Eyes on PolyU

Beat the heat wisely

Many people consider air conditioning a basic necessity, not a luxury. Air conditioners have proven to be able to cool our homes’ or offices’ interior air and create a comfortable environment. To some people, when offices are air-conditioned, they may feel they can work better and make better decisions. Some others believe that they can get a good night’s sleep when their bedrooms are air-conditioned with a temperature regulated. With these beliefs, people have become ever more dependent on air conditioning.

Many people are so used to air-conditioned indoor environment

The use of air conditioning around the globe is increasing over the decades as global temperatures go up. On a literal level, our reliance on air conditioning is actually making the world hotter because this cooling act uses such a massive amount of energy. Air conditioners account for a considerably high proportion of the Hong Kong’s annual energy use. Making reference to Hong Kong Energy End-use Data 2020 issued by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) in August 2020, air conditioning is the top energy-consuming end-use across the commercial sector and residential sector in 2018 in the city. 

We won’t be astonished to see the number of air-conditioning units installed in buildings, households, restaurants, street-side stores, together with ventilation and large-scale air-conditioning systems in commercial offices and shopping arcades. We expect cool air and a comfy environment wherever we go, but we might have forgotten about the environmental impact and the energy consumed.

Air-conditioning in offices

PolyU sees the importance of responsible energy management and strives to integrate energy-saving considerations in every possible way to reduce energy consumption and show our care for the environment. The University has pledged to maintain an average indoor temperature of between 24 and 26°C from June to September each year. It applies environmental technologies and features on campus such as motion sensors for air conditioning systems and heat recovery/energy reclamation from air-conditioned areas. PolyU’s experts recently come up with a new and cutting-edge innovation that monitors indoor air quality and energy consumption simultaneously, allowing users to pick up the knowledge about striking a balance of getting comfortable in an air-conditioned indoor environment and its energy use. PolyU also works hard in environmental awareness promotion and energy-saving education. Since 2010, the University has been supporting the Hong Kong No Air Con Night to bring out the importance of reducing greenhouse gases and saving energy through the wise use of air conditioning. Notices and reminders on energy saving can also be found to catch everyone’s eyes.

PolyU supports Hong Kong No Air Con Night

It’s time to think about ways to cure our addiction to air conditioning. We don’t really need full-on air conditioning at all times. There are ways which are less energy intensive to help cool our living spaces, which can help generate less harmful environmental effects.

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