Too cool for you? Sengkang resident's 9 air-con units make neighbours go brr

The air-con condensing units installed outside Huang's home (left) and Liu (right) mopping up the condensation caused by the air-cons.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Given Singapore's sweltering heat, it isn't surprising that many of us are highly dependent on our air-con. 

But nine air-con units in a four-room HDB flat?

That's what one man in Sengkang did, installing nine such units in his rented HDB flat at Blk 258A at Compassvale Road, reported Shin Min Daily News.

And his actions have caused some unhappiness among some of his neighbours.

The man, surnamed Huang, had moved into this unit just a few months ago, having sold his previous house to pay for his liver cancer treatment. 

He then paid some $13,000 to install the air-con units in that property, including five in the living room, two in the master bedroom and one each in the other two bedrooms. 

While some may find Huang's influx of air-con units bizarre, the 64-year-old man explained to the Chinese daily that he did so to "feel comfortable". 

When the weather is hot, he turns down the temperature to 18 degrees Celsius to keep himself cool. 

Apart from that, he believes that "keeping the body warm helps to improve immunity". 

Funnily enough, he himself admits that he is "afraid of the cold" and to counter this, he protects and keeps himself "comfortable" by layering multiple clothes. 

Comfortable as he may be, some of his neighbours are not so hot about his idea.

One neighbour, surnamed Liu, complained to the Chinese daily that the cold from the air-con has made his floor damp due to condensation. Liu lives in a unit directly above Huang's.

The 57-year-old added that the problem started a day after Huang installed the air-con units and that the condensation problem has affected three of his bedrooms as well as the living room. 

"For the past two months, we've been stepping on cold and wet floor every day. My wife has to wipe the floor three times a day," said Liu, adding that he almost slipped and fell the other day.

Liu showing how wet the floor is. PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

He is concerned that the floor tiles may crack in the future due to the changes in temperature. 

And the wet floor isn't the only issue either.

"Now the door and walls of the master bedroom are starting to get mouldy," he lamented. 

He may move out

On Sunday night (Aug 21), the two neighbours met and agreed on a resolution which entails Huang shortening his air-con usage time.

He also agreed that he'll use only the two air-con units in the master bedroom when he is sleeping. 

"And if I am not in the living room, I will turn off the air-con there and in the other two bedrooms," he elaborated.

However, Liu said he would have to monitor the situation.

"If the outcome is not satisfactory and the floor is still dripping with water, the problem has not been solved," he explained. 

On Huang's end, he said that if he is unable to reach a consensus with his neighbours, he would likely move out and find another more suitable place to recuperate. 

He confessed that in his previous homes, he would leave the air-con units switched on for much longer and would rack up electricity bills of more than $1,000 a month.

These days, his bills add up to about $350, which he said is "already very cheap". 

Clearly, having nine air-con units in an HDB apartment is excessive but is it even permitted?  

According to information on HDB's website, a maximum of two split-type air-con condensing units can be installed.

And when it comes to wall-mounted air-con condensing units, each wall panel is allowed to have only one unit.

It is unclear how many air-con condensing units Huang has in his home. 

This isn't the only time a HDB resident has inconvenienced a neighbour with their personal choices.

Recently, a couple in Yishun who rear chickens had a dispute with their neighbour, who said the the fowls were disturbing the peace with its noise and smell. 

melissateo@asiaone.com