Kung hei fat choi! Well, Chinese New Year is almost upon us here in Hong Kong – a time for enjoying time with family and friends, but also a time which usually heralds the end of the cold, dry weather and a return to the hot, humid weather Hong Kong is well known for. And that means it’s time to hunt down the air con remote again!
Air conditioning represents 25% of a typical Hong Kong residence’s annual energy consumption
Unfortunately, once your air con goes on, you’ll see your energy bill go up substantially. According to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department’s Hong Kong Energy End-use Data 2017, air conditioning represents 25% of a typical Hong Kong residence’s annual energy consumption. Thankfully, there are some ways to reduce this consumption and the associated costs from the basic closing of doors and windows, all the way to Smart AC solutions. Let’s take a look at 10 ways to save energy when using air conditioning in Hong Kong.
1. Begin by choosing the right air conditioner for your home. Always check the Energy Label and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) – the higher the EER number, the better the efficiency. Also, ensure the unit’s size and cooling capacity is appropriate, as an unnecessarily large cooling capacity wastes energy. See HK Electric’s Smart Guide for Air Conditioners for more useful information on buying air conditioners.
2. Try to choose “inverter” air conditioners as, according to Consumer Council tests, they use around 40% less energy annually than fixed capacity types.
3. Clean the filters regularly, as dirty filters make the air conditioner work harder to draw in air and therefore use more electricity.
4. Avoid installing air conditioners in direct sunlight, as this also lowers the efficiency.
5. Keep all input and output air vents free from obstruction, and the unit itself should be not be installed too high or too low – around 2.5m from the floor would be a good level for most Hong Kong apartments.
6. Use fans instead of air conditioning whenever possible. Ceiling fans in particular are a cost-effective way of keeping a room feeling cool, and if placed correctly, can improve the air con’s efficiency when used together, as they help to circulate air around the room more effectively.
7. Ensure doors and windows are adequately sealed (with weather strips if necessary) to prevent cool air from escaping.
8. Set a comfortable temperature between 24-26 degrees Celsius, and use timers to control when your air con turns on and off. Also, don’t wear winter clothing when you are in your home.
9. Close the doors of rooms which don’t require cooling, and turn off air conditioners in unoccupied areas. Also, close curtains and blinds in rooms exposed to direct sunlight.
10. Consider investing in smart technology to automate the control of air conditioners and reduce your energy bills. There are many smart devices on the market available for this purpose, such as the HOMI Smart AC Module, which connect to your existing air con unit. They are programmed with advanced artificial intelligence, which learns your routines and monitors humidity and outside weather conditions to intelligently control air conditioning temperature and usage around your home. The HOMI Smart AC, when used in conjunction with the HOMI Temperature Sensor, can even control air conditioning while you are asleep by constantly monitoring room temperature and humidity. Smart AC solutions can save you up to 20% on your energy bills as well as improve the overall comfort and ease of running your home.
So, try out these methods to help you save energy when using air conditioning in Hong Kong – you’ll also be doing your bit to help the environment!
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