Posts Tagged ‘air conditioners’

Which appliance is the energy hog? It’s not your air conditioner

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

See that red button on the right...

Actually, in terms of overall electricity usage in households, air conditioners use the most on a continual basis, followed by refrigerators. But on a unit per hour basis, air conditioners are not that bad, even though they’ve been made the villain by the media. Broadcasters, in particular, are offering tips to households on how to cut down on energy consumption and the main suggestion is to set your air conditioner at 28 degrees centigrade. Because so many people, in particular the elderly, have fallen victim to heat stroke, no one is saying to turn off the air conditioner any more, but the general consensus is that the average air conditioner in the average home uses about 130 watts of energy and, overall, accounts for a bit less than a fourth of the summer electricity bill, which gives you some idea of the savings potential.

What the media doesn’t say, according to an article in the most recent issue of Shukan Post, is that there is another appliance in your house that actually uses more electricity. A typical large screen (over 37 inches) LCD television set uses on average 220 watts, or 70 percent more energy than the air conditioner if both are being used continuously, but, of course, media companies aren’t going to suggest you turn off the TV because that would hurt their business.

Continue reading about the most power-hungry appliance →

Cool to be kind: Air conditioners for the needy

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Yamada Denki's cheapest air conditioner

On Aug. 1, the Tokyo prefectural government started a program that provides up to ¥40,000 to certain households so that they can buy air conditioners and have them installed. Considering how much newsprint, cyberspace and air time has been dedicated this summer to the subject of saving energy and the amount of electricity an air conditioner uses, it seems a rather strange program. According to the Tokyo Shimbun, only about 700 households are estimated to qualify for the grant. To receive the money the household must already be receiving welfare from the central government and have at least one member over 65 years of age whose physician recommends an air conditioner to prevent heat stroke.

It’s the first time any government, local or otherwise, has earmarked specific funds so that private individuals can buy air conditioners. Until, say, 25 years ago in Japan, air conditioners were considered luxuries, which meant that welfare recipients couldn’t even own one if they wanted to continue receiving benefits. In Japan, traditionally, owning certain household appliances, or even a car, meant that automatically you couldn’t receive welfare, regardless of your income because such items indicated you had spent the money you received on something you didn’t need to survive, even if, in fact, you had received said item before going on welfare. That’s the reasoning behind welfare: Receiving the minimum to get by. Even TVs were forbidden at one time, and it was common for welfare recipients to hide them when the social worker (minseiin) came to check up on them. Obviously, air conditioners are now considered necessities.

Continue reading about loans for air conditioners →


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