Tuesday June 26, 2012
Hot weather sends many to purchase air-conditioners
Story and photo by FONG KEE SOON
THE recent heat wave is a blessing in disguise for air-conditioner vendors, sending their sales figures up in the last two months.
“This is one of the hottest years that I can recall. The rising temperature has boosted sales by about 30% of late as customers turn to air-conditioners for comfort,” said an electrical shop assistant in Ipoh Garden East, who only wished to be known as Ching.
Ching said the recent haze had also prompted customers to spend more on air-conditioners, which had built-in ionisers.
While regular air-conditioners were available from as low as RM850 brand new, she said customers were willing to pay more for ones with better technology, sometimes up to an extra RM500.
“Ionisers help to keep the room fresh by releasing negative ions that invigorate the air,” said Ching.
The recent hot spell has also made air-conditioner salesman Heng Heng Choong a busy man.
“Normally, I install five units a day but because of the hot weather, I’m up to eight units,” said Heng, 32.
According to Heng, some customers pay up to RM1,600 for air-conditioners with DC hybrid inverter systems as they consume less energy.
“Air-conditioners are turned on nearly 24 hours these days and those with DC hybrid inverter systems will help save on electricity bills in the long run.
“There are also some who will go for used air-conditioners, which can be as low as RM400, due to budget limitations,” he added.
Home appliance sales executive Sincere Tan said due to the overwhelming demand for air-conditioners, her customers were forced to wait up to seven days for installation to be carried out.
“Usually, it takes only a day or two after they have made their purchases for our electricians to install them,” she said.
Property consultant Chai Kuen Keong, 29, was among those contemplating to install an air-conditioner for his fiancée, whose room on the top floor of the house, has been turned into a sweatbox due to the hot weather.
“She can’t sleep well at night, which in turn affects her physical well-being.
“At first, I thought of installing a ventilation fan but I don’t it will do any good to reduce the temperature,” he said.
While there is increasing concern on the risk of haze-related illnesses, a general practitioner, who preferred to be known as Dr Chong, said there was no increase in patients displaying such symptoms at his clinic in Bercham.
“The situation may change if our air quality continues to worsen. People may suffer from acute respiratory problems as a result of the thick haze,” he said.
Medical officer Ashok Kumar, 28, said among the symptoms of haze-related illnesses were dry cough, flu and itchy eyes.
“Preventive measures can be taken by wearing respiratory masks when going outdoor,” said Ashok.