back at the nearby shelter and let the little ones loose where they can go back and fourth from sprayground to playground!

Market At The Square The market is currently in its 34 season and was recently ranked one of the biggest and best markets in Illinois.  Each weekend roughly 5,000 people come to the market to shop the 70 or so vendors.  There's live music and a whole lot of fun.  One of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning in Urbana.  Stay up-to-date by checking the Market At The Square Facebook Page

Museum Of The Grand Prairie Fun and educational, this museum, located in the Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, inspires a connection to the natural and cultural world of Champaign.  Attend with or without your children, it's fun for young and old alike and best of all, it's completely FREE. 

Anita Purves Nature Center Located at the North End of Crystal Lake Park, is a great place for your family to experience the outdoors.  You'll see sakes, owls, beehives, birds and the staff there offers classes throughout the summer and are always willing to answer any questions you have.  

Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve Located in a rolling wooded area near Mahomet, Illinois this 900 acre preserve along the Sangamon River is a popular spot for fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country.  There is also a Botanical Garden and Lake Of The Woods Golf Course. 

 

CELEBRATE FREEDOM IN CHAMPAIGN, IL

by Rose Price

The Fourth of July is a sacred day for our country, we call to mind the blood, sweat and tears that accompanied the founding of this great nation.  We also call to mind the many men and women who still fight to protect our freedom, especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the rights that make America the greatest country on earth.  

Read the Declaration Of Independence here.

Champaign hosts one of the best 4th of July events in the country, with it's 66th Annual Freedom Celebration.  Festivities will start at 7pm. with live music on the main stage, located on Kirby Avenue between First and Oak Street.  There will also be a bounce house and inflatables for the little ones.  After the music will be the singing of the national anthem and retiring of the flag and immediately following, will be the long awaited fireworks show from the pyros Melrose Pyrotechnics. Go here for the full program and map.

 

 

  

OTHER 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS AROUND OUR AREA:
 
Paxton IL July 4th Celebration:  Paxton celebrates with a day of fun! Starting at 9:00 am there will be Live Music, Food, Children's Games- Bounce House, Great Car Show, Tractor Show and even a Watermelon Eating Contest!  Everything will take place at Pells Park, with a grand Fireworks Display at 9:00pm at the Memorial Field.  For more information follow this link:  PAXTON IL 4TH OF JULY 
 
Mahomet IL Freedom Fest 4th of July Celebration- Lake of the Woods Park:  Get set for a day with Family activities, food, and Music in Motion beginning at 3:00 pm!  After a tribute to our military men and women, they will LIGHT UP THE LAKE with a Fireworks Display that is set to music! Admission is $1 per person. Need more information, Follow this link: FREEDOM FEST MAHOMET IL
 
Tuscola IL- Sparks in the Park- 4th of July CelebrationThey don't fool around in Tuscola! The day starts with an early morning 5K run....but then you get to eat! A hearty pancake breakfast follows, then it's a basketball tournament, parade, and so much more!  The day is filled with a family carnival carnival of inflatables, games & food for the kids. Lives Music, food and drinks for Mom's & Dads. Followed by a fantastic Fireworks Display at dusk!
 
 
                                     WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY & SAFE 4TH OF JULY!

9 Tips For Making Your Champaign IL Home Energy Efficient

by Rose Price

Summer is officially here and inevitably your electrical bill is slowly creeping up as the months go on.  We have a few simply upgrades you can make to your home to make it more efficient and help keep more money in your bank account. 

 

Programmable Thermostats

Energy.gov suggests that turning your thermostat down 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you "as much as 10% a year on your heating/cooling."  Save more money; follow the recommended optimum daytime (78 degrees) and night time (70 degrees) temperatures, you can preset these and your thermostat will adjust on it's own.

 

 

Insulate

Adding new or additional insulation to your ceilings, attic and walls along with using caulk and or weather stripping (ensuring windows and doors are properly sealed) will prevent cold drafts and air leaks, keeping warm air inside in the winter.  These same improvements will help trap cold air inside in the summer.  

Ceiling Fans 

Now you've programmed your thermostat to the optimum levels, but chances are you may feel a little warm in certain rooms throughout the day.  This is where an energy star ceiling fan can help.  The average central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when running while the average ceiling fan uses only 60 watts, even when running on high!  You could save a lot of money even by running your fan for only half an hour a day.  In order to get the most from your ceiling fan follow these simple ceiling fan hacks from The Simple Dollar.  

 

 

HACK #1  In the summer time you want to adjust your fan so the air blows downward.    

Most fans have both a clockwise and a counter clockwise setting.  There are conflicting theories on what direction to use and when, simply because it is all dependent on how the blades are aligned and this varies from model to model.  Forget the theories, there's an easier way.  Simply stand below your fan and turn it on high, if you immediately feel a breeze, then it is on the summer setting (usually counter clockwise).  During the summer months, your ceiling fans should be running on high, with air blowing down, this will create the most air movement and give you the coveted breeze effect.

HACK #2 Turn the heat up a few degrees in the summertime.  

Sounds crazy right?  But, running your fan on high throughout the day will circulate the air better and create a breeze effect that will make the room feel cooler than it actually is.  

HACK #3  Turn ceiling fans off when you leave your home.

Obviously! Right?! Though running at 60 watts isn't a ton, you are sure to save quite a bit more if you shut your fans off when you're not home.  

 

Check out the video from Home Depot for instructions on how to install a new ceiling fan:

Replace Old Appliances

Obviously, old appliances aren't as energy efficient as newer models.  So, replace these dinosaurs with newer more efficient, Energy Star certified appliances.

For example:

  • A high efficiency on-demand water heater only fires when you need hot water.  It heats it quickly and then stops burning fuel.  
  • Get low flow appliances.  Low flow toilets, shower heads, and washing machines save a lot of water than more traditional models.
  • For the best results, double up.  Combine a low flow shower head with a on-demand water heater and double your savings.    

Window Treatments

Installing blinds, drapes, and shades will reduce the amount of sunlight and heat that enters your home.  Of course, these can be positioned in a way to let light and heat in only when you want it.  

Go Fluorescent

Fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent. Plus they look dynamite in the home!  

Open Your Doors

Keeping your doors closed stops your cooling systems from cooling the entire house and interrupts the flow of air, so open those doors!

Check Those Vents

A lot of homes, especially older ones have vents in strange places like closets for instance.  Go through your home and seal off any vent that is cooling an area that doesn't need cooling.  Even spare bedrooms and little used rooms can be wasted vents; blocking these will save you money. There are a large variety of covers out there, you're sure to find one that suits our vents. 

Last but certainly not least...

Take Advantage of Tax Incentives

The federal government offers a ton of incentives for making energy efficient home improvements.  Recent increases in incentives now allow for up to 30% of the cost of the home improvements, whether its for new windows, insulation, or air conditioning, up to $1,500 back into your bank account. 

 

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