10 Things You May Not Know About Solar Power

1. Solar power is the most abundant energy source on Earth.
Every hour, more solar energy hits the earth than all of humanity needs for an entire year. Solar panels harness this clean energy source by using photovoltaic cells.
2. You can use solar power to run your entire home.
It’s a cheaper, safer, and green solution to running air conditioners, hot water heaters, appliances, etc.
3. Solar power has a long history
The potential to harness solar power was first discovered in 1839 (a year after the first coal fired power plant was built) by Alexandre Edmond Becquererl. He found how to create an electrical current in a conductor that was hit by the sun rays, in other words, the photovoltaic effect. The creation of modern silicon photovoltaic cells was completed in 1954 at Bell Labs. Since then, the efficiency has increased more than four times, while the price has decreased significantly!
4. Solar is the world’s most popular form of new electricity generation
Due to decreased cost and increased efficiency, solar has quickly become the preferred new electricity generator. More than 73 gigawatts of new solar power was installed in 2016!
5. Solar power produces no pollution
Apart from the pollution given off during manufacturing, solar power is one of the cleanest, most sustainable, and most renewable resources in the world. However, not all panels are created equal. SunPower panels are the only solar panels to have achieved a Cradle to Cradle certification, meaning the panels are manufactured in the most sustainable, ethical way possible.
6. Solar power improves world health
The burning of fossil fuels creates toxic pollution, which has an impact on global health. Pollution affects as many people as HIV or malaria, and has serious consequences on children, older adults, and all living plants and animals. Solar power reduces the amount of fossil fuels used, meaning less pollution is going into the air, and into our lungs.
7. Solar panels can increase your home value
Initial studies have shown solar panels can increase your home value an average of $20,000, a higher payback percentage than a kitchen remodel.
8. Solar can help lower electric bills
Depending on where you live in Texas, you may be able to take advantage of net metering (your system is hooked up to the electric grid and you sell back excess energy you produce). If you decide to finance, there is a possibility your monthly loan payment will be less than your average electric bill. Solar can help you save money from day one!
9. Solar systems come with a warranty
Most solar systems come with a warranty. The warranty we offer at SunPower by Freedom Solar is a 25 year warranty on product (guarantees the quality of the system), 25 year warranty on service (repair or replace defective panels) and 25 year warranty on power (guarantees highest power production).
10. You don’t have to buy solar panels outright
There are multiple ways to afford solar, you don’t have to pay cash to reap the benefits. Low interest loans are available to solar system owners, as well as other financing options.
By: Freedom Solar
Contact them for the latest info!

Come see Pete Nelson, the Treehouse Expert, at the 2014 Austin Fall Home & Garden Show!

Pete Nelson, the Treehouse Expert as seen on Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters”, is the visionary, tree-loving head honcho (and creative genius!) of Nelson Treehouse & Supply. Pete will talk about building treehouses safely and his experiences on the show. His treehouses have been featured on numerous national TV shows and newspaper articles and has been dubbed “The Treehouse Man.” Pete eats, sleeps and breathes treehouses!
Azzanarts will also be building an custom tree house at the entrance of the show!

The biggest fall Home & Garden Show in Texas is back!

Find everything for your home and garden in one place!
Take advantage of SHOW ONLY PRICES!
The 27th Annual San Antonio Fall Home & Garden Show
October 4-6 at the Alamodome
Presented by: GSABA
New This Year!

  • Meet Brett Raymer & Wayde King from Animal Planet’s hit show Tanked & check out their bakery tank, it’s pretty sweet!
  • Huge garden supply and plant sale
  • Kitchen & Bath Idea Gallery
  • Texas Cooking Stage
  • Kids Pumpkin Patch


  • Shop the Art, Gift & Gourmet Area
  • Watch live cooking demos
  • Bring the kiddos to the Interactive Kid Zone
  • Dine in the International Food Court
  • And splurge in Dessert Row

Click here for more details

We are pleased to announce that we are NOW producing the Fall Home & Garden Show in El Paso!

October 11-13, 2013 at the El Paso Convention Center.
And Ahmed Hassan is crashing too!
Ahmed starred on DIY Network’s “Yard Crashers” and wants to share his landscape knowledge and green expertise with YOU!
He will also be available for pictures and autographs throughout the weekend (Saturday & Sunday)
The show will also feature:

  • Huge Homebuilders feature by Accent Homes
  • Master Gardeners Seminar on the Garden Stage
  • Huge Kid Zone
  • An Art, Gift and Gourmet Area
  • Plant Sale
  • Pet Zone featuring Pet Adoptions
  • Garden/Landscape
  • Outdoor Living, Pools & Spa’s
  • & Much More!
FRIDAY 2:00 PM 7:00PM
SUNDAY 11:00AM 5:00PM

Announcing the 1st annual Collin County Fall Home & Garden Show! Don’t miss it! September 13-15, 2013 at the Allen Event Center.

What to expect:

  • The Biggest Show Ever filling the Allen Event Center with over 200 exhibitors plus an additional 1500 sq. ft. of outside exhibits.
  • Find everything for your home & garden.
  • Finest Builders & Remodelers
  • Landscapes, Outdoor Living and Water Features
  • Flooring, Appliances, Cabinets
  • Windows and Window Treatments
  • Kitchen & Bath Remodeling Solutions
  • Painters
  • Nurseries
  • Closets
  • Garage and Storing Solutions
  • Stone, Concrete and Granite
  • Skylights & Awnings
  • Roofing & Gutters
  • Storm Shelters
  • Bedding
  • Fencing & Decks
  • Interior Design & Accessories
  • Pools, Spas & Fountains
  • Healthy Air and Bath
  • Green Home Living
  • Solar & Wind Power solutions
  • Insurance & Financial Services
  • Foundation Repair
  • Custom Homes and Remodeling
  • Art, Gift & Gourmet
  • Pet Products

Then, don’t miss the chance to meet our celebrity guest Jeff Lewis! Jeff is a top interior designer and Star of Bravo’s hit TV shows “Interior Therapy”, “Flipping Out” and “Property Envy”! SATURDAY ONLY!
Also, bring an appetite!!
This show will include the Gourmet Food Truck Round Up with food trucks such as:

  • RocknRicks – Gourmet Cajun
  • Ruthie’s Rolling Café – Gourmet Grilled Cheese
  • Gandolfo’s New York Deli
  • What’s Da Scoop – Gourmet Ice Cream
  • The Butcher’s Son – Gourmet Meats and Sliders
  • The Guava Three – Gourmet Cuban Food
  • BBQ Gourmet Truck


Friday, September 13, 2p-7p       
Saturday, September 14, 10a-7p        
Sunday, September 15, 11a-5p


Adults 17+ - $9.00
16 and under – FREE
Seniors 65+ - $6.00 (All Weekend)*
Active Duty Military – FREE w/ ID
$1.00 Off admission coupons at www.ShowTechnology.com and www.allenhomeandgardenshow.com
*No further discounts applied to senior admission.


Allen Event Center
200 E. Stacy Rd.
Allen, TX 75002
Ph: 972/678-4646



We are pleased to announce that we are producing a Fall Home & Garden Show in Corpus Christi!

September 13-15, 2013 at the American Bank Center.
And Ahmed Hassan is crashing too!
Ahmed starred on DIY Network’s “Yard Crashers” and wants to share his landscape knowledge and green expertise with YOU!
He will also be available for pictures and autographs throughout the weekend!
The show will also feature:

  • Master Gardeners Seminar on the Garden Stage
  • Interactive Kid Zone
  • Live Birds of Prey
  • An Art, Gift and Gourmet Area
  • Plant Sale
  • Garden/Landscape
  • Outdoor Living, Pools & Spa’s
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Ultimate Kid Party Zone
  • Dazzling Dream Parties

Keep it cool, keep it efficient and keep it affordable!

Austin, TX is known for having a laid back attitude, “keeping it weird”, amazing BBQ, local music and hot summers. The summer has started and we are well on way to hitting triple digits. When you aren’t at the lake or at the pool, cooling down indoors is vital to surviving the heat. How do you stay cool and keep your home’s energy bill down?  Here are ten tips to save and beat the summer heat:

  1. Getting an AC tune-up is not just a suggestion.  It is important to keep your system properly maintained so that it doesn’t struggle in the peak summer months. You can save up to 20% on your cooling bills just by having your air conditioning unit serviced twice a year.
  2. Check for leaks in your homes’ duct-work. Leaky duct-work waste 20-40% of your heating and cooling energy.
  3. Weatherization isn’t just for the winter months. Adding “green” insulation and sealing air holes in between door and window transitions help cool air from escaping and warm air entering the home.
  4. Upgrade to “Energy Star” products. Old appliances and equipment are “energy hogs”; they waste money and valuable resources.
  5. Take advantage of rebates on efficiency improvements from the City of Austin to reduce your expense on upgrades.
  6. Be sure that your AC unit is properly sized. Get assistance from an energy auditor or air conditioning contractor.
  7. Keep your ventilation clean. The dirtier they are, the harder your AC system needs to work. Switch from disposable filters to reusable air filters. Disposables are excessive, expensive and fill up the landfills.
  8. Shorten your showering time and follow with a cool rinse. It will be refreshing and you could save 2.5 to 10 gallons per each minute you reduce!
  9. Turn on ceiling fans or room fans. This helps circulate air movement and contributes in cooling the room so that you can set your thermostat higher.
  10. Stay hydrated! If your body temperature is cooler you won’t need to have the thermostat set so low.

Don’t let the cost of the summer heat ruin your summertime fun! Keep your home cool and energy bill low. Call the experts at Affordable Air Conditioning and Plumbing to sign up for a Maintenance Membership to save on tune ups, repairs and service. And remember, “Keep it cool, keep it efficient and keep it Affordable!”

A Home & Garden Tip From Goodness Grows in Austin

(Owner: Heather McLean)
“An empty space is just a place, waiting to become.” Often an unused corner of your property can provide a whole new perspective and we can create a separate garden room. These raised planters provide the perfect environment for our client to grow fresh flowers, herbs and veggies.

Annual show keeps home, garden wares local

Photo Courtesy of Show Technology – Brian Santos, better known as the ‘Wall Wizard’ on his HGTV program, performs a recent paint workshop. Santos and HGTV’s Donna Moss will be at the third annual Collin County Home & Garden Show this month in Allen.

By Chris Beattie, cbeattie@acnpapers.com

Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 12:12 PM CST
With more than 175 vendors — its largest showing yet — the upcoming third annual Collin County Home & Garden Show is set to run the home-improvement gamut.

“It will have something for everyone, whether they’re trying to purchase or just looking for ideas,” said Pam Rogers, corporate sales director for Show Technology, the show’s promoter. “If you can imagine it, it’s there.”
The show, which sold out vendor space in November, will run Feb. 17-19 at the Allen Events Center, off Stacy Road in Allen. It will feature its largest-ever array of exhibitors, boasting everything from landscapes, appliances and countertops, to cabinetry, spas and home security systems.

The show’s move from Frisco to the “brand new, state-of-the-art” facility in Allen happened just in time to accommodate the recent and current growth throughout northern Collin County, Rogers said.

“The community there is building faster than the roads,” she said. “It’s just been so well-attended and well-received in the market; there’s so much desire to participate because the community has really embraced the show.”
Donna Moss and Brian Santos from HGTV will be at the show to provide interactive seminars on their respective expertise, during which they’ll answer visitors’ questions and help solve their home or garden dilemmas.
Moss, dubbed the “Queen of Bling,” hosts HGTV’s “Donna Decorates Dallas” and will be available for questions, autographs and demonstrations Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19.
Brian Santos, host of the TV show “Wall Wizard Workshops,” will share eco-friendly painting tips and techniques at different times throughout the weekend.
“The neat thing about Brian is he does a very interactive, hands-on seminar that really allows the guests to be involved,” Rogers said. “It’s a unique opportunity to get a professional opinion.”
Show Technology hosts similar shows around the country, but because of its San Antonio base, Rogers said the company’s top priority remains in Texas, particularly in places quickly expanding like Collin County.
All vendors come from the D-FW area, she said, and thus keep the improvement — in and outside the home — within their immediate surroundings.
“It allows the people in the community to interact face to face with their local businesses,” she said. “It helps build jobs, drive money into the community, and it keeps the dollars local.”
Offering everything “from the front door to the backyard,” Rogers said, the annual exhibition contains every option of home improvement — facets as simple as garden graters or as complex as home theaters. And it’s all in one place.
“You don’t have to drive around or shop around at different competitors,” she said. “Everyone is there, so you can look at one countertop then walk down six booths to see another.”
Pest control, plants, bathtubs and beds are just some of the featured products and services at the show every year. Gourmet food tastings, salsas and jams will be available for guests who build up an appetite from their constant booth browsing.
Potential visitors can access show details and vendor appearances at www.showtechnology.com. They pay once for the entire weekend and can come and go as they please.
In a rough economy, few residents have everything they want and need for their homes, which is why the show’s vast, central selection could be peaking at the right time.
“Home improvement is a multi-billion dollar industry; probably the number one investment people have is their home,” Rogers said. “With the current state of affairs, they can’t just move, so they have to improve.”
The Collin County Home & Garden Show will run 2-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; 10 a.m. — 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18; and 11 a.m. — 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. It will be at the Allen Events Center at 200 E. Stacy Rd., Suite 1350, in Allen.
Admission is $9.50 for adults 17 and older, and $7.50 for seniors 65 and older. Children 16 and under get in free.