Using heat pumps to cool down and save costs

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently announced that the government will be stopping electricity subsidies to households with “excessive” power consumption. He is right and consumers must pay for what they consume or waste.

However, he may not be right in saying that by using a fan and air conditioning at the same time, power consumption is high because this depends on the temperature setting of the air conditioner and fan speed.

Using an air conditioner together with a fan produces a wind chill factor which is the temperature a person feels because of the wind. Think blowing over hot soup to cool it down; the air movement increases the loss of heat by convection, cooling the soup faster.

Using the air conditioner at a higher temperature setting with a moving fan will achieve the same cooling effect as setting a low temperature with the air conditioner.

Air conditioning set at a higher temperature uses less energy than a lower setting, and a fan uses little energy. Using these two together in the correct settings can be an energy-saving approach.

Another approach is to use heat pumps instead of air conditioners. The technology for heat pumps is not new and although the name applies to the contrary, it can be used for cooling.

Increasingly, heat pumps are being used in temperate countries for both heating and cooling because of the better energy efficiency compared to traditional heating and cooling systems.

Over here, it has not caught on, but the government should encourage the development and installation of heat pumps to reduce power consumption and save costs.

One low-tech and low-cost method is to install mosquito nets on windows and doors, especially in bedrooms. On cooler and rainy nights, the windows can be left open and with the fan swirling the air around, it can be cool and comfortable to have a good night’s sleep.

You will be breathing in fresh, cool night air instead of dry, stale recirculated air from an air conditioner. This does wonders for your health, wallet and of course the environment.

Planting trees or having a green patch around your home if possible and practical can also help reduce your heat and financial woes.

Trees give shade from the sun and provide oxygen, cooling the surroundings. They also store carbon dioxide in their leaves, trunk and roots, which helps reduce rising global temperatures.

The government and the people must be adaptable and practical and use a combination of simple measures and innovative technology to keep themselves cool and comfortable. By doing so, they may not need to get heated up over cooling costs.


Petaling Jaya

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Letters

Crushed by men team’s poor performance
Highlighting a matter of public concern
Best way to save the Malayan tiger
The many challenges of dementia care in Malaysia
Senior citizens deserve free annual influenza vaccination
Need for more affordable education
How to deal with the shoplifting problem
Stemming the brain drain
Managed Care Organisations must be regulated
Never take the heart for granted

Others Also Read