Utility Bills | Craft x Stew
Category name:Utility Bills

How To Survive Without Air Conditioning

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Source: Bengin Ahmad

Back when we lived in the US, we had central air conditioning in the house. It was glorious! Cold air poured from every vent.

Now that we live in a state of voluntary impoverishment (i.e. the Middle East) we use fans only. We can afford to buy an air conditioner, but the high monthly electric bills would be too much for our reduced salaries.

Most of you probably do have air conditioning of some sort, but you may not want to use it 24 hours a day. Learning about our lifestyle will give you some tips on how to reduce your usage.

How did we survive going from central air conditioning to a life where fans are a luxury?

Source: 190.arch

1) We dress appropriately. Avoid black clothing, heavy fabrics and clingy materials. Whites, light colors and light cottons are the way to survive. In other words, loose is good, polyester is bad.

Source: Martha Heinemann Bixby

2) We constantly monitor your liquid intake. I drink at least a gallon per day during the summer. And remember, water only. Caffeinated drinks are not acceptable substitutes.

In addition, take water with you wherever you go. I always keep a bottle of water in my pocketbook. When it gets low, I refill it.

Source: smilla4

3) We open our curtains at night and shut them first thing in the morning. The sun will heat up your home if you give it the chance.

I live in a very safe neighborhood, so not only are my shades open, but all of my windows are also. The night air cool cools the apartment wonderfully.

Source: Carlos Lorenzo

4) We splash yourself with water when the heat becomes overwhelming. Your face, chest and hair all work. A cool shower works even better.

Source: Toshiyuki IMAI

5) We use fans judiciously. Try doing most of your work in one place, and place the fan directly in front of you.

Source: CJ Anderson

6) We expect to sweat. I grew up believing that sweat was to be avoided at all costs. I was wrong. Its not the ultimate evil. Its okay. Really.

Source: lauren rushing

7) Most important, we live according to the weather. This means heavy housework, shopping and garden work gets done only early in the morning or late at night.

Do low-key work, like typing or writing, during the middle of the day.

Where I live, many stores are closed each day from 1:00 to 4:00, because that’s the time for staying indoors. As a matter of fact, during the summer, I usually don’t leave my house before 5 or 6 pm, when the temperature drops dramatically.

I’m sure your temperature situation is not nearly as extreme as ours is, but there may be aspects of our lifestyle that you can adapt to save money.

What summer survival tips did we miss? Please share your tip by adding a comment below!

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Reduce Your Heating Bill by Adding a Sweater

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reduce-your-heating-bill-by-adding-a-sweatersource: somarj

Now is the perfect time for a quick rant:

Why do my son and husband wear light weight clothes in winter and then turn on the heat? Or, wear heavy clothes in summer and complain they’re hot? Don’t they realize it’s a lot cheaper to put on temperature appropriate clothing than use the fan or heater?

Apparently not.

And, though I haven’t actually taken a survey, I think that this is pretty common in many homes.  People either wake up in the morning and wear whatever is most attractive without thought for the weather or they wear what is comfortable in the morning and don’t change as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day. Either way, they give no thought to dressing for the weather.

No more!

For now on, I will not be accepting any requests for turning on heaters or fans from people wearing inappropriate clothing.  You want to be comfortable?  First change your clothes.  Afterwards, if you are still too hot or too cold, then we will discuss it.

If they are annoyed with me, I don’t care. I’m betting my next utility bill will provide me with all the comfort I need.

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5 Ways To Save On Your Water Bill

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5-ways-to-save-on-your-water-billsource: The Skint Dad Blog

When I lived in the United States I never used to think about how much water we used.  Now that we live in the Middle East, where water is always in short supply, I think about it often. As a result I’ve come up with a few ways to save money on the water bill.

Here are 5 Tips For Using Less Water:

1) Wet, Wash and Rinse. Showers are big water guzzlers. To economize, don’t run the water any longer than you need to. Instead, after you wet your body turn off the water. Don’t turn it on again until your done washing and are ready to rinse.

2) Wash Dishes the Frugal Way. First soak the dishes for about 10 minutes. Then scrub and stack on the side. When a small stack is ready to be rinsed, turn on the water and quickly run them through. Be careful not to let the dishes sit so long that the soap begins to harden.

3) Purchase Water Saving Appliances. The next time you’re in the market for a new washing machine or dishwasher, be sure to check out the water saving models.  We did this with our washing machine and now we save substantial amounts in our monthly utility bills.

4) Never Let The Water Run. Whether you’re washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or mopping the kitchen floor, be sure not to let the faucet stay on.

5) No More Drips and Runs. A dripping sink and running toilet wastes water fast. Don’t procrastinate. Get them fixed right away.

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