Portable air conditioning doesn’t beat the heat, experts say

Portable aircos on sale. Photo: Dutch News

Despite hotter summers a majority of people in the Netherlands don’t have air conditioning in their homes and have no plans to have it installed, a survey commissioned by energy information organisation Milieu Centraal has shown.

Some 1,000 people participated in the survey. In total 71% said they have no air conditioning, either permanent or a portable unit, while 60% said they would not contemplate buying one.

The most popular ways to keep homes cool were fans, awnings, and roof and wall insulation, the survey showed.

“These are much better ways of warding off the heat than air conditioning,” energy expert Joanneke de Jongh said. “A combination of awnings and insulation reduces the chance of overheating by 80%.”

“Portable airco units in particular, are really completely useless,” De Jonghe said. “Very often the same amount of warm air enters the house as is being cooled. If you do need cooling, a fan is a better and cheaper choice. It uses about 20% less energy.”

According to figures from CBS, some 285,000 people had air conditioning installed in their home last year. No precise figures for portable units are available but a spokesman for sellers Mediamarkt and Saturn told broadcaster NOS they had already sold “many more units than last year”.

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