Ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to help with the heating and cooling of your home. You can find many that cost under $100 and they have little ongoing cost. And for those of you who like DIY projects, this one will take you a couple of hours to upgrade an existing light fixture.

While ceiling fans don’t drastically lower the temperature in a room, they do help to reduce it slightly as well as produce a light breeze which makes you feel cooler. The result? Less use of the air conditioner that results in 3-8% savings on cooling costs. Remember that in the summer months, your fan’s blades should be moving counter clockwise.

In the winter months, ceiling fans can take on a whole new role. When you reverse the fan’s blades to rotate clockwise, you cause the air to circulate without causing that chilly breeze. This allows for better circulation of the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling. It’s often best to have the fan speed set to low in the winter to avoid too much air movement and the effects of a breeze.

Lastly, and maybe the most important, is the decision on which fan to purchase. There are few things to keep in mind when you are out shopping for a ceiling fan. 1. The size of the room – ceiling fans come in all sizes and choosing one that is meant for your home’s room dimension is key. It’s recommended that you choose a 40-42 inch blade span for a room 70-100 sq feet and a 42-48 inch for 100-140 sq feet. A room that’s bigger may need two small fans to be effective. 2. The location of the installation – for rooms with lower ceilings, a flush mount ceiling fan will work best, while rooms with high ceilings will need a down rod so that the fan is in the right place. You also want to make sure for areas such as an enclosed porch, that you check out the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating to ensure the fan has either a damp or wet rating. 3. Finally, you want to pick a fan that fits your decor and life style. Fans come in all sorts of styles and can have features from various lighting to remote controls.

Changing a current light fixture in your home to a ceiling fan can saving you hundreds over the life of the fan. Especially with Energy Star rated ceiling fans available, savings can add up quick.

You may enjoy drinking a glass or two of beer, but did you know that beer has many other household uses? Beer’s many uses range from getting rid of pests to making you more beautiful.

Here are just a few of the more handy ways to use beer around your home:

Get Rid of Slugs
Lure slugs away from your garden plants by putting a small, short bowl of beer near your plants. The slugs will find the delicious beer, crawl inside the bowl and drown. This application is unfortunate for the slugs, but good for your garden.

Rid Your Yard of Brown Spots
Spray beer on the brown spots in your yard to help bring the grass back to life. Saturate the brown spots in the lawn with the beer. The fermented sugar from the beer will return your lawn to a lush green. If the grass doesn’t quite return to its former color, repeat the application.

Tenderize Meat
Beer can add great flavor, and also contains alpha acids and tannins that work as a meat tenderizer. Marinate your meat overnight, or at least an hour before cooking. You can also use beer to tenderize meat in your slow cooker.

Get Silky and Shiny Hair
After shampooing, rinse your hair with half a can of beer. Let the beer sit on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing out. Your hair will be silky and shiny for days.

Do you have any other great uses for beer?

The Security of the home is a point of paramount significance to all homeowners.  Burglary is one of the most common crimes committed in the United States. It is estimated that every 15 seconds, someone falls victim to this felony. Knowing that a criminal has violated their personal living space,  homeowners can become fearful and feel insecure in their own homes.  Worrying about whether or not your home is safe can affect the whole family’s feeling of security.  Together, the family can make some simple changes that may help deter a felon from entering their home.

Helpful hints to secure your home against burglary:

Do not leave valuables lying around in plain sight, inside or outside of the house. This could be an open invitation to thieves.  Personal belongings that would be tempting to a burglar should be kept out of sight in a secure location.  There is a wide variety of home safes available today that provide secure storage.  It is also important to protect your belongings outside of the home.  Leaving expensive items such as toys, bicycles, or tools unattended in an easily accessible area of your yard is an unsafe practice.  The criminal mind is always looking for a quick pick !

Be aware of how much personal information your trash can provide. After purchasing a new appliance or electronic device, avoid placing the box in its entirety out with your trash. Cut it up, place it in a large trash bag, or bring it to a recycling center. To a criminal this is great advertisement that there is an brand new plasma TV in your house!

Burglars tend to come around when no one is home.  If they get the impression someone is home, it discourages them from entering. Therefore, when leaving the home, it is best to create an illusion that someone is still there. Leave on some music, a lamp by your favorite chair and maybe your coffee cup on the table.  When you need to be away from your home for an extended period, the use of timers on the inside and outside lights will improve the authenticity that someone is actually home.  The minimal amount of electricity that you will be burning to implement these safety measures will be well worth it if you can deter a break in.

Securing all possible entry points of your home is also key.  Older sliding doors and windows may need to be secured with an extra measure of protection as some can be easily popped off.  Bulkheads and basement doors need to be locked and secured to avoid easy access.   Window air conditioning units can be easily removed allowing quick access if not installed securely.  An unlocked door on an attached garage can be open invitation to a criminal.  Keeping your doors locked may not deter all break ins, but it is a simple step to take in making your home more secure.

Although it may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key under the doormat, this type of behavior should be avoided.  Most burglars are aware of the common hiding places and will quickly locate your “hidden” key.  A safer option is to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend. You can keep a spare key hidden in your vehicle or secured with a combination lock somewhere outside of the home.  Remember, never place any information that identifies your house on the key just in case it ever ends up in the wrong hands.

There are many things a homeowner can do to keep their home safe.  Fortunately there is also a wide variety of home security systems available for individuals that desire a higher level of security.  Taking the preventative measures that you can and seeking the guidance of a security system professional is the best way to confirm your home secure.

Did you know that there are foods that are super? No drugs needed there are actually foods that will help keep you healthy and boost your energy.

Here are just a few of the foods known to lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and even put you in a better mood.

Blueberries-Blueberries are not just yummy they are a natural antioxidant.  Blueberries are also high in potassium and vitamin C.  They lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, and have also been proven as an anti-inflammatory.

Sweet potatoes- Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. If you are looking to shed some pounds sweet potatoes have been known to curb appetites by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Like blueberries, sweet Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants and boast anti-inflammatory properties.

Salmon-Salmon and other cold-water fish like herring, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3s. Foods with omega-3s are high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol. Two-to-three servings a week should do the trick.

Tea-Green tea can help lower cholesterol and prevent cancer. Green tea contains ECGC. ECGC is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown in studies to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Dark Chocolate-Go ahead and indulge in some dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. When choosing chocolate, the darker the chocolate the better. Dark chocolate is lower in fat and sugar content. Look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content

What are some of your favorite super foods?

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