Save Today. Survive Tomorrow.
We’d all like to save a little money each month. No matter where people can be found trying to cut back expenses a little here and there. Usually, this doesn’t go too far because either the person runs out of ideas, or feels that they will have to give up too much in order to make good savings. This is sometimes true, but there is an area with a big potential for savings. I’m referring to the power bill.
The think about this one is that it is often overlooked. Sure, we all know about changing to efficient light bulbs, or turning off appliances. But what else? There’s actually a lot that can be done. Aside from the “usual” stuff, one can get pretty inventive about it. And there’s a certain sense of satisfaction that one can get when they use their own two hands to make something that is truly useful. That’s right, we’re going to get into some DIY action.
So if you would like to learn how to reduce power bill costs, while flexing your mechanical and creative muscles, then read on because we’ve got a few cool and inventive ways you can do it coming right up.
First, let’s look at how you can make a 100% electricity-free washing machine.
There’s a few ways to go about this, but if you want to keep it fairly simple, you can just use 2, 5-gallon buckets and a plunger. Just drill a bunch of 1/8th inch holes in the first bucket (bottom included) and as well some holes in the plunger. Then drill a hole in the bucket lid in the center just big enough for the plunger to fit through. Then place your clothes in the “holey” bucket and then that bucket into the solid bucket. Add water and detergent, the put the plunger in and slip the lid over it. Moving the plunger up and down will agitate the clothes (do this for about 10 minutes) and then dump out the soapy water. Rinse, repeat and you’ve got nice clean clothes.
You could get really complicated with this. Some DIY models used a bicycle to turn a drum with the clothes inside. You can get really creative with this project.
Next, you can also construct your own stove that uses no electricity, or gas. It’s called a rocket stove, and it uses small bunches of kindling to create a very effective flame that can be used to cooking. Essentially, a rocket stove is an “L” shaped channel encased in concrete, brick or other fire-proof material. The top is where a pan or pot would sit and the bottom is where you would feed the kindling. Because it is an “L” shape, it will draw in air from the bottom and push it out the top. This creates a flow of hot air and flame that is very effective at cooking. All you would then need is a mechanism that you could use to raise or lower the pan to decrease or increase the heat. Simple yet effective. Also very cheap to make.
Finally, there is the matter of the DIY air conditioner. There will need to use some electricity as they will rely on an electric fan. The good thing is that a fan uses way less electricity than an a/c unit, so this will save a whole bunch of electricity. First, you could make one out of a cooler and a fan. This one is ice powered. You just cut a few holes on the top of the cooler (one for the fan to blow into and another to add an exhaust), add ice and mount the fan. That’s all there is to it. You’ll have a nice cool room for a fraction of the electricity. The other way is to make one that is evaporative. This is a little more complicated, but the main idea is to have an evaporation pad mounted behind a box fan. This pad is given water on the top via a drip hose (powered by a fish tank pump) which will fall into a reservoir below (which is where the water is again pumped out of using the fish tank pump. The idea is that air will pass over the water and this evaporates the water. Heat is lost in this exchange and the air blowing is cooler. It will help to cool down a room but beware of the additional humidity you’ll be having to deal with as a result of this system.