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AC for whole house or just select rooms?

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I own 2 condos in NCR, one with 2 aircons (2hp each), the other with 4 aircons (1hp each). Both arrangements (sort of my own "experiments" :)) work good, not much differnece in its op cost. I just turn it on and off manually, e.g., turn on the aircon in the area I likely to be in and when I move there I turn the aircon off where I left… Leave one aircon at low all the time unless I am away overnight...


All aircons (Carrier) are the latest energy efficient units with dehumidifying function built-in (sleep with this function on, rather than "auto"  –  more comfortable, I think). More economical than the central aircon system I used to have in the US… Even with 6 aircons, the electric bill is 1/3 to 1/2 of what I used to pay in the US.


I may buy another condo in Mactan (not in Lapu-lapu ;)) but maybe the electricity cost is more expensive in Cebu? Things are better in NCR? :D

just dont buy one of them 12 sq meter places but then again easy to cool just put a few ice cubes in the sink ,, some how i think ac cost has to factor in size of room cooled 

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I have AC in all the bedrooms as well as ceiling fans in all rooms. The AC's are never used but are there mainly for times when we have European visitors who have trouble sleeping at 26C.

The ceiling fans are cheap but we are blessed with wonderful cooling sea breezes.

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Our bills with one bedroom air con running 12 hours are about 9000 per month outside of summer. same usage no difference etc this goes to 13 thou in summer.


welcome to Meralco 



We did all the checks to make sure we were not having problems with faulty meters or anyone cutting in the line etc


Then I did notice that our bills are very odd.


Even if you do not use more appliances or run them any longer in summer your KWH usage shows a siginficant increase, even if there has been none. They simpey increase the rate per kwh  hour but express it as an increasse in kw hour usage.


Additionally if you visit the Meralco web page they will tell you about off peak and peak time usage.  Go to your bills and there is no indication at all how much of your  bills are peak or off peak. That way there is no proof if it is right or wrong. Sunday bar two hours in early evening is off peak, no way is this visually reflected in the bills etc.


In Uk your bills used to be subdivided into peak and of peak pricing( not sure if it is still done) so you knew exactly when you were being hit and could do something about it.



We have ceiling fans through out and it helps as we run the air con at 26C with fans and it is good to sleep as no humidity

Edited by spooks
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Salty Dog

Hard to compare. In Dumaguete I had a 1Hp split unit that we ran in a large bedroom set at 26-27 minimum. Used it from about 8pm till 8am and sometimes during afternoon naps. Our electric bill was about 3-4k a month. Near the end we opened the bedroom door and ran it 24hrs a day when we were home, using a fan to blow it downstairs to sala and kitchen. Our bills went to about 5-6k. The town house was over 100 sq meters, but we kept the c/rs and the other two bedrooms closed off.


At our small (26 sq meters) studio condo in Cebu, we have a 2Hp window type unit that runs 24/7 unless we are out. It's so large for the unit that it cools it in less than 5 minutes after we turn it on. It's a manual unit and we keep it at lowest fan speed and a tempature setting of only 5 out of 10. Our bills are now average 7k, but then we also have an electric stove and hot water that we didn't have in Dumaguete. The ratings on the 2Hp unit shows it uses 2.5-3 times more electricity to operate than our old split unit. I havn't compared the cost per Kw hour between Dumaguete and Cebu. I think the 1Hp split unit would have been a much better choice for this condo and definitely much more quiet. I wouldn't buy anything other than a split unit.


Every Filipino I've ever talked to thinks bigger is better. I can tell you from experience that a smaller unit (within reason) runs much more efficiently and cheaper. It also cost less to buy and is much quieter. This is even more true with the new inverter units. It cost more and is more wear and tear on a unit that is constantly shutting the compressor on and off because it cools too fast.


We found that using the split unit on the dry air setting seemed to make the room feel cooler even at a higher temperature setting.

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Salty Dog is right. As much as we don't like to admit it size does matter. In this case too small or too big are no good.


Think of trying cook a steak with a lighter or toast a marshmallow with a welding torch.


I have a 645 SqM house but only a 3 1/2 HP central air conditioner.


Why? 15Cm walls, 45 Cm ceiling insulation, 2 story, triple pane windows, full basements and attached garage. Basements and garage help insulate besides helping to heat - cool house. Also heavy duty blinds with insulated curtains that I keep closed when sun is shining in. In winter open when sun shining in.


Keep house at 25C in summer when temp can reach 38C and 22C in winter when can get down to -29. Ceiling fans in family room and bedrooms. 115 CuMM "whole house" fan to draw in outside air at night when not too hot or humid. Can't run tonight - 80% humidity and wont get below 24C.


Run dehumidifier in summer, / humidifier in winter makes a big difference.


Can't compare costs here - there. Gas / electric on combined yearly budget 7,500 PHP ($183 USD) a month total.


Old joke - it's not what you do / it's how you do it that counts. Same here. Small precautions can make a big difference in AC bill.

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You need to keep the air moving in the Phils. Split units and the inverter technology are the way to go for energy efficient. Walls 2 feet thick, concrete or "hollow block" and the eve of the roof extending to shade the wall from the sun. A LOT OF insulation in the attic to keep that heat from radiating from your ceilings. Jalousie windows are extremely wasteful. Energy efficient, tinted windows are a big help.

Central air conditioning, similar to the USA is ok there, but you will need to insulate the duct-work to death to prevent sweating. You will need to check in the ducts often for mold and mildew growing. 

Some folks never adjust to that heat and humidity there. I could tolerate it for most of the day, but needed to get back to the air conditioned apartment and take a shower, after sweating all day long.

If you want your aircon; it's gonna cost !! One reply here was very good. As you move to different rooms, you switch on that unit. If you turn off the unit and the room immediately turns into an oven; then you do not have much insulation in your room/building/house. Our apartment could be without A/C for 3 hours before the heat would be unbearable.

Cooking with those "blowtorch" Propane stoves doesn't help with the heat load inside either. The technology for Induction cooking would be my only choice for cooking.



During our visit there we saw a demo for an Induction cooking stove top for php 30,000. (equivalent of 4 burners) Does not use outrageous electric. Little heat produced while cooking. Family would never go for something, obviously modern. It might cause cancer. So I scratched that idea.

During your "Winter" there may be a few more days that a fan and circulating outside air would be nice. But the smoke and dust from the trash burning and 2 cycle engines and dirty burning diesels make life hard in the Phils.

When we were thinking about moving there we thought of expenses and were ready to pay $300USD/mo for electric.

Edited by fredanna
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I prefer window units. we don't like air-con that much, we both are thin and can handle heat and humidity most of the day, except mid-afternoon.  We sleep without air-con.  We live 1/2 km from the coast.


wall units are easy to clean and maintain - just clean the filter every few weeks, and blast the coil fins with air/water every 6 months or so.

Edited by Jack_be_nimble
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Windows aircons are much less efficient than split types or whole house units.


Using individual units will actually be more expensive than a duct style system for your whole house. The windows and doors here are very low quality since they're made and installed the "filipino way". The windows and doors are always thin, single pane windows, and have cracks allowing cold air to leak out... So you end up trying to air condition the whole house with your individual units and they'll run at full speed 24/7. The other problem is no house you'll live in will have insulation unless you install it yourself. So you've got this very thin piece of particle board for your ceiling and all of your cold air is leaking right through.


I had a 19-20K electric bill with 3 window units in my last house. After installing insulation that dropped to 15-16K/month. After switching a single unit over to a split type unit that was over sized it further reduced the electric bill to 12-13K a month. If I had a house with proper insulation, a duct style system, and an attic fan I think I could aircon the whole house as I did in the US for less than 10K a month. All of this was inclusive of my electric stove, microwave, water dispenser, ref, and multiple computers.


Currently I have 2 split types with no insulation in the current house. I just haven't bothered to install insulation yet. With 2 split types the bill is running 8k a month with only 1 of my computers setup. Once I get my other computers installed and last aircon i expect it will go up to 16K at least. I'll be installing insulation soon to keep the bill under 10K.


Aircon without insulation is useless, you might as well just throw your money out the window.

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We have to clean our a/c filter every week here in Cebu City.

Nice to read that there are maintenance people like me in the Phils. Yup 2 weeks max was the time I had to wash the filter in our 1hp apartment A/C. Black water in the sink. Looking in the back of the unit from the outside was pitiful but I was not going to try to do anything about that.

 We had two standfans in our apartment to blow air around and the screens needed to be removed and the fan blades cleaned from the dust/soot, whatever it was. We were in Dumlog about 20 minutes drive from Gaisano, Fiesta Mall.

Anyone notice in the eating area inside the Gaisano that half of those split unit floor type air handlers are just spitting out hot air?


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