Ah darn, I totally forgot to tell you about something this week.
I had had spent some time and thinking on how to avoid mold during our long Christmas trip to Europe. I eventually settled with having all our five air cons running for the full time. Tess left a few days after us to the Philippines, so before she left I had a video chat with her and instructed her to run all of them at a certain setting.
Dry. Quiet Mode. All air swing and fan speed settings on auto. And: the temperature set to 29 dC.
I had read somewhere that mold won’t grow as quickly at this temperature and by running the air cons all constantly 24/7 I was hoping that enough air circulation would be created to further inhibit mold growth. 29 dC is also a good choice when it comes to saving energy (normally we run at 26 or 27 dC). And quiet mode also helps, because the air con does not run at full power.
While it was a bit of gamble, all of this was successful:
Tess arrived a day earlier than us and confirmed that there was no mold growth. After we were back, too, I found a single item that was moldy: my leather jacket (again) which is hanging at the back of a door that was open the whole time i.e. no air circulation… it’s also worth pointing out that it was less moldy than last time.
But this was it. Drunken with smugness I eventually did get worried, though: running all the air cons constantly, even at these rather energy friendly settings, must lead to a higher than normal energy consumption, right?
The question was: how much higher?
To give you some context: we normally have a combined energy and water bill of 200-250 SGD per month. We run the air cons only at night, however, and we only use 2 out of 5. Yep, we were mentally steeling ourselves for a pretty ugly electricity bill to come and our assumptions were around 700-800 SGD. Best case. Worst case? Well, somewhere in the thousands.
This week I then got the bill.
And it was… well: shocking.
It was: 90 SGD.
90. Ninety. Neunzig! And a few cents.
Wow! I first thought that this must be an estimate, because they only do an actual read every few months. But on the bill they clearly stated this had been an actual read. An estimate should have anyhow stated something like 220 SGD or so, i.e. more in the normal range we use. But ninety?! I am flabbergasted!
I guess it does make sense that my air con settings actually could have saved energy. The temperature was set pretty high and the air cons only power on when the temperature in the rooms is higher than that. And when they ran, this must have been enough to create the air circulation we needed to keep mold growth at bay.
Very cool and I am happy. Looks like we’ve done everything right.
(… but in the back of my mind I still expect that we will get a big ugly surprise next month.)