Air conditioning is about as vital to life to some Singaporeans as air, food, and water. That’s because it can get crazy hot in Singapore, and for many households, that only means one thing: a high aircon bill.
Here are 5 ways to beat the heat, so your aircon bill won’t beat 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, you can reduce the heat coming into your home without having turn on air conditioning 24/7.
Good solar screens can eliminate 70% to 90% of the heat coming through your windows as well as up to 99% UV rays as well.
How much does solar film on windows cost? A recent quotation that we got for 3m solar film on windows for a 4-room HDB stated $16 psf. For around 120 sqft of window surface area, it will be around $2,000 for the entire house.
The popular brands in the market are: 3M Prestige and iQue and Zenith.
2. Use window shades or 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. They can reduce the heat coming into your home by up to 50%. A simple roller blind from IKEA costs as low as $9.90!
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 you’ll reach out for the aircon remote less.
3. Add plants to your home
When you visit buildings in Singapore with the BCA “green mark” standard, you will realise that many of them use plants and vegetation. This is not only for style, although they no doubt look awesome, but it’s because because greenery helps to reduce heat.
If you want to go into the science of it, plants reduce heat because they release moisture into the air through transpiration. Just ask your upper primary children or nieces and nephews if you keen on a more detailed explanation.
Lucky for you, plants are making a huge comeback in millennial homes so you can pick and choose the most stylish ones and instantly update the look of your home while saving money on your aircon bill.
We at MoneySmart are crazy about plants as well, especially Eugenia, so check out her research on where to get plants affordably: Plant Nurseries in Singapore (2019) – Popular House Plants & Where To Buy Them.
4. Set a timer on your air-conditioning
Singapore burns up at 12 noon to 1 pm, with temperatures climbing up to 34 degrees. But at night, it’s definitely not as hot. By 12am, it will cool down to about 29 degrees, which is not cold by any means, but possibly bearable with a fan.
You could set a timer to turn off at 4 am, and your room will probably still be cool when you get up for work at 7 am. Assuming you typically turn on your aircon at 9pm, this means turning on the aircon for 7 hours instead of 10 hours. That means 30% of energy saved, translating to cost savings as well.
If your remote doesn’t have the timer function, you can spend about $30 or so to buy one that does.
5. Run major appliances at night to lower aircon bill
Major appliances are a huge source of heat when they’re in operation. We’re referring to things like washing machines, ovens, dishwashers, dryers and stoves.
Instead of running them during the day and using your air conditioner full blast while at it, why not try to use such appliances at night? That way, you don’t have to spend more on electricity to cool down your home.
Use aircon really so expensive meh?
It depends on the aircon that you are using, but typically, an aircon uses 8 times the amount of energy of a floor fan.
A good aircon uses 0.8kWh. A floor fan will use 0.1kWh on the highest speed. Ceiling fans use less.
Using the number of hours of use multiplied by the kilowatt-hours value, you can easily see how much electricity you use. Then, you can multiply that by the electricity tariff that you are paying and see how much operating an aircon costs.
|Power||10 hrs||Cost per mth||7 hrs||Cost per mth|
|Aircon||0.8kWh||8 kW||$58.54||5.6 kW||$40.98|
|Floor fan||0.1 kWh||1 kW||$7.32||0.7 kW||$5.12|
*Calculations based on the current electricity tariff of 24.39 cents. You may be using a lower tariff based on the electricity retailer you choose. We calculate one month as having 30 days.
As you can see, you can significantly lower your aircon bill if you do not use aircon at all, but reducing the number of hours also helps. Of course, using an affordable electricity plan from an electricity retailer can also help to lower your aircon bill.
What are some other interesting ways to beat the heat in Singapore to save on a huge air-conditioning bill? Share with us below!