Singapore is hot and humid throughout the year making it necessary for Singaporeans to have a properly functioning air conditioning system and service aircon regularly. In fact, Singapore has more air conditioner installations than any of its ASEAN neighbours. The number of aircon installations is expected to increase with the increase in the number of residential buildings and developments in Singapore.
This is because any building built in Singapore needs at least one air conditioning unit. According to a study done by the Singapore National Environment Agency, aircon usage accounts for up to 40% of the energy use in a household. What this means is that Singapore has so much room to transition to a more sustainable and ecological lifestyle by tweaking aircon usage.
What’s The Real Problem?
Even though tweaking aircon usage cannot significantly make the environment on its own, there are some practices by households in Singapore when it comes to aircon usage that should be adjusted to reduce energy consumption. Some establishments are very cold after December because the aircon units are running the same way they do in summer.
Yet this is when Singapore records the lowest temperatures. This is a mistake that Singaporeans should avoid making as it makes commercial establishments uncomfortable. Aircon and ventilation specialists have for a long time advocated for a more responsive temperature setting when it comes to AC units.
This means that an AC unit should work according to both indoor and outdoor temperatures. The latest AC units can auto-adjust. However, if your AC unit’s temperature settings are controlled manually, consider the surrounding temperatures when adjusting the settings. However, a strong info campaign is needed to achieve this.
What Needs to Be Done?
Since Singapore has a higher number of AC installations than any other ASEAN country, Singaporeans need to tweak their AC usage to reduce carbon emissions and reduce their energy bills. They can do this by diversifying the cooling systems of the establishments to include natural ventilation, industrial fans, and chilled beams.
Even though the things we just mentioned need structural changes, the good thing is that the amount saved from the reduced electricity bills is higher than the cost of renovating the area. This makes financial sense.
Tweaking aircon usage also needs the active participation of AC users. Because most of the households in Singapore don’t use at least 2 AC units at the same time, it is important for those using AC units to understand the importance of tweaking AC usage. They need to understand that tweaking AC usage can benefit them and the environment.
The ideal temperature for an air conditioner balances comfort with energy savings. The right kind of temperature will have you using thick blankets or layering your clothes. Even though AC units, whether manual or automatic, can cool down a room to 18 degrees Celsius, your house doesn’t need to be this cold to be comfortable.
If you reduce the thermostat up to 2 degrees higher, you will reduce the aircon’s workload and lower energy consumption. Consider the outdoor and indoor temperature when adjusting the AC temperature. Doing so will help you ensure that your aircon performs optimally.
Singaporeans need to consider these small changes to help them reduce their carbon footprint and help save a lot of money. These changes are very easy to implement and worth considering. And the good thing is that these changes are very easy to implement meaning that every Singaporean can implement them in their households.
Related read: Air conditioner services during Covid-19 Circuit Breaker
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