In my house, we use electric fans more often than anything. We run air conditioning only during the hottest months of the year.
We have three split-type air conditioners. When we run all three, our electric bill is completely unmanageable. Thankfully, it only happens when we have visitors from the United States.
Our electric bill averages less than 2000 pesos (less than $40 USD) when we use nothing but electric fans in the house. A fan is only running when one of us is in a room. I’m sure the amount will be a bit higher if we leave them running continuously.
Our electric bill will increase dramatically when we turn on one or more air conditioning units. It will be over $200 USD when all three are on for most of a month. And that’s when they’re only running at night.
The sun shines on two of the bedrooms during most of the daylight hours. Electric fans don’t work so well in those hours of the day. During the hot season, I’ll use an air conditioner at night or I won’t sleep well.
Unless I set the thermostat to 23 degrees Celsius (or lower), I still have to use a fan at the lowest setting. At 24 degrees Celsius and above, I’m still uncomfortable with the high humidity. The humidity doesn’t seem to bother my wife, Josie, at all. She doesn’t like having air blowing on her unless the air conditioner is off. Even then, she’ll cover herself with a bed sheet.
I suppose the heat and humidity doesn’t bother some expats like it bothers me. I grew up in a dry climate, in a desert city. The weather in the Philippines is nice when the humidity is low but it’s rarely low.
I’ve seen stores selling evaporative coolers in the Philippines. Evaporative coolers don’t work in humid climates. They work great in dry climates, better than air conditioners when used correctly.
Electric fans work great when it’s humid but not so hot. Air conditioners work great when it’s hot and humid but will work in almost any climate. Except for a cold climate, naturally. Using the right appliance for the climate makes all the difference in the world.