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News Over 40% of Japanese households plan not to use AC during summer

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
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Hats off to them! We officially started using A/C on Monday. This week, temperatures reached 34°C, and humidity significantly increased.

In a Panasonic Corp. survey conducted in early May's cooler days, 555 individuals aged 20 to 69 were questioned about their summer air conditioning usage intentions. Over 40% expressed a desire to delay turning on their AC, primarily to save money, with the elderly showing more significant hesitance. While 27% were keen on actively saving electricity, half of the respondents were willing to make some effort. As for AC usage, 10% preferred enduring the heat overusing it, and 33% planned to use it occasionally. The survey highlighted a significant consciousness towards energy conservation and a general inclination to minimize AC use.


A representative of Panasonic said there are two key points to preventing heatstroke and saving electricity at the same time. The first is the direction of airflow. Cold air tends to accumulate at ground level, so if an AC's wind direction is upward, its cooling efficiency will increase and cold air will not directly hit users. Additionally, if a fan is brought out, the cold air will dissipate, leading to the same result. The other factor is air volume. It is better to set an air conditioner to "automatic" to save money, versus "low" or "light." It takes longer to cool a room with lower air volume, therefore taking more power. When a room is hot, increasing the air volume before lowering the temperature setting will save electricity, according to the representative.


 
Sounds about right. The first summer I was in Japan, the people I stayed with didn't like to use AC. I think we mostly only used it while sleeping, and only for a limited time at that. I wasn't used to the climate, so I was scolded for wanting the AC on continuously. That costs money, you know!

And for most of the time I was there, AC was not used much by anyone I spent time with, or even at work. Or should I say, work might use it in one or two rooms, but even then they followed the official guidance of 28 degrees C in summer, 18 degrees C in winter. Again, it was usually framed as a cost saving method. However, some people would say that the air from AC is just 'different', and they preferred natural air.

I was lucky because for the majority of my life there, I had a second story end apartment unit in the building I lived in. That meant I had windows on three sides. Having a cross-breeze makes all the difference in the world.
 
When the inside of my house reaches 25C , I give in and turn on my AC. My old unites weighed a ton and were heavy to lift into the window. I finally bought 2 big floor models on wheels that work much better. They usually only take a half hour to drop the temp to 21C.
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My wife has abandoned us for two nights in Tokyo so we can use the AC freely now. BTW does anybody know how the temperature setting works on these modern devices? Instead of setting a temperature, it sets it in relative settings. For example I can set it to -0.5C, -1.0C, etc. Does that mean -1.0C maintains temperature relative to the outside air temperature? ie if the outside is 30C it would mean 29C? Or does it have something to do with the inside air temp?

Even the AI is befuddled.
Modern Japanese air conditioners typically do not use relative temperature settings like -0.5°C or -1.0°C compared to the outside temperature. Instead, they generally allow you to set an absolute target temperature for the room. The standard temperature setting on Japanese air conditioners works as follows:
  1. You can usually set a specific target temperature, typically between 16°C and 30°C


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  2. The recommended temperature setting for cooling is around 28°C, while for heating it's about 20°C


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  3. You adjust the temperature using up and down arrows or plus and minus buttons on the remote control

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  4. The air conditioner will then work to maintain the room at that set temperature, regardless of the outside temperature.
Some advanced models may have additional features like "auto" modes that can adjust settings based on room conditions, but these still typically work with absolute temperature targets rather than relative offsets. If you're seeing settings like -0.5°C or -1.0°C, it's possible you're looking at a specialized or newer model with unique features. However, this is not standard for most Japanese air conditioners. In such a case, you would need to consult the specific model's manual to understand how those settings work, as they are not typical of Japanese air conditioners in general. If you're having trouble understanding your specific air conditioner's settings, it might be helpful to check the model number and look up the manual online, or ask for assistance from your landlord or a local appliance store.
 
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What's the model number on the AC? Maybe someone could look up the manual online for your unit and find out.

ETA: Are you sure that the -0.5, etc. is for the AC function? I seem to recall that my AC in Japan had a dehumidifier option that may have had settings like that. Maybe you can switch modes until you find the AC function.
 
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What's the model number on the AC? Maybe someone could look up the manual online for your unit and find out.

ETA: Are you sure that the -0.5, etc. is for the AC function? I seem to recall that my AC in Japan had a dehumidifier option that may have had settings like that. Maybe you can switch modes until you find the AC function.
I found the controller but instead of showing an absolute temperature it's displaying a relative temperature I swear.
Anyway it's working well enough for our needs.
 
Are you sure it's on the 冷房 setting and not ドライ or 自動?

According to the manual for your aircon unit on page 10 (see link below), you can set the temperature to a specific level if you're running under 冷房, but the ドライ and 自動 settings will use relative temperature setting controls.


As an aside, looking at the image of the aircon remote was unbelievably nostalgic. Thanks for that. I have no idea why, but that really made my day!
 
Over 40% expressed a desire to delay turning on their AC, primarily to save money, with the elderly showing more significant hesitance.

When I saw the thread title I thought that people wanted to avoid using their A/C to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by A/C, namely HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). HFCs are 1,430 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide per unit of mass and they remain in the atmosphere for up to 29 years. Add to this that 88% of the electricity in Japan comes from fossil fuels, the highest percentage in the developed world! But it turns out that their concerns were not for the planet, but for their wallet. :rolleyes:
 
When I saw the thread title I thought that people wanted to avoid using their A/C to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by A/C, namely HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). HFCs are 1,430 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide per unit of mass and they remain in the atmosphere for up to 29 years. Add to this that 88% of the electricity in Japan comes from fossil fuels, the highest percentage in the developed world! But it turns out that their concerns were not for the planet, but for their wallet. :rolleyes:

I understand your consternation, @Maciamo; however, our wallets will always be closer to us than lofty ideals. And for some people, it's a question of sheer survival.

Here's a truly heartbreaking example from Kurashiki:

 
When I saw the thread title I thought that people wanted to avoid using their A/C to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by A/C, namely HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). HFCs are 1,430 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide per unit of mass and they remain in the atmosphere for up to 29 years. Add to this that 88% of the electricity in Japan comes from fossil fuels, the highest percentage in the developed world! But it turns out that their concerns were not for the planet, but for their wallet. :rolleyes:
Last time I checked though, hydrofluorocarbons don't get released into the atmosphere by using the A/C, unless there's a leak, because hydrofluorocarbons have to be pumped through the system to transfer heat, right? If the HFCs were being released then your A/C unit would stop working pretty quickly... Pretty sure the main reason HFCs are being released into the atmosphere is from factories that are creating it, and waste products containing it that are disposed of improperly, but correct me if I'm wrong 🤔 either way, the real answer to all the problems is using heat pumps, when they get more affordable :)
 
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