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). 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.
Being able to breathe fresh air, not just once-in-a-while, but all the time, contributes to our high quality of life in Costa Rica. In our cute little cabina, our door is open from 6am to 6pm, without the need for a screen door. Our windows, which are screened, are large and completely open most of the day. Even when we’re inside, we’re only a few feet from the nearest open window and that fresh air is pouring in all day. Quite often, we eat outside on our porch, by candlelight. Even at 4,000 ft. elevation, we still manage to live outside.
Because of our elevation (3,950 ft.) and our two cats, Tori & Laura, we close the door between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm. Once they’re in, it’s dinner time for us all. Sometimes we start to close some windows earlier when it rains or if the temperature drops. Quite often, by 4 pm it’s 70° F and heading down. Usually we are able to keep at least one window open until around 9:00 pm. If it gets a little cool, we may put on a sweatshirt or light sweater, but still no heater is needed. It’s almost against our religion to use a heater, air-conditioner, or de-humidifier. All are unnecessary here and are large energy consumers.
If we had our druthers, we’d probably move a thousand feel lower to around 3,000 ft. elevation which, to us, seems ideal. But in the two years we’ve been in the cabina at almost 4,000 ft., we’ve gradually gotten used to the cooler temperatures. This morning at 6:00 am, when I opened the door and swept the porch, it was 62° F, but by 9:00 am, it was 70°.
Gosh, we love living this way – no heater, no air-conditioner, and doors and windows wide open!