IN THE sweltering months from March to June, manager Lim Kong Wee had three stand fans running at full blast in his living room.
It was so hot that his two original fans were just not enough to keep the family cool, so he bought the third in April.
The 35-year-old father-of-two said: "We were sticky and uncomfortable. My kids were sweating so much that they needed more wiping down. We had to change clothes more often."
Like him, more people here bought fans and air-conditioners between the hotter months of March and June this year than in the cooler months of January and February, said market research company GfK.
Major appliance stores here reported a steady upsurge of demand for such items from March, with numbers peaking in May and June.
In May, consumers snapped up more than 50,000 fans, 60 per cent more than that in January.
The figure for June was more than 40,000.
Similarly, consumers bought about 7,000 air-conditioners each in May and June, up by about 75 per cent from that in January.
In all, they spent more than $20 million on almost 250,000 fans and more than $72 million on about 33,000 air-conditioners in the first half of this year.
Traditionally, March to July are the hotter months of the year. This year, the average temperature rose from 26.2 deg C in January to 28.6 deg C in May, the Meteorological Service Singapore said.
The average temperatures from March to May were also higher than the long-term averages.
For instance, the long-term average for May is 27.7 deg C.
For most days in June, the maximum temperature exceeded the long-term average high of 31.3 deg C.
Some shops said demand for cooling devices was even stronger in the hotter months this year than last year.
Best Denki saw a 5 per cent increase in sales for fans and air-conditioners between March and June this year than in the same period last year, while Parisilk customers bought 40 to 50 per cent more fans.
"There was talk of haze in February so people were stocking up in preparation, especially after last year's experience," said Mr Mahesh Primalani, 36, head of business development at Parisilk.
Last year's haze began in June.
The best-selling fans were stand fans, which made up half of those sold, said Gfk.
Table and floor fans each made up about 15 per cent of overall sales volume.
This article was first published on August 13, 2014.
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