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Christmas Tree Safety in Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Christmas Tree Safety for Families in Champaign

For many people it just doesn’t feel like Christmas until there is a tree in the house. However, Christmas trees often present a few safety issues, even though they are much fewer than they were years ago. Each year home fires occur from Christmas Trees- Faux or Real for a variety of reasons.  Below are some tips to help ensure your Holidays are burning brightly....but in a good way, not with flames!

Choose your tree wisely: If you decide, like many people do, to go with a lovely fresh pine tree, there are certain things need to look for:

  • The tree should be flexible and fragrant NOT dry and brittle.
  • Shake the tree and make sure it doesn’t lose too many needles, this is a good indicator that the tree is fresh.
  • Examine the bark and make sure there are no insects crawling around.
  • Lastly, and often an after thought, bring a tape measure and make sure this tree will fit in your home.

Set it up right: Sounds simple, but there are things people overlook. Here's what you need to do:

  • Keep your tree at least 3 ft away from any heat source, including fireplaces, vents, radiators, and even light fixtures!
  • To keep your Tree fresh longer, always saw off the bottom 1-inch of the fresh tree- this ensures maximum hydration.
  • Make sure it is secured well; preferably in a tree stand and screwed in tightly!
  • Never put it in the path of traffic in your home. Find a nice, out of the way, focal point in your home.

Fa La La La Light it Up Safely! Faulty wires from Christmas lights is one of the main causes of Christmas tree fires. Although our Christmas lights are much safer now than they have ever been, caution and common sense should still be demonstrated.

  • Make sure your lights are working properly and meant for indoor use.
  • Always check for broken bulbs & exposed filament....replace before putting on the tree.
  • NEVER, EVER USE REAL CANDLES!! If you like the old fashioned look of candles in the tree, use the electronic version!

Your Tree Gets Thirsty....Water Often: Sure the tree is going to come down soon, it may not seem all that important to keep it watered, but having a well hydrated tree makes all the difference in preventing a fire. If you’re planning to keep your tree up for a while, don't forget to water in the New Year - almost as many Christmas tree fires occur in January as in December.

 


Faux vs. Real Christmas Trees:

Most people have already answered this question themselves, but for those of you still on the fence, here are some pros and cons of each to consider.

  • If your priority is minimum cost and maximum convenience, Faux Christmas trees may be the best way to go, especially since faux trees don't look all that "fake" anymore. You just purchase a quality artificial Christmas tree once and you will be set for years.
  • Most environmentally-minded groups advocate real over faux trees because they benefit local farmers (the great majority of trees currently come from farms and not forests), they are also 100 percent recyclable, and don't contain potentially harmful plastics or chemicals…all good things.
  • The whole faux trees are safer, hasn’t been proved, especially since most holiday fires are started by overloaded electrical outlets…in these cases, both types of trees are equally likely to catch fire. Even "flame resistant" artificial trees have been known to ignite if the temperature is high enough, and unlike real trees, they emit harmful toxins while burning.

​​

Our Conclusion: Do what makes you HAPPY!  If you prefer a Fresh Cut Tree...then get a beautiful fresh cut tree!  If you'd rather have a terrific Faux tree, then do a Faux Tree!  As long as you're happy and celebrating the season with love, joy, family & friends that's all that matters! 

If you are interested in looking for a home in the lovely Champaign/Urbana IL area, please give me a call! I'd love to show you around our Charming Community. 217-202-8843.  

Champaign IL Top 3 Style Preferences of Home Buyers!

by Rose Price

Champaign/Urbana IL Home Owners if you're looking to "Freshen-up Your Decor" and get your homes on the market, take note of the Style Preferences below! In a recent promotion taken of prospective Home Buyers by Realtor dot com, buyers were asked to vote for their favorite type of decor as part of their “Get This Look” promotion. The styles below won overwhelmingly over any other home styles. 

The following is a breakdown of the TOP 3 STYLE PREFERENCES of BUYERS:

Good-Bye Hollywood's Spectacular looking but "don't touch" decor! Follow these tips for an easier to sell home!

INVITING: This is described as a welcoming atmosphere that includes fun bar ware, plenty of seating, and a gather-worthy kitchen that can serve as the LIFE OF THE PARTY!

RUSTIC: This look is for those who prefer natural elements: wood, stone, water and light. This design style usually incorporates organic materials from the outside/ inside for a perfect balance.

BEACHSIDE CHARM: This design has a relaxed and casual feel, often incorporating terra cotta tile, patio umbrellas, sun decks, and scattered shells.

Meanwhile, the design styles least favored in the survey: Regal (a design that uses fine fabrics and antiques), Urban, eclectic Mid-Century Modern, and Earthy.

Happy decorating...Look for more tips to come here on my Blog and on my Facebook Page!

If you'd like more information about homes for sale in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, please give me a call at 217-202-8843 or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com.

Resource: Realtor Mag.

ORGANIZATION! A word that haunts many homeowners, especially active families; when football cleats, hockey sticks, and various balls of shapes and sizes start invading your living room, But family and organization don't have to be contradictions.  Here are some simple home organization tips to help stay organized during your child's season.  The key here is variety and adaptability.  All of these storage tips can be easily modified, allowing you to adapt to your child's growing needs.  

Bungee Storage

Maybe the easiest way to stay organized in places like your garage, and still making it easy for the kids to grab balls or equipment in a hurry when they're late for practice is this phenomenal Bungee Storage system!  A Super easy & simple DIY project, but a great garage organizer too! 

Garage Cubbies

One of the keys to an organized garage is shelving!  Lots and lots of shelving.  So, nothing beats a great cubbie system.  You can make it even more convenient by using various sized cubbies; storing balls, bikes, helmets, bags, anything your little heart desires! 

Hockey Pad Drying Rack

One of my favorites!  This little guy is a life saver for all the hockey moms out there.  If you have a hockey player living in your home, you know that you'd rather keep that stuff outside, due to the stench it will leave in your home for days after every practice & game.  What's worse, is that if equipment doesn't dry completely, bacteria will grow on your child's pads, making them smell worse and lead to rashes and other health risks.  Not to worry, the problem has been solved.  Invest in a rack drying system!  If you're a really crafty parent,  these can easily be made cheaply with some PVC and some ingenuity.  Here's a guide to a DYI Drying Rack.

Peg Board Rack

The thing about child athletes is...they grow and so do their interests.  After a few seasons, you almost have enough equipment to open your own used sports store.  The answer to this is simple, a peg board!  It can constantly adapt to your child's growing arsenal of balls and equipment and coincidentally it's another easy DIY project.  DIY Pegboard.

Rollable Bins

For equipment used most frequently this Rollable Storage Bin is the perfect solution. It allows you to organize equipment by sport (soccer, tennis, baseball, etc.) and because it is on wheels, you can move it whenever necessary.  The Container Store has a few great options.

Hopefully this list helps lower the stresses of a busy fall sports season, allowing you to put all your effort into cheering on your little athlete!

For more Home Improvement & Organizational tips checkout my Facebook Page & my website. If you're interested in Real Estate in the Champaign/Urbana area, please give me a call!  I'd be happy to show you around our fantastic community or meet you and answer any questions you may have.

10 Fall Maintenance Projects for your Champaign IL Home

by Rose Price

1. Time to Stow that Mow...errrrr!

Two Words: Fuel Stabilizer.  If your mower sits for months with gas in the tank, it will start to deteriorate and damage the internal parts of the engine.  You can protect from this with a $10 bottle of stabilizer.  This way, you can keep your mower in good condition over the winter.

Another mower tip is to cool and remove the spark plug the pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole. After, pull the starter cord a couple times to distribute the oil.  This will keep the pistons lubricated and ensure an easy start in the springtime. Lastly, turn the mower on its side and clean out the grass and debris from the mower deck, finish and stow. Goodnight Mower til spring!

2.  Secure your hoses..

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and plumbing.  Doing this can result in cracked pipes, water damage and lots of "green" spent on your end! Don't gamble with the weather. If the water does freeze and expand...it's already too late.

3. Give your sprinklers a long break

Drain your irrigation systems.  Even deep buried systems can freeze, which again, leads to broken pipes and sprinkler heads. It's pretty simple:

Turn off the water to the main valve, then shut off the automatic controller. Once complete open the drain valves to remove water from the system. Once you've drained the water completely from the system, remove any above ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out.  If you don't have valves, then you may need to hire a pro to blow out the pipes with compressed air.  It may cost you a little bit of money, but it's well worth the time & money spent!  

4. Caulk your Cracks

Purchase a couple of tubes of colored caulk to match your exterior color then walk around your home and seal the cracks between the trim, window frames, door frames, and entry points of cables, pipes & vents. This is one of the simplest and most important jobs you can do to ensure you're not wasting energy this winter.

5. Get your head in the Gutter!

Clogged rain gutters may be one of the jobs you dread most, but they can be one of the costliest repairs if left undone. These can cause ice dams to form which often lead to expensive repairs, not just at the gutters & roof, but the attic, ceilings of your rooms and even the walls and floors!  So make this a priority; After all the leaves have fallen, remove the leaves, and other debris- including the gunk that forms from the gutters and flush them out with a hose. Make sure your gutters aren't sagging; tighten gutter hangers and downspouts.  If you find any colored sand or grit it is most likely from your shingles.  If you find enough of this, it may be time to replace the roof or at the very least have it inspected by a professional.  Click here for Recommended Roofers in Champaign/Urbana

*Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet from your home to prevent foundation problems

6. Raise the roof!

Look for warning signs of damage or any loose or missing shingles.  If shingles are missing, you should replace immediately.  Black algae stains are normal, but masses of moss could be a sign that a roof is decaying underneath.  If you do find moss, call a roofer for an evaluation. 

You'll also want to check your plumbing vent stack, which is usually lined with a rubber collar (called a boot) that may crack or loosen.  They will definitely wear out before your roof does.  So check it annually to ensure it's not cracked or loose.

7. Drains

Look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your home at least 6 vertical inches and ideally over ten feet away.  This way, you'll keep water from soaking the soil around the foundation, which often leads to cracks and leakage.   

8. Check your furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional before winter. These checks should take place annually.  Make sure to check the filters, which should be replaced every 2 months. If your HVAC includes a humidifier, make sure to replace this filter as well. Remember, Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Don't put your lives at risk! Get your HVAC checked at regular intervals.

 

9. Prune the plants

Late fall is the best time to prune your plants.  The goal is to keep branches 3 feet from your house, so moisture doesn't continually drip on your roof and home during the winter and damage your home.  

10. Check your fireplace

This is important for safety.  Grab a flashlight and take a peek inside.  Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.  Look into the flue to make sure it's free of birds, nests, branches and any other obstructions.  Check for missing or cracked bricks and replace damaged ones immediately. Next check for creosote buildup and clean your chimney thoroughly. Because creosote is a dangerous & highly flammable substance, using a certified Chimney Sweep is highly recommended.   

 

 More Winterizing Tips Below  

For more Home Maintenance Tips give me a call or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com.

 

Get Your Champaign IL Home Ready For Fall

by Rose Price

It may seem like summer has just ended, but before we know it, the blustery winds and  cooler temperatures of Fall will be upon us. Now is the best time to prepare your home for the change of seasons, before the actual change begins. Just think of the cash you will save by taking care of the weatherizing of your home now. Here are a few area's to check out on your home:

Raise the Roof

Few home problems are more frustrating than a leaky roof, as it’s often hard to find the exact source of the problem.  So, taking care of these things before the rain and snow begin is a good idea. 

Inspect your roof from top to bottom, searching for missing or damaged shingles. Check shingles for cracks and other damage. Look for damage to metal flashing around vents and chimneys. Look in your gutters. If you find large granules, it could be a sign that you are losing your roof’s coating. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely of any type of debris; leaves, sticks, sludge from rains and storms throughout the summer months.

Get your mind IN the Gutter

The drainage system on your roof is extremely important, as it diverts thousands of gallons of water from your home annually, protecting your foundation and walls. Obviously you want to keep these drains flowing smoothly.  Clogged gutters lead to basement flooding and other hard to detect damage.  They are not immune from rust and erosion, so you need to keep them cleaned out, especially BEFORE the Fall leaves start falling into them. Once they have been cleaned, we'd recommend using a mesh guard over the top to protect them from future debris, and it makes keeping them clean  & your job, a whole lot easier!  

Hunt your Home for Drafts

Many homes have air leaks around windows and doors, which can account for an increase of  10% in your energy bill (according to the U.S. Department of Energy).  So, check for gaps in caulk and weather stripping.  If you don’t have weather stripping…you’re missing out!  Seriously, weather-stripping is by far the most cost-effective way to control heating and cooling costs. It will reduce drafts and keep your home comfy cozy year round.  However, this stuff can deteriorate over time, so even if you already used it, you want to inspect it annually.  

There are a couple easy techniques for checking your stripping:

  • 1) Close your door or window on a strip of paper…if the paper slides up and down easily, you have some work to do.
  • 2) Light a candle and hold it near the frame of the closed door or window…if you find the flame flickers at any point near the frame…you have a leak!

You’ll also want to check your caulking, especially near entry points for cables.  This can also deteriorate over time, so look for area's you may have to re-caulk.  

Brrr.....It's Getting Chilly!

Winter is coming, and we all must protect our pipes or deal with a very messy & expensive aftermath! Close any shut-off valves to outdoor faucets…then drain the water line, by opening the valve outside.  

*If you don't have shut-off valves or your faucets are not "freeze-proof “, you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at home centers.

In-ground irrigation systems should come with instructions from the manufacturer on how to freeze proof. 

Where’s your Filter?

Furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited around your home.  Clogged filters also make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can seriously increase your utility bills. It’s easy to manage by a simple monthly cleaning to keep the filters breathing free and clear.

Disposable filters can be vacuumed once before replacement. Foam filters can also be vacuumed but these don't need to be replaced unless they are damaged. Use a soft brush on a vacuum cleaner. If the filter is metal or electrostatic, remove and wash it with a firm water spray.  Boom, your filter is good as new.

Professional Help

It's a good idea to have your Heating System inspected by a professional once a year. People often wait until the last minute, so beat the rush and schedule this for the early fall, before the heating season even begins.  Here are some of the signs that your Heating Systems isn't functioning properly:    

  • Noisy belts Weird screeches or whines may signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.
  • Poor performance. A heating system that doesn't seem to work as well as it used to could mean a lot of different problems. Your heating ducts could be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted or the blower motor could be on its way out.  But before you panic, check that the filter is clean.   
  • Erratic behavior. This could be caused by a faulty thermostat.

Come on Baby Light your Fire

Even if you rarely use your fireplace, you should check it annually for damage. 

Inspect your flue for creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood, so if it accumulates in your chimney, you could be victim to a devastating fire. Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup. If you use a fireplace frequently, then have the flue inspected after each cord of wood burned.

The best option is to have your entire chimney system inspected by a chimney sweep. Once you know what to look for, you can perform the inspection by shining a bright flashlight up the flue, looking for any deposits approaching 1/8 inch thick, though the actual cleaning of these deposits should be performed by a professional.  

  • Look for flue blockages. Birds love to nest at the top of an unprotected flue. A chimney cap is an easy way to prevent this.  If you don't have a cap, just take a look up the flu to be sure.
  • Exercise the damper. The damper is the metal plate that opens and closes the flu just above the firebox. Test the open and closed positions to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Check for damage. Make certain that the flue cap is in place. Inspect brick chimneys for loose or broken points. If access is a problem try using binoculars.

Keep your Humidifier Happy 

Really dry winter air is bad for your health, but did you know it can make fine wood crack easier? You and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your Central Humidifier running properly. 

  • Inspect the plates or pads. You can clean them with laundry detergent. You should also rinse and scrape off mineral deposits (use a wire brush or steel wool). 

Gassy 

Anything involving gas is a huge safety issue.  Heaters that are not maintained properly can spew poisons into the air of your home, or at least it may be costing you more to operate. Have a professional check these devices annually. 

Smoke and CO Detectors 

Replace batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Then vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. Test the detectors by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit. If you haven't already, install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.

Fire Extinguishers 

You’d be surprised how many homes don’t have a fire extinguisher.  Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher rated for all fire types (look for an A-B-C rating on the label). Keep one near the kitchen;  though having one per floor isn't a bad idea. Check the indicators on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Make sure the lock pin is intact and in place, and then make sure the discharge nozzle is not clogged.  

  • Fire Extinguishers should be replaced every 5 Years.
  • With every replacement, use a permanent marker to mark the date clearly on the new unit

​​For more Homeowner Tips and Fall Maintenance, visit my website and Facebook page. If you're looking to Buy or Sell a home in the Champaign/Urbana IL area in the fantastic Fall season, give me a call or stop in our office. You can contact me anytime at 217-202-8843 or view local homes at this link: Homes for Sale in Champaign IL.

Have a POWERFUL day!

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. 

 

Spring Maintenance for your Champaign/Urbana IL Home!

by Rose Price

It's spring in Champaign/Urbana and time to get our homes ready for the spring real estate market, which is already moving full-steam ahead. Is your home ready for the many buyers who will see it in the coming days? In order for your Champaign/Urbana home to stand out among the many that a potential buyer will take a look at, and for it to get the BEST OFFER possible, you want to have it looking it's absolute best!   That means you don't leave ANY stones unturned!  Make this spring's home maintenance and preparation top notch. 

HERE ARE TIPS TO GET YOUR HOME LOOKING GOOD:

Exterior Windows- Get those windows shining like the commercials we see on Television! No streaks or smudges and definitely no dirt from the winter season! Check all caulk and weather stripping too.

Decks & Patios- Power wash your decks and patios, then stain and reseal. They'll be looking like new again. If you have outdoor furniture, make sure it is staged appropriately.

Exterior Walls- Check for damage from the winter months. This can be cracks, stains, or holes. Repair as needed and be mindful of problem areas that may need more than just a minor repair.

Lawn- Pick up sticks and other debri from the long winter months, mow the grass and trim all shrubs and overgrown trees.  Lay down any herbicides and start your spring lawn care programs. 

In-ground Sprinkler Systems- Maintenance any in-ground sprinkler systems on the property so that they are in good working order.

Roof- Inspect for any missing or cracked shingles? Make sure to address any issues from winter damage or ice dams to keep your roof in top shape.

Chimney- If you have a stone chimney, check the bricks looking for efflorescence, a white calcium deposit that means your chimney is absorbing water. If you find this is the case, you need to reseal the chimney.

Downspouts & Gutters- Your favorite job! Clean the gutters and make sure all the downspouts are in the right position so water is directed away from your house.

Next Blog post I'll tackle Spring Maintenance on our Home Interior's! For more Home Maintenance Tips visit my Facebook Page and my Website.

If you are looking to put your Champaign/Urbana Home up for Sale, you'll want to do that very soon! Give me a call or you can find out what your Champaign/Urbana Home is worth by visiting this link for FREE: Get a free CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME VALUE REPORT

I are here to help in any way I can. I'd love to partner with you to sell your home and get you the Value and Price you deserve for your Champaign/Urbana Home! Give us a call anytime.

Champaign/Urbana IL Protect Those Pipes From Freezing!

by Rose Price

With temperatures in Champaign/Urbana getting into the deep digits,  the chance of pipes freezing becomes a very real possibility, and untreated pipes in your basement and crawl-spaces can be an expensive scenario for any homeowner in the event of a burst.  What can you do to limit the chance of this happening to you & your home? Here are several preventative measures you can take:

  • First & foremost, you need to seal any air leaks inside near where the pipes are located in your home! Do a complete inspection around dryer vents, outdoor pipes, and electrical wiring. You'll need to use insulation, caulking, and sealants to ensure you've blocked the airway. Even a small opening can allow enough of this frigid air in to freeze a pipe.
  • Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing so you'll need to check your basement, and crawl-spaces where these pipes are located. Make sure you inspect all pipes to make sure each is properly insulated. Remember....ANY pipe can freeze, so inspect each one.
  • Heat Cables (thermostatically controlled)or Heat Tape can be used to wrap pipes. (Make sure any products used have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc or other independent testing organizations & that you are using the products only where they are intended to be used IE: Inside or Outside, and you follow all installation and operational instructions). Check your local hardware store for supplies. 
  • To reduce freezing in the short span of the pipe, use indoor valves to shut off and drain water from the pipes that lead to outside faucets.
  • Many of us have gotten into the habit of turning down our thermostats at night, however this is NOT the time to do that! During these weather conditions it is very important to keep your thermostats set at the same temperatures both day & night. Because temperatures drop even deeper at night, if you set your thermostats lower at night you can run the risk of those pipes freezing over night.
  • Remember when your Mother told you to "Let the faucet's trickle overnight or if you are going to be gone for a day or two!"? Well, Mom was RIGHT! Trickling of hot and cold water, just letting it drip from the faucet on an outside wall, can keep your pipes from freezing! THANKS MOM!
  • Lastly,  keep the doors to your cabinets (on exterior walls) open, to allow heat to circulate through to the uninsulated pipes. Yes, I know you thought people were joking when they said that, but it is true, it can help keep your pipes from freezing as well.

Now, what can you do if your pipes have frozen?  SCREAM!  Just kidding, this isn't a laughing matter. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, keep the faucets turned OFF and call a plumber immediately.  If your pipes are frozen, please keep these 4 things in mind:

  1. NEVER try to thaw a pipe with a blow torch or any other flame. 
  2. NEVER try to wade through the flooded waters in a basement or touch ANY electrical appliances or items in that area.  They will still be "ACTIVE" if plugged in prior to your basement flooding and would be cause for electrocution.
  3. If your pipes have BURST, Turn your water OFF at the main shut off valve.
  4. If trying to warm a Frozen Pipe, start as close to the faucet as possible then work toward the frozen section.
  5. Before you turn ANY water back on, MAKE SURE THERE AREN'T ANY LEAKS IN THE PIPES!!
  6. Make sure to check your Homeowners Insurance Policy and call them immediately.
I hope you'll just need to use my preventative tips and that our lovely communities around Champaign/Urbana will start to see the beautiful beginnings of spring sooner rather than later! Until then, check out my website and social media for more Homeowner tips!
If you're looking to move to the Champaign/Urbana area, and why wouldn't you Wink, give me a call! I'd love to be your tour guide and show you all the wonderful neighborhoods, schools and other points of interest in the Champaign/Urbana area. You can also sign up for my EXCLUSIVE EMAIL LISTING ALERTS! This allows you to be the first notified of homes that come onto the market that meet your personal preferences.  It's so easy, just follow this link: FREE LISTING ALERTS.

Increase the Value of Your Champaign/Urbana Home!

by Rose Price

When the Top 24 Real Estate Experts in their field were asked this question..."WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO INCREASE YOUR HOME'S VALUE FOR $5,000 OR LESS? These are the most common answers they came up with:

They may not all work for you or your Champaign/Urbana Home, but they're great ideas! Just find the ones that work best for your particular home and situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you'd like additional home remodeling or selling tips for your home, visit my website or give me a call.

If you are looking for a home in Champaign/Urbana, I'd love to talk with you and show you around our wonderful community! Give me a call or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com

Champaign IL Energy Saving Tips for the Winter Season

by Rose Price

For many of us in Champaign/Urbana IL the winter season brings visions of the holidays, winter sports and nights sitting around the fireplace wrapped up in a comforter sipping on our favorite hot drinks. For others it causes headaches and sleepless nights of cold or worries over a soaring energy bill.

Instead of worrying, there are things that can be done to limit the damage to our wallet, and still keep you and your family safe and comfortable during the winter months.  Here are some “easy to do” energy saving tips to try:

  • GET A HOME ENERGY AUDIT-most companies will do this for free.
  • CLEAN & MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEM
  • REPLACE BROKEN WINDOWS & DOORS                                           
  • INSULATE YOUR WINDOWS
  • SEAL ALL LEAKS IN YOUR HOME- including where cables come into the home, around sump pump, and where pipes are.
  • WEATHERSTRIP- Windows & Doors                                                                    
  • REPAIR ROOF DAMAGE- REPLACE IF NECESSARY
  • MAINTAIN, REPAIR OR REPLACE WATER HEATER
  • WRAP (INSULATE) WATER HEATER
  • CLEAN FIREPLACE/CHIMNEY BEFORE SEASONAL USE
  • ADD ADDITIONAL INSULATION to attic, basement, exterior wall

A few other things to do ……:

  • Unplug all unused appliances,  and electrical components
  • Use Energy Star Products
  • Install Programmable Thermostats
  • Always Turn off Lights in rooms not being used
  • Turn down your thermostat at night time
  • Make sure your curtains are open during the daytime (Sunshine) hours
  • Make sure all your Heating Vents are free and clear of any furniture or blocks of any kind

Keep in mind that if you are planning on selling your home, buyers are very conscience of energy costs associated with a home. Buyers will always ask for the prior heating and cooling records for that home. So anything you can do to make your home more energy efficient will not only help you, but will also help you sell your home at a later time.  Buyers at this time are not just looking for the home to be the “beautiful home” on the outside….they need it to be the “energy efficient” home on the inside for them to grab it when it goes on the market.  

If you are a Champaign/Urbana homeowner and find yourself in need of assistance this home heating season, follow this link for more information:  CCRPC

If you're interested in more tips or information on becoming a homeowner in the Champaign/Urbana IL area give me a call, stop in my office or check out my website at www.champaignrose.com.                                                      

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