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  1. #1
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    Aircon: the final answer

    This year will be my 50th anniversary here in Thailand, and I have long given the question of thermal comfort and air conditioning all the thought I can muster. I've lived Bangkok and up country, in wood houses, concrete houses, you name it. I have degrees from MIT and Imperial College and wrote a book on heat transfer and tropical architecture. To celebrate my anniversary here I am presenting my final conclusion herewith:

    You don't need air conditioning in Thailand.

    What you do need is two things:

    1. A domestic envelope that has high thermal mass like several inches of masonry and is completely shielded from the direct sun. This will reach a temperature equal to the mean air temperature, about 30.5 degrees in this month of April (87 deg F). For example, a fully sun-shielded condo such as the one where I am now.

    2. A small table fan like the Hatari that is 3 feet from me as I write this.

    This is perfectly adequate for Thais and will be for you too once you accomodate to it, a few weeks with the right attitude. Accomodation is the key to a happy life here.

  2. #2
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Money is the key to not living like a peasant.

    (Didnt take me 50 years to find that out )

  3. #3
    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack swelters View Post

    You don't need air conditioning in Thailand.
    Don't need beer or sex either .................. but pretty grim without all three.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    You are absolutely right jack, and I try and operate at a high level of energy conservation, but to sleep fitfully I require AC only on the 3 hottest months of the year when we all (2 adults and two daughters) sleep in the same room.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail

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    I never bother with it myself but maybe if you're a geriatric with some kind of health problem or you live in some shitty over-priced concrete heat-trap in an upmarket council estate then perhaps it's necessary.

  6. #6
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    My electrical bill in Bkk is usually about B5000 a month or so. Fine with me.Upcountry it will be about B2000 a month. Much smaller home but fine with me.I am not going to spend $5000 to save B1000.

  7. #7
    Lord of Swine
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan View Post
    You are absolutely right jack, and I try and operate at a high level of energy conservation, but to sleep fitfully I require AC only on the 3 hottest months of the year when we all (2 adults and two daughters) sleep in the same room.
    Is it a choice between sleeping fitfully and not at all ?

    I don't use it during the day and spend most time outside with a fan.
    Nighttime I just like it, so use it all year.

  8. #8
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    I have no aircons downstairs, and use only fans. All upstairs bedrooms and my office upstairs have aircons, but they are almost never used. We generally only use fans upstairs as well.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    I think living in the city raised the hear index considerably. It would be much easier to be out of Bangkok and live with no air as I did on Samui for 18 months. But March April and May could not be done with my house and having it point west as it does. The rest of the year would be okay.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Your (op) last name is rather appropriate.

  11. #11
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    I think living in the city raised the hear index considerably. It would be much easier to be out of Bangkok and live with no air as I did on Samui for 18 months. But March April and May could not be done with my house and having it point west as it does. The rest of the year would be okay.
    True. I live in a valley in the country, and it is always much cooler here than in the city, and we have a good breeze all day, pretty much every day.

  12. #12
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    If I'm working without AC I get sweat/heat rash on the underside of my wanking arm.

    If I don't have AC on at night I sweat a bit and don't sleep very well. The drone of the AC masks out the noise that the peasants like to make at all hours.

    My new house will have very well insulated walls & ceilings and double glazing. It'll also have a large roof overhang. Sadly, there's not enough room to grow large trees for shade. The house will be cool if left vented or cheap to run if the AC is turned on (which it will be).

  13. #13
    TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    I've just had my most expensive leccy bill in Asia, 5000 baht. Thats from having family over and 4 Aircons running some of the time.
    Still pretty cheap I reckon.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack swelters
    You don't need air conditioning in Thailand.
    true, lots of people live without it

    Maybe you would like to feel more comfortable though, esp at night, so it is a good option

  15. #15
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    Have aircon, but don't use it much, kids have it in their bedroom and again only used seldom except this time of year for their afternoon nap. We have a big open roofed area which catches any breeze and all living is done there. Only doors are on the bedrooms.
    Could live without it, but nice to hav eas a back up for those days that get unbearable. Jim

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post
    Money is the key to not living like a peasant.

    (Didnt take me 50 years to find that out )
    Acclimation is even more so a key factor without the whinging.
    Wouldn't take long to figure that out...or maybe not.

  17. #17
    TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    ^ Ive read that 18 times now. I still dont get it ???



    Edit: Think Ive got it now, acclimatisation is even more important when

    nah , i give up

  18. #18
    ความสุขในอีสาน
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    I've just had my most expensive leccy bill in Asia, 5000 baht. Thats from having family over and 4 Aircons running some of the time.
    Still pretty cheap I reckon.
    Jeez what £110 for a month ??

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    Ha! I just got a bill for Darwin [Oz] House $300 for 3 months, I was at Sea for 2 months of that and had 2 painters live in and Paint / Clean for 5 weeks

    that's 5 weeks of power and A/C's fans etc, no cooking its Gas. and Ive got a 1.5KW Solar setup [ thats minus 20% too ]

    Lucky I can claim it on Tax

  20. #20
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    Another long lost rocket scientist turns up in Thailand after 50 years. Why would anyone post about NOT using air conditioning if they could afford it?

  21. #21
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    Sure personally I use AC only in the hottest months but my neibour who works in Dubuya and as a consequence has a well off household, has it going 24/7. on the other side the neighbor is on a fixed income and has no AC at all.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan
    on the other side the neighbor is on a fixed income and has no AC at all.
    But wishes he did have it.

  23. #23
    I am in Jail

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    Why would anyone post about NOT using air conditioning if they could afford it?
    It's a waste of money? It creates a horrible environment? Its use prevents you acclimatizing to the local weather? It's an energy hog? They use HCFCs, which are greenhouse gasses between a thousand and ten thousand times more potent than CO2? Who knows, eh.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zooheekock
    Its use prevents you acclimatizing to the local weather?
    That is such a load of bollocks.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    I think living in the city raised the hear index considerably. It would be much easier to be out of Bangkok and live with no air as I did on Samui for 18 months. But March April and May could not be done with my house and having it point west as it does. The rest of the year would be okay.
    True. I live in a valley in the country, and it is always much cooler here than in the city, and we have a good breeze all day, pretty much every day.
    The temperature gradient from the sidewalk on Sukhumvit to about 50 meters into Ben Park under the trees is good example of the necessary item the op omits- greenery. It makes all the difference. It's why Bangkok, with its abundance of (mostly private) greenery is cooler during its nastiest season than Tokyo is in July-August (the most pronounced difference is at night).
    Last edited by robuzo; 17-04-2013 at 09:27 AM.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

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