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What Do You Think Of Air-Con Levels?

Updated on Aug 04, 2008 – SCMP

A number of letters have appeared about the use of air conditioners. The correspondents have concentrated on their overuse.

Most people have restricted their remarks to shops, especially shopping malls, transport and offices, claiming, correctly, that thermostats should be at a higher setting.

I would like to concentrate on home use. In many households, not only could the temperature be set higher but, in fact, there is no need to have air conditioners on at all.

Before your readers shout “impossible”, may I say that this household has not had one of our four air conditioners operating at all this year.

Instead, we have relied on fans and adequate ventilation in the flat.

My daughter, who is 12, would be the first person to complain if this situation was in the least unbearable, but she has not registered any misgivings.

In short, we just don’t need to use air conditioners and, indeed, feel a lot more comfortable without them being on.

We do not do it for financial reasons, but it is interesting to note that our monthly electricity bill is about HK$300, whereas some good friends of ours who use their air conditioners a lot have a bill of about HK$3,000 a month.

I am certainly not advocating that all households in Hong Kong should follow our example. We live on the 22nd floor and have a flat facing the sea.

Our ceiling fans are first class and we do not suffer from mosquitoes when the windows are left open.

If one lives in a more urban environment on a lower floor, then it might be necessary to use the air con.

However, that still leaves thousands of households that have the right conditions to dispense with air conditioning. As I said, it is not for financial reasons, although the saving is useful; it is because one feels better in a more natural environment.

Air conditioning is like an addiction – once you start using it you feel you always need to use it. Try to adjust to not living in an artificial temperature. You will find it much easier than expected and also Hong Kong will benefit, because there can be a huge reduction in the import of oil.

Chris Stubbs, Discovery Bay

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