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Dec 04 2012

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Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Live Where You Don’t Need Heat or Air-Conditioning

Our house in Baltimore, Maryland

Updated April 20, 2015

This is a no-brainer; you can save an easy $200/month.

One of the biggest reasons we came to Costa Rica was to “live outside.” This meant no need for air-conditioning or heat. We lived in Baltimore, Maryland before moving here and had high heating and air conditioning bills (over $300 per month during the winters). But it wasn’t just the expense – Gloria wanted to enjoy the outdoors.  Back in Baltimore, we could rarely open our windows.  Those days and nights when we could were a delight, but they were few and far between. We could go outside, but the mosquitoes and too-hot or too-cold temperatures prevented us from truly living in the fresh air.

Living here in the Central Valley, we are usually able to keep at least one window open until around 9:00 pm. If we’re cold, we put on sweatshirts; if we’re hot (almost never) we put on shorts. And no more shoveling snow like we had to do in Baltimore!

We like the fact that living without a heater, air-conditioner, and de-humidifier is easier on the environment. All three are large energy consumers and are largely unnecessary in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Our electric bills run between $30 and $60 per month, depending on how often we run our ceiling fans and clothes dryer.

In the 3 ½ years we lived at the Cabinas, located at almost 4,000 ft. elevation, we gradually got used to the cooler temperatures. But, we’ve been living for the past two years about a thousand feet lower at around 3,000 ft. elevation which, to us, seems ideal.

We love living this way – no heater, no air-conditioner, less expense, less energy usage, and doors and windows wide open!

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