Solar Films Can Reduce Room Temperature by 5 C
While most people are familiar with typical suggestions for indoor cooling – taking advantage of natural shade, buying a few low-maintenance plants, optimising airflow – fewer consider options that involve any kind of home renovation. Installing solar window films, however, is an great way to lower temperature without using electricity or even requiring maintenance.
While professional installation is usually required (which comes at a fee), quality films can last over 20 years, block up to 79 per cent of solar heat and 99 per cent of UV rays, and even sustain indoor temperatures as much as 5 C below that found outdoors.
Solar films in Singapore vary substantially in price, ranging from S$40–S$160 per sqm. Given typical flat dimensions, this translates to about S$100–S$400 for a bedroom (approx 2.5 sqm windows) or S$200–S$800 for a living room (approx 5.0 sqm windows).
While these sums may at first seem high, even the maximum – S$1,200 for both one bedroom and living room – is less than half the cost of a high-end aircon system. Taking into account aircon maintenance and cleaning fees, installing solar films would actually save money over time.
READ MORE: 10 Ways You Can Save Money On Electricity Bills In Singapore
Cooling Paint – Another Way to Enjoy a 5 C Drop
A few years ago, researchers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic developed a paint product with incredible heat reduction capabilities. “X-Cool,” as it’s called, can reduce interior temperature by at least 5 C when painted on the exterior walls of a building. While X-Cool is primarily designed for corporate buildings, equally powerful residential variants have emerged since, including Nippon’s SolaReflect paint.
Such products can be found for about S$100–S$120+ for a five-litre can, which is more expensive than non-solar alternatives–especially given five litres doesn’t cover a very large surface area. Nonetheless, the cost of multiple cans is still far less than most aircon systems, which means investing in cooling paint could save you money in the long run.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s against regulation to paint HDB corridors or exterior walls. For those who aren’t able to utilise outdoor cooling paints, there are a few indoor options. These products usually need to be diluted and mixed into another paint, which takes a bit more effort.
READ MORE: Read This Before You Paint Your Walls
Powerful Fans Won't Cool, But Can Blow Air 3.5 mps
For those who aren’t interested in a larger project (convenience has value in itself), buying a powerful fan may be worthwhile – to an extent. By nature, fans do not actually cool the air. Instead, they push air throughout the room, eliminating stagnant heat and creating a “windchill effect” over skin. While the temperature of a room is unlikely to change, a powerful fan can blow air as fast as 2.5–3.5 mps, maintaining peak force for at least 0.5m (~2ft) beyond their face.
Powerful fans like the Dyson TP04 model can be a bit expensive but may be worthwhile investment piece. There are other more affordable but still powerful options, like the KDK standing fan. To mitigate the price, you can consider using a credit card which offers rebates for spend with furnishing vendors, such as the Citi Rewards Card and OCBC Titanium Card.
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