Tuesday

Saving Energy and More

Lighting

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

—A Bright Idea! Compact fluorescent bulbs are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and provide the same light levels. Halogen lamps generate excessive heat that can create fire hazards. Use compact fluorescent lights in your torchieres or better yet, buy a torchiere designed for compact fluorescent bulbs.Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.

Indoor Lighting

Use tube fluorescent and energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last about 4 to 10 times longer. Today's CFLs offer brightness and color rendition that is comparable to incandescent lights. Although fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs, they pay for themselves by saving energy over their lifetime. CFL fixtures are now available that feature dimmers and operate much like incandescent fixtures.

Indoor Lighting Tips

• Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing these products.
• Turn off the lights in any room you're not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
• Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops under cabinets.
• Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lightinglevels low when brighter light is not necessary.
• Use 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for your workroom, garage, and laundry areas.
• Consider using 4-watt minifluorescent or electro-luminescent night lights. Both lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. The luminescent lights are cool to the touch.
• Use CFLs in all the portable table and floor lamps in your home. Consider carefully the size and fit of these systems when you select them. Some home fixtures may not accommodate some of the larger CFLs.
• Recessed downlights (also called recessed cans) are now available that are rated for contact with insulation (IC rated), are designed specifically for pin-based CFLs, and can be used in retrofits or new construction.
• Take advantage of daylight by using light-colored, loose-weave curtains on your windows to allow daylight to penetrate the room while preserving privacy. Also, decorate with lighter colors that reflect daylight.
• If you have torchiere fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres. Compact fluorescent torchieres use 60% to 80% less energy, can produce more light (lumens), and do not get as hot as the halogen torchieres. Halogen torchieres are a fire risk because of the high temperature of the halogen bulb.Outdoor LightingMany homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. When shopping for outdoor lights, you will find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights. Some stores also carry lights powered by small photovoltaic (PV) modules that convert sunlight directly into electricity; consider PV-powered lights for areas that are not close to an existing power supply line.

Outdoor Lighting Tips

• Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a motion sensor so they will turn on only at night or when someone is present. A combined photocell and motion sensor will increase your energy savings even more.
• Turn off decorative outdoor natural gas lamps; just eight such lamps burning year-round use as much natural gas as it takes to heat an average-size home during an entire winter.
• Exterior lighting is one of the best places to use CFLs because of their long life. If you live in a cold climate, be sure to buy a lamp with a cold weather ballast since standard CFLs may not work well below 40°F.
• Also consider high-intensity discharge (also called HID) or low-pressure sodium lights.

Air Conditioning Tips

Air Conditioners

It might surprise you to know that buying a bigger room air-conditioning unit won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that’s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. This is because room units work better if they run for relatively long periods of time than if they are continually switching off and on. Longer run times allow air conditioners to maintain a more constant room temperature and remove excess humidity.
  • Sizing is equally important for central air-conditioning systems, which need to be sized by professionals. If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the cooling unit (compressor). In other words, don’t use the system’s central fan to provide circulation, but instead use circulating fans in individual rooms.

Cooling Tips
Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting • warm air through the attic. They are effective when operated at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.

Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air condi• tioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.

Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
Keep in mind that insulation and sealing air leaks will help your energy performance in the sum mertime by keeping the cool air inside.

Long-Term Savings Tip

If your air conditioner is old, consider purchasing a new, energy- efficient model. You could save up to 50% on your utility bill for cooling. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. The shopping guide in the back of this booklet will help you find the right size unit for your needs.

Friday

STXPM reminds residents to take care when disposing of greasy food scraps. Courtesy of Don Wasko, Superintendent of City of Carlsbad.

St. Croix Property Management (STXPM) reminds residents to take care when disposing of greasy food scraps, or risk expensive and messy sewer pipe back ups.

Don Wasko, waste-water superintendent for the City of Carlsbad, California says, “People are under the mistaken impression that once food and grease go through the garbage disposal and down the drain they magically disappear. The reality is that these things harden in sewer pipes and cause a lot of problems.”
Soap, detergents and bleach only temporarily cut the grease. Fat, oil, and grease eventually attach to the walls of sewer pipes like a clogged artery. Build up of grease in sewer pipes is the number one cause of sewage spills. Additionally, throwing dental floss and hair down the drain exacerbate the problem.
Please remember to dispose of fat, oils and grease properly by following these simple steps:
-Scrape uneaten food and sauces into the trash before washing the dishes or placing them in the dishwasher.
-Wipe cooking pan residue with a paper towel before washing and throw the towel in the trash.
-Mix small amounts of fat, oils and grease with absorbent waste such as kitty litter, coffee grounds, shredded newspaper or paper towels before discarding in the trash.
-Dispose of fat, oil and grease into a plastic container such as a milk jug. Never discard these materials down the sink, down the garbage disposal or in the trash.
-Dispose of used cooking oil responsibly.

Remember that keeping sewer pipes running smoothly saves tenants and the homeowners money. Tenants may be responsible for the sewer pipe from their homes to the septic tank if clogs are due to tenant negligence. Clogs in this pipe, called a lateral, are costly to clear, especially after hours and on holidays.
“People usually want to do the right thing..... We are just getting the word out about this little known problem, especially during the holidays.”

Tuesday

IS YOUR WATER SAFE? MAYBE, MAYBE NOT.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO MAKE MY DRINKNG WATER SAFER TO DRINK?


In the islands we recyclye rain water stored in our cisterns. Fortuantely, we have ways to treat this rain water for everyday use. Unfortunately, it is common to find the below listed bacteria in your cistern water:
Coliform Bacteria: Include a large group of many types of bacteria that occur throughout the environment. They are common in soil and surface water and may even occur on your skin. Large numbers of certain kinds of coliform bacteria can also be found in waste from humans and animals. Most types of coliform bacteria are harmless to humans, but some can cause mild illnesses and a few can lead to serious waterborne diseases. Coliform bacteria are often referred to as “indicator organisms” because they indicate the potential presence of disease-causing bacteria in water. The presence of coliform bacteria in water does not guarantee that drinking the water will cause an illness. Rather, their presence indicates that a contamination pathway exists between a source of bacteria (surface water, septic system, animal waste, etc.) and the water supply. Disease-causing bacteria may use this pathway to enter the water supply.

Fecal Coliform Bacteria: Collection of relatively harmless microorganisms that live in large numbers in the intestines of man and warm- and cold-blooded animals. These mostly harmless bacteria live in soil, water, and the digestive system of animals. This bacterium is present in large numbers in the feces and intestinal tracts of humans and other warm-blooded animals, and can enter water bodies from human and animal waste. If a large number of fecal coliform bacteria are found in water, it is possible that pathogenic (disease- or illness-causing) organisms are also present in the water. Fecal coliform by themselves are usually not pathogenic; they are indicator organisms, which means they may indicate the presence of other pathogenic bacteria. Pathogens are typically present in such small amounts it is impractical monitor them directly.


or Escherichia Coli also called E. Coli: A bacterium that commonly lives in the intestines of people and animals. There are many strains (types) of E. coli. Most of the E. coli are normal inhabitants of the small intestine and colon and are non-pathogenic, meaning they do not cause disease in the intestines. Nevertheless, these non-pathogenic E. coli can cause disease if they spread outside of the intestines, for example, into the urinary tract (where they cause bladder or kidney infections) or into the blood stream (sepsis).Some strains of E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause disease in the small intestine and colon. These pathogenic strains of E. coli may cause diarrhea by producing and releasing toxins (called enterotoxigenic E. coli or ETEC) that cause the intestine to secrete fluid or by invading and inflaming the lining of the small intestine and the colon (called enteropathogenic E. coli or EPEC). A third strain of E. coli has a tendency to cause inflammation of the colon and bloody diarrhea (called enterohemorrhagic E. coli or EHEC).


How to keep you water free from those invasive bacteria: HOUSEHOLD BLEACH Add liquid bleach to your cistern water to kill microorganisms that causes the invasive bacteria’s. Using bleach in your cistern water also prevents breeding mosquitoes and other insects that breed in water. Use only household liquid bleach that contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. Please DO NOT use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches or bleaches that have added cleaners. Also, using water filters is a start for healthier water. The benefits of water filtration lie in the fact that the better water filters can remove many of these contaminants, yielding cleaner, safer, purer, better tasting water for you and your family.

1 cup equal 8 ounces
Gallons of Cistern Water Cups Ounces
1,000 add 4/5 or 6
5,000 add 3 3/4 or 30
10,000 add 7 1/2 or 60
15,000 add 11 ¼ or 90
20,000 add 15 or 120
25,000 add 18 ¾ or 150
30,000 add 22 ½ or 180
40,000 add 30 or 240

* Very important: after every heavy rainfall, you should add the recommended amount of bleach in your cistern. When it rains heavy, whatever the rain comes with it goes in your water.
.....information provided by Ocean Systems Laboratory, Inc.

Thursday

A Safety Message:

Scenario:
Deep fat (grease) fryer on fire in your kitchen.
What should you do?
a) Through water on fire.
b) Go outside get some dirt and through on fire.
c) Through flour or sugar from your cabinet on fire.
d) Turn heat off; put a damp cloth over pot on fire.
e) None of the above
f) All the above

Ok, now watch this video.

video

What option did you chose? Eye opening huh!
The water will sink to the bottom, where in no time it becomes very, very, very hot. Water is heavier than oil, believe it or not.
As for the flour and sugar, don’t do it, don’t do it; it creates, in comparison, the explosive force of two sticks of dynamite. (BOOM!)
The fire will explode and hit the ceiling and the entire kitchen can be consumed with fire in seconds.

Be careful and think smart but quickly. Pass this on to your loved ones.

Top Ten Reasons for Property Owners to Trust STXPM to manage your St. Croix investment.

1. We provide the most Professional, Prompt, and Courteous Service.

2. We Provide Physical Property Inspections and Property Recommendations.

3. We Prepare the Property for Rental prior to occupancy by tenants.

4. We Strive to Find qualified Tenants.

5. We Negotiate Leases.

6. We have the ability to Collect Rents via the internet.

7. We Initiate Move-in process / video premises prior to tenant move-in.

8. Accounting Services / Owners have the ability to withdraw funds via the intenet.

9. Maintenance Services

10. We Provide the highest quality of customer service.

Wednesday

Breathtaking..........

"CARAMBOLA BEACH" to "HAMS BLUFF"

Breathtaking huh?................................................... a picture that speaks for itself. This picture is a view from Carambola looking west along the North Shore to Hams Bluff on St. Croix.

Are you retired and looking to buy a vacation home or looking for a long term vacation rental? Are you thinking about relocating and want to rent before buying? Do you want to buy a property and need a leasing agent to procure a tenant for you? Any way you put it, St. Croix Property Management can assist you with your property management needs. We have properties all over and in every corner of the Island. Living on St. Croix comes with, not only the beauty of the beaches, but with friendly locals, water activities, local cultural fairs and so much more. St. Croix Property Management sees the beauty in St. Croix and encourages everyone to visit St. Croix. Then, perhaps you too will agree that a long term visit/stay would be worth it. St. Croix, like the picture above, wordless, but worth a thousands words.

Come visit; let us find you a Home or Long Term Rental in advance! Visit or website at STXPM.com or call us at 340-718-7368(RENT).