Haze Is Here - Hide In Aircon?

18 June 2013

"PSI reading hits 155, air quality plunges to 'unhealthy' for first time in almost three years... at 10pm, the three-hour PSI was 155 - the highest since September 1997 when it reached 226. The last time the haze hit such levels was in 2006, when the PSI peaked at 150... Given the hazy conditions, the NEA has everyone else should limit prolonged or heavy outdoor activities." (TODAY, 18 June 2013)

(Source : TODAY)

The recent haze has made temperatures sweltering. With Singapore's PSI hitting 155 yesterday at 2200 hours, it's no wonder that more people are staying indoors.

Marina Bay today, where neither the port nor MBFC was visible...

A few posts on Merlion Wayfarer's Facebook revealed that people are rushing home earlier, not OT-ing, keeping their windows shut and turning on their aircons.

Merlion Wayfarer is no exception. From less than 2 hours of aircon usage per evening (a "necessity" as her West-facing house is like a sauna in the evenings), her usage skyrocketed to more than 10 hours, including dinner time.

Is this the correct solution for our planet?


Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have widespread domestic and commercial refrigeration applications, for example, split system air conditioners. They have been found to pose a serious environmental threat. Studies undertaken by various scientists during the 1970s revealed that CFCs released into the atmosphere accumulate in the stratosphere, where they had a deleterious effect on the ozone layer. Stratospheric ozone shields living organisms on Earth from the harmful effects of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation; even a relatively small decrease in the stratospheric ozone concentration can result in an increased incidence of skin cancer in humans and in genetic damage in many organisms. In the stratosphere the CFC molecules break down by the action of solar ultraviolet radiation and release their constituent chlorine atoms. These then react with the ozone molecules, resulting in their removal. CFCs have a lifetime in the atmosphere of about 20 to 100 years, and consequently one free chlorine atom from a CFC molecule can do a lot of damage, destroying ozone molecules for a long time.

(Source : The Ozone Hole)

According to the Energy Market Authority (EMA), the electricity tariff for households is 26.70 cents per kWh (with effect from 01 April to 30 Jun 2013).

At this rate, an air-conditioner which consumes 800 W per hour and will cost approximately 43 cents for every 2 hours, or $12.816 per 30-day month.

Electrical consumption ($) = Rate x Time x Cost = 800/1000 x 2 x 0.2670 = 42.72 cents

In actual fact, this means, Merlion Wayfarer will be using $48 of power on air-conditioning alone to cool just one room this month. Uh-oh...
(Source : Quark Soup)

Merlion Wayfarer is stepping out of her house more today - 
to enjoy the air-conditioning in public spaces and reduce her carbon footprint in a small way.

(Source : Twin Oaks Computing)

For a list of hide-out locations, see "PSI 401? - Merlion Wayfarer's Guide To Hiding Out".