SunLakes of AZ Blog

Using Open Source for work and play

June 2017

You're reading the: Features, Home and Garden column.


by The Editor for Features, Home and Garden

With the abundance of sun in Arizona it’s a wonder we are just now asking this question. The fact is there has never been a better time to go Solar than right now. Arizona has some of the best incentives in the country. SRP will pay $2.70 per watt rebate ($3.00 for APS) of solar installed and the State will kick-in a $1,000 tax credit and not charge you any sales tax. Add that to a 30% federal tax credit and you end up with 65-70% of the cost of your system paid for. You still have some up front costs but the pay back is still attractive for most homeowners. For example, a $30,000 5 kilowatt system will end up costing you approximately $10,800 after all rebates and tax credits. This system will save you from $100 to $120 off your SRP electric bill depending on how efficiently you use the system.
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2012 Sun Lakes Annual Cleanup – Hazardous Waste Collection

by The Editor for Events and Presentations, Home and Garden

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Joan’s Real Estate Corner… What’s In, Out of Smaller Homes?

by Joan Byrnes for Home and Garden

Buy a super-sized, outdated home today and you could have a tough time selling it when it’s time to move on.  By 2015, new homes will be 10 percent smaller, greener and packed with more technology and “universal” features than today’s homes, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders.

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Joan’s Real Estate Corner… Holiday Home Safety

by Joan Byrnes for Home and Garden

The Holiday season is upon us, and for most it is a time full of joy, fellowship, and family. But the unexpected can and does happen.

So, from stopping theft to preventing fires, here are a few tips from the experts that can help keep your family safe this time of year. Fire safety comes with the territory of the holidays. Trees and lighting can both be dangerous if not done correctly.

When selecting a real tree, be sure to buy one that is fresh. This means you should look for a fragrant tree that is a rich, deep green color. Also, the trunk should still be sticky with sap. Old trees are dry and brittle, and thus can be very flammable.
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Turn Your Home Green

by Joan Byrnes for Home and Garden, Real Estate

It’s time to give back to our planet. Whether you are looking to save money, become a naturalist or are anxious to have the cutting-edge technology, follow these simple tips and help make our world a better place.

Buy new light bulbs
When it’s time to buy light bulbs, opt for the premium fluorescents. They will shine a pure-white or buttery-golden light and can cut your electricity bill by 5%. These bulbs can range from $3 to $12.

Have a barbeque
Outdoor grilling doesn’t just result in a tasty burger – it’s also good for the air. Outdoor grills use less energy that your electric kitchen stove and also keep heat out of the house; therefore, lowering air conditioning costs. Choose a grill that uses propane or natural gas because they emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour whereas a charcoal grill emits 11 pounds!

Brew coffee with an energy-efficient coffee machine
The energy-efficient coffee machines brew coffee at the exact temperature recommended for coffee; therefore, it doesn’t waste any extra heat and you’ll never have burnt coffee again!

Buy a flat screen monitor
The old, bulky monitors not only take up space, but they also increase your electric bill. You’ll save money by switching to an LCD flat-panel model because a flat screen uses as little as a third of the electricity as the conventional tube-based models. You should also consider this when shopping for large-screen TVs – the savings are in the LCDs and rear-projection models because they use less than half the energy of plasma TVs.

Clean-up with recycled papers towels
Next time you’re in the paper good aisle, throw the recycled paper towels into your cart – they’re cheap and environmentally-friendly.

Become an expert recycler
Local recycling practices may vary, but there are a few universal rules that you can follow. First of all, shopping bags never go in your recycling bins. Look on the bottom of your plastic items for a number and only put the items with a one or two in your bin. Second, don’t put light bulbs, broken glass or bits of food into your bin – they slow up the process and make waste professionals feel like they’ve been tossed to the curb.

For more home-owning advice or for Sun Lakes real estate needs, contact me at your earliest convenience.

Joan Byrnes, SRES
Realty One Group


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by The Editor for Home and Garden

The first thing to do in the Arizona spring when water temperature begin to climb is to have you water checked by a reputable pool company or pool store.  This will give you a good baseline of the Chlorine / Bromine, PH, Total Alkalinity & Calcium Harness levels of your pools water, which will allow you to plan your chemical balancing.  Both of these companies will provide you with a “Shopping List” of chemicals in proper proportions to add to your pool based on your waters individual readings.  Should you be a “do-it-yourselfer” a chemical self-tester, or strips can provide you with a great insight on your pools chemical standings at any time.
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