Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The evils of aircon

Yes you heard right - the evils of aircon. Now everyone living in the sweat bucket that is Singapore (or any other sweat bucket for that matter) might think I've gone crazy even entertaining this thought. Yes here most of us think that aircon is our saviour and I thought the same for my first year here. When you are rushing around, getting your sweat on, there's nothing like getting hit with that first flush of aircon.
But recently I've been getting a bit suspicious of my aircon for some  health reasons which I won't go into. I started wondering...'Aircon, are you REALLY my friend, or foe?'

Singapore is sometimes known as the air-conditioned nation. Now aircon is definitely a friend of the economy because without it worker bees in the office would be falling asleep in the heat (like I used to back in London when it hit 30 degrees), and people probably wouldn't spend so much time in shopping malls where the aircon is free for whoever feels the need.

But what is happening beyond our need to feed our guilty addiction to aircon? And do you ever think about this when your temperature is being climate-controlled?

1. The thing with aircon is that it cools one area at the expense of heating up its surroundings. If you can afford it, you're happy as Larry. If not, you're worsening the problem for those who can't afford it - as well as the environment -  as you happily pass your heat problem down along the rich to poor highway. Now here's a scary thought - the use of air conditioning in China tripled in the past decade.

2.  Aircon is a breeding ground for all types of microorganisms, mold and lurgies - even if you clean it regularly it could be hiding somewhere deep down unnoticed in the vents and ducts. Then guess what? These little babies are flung into the air left to their own devices. Yes it ain't just you in the bedroom anymore -  you got company.

3. They rack up the electricity bills like there's no tomorrow. Aircon is a massive electricity guzzler and probably acounts for somewhere around at least around half of your energy bills.

So what to do? Well there's no school like the old school so where possible...

1) Ditch the aircon for the fan - after all there's no air like natural air and you'll soon get used to the warmer temperature. It's not so bad so long as there's breeze from the fan.

2) Go soft on the sunlight - when your home gets like a greenhouse, get some moody atmosphere going and close the curtains.


Kuen said...

I stop sleeping with my aircon cos of electric bills and the environment but i can't do without it at home completely. My body warm up and i perspire even after a cold shower. But i do feel the offices can make their employees wear a little less formal and turn up the aircon. Government should make it a law or something.

Ms Demeanour said...

Really! Wow I can do without aircon the whole day but it's at night I find the hardest - can not breathe! Life and the environment would be much better if people could ditch the shirt and ties and wear shorts and a vest to work :)