Air conditioning is about as vital to life in Singapore as air, food, and water. Anyone who says otherwise deserves a padded room at IMH – because they’re obviously very out of touch with reality!
Seriously though, it gets pretty damn hot in Singapore, and that means one thing – a high electricity bill because of air conditioning. If you’re already getting sick and tired of paying a high price to prevent your home from becoming a hotbox, then this is the article for you!
Here are 5 ways to beat the heat without your electricity bill beating up your wallet:
#1 Invest In Solar Screens for Your Windows
If you’re unfortunate enough to be living in a flat or condo that’s in the direct path of sunlight, I feel for you. Dealing with eight or more hours of direct sunlight every day is enough to turn any home into an oven.
However, if you’re willing to invest in solar screens for your windows, reduce the heat coming into your home without having to overdo it on the air conditioning.
Good solar screens can eliminate 70%-90% of the heat coming through your windows as well as up to 99% UV rays as well.
How much does it cost? Well… it’ll probably cost $500+ for you to hire a local company to install the solar screen for you.
Or you can save 40%-50% by buying the solar screen and installing it yourself. It’s much cheaper if you buy your tint and installation materials from the U.S. using Amazon and VPost (unless you know a cheaper local source that you’d like to share with everyone?).
I’m going to tell you now – it’s going to be a pain in the ass to install, but there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube that can go through the process step by step.
#2 Use Window Shades/Blinds
Yeah, solar screens are a big expense, but they can really save you some major cash in the long run. But if you don’t have the cash on hand, another great way to reduce your reliance on air conditioning is to buy window shades or blinds.
The most energy efficient window shades and blinds out there are honeycomb shades, vertical blinds, and soft Roman shades.
The great thing about window shades and blinds is that they’re relatively inexpensive to buy and install and they can reduce the heat coming into your home by up to 50%. In fact, you can buy a simple roller blind from IKEA for $19.90!
Using window shades and blinds in conjunction with solar film will pretty much ensure that you’ll never come home to a hotbox, which means less air conditioning usage!
#3 Get an Air Conditioner Remote with a Timer
Does the sun rise at night? Of course not! Yes, it’s humid, but it’s nowhere near as hot at night as it is during the daytime. Still, there are many people who choose to run the air conditioner the entire night!
If you’re someone who enjoys sleeping with the air conditioner on all night all I have to say is that you’re paying a pretty high price for that cozy night’s sleep. Those 8+ hours of non-stop air conditioner usage every night contribute quite a bit to your electricity bill every month.
In fact, you don’t need to have the air conditioner on for more than a few hours a night – if you use your remote’s timer function. And if your remote doesn’t have it, spend the $30+ it takes to buy one that does.
All you have to do is set the air conditioner to shut itself off after four or five hours while you sleep. That’s it. This approach seriously cut down my electricity bill by 30% while I slept – by using the timer function on my air conditioner remote.
#4 Run Major Appliances at Night
Major appliances are a huge source of heat when they’re in operation. So instead of running them during the day (and using your air conditioner full blast), why not try to use such appliances at night?
What appliances am I talking about? I’m talking about the following:
- Clothes Dryers
- Washing Machines
So if you need to use these guys, use them at night when it’s cooler. That way, you don’t have to spend more on electricity to cool down your home.
#5 Add Plants to Your Home
Did you know that the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) has “green mark” standards for energy efficient developments?
I know, you’re probably thinking, “What the hell does that have to do with keeping my house cool!”
Relax, I’m getting there!
You see, many of those developments use plenty of plants and vegetation, not just because it makes the buildings look cool, but because greenery reduces the “heat island” effect – in other words, plants help reduce heat!
I’m not going to get into the science of why plants reduce energy costs by keeping your home cool. But I’ll say that having potted plants in your home reduces heat because they release moisture into the air through transpiration.
Plus, plants just look cool to have in your home. So why not give the plant retailers at Upper Thomson some business and add a few potted plants to your living room?
What are some other interesting ways to beat the heat in Singapore to save on a huge air-conditioning bill? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!
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