Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Singapore air-conditioners, cooling without burning your pocket

Air-conditioner is a real life saver in hot and humid and crowded Singapore. Without good air-conditioning, it would really be difficult to work in offices, take bus or MRT rides, stay indoor in the crowded shops.  And I must admit there are days in Singapore when a fan is not enough to sleep and air-conditioner is a must.

But this luxury comes with a price. In a typical Singapore house, air-conditioner uses more electricity than anything else. If you are one of many who cannot sleep without air-conditioner,  you will most probably end up paying more than 100 SGD per month to air-conditioning alone! If you are serious to save energy in Singapore, you need to address your cooling cost first. And even if you have money to spend for air-conditioning, think about how much unnecessary carbon dioxide is produced to produce the electricity consumed by your air-conditioning habit.

The reason you pay a lot for air-conditioner is that it sucks most electricity at a given time among all your house appliances (except the kettle and the iron but you do not use them for long). But you can easily reduce your air-conditioning cost by simple habit changes:

Buy a fan (ceiling and/or floor) and use until you cannot be comfortable without air-conditioner. A typical window AC unit uses 1400 watts per hour while an AC ceiling fan (Alternate-Currency) uses 70 watts per hour. So it is much cheaper to operate. You will be surprised that you can do away without AC and only fan most of the time. And for even more energy efficiency, buy a DC ceiling fan (Direct-Currency) which uses only 30-40 watts.

Many people uses fan in the daytime and switch to air-conditioner while they are sleeping. Although it is better than using AC all the time, it still means using AC 25-30 percent of the time. So switch to fan while sleeping.

If you are renting, rent high floor. Yes, it is windy up there and I have seen a lot of flats above 10th floor with great wind and no AC or even fan requirement during the night.

If you run your AC, run it at 25-27 Celsius degrees. A temperature setting of 25 degrees and more is enough for most homes because air-conditioner units not only cool, they also dehumidify. You definitely do not need to set the thermostat to 22 or even to 18 degrees! A lot of people in Singapore set the temperature to 20-22 degrees and then sleep under thick cover! What a waste! You can save more than 15% on the utility and produce less carbon dioxide by just setting the temperature to natural room temperature of 25 and more. I personally set my air-conditioner to 28 degrees. It took me only 2 weeks to increase it from 25 to 28 without recognizing the change.

DC Ceiling Fan Singapore
A DC ceiling fan will use 30 - 40 watts per hours compared to 1,400 watts per hour needed by an air-con unit.
Consider evaporative cooler if your house has good ventilation. This option can be used in many high floor flats. Evaporative coolers cools the space by spraying a fine mist into the air. This mist is so fine that it immediately evaporates. Evaporation consumes heat in the room and cools the room. Although for most of the flats, it is not practical due to already very humid air in Singapore, there are many flats out there which can take advantage of these coolers.

Service your AC regularly. Clean or replace your AC filter every month. A dirty filter makes your AC work harder, which uses more electricity. Your home improvement store sells permanent filters which you can wash with a garden hose so you don't have to replace the filter each month.

No comments:

Post a Comment