Forum: Buildings with central air-con should set temperature at 25 deg C

In the report, “It’s getting hot in S’pore. How much hotter is it than before?” (March 15), David Fogarty writes that the air-conditioning we use to keep cool is, paradoxically, one of the causes of higher temperatures that people are experiencing.

As a freelancer who works in various places, including malls and co-working spaces, I have become accustomed to the irony of living near the equator but having to wear layers of shirts, jackets and sweaters in order to feel comfortable when I am indoors.

The even larger irony is that despite what is known about the major role of air-conditioning in global warming, we over-cool buildings, thereby making the world warmer and leading to the need for more air-conditioning. This creates a vicious circle.

I appreciate that different people have different tolerance for heat and cold.

Perhaps a compromise would be for centrally controlled buildings to settle on the Singapore Government’s suggested temperature of
25 deg C.

Last week, when I requested less air-conditioning at the co-working space I was at, the response was a typical one, “Sorry, but it’s centrally controlled” – accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders.

This week, I bought a clock/thermometer, which I took to that co-working space. It registered 21.7 deg C.

There is no need to shrug our shoulders helplessly in the face of global warming.

Using less air-conditioning is one of many ways we can do our bit to cool the planet.

George Martin Jacobs

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