Please note that this competition is now closed – congrats to lucky winner Sonia!
Now, I don’t know about you, but during the summertime, we’re more often than not to be found engaged in the annual battle of wills with our air conditioning. Switch on – too cold. Switch off – not an option when it’s 34 degrees outside. Fan only – irritating blowing on you while you try to watch telly. Oscillate – dance around the room trying to catch a hint of a breeze before collapsing in a sweaty heap.
So when Ambi Labs got in touch to introduce their new gizmo, the Ambi Climate, I was intrigued. And so it was, a few days later that I was unpacking a box containing a small, white unit about the size of an alarm clock and wondering how something so unassuming might be as life-changing as the company claims.
And the claims for this gadget are pretty impressive – essentially a smart controller that communicates directly with your AC unit, the Ambi Climate monitors your room’s temperature and humidity levels, then automatically makes micro-adjustments to the climate, cutting back on energy consumption while maintaining the most comfortable temperature.
And how does it know whether it’s comfortable? You tell it! The system utilises a very easy-to-use smartphone app that lets you remotely control your AC from wherever you are, meaning you come home to a perfectly cooled (or warmed, depending on the season – Ambi Climate also works with reverse-cycle ACs that provide heat) apartment that’s totally tailored to your preferences. Just plug in the box, load up the app and away you go.
Over the first few days, you’re encouraged to give the app as much feedback as you can, using the straightforward, tappable scale that runs from “Hot” to “Freezing”. Within a day or so, the smart control learns your ideal climate preferences and will essentially take over the running of your AC, ensuring consistent temperatures whenever you want them. This is particularly helpful in kids’ rooms and nurseries, where it’s especially important to make sure the temperature is kept reasonably steady.
You can set timers to switch the AC on and off at set times, for example if you’re out at work and the kids are at school. Also rather nifty is the “Away Mode”, which you set while you’re on holiday, ensuring no more returning home to furry shoes and sweaty walls in the brutal Hong Kong summer humidity. For the geekier amongst us (that’ll be Mr T-T then), there’s loads of cool graphs and charts that plot your usage and preferences, giving you hours of entertainment as well as useful data.
One of the the coolest (ha!) things about Ambi Climate is that, over time, it should actually save you money on your heating (again, assuming you have reverse-cycle AC) and cooling bills. This is a BIG DEAL in Hong Kong, as recent years have seen massive spikes in our electricity bills over the summer months. We actually received our bi-monthly bill after trialling the Ambi Climate for one month, and it was about 20% cheaper than we had anticipated. I’ll be interested to see how the bills fare year-on-year over the next few months, but the early signs are promising.
The other big benefit is to the environment. Being more aware of AC usage, adjusting the thermostat from the typical Hong Kong deep freeze setting to a more comfortable temperature and setting timers are all simple steps that reduce energy consumption. Again, in a city that lives and dies by its aircon, this can only be a good thing.
The friendly folks at Ambi Labs have one Ambi Climate unit (worth $1,399) to give away to an Accidental Tai-Tai reader!
To enter, just tell me the coolest thing you’ve ever done (be creative!) – I’ll pick the best answer on 24th August 2016!
For more information and Hong Kong retail stockists, check out www.ambiclimate.com, and if you’re interested in finding out more, Lane Crawford IFC currently has a preview of the redesigned second edition Ambi Climate (due out later this year), on display as part of their Tech Brands That Improve The Way We Live showcase.
This blog post and giveaway was sponsored by Ambi Climate.