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Why is there little central AC here?

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Hannieroo
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Why is there little central AC here?

Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 8:25 am

My first thought was cost of installation and cost of running but the house I am in has the central tower space thing and false ceilings, some of the rooms have two units and you can zone AC so you can run it or not in different areas. So can't be cheaper.

Looking around it's not terribly common is there any cultural/health reason I'm missing? I have seen poor little mites in woolly hats eating ice cream in 37 degrees here and other places so I know some cultures see cold as bad but SG does seem a bit more techno advanced than that. I'm puzzled. And sweaty.

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Re: Why is there little central AC here?

Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 9:26 am

Hannieroo wrote:My first thought was cost of installation and cost of running but the house I am in has the central tower space thing and false ceilings, some of the rooms have two units and you can zone AC so you can run it or not in different areas. So can't be cheaper.

Looking around it's not terribly common is there any cultural/health reason I'm missing? I have seen poor little mites in woolly hats eating ice cream in 37 degrees here and other places so I know some cultures see cold as bad but SG does seem a bit more techno advanced than that. I'm puzzled. And sweaty.


Good question I've never figured out. Also why don't they have double insulated windows in this country (for noise and heat control)?
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Postby gonzales » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 9:30 am

I have seen central air con with zone control in older developments.

Perhaps the reason that if central aircon breaks down the whole place goes down & you're out of luck.

With individual units you can still get air con if one unit fails.

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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 9:50 am

So I'm not missing something obvious then?

That's a good point, Gonz, when ours broke once it was grim and we all had to sleep in the zone that was working. But somewhere like Houston where it might be cooler in the winter but has summers at least as hot as here it's common, I can't imagine paying US$1m for somewhere without central air.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:15 am

Hannieroo wrote:So I'm not missing something obvious then?

That's a good point, Gonz, when ours broke once it was grim and we all had to sleep in the zone that was working. But somewhere like Houston where it might be cooler in the winter but has summers at least as hot as here it's common, I can't imagine paying US$1m for somewhere without central air.


Since the ducts are needed for forced heating, the mini-split systems are more efficient.

Since mini splits have no ducts, they avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.


Also, you get a different thermostat per room. My bathroom and kitchen don't seal air-tight (they have unmovable slat windows that are always open). I wouldn't want central air blowing cold air out there.

Here are some more details:
http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/ ... nditioners

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Postby Addadude » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:30 am

OSOD, quite a number of the city centre condos use double glazing to cut down noise. I used to live in Burlington Sq on the Bencoolen Street facing side, and all the windows on that side of the building were double-glazed. It was awesome - once those windows were closed, I couldn't hear a damn thing. When I moved to a more suburban condo - Harbourview Towers - the noise level went up dramatically as my apartment faced Telok Blangah Road.

Gonzales is right. Some of the older condos had central aircons. I had one when I stayed at (the original) Flamingo Valley. The aircon technician I sued told me that they were very wasteful, and true enough, my power bills were VERY high when I lived there.
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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:39 am

Now I'm jealous that somebody has air con in their kitchen and bathroom.

I thought it must be money, I suppose comparing it to central heating vs gas fires doesn't work.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:57 am

Perhaps it is also about the complexity and portability? The non-central are more universal, plug-in like systems that can just be installed about everywhere and if something is very wrong a single unit (module) can be just replaced without much fuss. Probably they also provide better hardware/space distribution what must be a factor for the continuously shrinking living space with every new development.

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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:02 pm

I suppose lack of yard won't help I think ours were quite big.

Thank you X9200/

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Postby movingtospore » Tue, 16 Apr 2013 9:24 pm

On that note, why also don't they have "central" hot water anywhere except hotels? (don't know what else to call it). Damn I miss a truly hot, hot water shower. And good water pressure. I've yet to see anywhere with this in our various living space travails in this town.

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 16 Apr 2013 9:26 pm

I have fabulous water pressure but no instant hot water.

I took the dog for a walk tonight and a house with it's lights on caught my eye because they must have extended the mezzanine to make a full sized second floor, anyway, they had central air. I could see the vents. Jealous.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Apr 2013 7:35 am

movingtospore wrote:On that note, why also don't they have "central" hot water anywhere except hotels? (don't know what else to call it). Damn I miss a truly hot, hot water shower. And good water pressure. I've yet to see anywhere with this in our various living space travails in this town.

By central you mean one boiling pot per building? I am not sure if this would be rational especially in this climate. Imagine all these pipes kept hot (or not) so either it would constantly contribute to the apartments temperature or there would be a long wait for hot water to come, or both.
Hotels are typically ACed 24/7 so the additional heating is neutralized, plus for a single operator it is easier and cheaper to handle the central system.

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Postby Hannieroo » Wed, 17 Apr 2013 8:07 am

No, it's one per household. You either have an immersion heater that's set to come on at certain times or instant hot water that is heated by a combi boiler that only kicks in when you turn the hot tap on or an electric shower that runs the water through a unit and heats it instantly. The last one would actually be the most efficient for here because you only heat exactly what you need and don't have a tank full of hot water sitting around. The heaters here are okay providing you have time but a shower when you have to be up and out is difficult. Although it's never truly cold.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Apr 2013 8:22 am

But this seems to be a standard. All the condo apartments I lived in so far had apartment-central either gas inline heater or the one with the boiler. HDBs are a different story but there it is not about central or not, but to have it or not (what also applies to AC).

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Postby Hannieroo » Wed, 17 Apr 2013 8:32 am

It's just how it is here. It's fine when the slaves are home because I just send them upstairs to switch it on about 20 minutes before I want to use it.


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