These days, when one reads the papers, one becomes fearful of what tomorrow will bring: even higher prices for fuel, electricity, basic commodities.
In the desire to save precious pesos, I have been spending the past several days researching on what could sufficiently cool while not consuming too much electricity. In other words, I have been looking for an alternative to an airconditioner, an occasional substitute to it at the very least.
First I tried to look for an electric fan with a remote control. Being disabled, I feel so bad having to perpetually call someone to turn on the fan, turn it off, etc., sometimes in quick succession. I’ve bought two different brands of electric fans with remote control over the past years. The first was a red Philips stand fan. It still works but not its remote control. Next stop was a white Kolin stand fan with remote control. Same story: the electric fan works, but the remote control not. I asked around for a Panasonic electric fan with remote control but the local stores don’t carry it. At SM, the clerk even asked me what the model number was. I thought it was his job to know or at least find out. Why Panasonic? The brand has given me no headaches thus far. My oven toaster of almost 20 years, a Panasonic, works till now.
Anyway, surfing the Net for answers, I realized such a Panasonic fan existed — in Singapore. Darn. Those available in the local appliance stores were stand fans without remote control. Those with remote control recommended by stores were stand fans by other brands or tower fans, but I demurred. Sure, tower fans are sleek and look expensive but my primary concern is not aesthetics. I am looking for performance and reliability.
At True Value in Power Plant, the sales clerk recommended iro-cool, an evaporative cooling unit. Depending on capacity it cost between P6k and P7k. The price was not my main concern. rather it was the clerk’s revelation that the said unit should not be used in an enclosed room unless the aircon was on because it would release toxic substances into the air (yes, she said that). A window or door had to be open, she said. I was aghast because that meant letting all the insects into our bedroom just so the air would cool. I thought not. Besides, surfing the Net revealed only one entry on iro-cool and said entry merely revealed it is available in MC HOme Depot. A Filipino product? It isn’t actually. It’s made in China. So back to the drawing boards I went.
I saw an advertisement for Dowell air coolers in the broadsheets on 1 May. I called the number but for obvious reasons (May 1, non-working holiday), no one answered my calls.
Again, I called some stores among them SM and Abenson and finally, the clerk in Abenson Shangrila (tel. no. 638 8019) told me they had such a model. It does not spew out mist the way iro-cool does, or so I was told. It hsd an ionizer, a filter, a receptacle for water, another for ice only to increase its cooling efficiency.
So now we have the Dowell air cooler. Putting in water makes the air it issues cooler, indeed. Tomorrow, we’ll try putting some ice. Incidentally, the air cooler consumes 60 watts of power per hour. A one-HP aircon takes up 1000 watts/hour. I fervently hope that the Dowell air cleaner will help reduce our power consumption.
At Abenson they offered a one-year replacement warranty which I got for an additional P500 plus. The unit cost P3700 plus. Actually, the sales clerks said the replacement warranty was for two years but when I checked the warranty certificate, it said one year. Stupid of me to trust that they were telling the truth. I guess I was raring to have dinner — hungry as I was.
Oh yes, I remember now. I should have looked for that contraption that helps control power consumption when we went to get the Dowell air cleaner earlier. Darn. Miriam Quiambao, in an interview, said it cut her consumption by a significant percentage.