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The New Paper
Aug 23, 2022
Known for some of the hottest weather in the world, Singapore has long been coined an “air-conditioned nation” for good reason.
But one man might be taking things a little too far by having up to nine air-conditioners on at the same time whenever he’s home.
Huang, a 63-year-old retiree who stays in a rented four-room flat in Sengkang, sets all nine of his units at 18 deg C – because “the weather is hot”, he told Shin Min Daily News.
"There are five air-conditioners in the living room, two in the master bedroom, and one each in the remaining two rooms", he said.
When Shin Min visited the unit, Huang attended to them dressed in six to seven layers of clothing. The cold could be felt from the corridor outside the unit.
Huang said his penchant for the cold is for health reasons. In 2021, he was diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer, and that being comfortable helps “improve immunity”.
Huang had sold his home to fund his cancer treatment, and rented the Sengkang unit only a few months ago, spending $10,300 to have the air-conditioners installed.
His utilities bill in July cost around $350, which he said was significantly lower than his past bills of "over $1,000".
Meanwhile, his neighbours in the unit above him are having to deal with water condensation on their cold floors daily.
"We have to mop the floor three times a day. It's a headache," Huang’s neighbour Liu, 57, told Shin Min.
In one instance, Liu said he almost slipped on the wet floor.
Since the issue arose two months ago, the family have also had to deal with mould on their walls and the possibility of their floor tiles cracking.
To mediate the problem, Liu met with Huang and approached the authorities for help.
On Aug 21, the parties had reportedly arrived at an agreement: Huang will reduce the length of time when all air-conditioners are switched on.
He has also agreed to use only the two air-conditioners in the master bedroom when he goes to bed at night.
“I've accepted the proposal, but it remains to be seen if this solves the problem or not," Liu said.