Electricity is pretty expensive here in the Philippines. That is, when you can get it. Thankfully we’ve been in a much better situation with regards to brownouts for the past coupe months or so. I sure hope that holds.

Just prior to my trip to the U.S. I had gotten on a mission to lower my Davao Light electric bill. It had climbed to a level that I was unhappy with. I knew I could do better and I wanted to find out how. So I invested some of my energy into that.

One of the main things that had prompted me to do all this was the frustration of an old refrigerator that led to the purchase of a new one. The old one had gotten to the point where it was running constantly. I put a lot of time, effort and money into getting it to work better, but in the end I gave up. I’m glad I did, as the new refrigerator is much more efficient and keeps things much colder and drier, too.

To help me analyze my situation I purchased a power watt meter. More on that in another article. After doing an analysis of all my electrical appliances I learned, as most of us know, that the aircons are energy hogs. What I didn’t realize was the even when they aren’t cooling the fans are using 60+ watts. And that’s one area I decided to focus on, as I was running my aircon fan continuously in place of a regular fan.

I tested all my fans and found that even in the lowest setting, the least any of them used was about 35-40 watts. I wondered if there were fans out there that were more energy-efficient. My first attempt to find something didn’t turn up much. Most fans were rated about 55-60 watts. I did find a cheap, portable overhead fan that used only 9 watts, but it’s effectiveness is limited.

Asahi DC-6072 low watt fanOne day while stopping in SM Appliance I saw them assembling a fan that was different from others I had seen. They wanted to show it to me, but when I asked the price and found it to be near P5000, I said “no thanks”. I left, but later came back because I wanted to see what was so great about this fan that they could ask that much for it.

What was so special about this fan? Well for one thing it is a DC inverter fan and it has very low watt usage, which is exactly what I was looking for. Turns out they had two models – one that is rechargeable, and one that is plugged in only. The rechargeable one commands a bit higher price, and since that was not a feature I was looking for I focused on the plugged variety.

Asahi DC-6072 remoteThe model of this fan is an Asahi DC-6072 DCIII 16″ fan. It has a lot of bells and whistle, including a remote, which add to the cost. None of those really matter to me, I was interested in its wattage usage. It is rated at 24 watts – top speed. Unlike other fans which have just a few speeds settings, it has variable speed from 1 to 24. That was appealing to me. I never use my fans at top speed, so I was pretty happy to find out that at 12 (which I assumed correlated to watts) the fan was putting out plenty of air for me. Come to learn later (yes, I ended buying one) that at 12 it is only using 7 watts. That was a pleasant surprise. At 24, without the oscillation, it uses 20 watts as tested by my meter.

Asahi ControlsThis is an expensive fan. I paid P4370 for it. It would take me a long time to recoup the cost of the fan in terms of energy usage, but maybe not as long as it would first seem. I decided to get it and in doing so I’ve eliminated the use of other fans. Instead of using my aircon fans in my den and bedroom, I use this fan now. The bedroom aircon fan was using 70 watts at the lowest setting (fan only, no cooling) AND I was supplementing that with another fan using over 40 watts. I now use only the DC fan at watts for the duration of my sleep.

The aircon fan in my den was using 60 watts (fan only), so during the day I’m saving that also. I rarely run aircon now, which is a separate savings of course, except to cool the bedroom prior to sleep. It had occurred to me that it rarely came on at night anyway with the setting I had it on. It usually only cooled to temp and then held.

It’s not as convenient to move the one fan around as I move from room to room, but to me it’s worth it. I do have another floor fan that I can use if needed, and of course the aircons are still installed ready to supply the cooler air when I just can’t take the heat.

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