The air conditioning units we see on the outsides of buildings in China are much more energy efficient than the whole house units found mostly in the US. We live in the Bay Area near SF and our house has a whole house unit, which can be very expensive as it cools or heats the entire house while we spend most of our time in one room.
The units you see in China are ductless and while there may be one unit outside of the building, there will be a different ductless unit inside each room of the unit, which allows the residents to run only the one for the room they are in thus saving energy and keeping the electric bill/use down.
However, I agree with you that these units probably do warm the city by several degrees in the summer. Imagine, China has more than four times the number of people that the United States has with about the same amount of land to live on. If everyone in China had these ductless air conditioning units, I’m sure it does run up the heat at ground level. In the US, when a heat wave hits, the amount of energy demanded by all the whole house air conditioning units often causes brown outs/power losses as the electric grid crashes from the demand.
The man that installed the one ductless system we bought (for a separate granny bungalow on our property) said that it would use less than a third of the electricity demanded by our whole-house unit.
I wonder if that means in China, if everyone was using the ductless heating-cooling unit in one room of their home, the Chinese would be consuming the same among of electricity that Americans would consume under the same circumstances.
Most of the Chinese cities we have spent time in all had the same amount of energy you experienced in Hong Kong.
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Hong Kong is easily the most dynamic city I have ever visited. Alive, moving, walking, running, and most of all eating and all of this with great vigor.
I was charged to do a Hong Kong post by another lovely blogger and so I decided it was long overdue to take my Blissful Adventurers on a tour.
I fell in love with the Hipstamatic iPhone app last year and I enjoy how this $3 investment really forced me to look at Hong Kong under the surface and explore subjects that on my Nikon D90 may have seemed plain and ordinary.
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