aaron2

Air-Conditioning

NEW articles daily! Subscribe below to receive daily updates with our new articles!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Electric Fan

Electric Fan

When the AC at my condo has stopped working during the summer here in Raleigh, NC, USA, I have gotten it fixed pronto even though you have to pay a heavy price for fast AC repair in the summer time and I am generally considered by most people I know to be frugal/cheap. I live in a small 2 bedroom, 2-story condo. My home is built for air conditioning, not ventilation. In the Philippines, during my last visit I spent a month in an average one story cinder block home, Mama’s House, which is built for ventilation. I went to town about every other day and spent 2 to 4 hours shopping in air-conditioned malls. The purpose of this article is to compare the advantages of what I consider a USA home which is insulated to keep cool air from an air condition in to a Filipino style home built for ventilation. The premise is the benefits and disadvantages of both in the Philippines which has an eternal summer at least in Bohol. I will compare: Comfort, Climate Acclimation, Carbon Footprint, and Cost.

Visa Assistance

 Comfort:

Window Aircon

Window Aircon

I do not have some superhuman ability to handle the heat neither do Filipinos. At Mama’s House in Bohol from 11 am to 5 pm I would describe the comfort situation in her Filipino home as almost unbearable hot. It feels kind of like I imagine the inside of an oven would feel. The electric fan does little to improve the situation. During the heat of the day ventilation does not get the job done. Something magical happens when the Sun sets. The temperature of a Filipino-style home dramatically drops. The reason for this lies in the ingenious design of the homes. When I first saw the homes in the Philippines, I did not understand why the walls sometimes don’t go to the roof or why there was no ceiling. You can see the rafters and the underside of the roof. I just assumed they did not have the money to finish the house. I also thought the cinder blocks with holes designed in them were for decoration the truth is they are for ventilation. A properly designed Filipino house is comfortable at night and in the early morning. That being said the unbearable heat during the day gives a big edge to a USA air-conditioned and insulated home where the temperature can be controlled 24/7 unless there is a black-out or brown-out. Without electricity an insulated USA-style house will be like an oven both day and night. The insulation keeps hot air in just like it keeps cool air in. This is when you start camping out in the yard at night and taking hours long baths in ice cold water in a kiddie pool with an ice cold beer during the days. For Comfort the USA House wins big as long as there is electricity!

Climate Acclimation:

As I said in the Comfort section a Filipino-style house is unbearable during the day. This pretty much forces the people living in the home to get out in the elements at least until they can make their way to free air-conditioning.

Ventilation Block

Ventilation Block

Where is this free air-conditioning you ask? The mall, standing or sitting waiting at the bank, some offices, etc. is my answer. I met an expat on my last visit and the man has an air-conditioned house. He gets in his air-conditioned van quickly and goes to an air-conditioned mall. The air he does not get conditioned to is the air outside. The man seemed happy and if that works for him then fine. It would not work for me. I want to spend at least some time outdoors, just not the heat of the day when I can avoid it. For Climate Acclimation the Filipino-style home wins big!

Carbon Footprint:

Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint

A Filipino-style house uses a lot less electricity than a USA-style house. The Filipino electric fan does not suck the juice like an air-conditioner. Electricity is usually generated by burning fossil fuels that are believed to harm Mother Earth. I am not big on worrying about Global Warming, but I did think it worth mentioning that Filipino-style homes are a lot friendlier to the environment!

Cost:

I don’t know for sure how much more it cost to run an air-conditioner than an electric fan, but I do know that it is a lot more especially if you are trying to keep the temperature at 72 degrees. I have noticed that some of the upper poor in the Philippines have window unit air-conditioners that look like they have not run since Nixon was POTUS. The reason is that once the air conditioner was bought and probably used for about 1 month the devastating electric bill came in and the realization that paying for the electricity was a big budget buster. I am by no means an expert on the difference that not running an air-conditioner has on the monthly bill, but I am sure it is significant. If any readers with knowledge would like to share on the comments below it would be greatly appreciated! Anyway the Filipino-style house wins big again!

Analysis:

By winning 3 out of 4 of my categories I declare the Filipino-style house the winner of this addition of Filipino vs USA! If comfort is most important to you and you cannot or do not want to leave the house, then maybe you want a USA -style house. You just have to be ready to pay for it and realize that your home can become a kind of prison if you cannot deal with the outside elements. That is a personal choice. If I ever make my move to the Philippines, I think I would want to have a Filipino-style home with one small well insulated room with an air-conditioner that I could retreat to when the heat of the day got too bad.

Questions of the Day:

Please feel free to answer one, both or none of the following questions of the day:

  1. Do you believe in-home air-conditioning is a want or need in the Philippines?
  2. What temperature would you set an air-conditioner at night?

Jay Stainback

Jay Stainback lives in Raleigh, NC, USA and is hoping/planning to retire to Bohol in about 10 years. He is married to his beautiful Filipina wife Juliet whom he met on-line. They were married 12/7/02 and have two boys’ ages 9 years old and 5 years old. Jay has visited the Philippines 4 times the first time 1 week, the 2nd time 2 weeks, the 3rd time for 3 weeks, the 4th time 4 weeks spending most of their time in Bohol.

Most Shared Posts

80 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PapaDuck
PapaDuck
5 years ago

Jay, Yes electricity is higher in the Philippines, but not as high as people think. What makes the bills higher is because so many people have appliances that are not energy efficient. Where we live in Lipa City, Batangas we have not used A/C since May of 2014 when we first moved there. Our bill’s generally range from 800p to 1200p depending on the time of the year. If i had A/C on it would be around 78. A/C would be a need in some parts of the Philippines. We are at a higher elevation so the need is not… Read more »

SteveB
SteveB
5 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Hi PapaDuck – I live in Santa Rosa City where its hot – I’ve heard good things about Lipa City…I’ve heard it’s cooler there….will look into there if I can ever pry my wife out of Santa Rosa…haha.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Hi Randy, Thanks for the excellent comment! I thought of mentioning how temperature vary based on location and things like elevation, ocean breeze, urban heating from asphalt, etc. Thanks also for the details about your electric bill. Here in Raleigh, NC during the summer at night we set AC at about 75 -78 at night. In winter the heat I think around 66 or so I don’t remember. Whatever feels right. The ideal some people have of 72 is strange to me in the summer that feels cod to me in the winter it feels hot. IDK if that makes… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago

Jay Hollow block have no insulating value’ insulating inside walls will keep the house cooler, very large screed windows and the highest ceiling you can afford also keeps your house cool. The most important factor is to paint the roof a light color (White works best) to reflect the sun. Whereas dark colors absorb the heat. Insulate the crawlspace above your ceiling also will drop the temperature within the house. My bedroom has Air/Con and the rest of the house stays comfortable because of the list above. This was taught to me in Florida, Puerto Rico, Diego Garcia and other… Read more »

UpawPhil
UpawPhil
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

This, sir, is GOLD! I need to remember this when I make my move to the Phils!

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the information! I write a lot of articles with the intention of learning more than teaching. Comments from readers like yourself help my articles a lot. If I only wrote about things I knew anything about, I would have to submit blank documents to LiP and I kind of doubt Sir Bob would publish them.

Peace

Jay

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Jay; Did you notice how many different ways and suggestions the readers had to solve the problem? That is why I like articles like this; because of the flow of information agreeing and disagreeing which is the best way to keep cool. Because of my extensive time in the tropics I arrived here in the Philippines already acclimatized. One time I flew in from the Persian Gulf to Manila I boarded the plane in Bahrain at 122 degrees and debarked in the Philippines at a cool and refreshing 93 degrees; it all depends on your point of reference. The anti… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul,

I am glad you enjoyed the article. One thing I was unclear on with your home from a previous comment:

Does the un-air conditioned part stay reasonably comfortable during the heat of the day?

From what I have seen of your home on your previous articles, I am impressed. That flat roof of yours looks like an excellent place to entertain. I also agree that it would be good to have a couple of air conditioned rooms, but not the whole house as that would be cost prohibitive.

Peace

Jay

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Hi Jay; The house stays very comfortable 95% of the year, but when the temp jumps into the 90’s during March or April I go to one of the A/C rooms and take a nap, or go out for the afternoon. But my wife is fine in the living room. I would shutter at the cost of Central Air for the whole house. The roof is best in the evening, but with our canopy tents it is good, but the front yard is always a great place to sit during the day, and I have the man-cave out in the… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul,

Wow! That is impressive. You got Mama’s House beat. It feels fine at night and cools off real well, but it is a preview of Hell during the heat of the day at Mama’s. Thanks for sharing!

Peace

Jay

Paul salvidge
Paul salvidge
5 years ago

I just finished insulating my filipino home, i used 2 inch glass fibre then covered it with foil polystyerene although city hardware now sell glass fibre with foil on one side, first thing i noticed was the floor tiles are now cold on the feet and the thermo on the aircon now turns the compressor off for longer periods, total cost for 100sm space was 9,000 pesos well worth it, now i just have to train the wife to keep the doors closed

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul salvidge

Hi Paul S,

Thanks for the comment! I am sure that your information will be useful for someone considering building a home in the Philippines.

Peace

Jay

Adam
Adam
5 years ago

When me and my wife built our house here we made sure most of the large windows were facing the direction the wind here mostly comes from. Our stairs also face this way. Most days when you stand at the bottom of the stairs you can feel a slight breeze filtering down. We also have a couple of “secure mesh” doors that the cool air at night can come through. This secure mesh is unbreakable so you can have the glass door open and the air will get inside still. No real need for aircon. Our electricity bill here averages… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the information on how to keep cool without busting the budget! It is good information on the cost of electricity and how to manage it.

Peace

Jay

SteveB
SteveB
5 years ago

Jay – I spend roughly half the year in Laguna Philippines and the other half of the year in Raleigh, so we probably have a lot in common! I think AirCon is a want to most Filipinos but a need to most Kanos. In Raleigh I keep my temperature set to 78 24/7 unless the temps get into the 90s, then I set it a little higher. Here in the Philippines only the bedroom has aircon. The lowest I’ve ever been able to get it down to is 78, but that’s fine for me. In fact, most nights I get… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  SteveB

Hi SteveB, Thanks for the great information! The truth is everyone could live without air con, but if you can afford it why roast. Great information about acclimation. I don’t know the exact temperature of Mama’s House after dark, but I would estimate mid to upper 70’s. I sleep fine when there with just an electric fan. Mama put in a ceiling. Yes, I paid for it. I did not want to. Not because of the money, but because I knew it would increase the temperature at night. My wife and her mom did not think it would increase the… Read more »

GaryM
GaryM
5 years ago

The bedrooms at our house are air conditioned. The main living area is not. The main living area 18ft+ ceilings but still gets quite warm (90F+) during the hottest part of the day during April and May. I usually retreat to the bedroom for the afternoon siesta during that time of day. Could we live here without AC? Of course millions do but I choose not to. I will continue to pay my higher electric bills for our comfort.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  GaryM

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the information! Retreating to the AC in the heat of the day makes sense. I don’t think ventilation gets it done during the heat of the day.

Peace

Jay

Tim Curtiss
Tim Curtiss
5 years ago

Hose in Victorias Negros has no air conditioner and I don’t need it. I have a balcony and sometimes I sleep outside on a cot. TayDay said the witch would get me, but she never did.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim Curtiss

Hi Tim,

Sound like a great place to be! Thanks for sharing!

Peace

Jay

Gary
Gary
5 years ago

Probably the biggest money saver with AC is blocking the sun. If you have a wall that is sunny, the cinder blocks will absorb the heat and release it throughout the night making your bill rocket. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment in Ormoc City. Out neighbor has an AC like we do as the hole is very small and the rooms are small too. The difference is I sealed my windows. I also made shade. One month the electric bills got mixed up and we got their bill and they had ours. Our bill was actually about P300… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Gary

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the information! As I said before I writ more to learn than to teach. I and the other readers benefit greatly from comments like yours!

Peace

Jay

Cordillera Cowboy
5 years ago

Hello Jay, I’m another vote for the Filipino style house. When we had our house in Virginia, we could open the windows for cross ventilation. I only used the air conditioning if it was an extremely still and muggy day. But, I’ve worked in outdoor type jobs all my life. At work, I’ll often wear a jacket in an air conditioned building. I mostly don’t like going back and forth between air conditioning and the hot, humid outdoors. None of our abodes in the Philippines have air conditioning, and I don’t notice at all. Our niece from the States and… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago

Pete;
After losing a nightclub and a house to hurricanes in Puerto Rico I refuse to tempt fate with a gabled roof. The last typhoon that hit Bataan took hundreds of roofs with it; mine was where I left it, right on top of the house. (LOL) When a tree smashed my wall and damaged my house I moved those nice tall shade trees away from my house. But Pete I second your Idea about living on high ground to keep cool, and the added benefit of gravity to remove excess rainfall.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Pete, Nice hearing from you again! Elevation makes a big difference. On the other hand a sea breeze is nice. When we go to the beach some of our family stays under the cabana in the shade eating and drinking only to venture to the water for a brief dip. I have not seen too many wooden houses in the Philippines. I am not saying there aren’t a lot, as I have stated in the past my experience is limited to a small geographic area. I kind of got the impression that wood would not stand up as good… Read more »

Ronald McCarthy
Ronald McCarthy
5 years ago

First of all, cinder or cement block is NOT a Filipino styled house! What works best is what has been working for the Filipino for the past 4,000 years. It’s called a Nipa house. It’s usually framed in coco lumber. Walls are made of woven bamboo. Floors are of split bamboo and the roof is a Nipa thatch. It’s a perfect design for the Filipino. All of the materials are local. There’s an abundance of skilled Filipino labor. The roof and walls may blow away in a typhoon, but can be quickly replaced when the winds subside. They are cool… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Ronald, Firstly, thanks for the information your comment may be longer than my article! You should consider writing and submitting to Bob. On the Nipa hut, I agree that the Nipa hut is more traditional home in the Philippines, but I see very few where I have traveled. As I have said before I am not that well traveled may be in other parts of the country Nipa huts are plentiful. When I read your comment I honestly thought why not compare the Filipino Nipa hut to the Native American tee pee or log cabin. I write from my… Read more »

Ronald McCarthy
Ronald McCarthy
5 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Jay, My formal training came as an Electrical Engineer and my work led me into Mechanical Engineering and Computing, but architecture was one of my many hobbies. Now I’ve got the best job of them all, retirement! It is interesting to read the opinions of those who have come here to live. It doesn’t require years of experiences on every island in the archipelago to get a fairly good understanding of life here. I happen to have come here while sponsoring a couple of families through The Foster Parent’s Plan, known as just “The Plan” in the islands. So I… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Ronald,

Thank you for sharing your expertise, knowledge and experience on house construction in relation to handling the elements!

Peace

Jay

SIGN UP TO JOIN OUR GIVEAWAYS & INFO NEWSLETTER

Make sure you've signed up to our newsletter to get exclusive newsletter only content! Also be updated about all our important events and other important info that our readers rely on.

SIGNUP FORM


Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.