ALL living things have adapted ways to deal with hot and cold fluctuations.
Humans have developed a relatively small margin of comfort, about 23-27 degrees, depending on metabolism and body fat. This is because we have become more adept at adjusting our environment with everything from clothing to shelter.
But to cool our core body temperature, our limited options are to pass air across our sweaty skin or immerse ourselves in a cooler environment like a mass of water or an air-conditioned space.
We pay for this comfort, and how much depends on a lot of factors, but a ballpark figure to run a ceiling fan for eight hours a night is about 16 cents, as opposed to air-conditioning your bedroom for about $1.36.
So, running the air-con is about the same price per quarter as running your fridge, TV, dishwasher and washing machine combined.
On the other hand, if you get a good night’s sleep, it may add a lot more value than $1.36 to your productivity the next day!
It will be about half the cost if you use night rate electricity tariffs, a well-insulated room, covered glass and sealed openings.
It sounds cheap, but a common mistake is when people start to overrate their comfort and want ducted air-con in all their rooms all the time, and then the price will be going up by a factor of 10 or 20 times.
There is also an environmental cost of pollution created by the production of electricity, and consumers assume that the provider will cover this cost, but it doesn’t.
In reality, to provide some people with air-conditioned comfort, we all end up with a lower-quality atmosphere.