Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

Various modes for running air conditioners and their impact on electricity bill

By on January 22, 2014

Air Conditioner Quick Cool Air Conditioners in past used to be quite simple with just on/off switch and high, medium and low cool options. With improvements in technology, modern day air-conditioners have lot more electronics in it and thus they provide multiple modes of operation. Most of these modes are explained in the user manuals that come along with the air conditioners, but it is very important to understand the impact of each mode on electricity savings.

In this article we will try to explain various modes available in various air conditioners and will analyze their electricity saving potential:

Cool Mode

Cool mode is the regular or default mode in which the air conditioner runs as per the temperature setting and fans speed at which it is kept. Electricity saving potential in this mode depends on the temperature set in the air conditioner. Ideal temperature for thermal comfort and electricity saving is 25 degree centigrade (more details in our article: Ideal Air Conditioner temperature for electricity savings).

Fan Mode

In Fan mode the fan runs continuously and the compressor is off. This obviously has good energy saving impact because the compressor is switched off. Compressor is the most electricity-consuming component of an air conditioner. But the downside is that no cooling happens when compressor is off. It is better to use a ceiling fan in this case.

Dry Mode

There are days in a year when the comfort is low just because of the humidity. This happens more so in case you are located in a city that is closer to the sea. It also happens during monsoons. During those days just removing the humidity of the room provides a lot of comfort. Running the air conditioner in dry mode helps as it removes the extra humidity in the air. The fan runs at low speed and compressor is on for short duration in large cycles just to remove extra humidity. This surely is an electricity saving option during high humidity days as even the fan motor is running at a slow speed and even the compressor is on for smaller duration. The air conditioner does not blow a lot of cool air in this mode, as the intent is just to dry the air and not to cool the room.

Please note that it does not work as a dehumidifier (which has potential to make the air very dry) but is just good enough to make the room comfortable.

Energy or Power Saver Mode

In cool mode the compressor shuts off when the temperature reaches the level set in the thermostat but the fan keeps running. The compressor starts again when the room temperature increases. In the energy saver or power saver mode, even the fan switches off when the temperature reaches the level set in the thermostat. So how does it help save electricity?

  • Firstly it obviously saves electricity spent in running the fan continuously.
  • The use of fan in cool mode is not just to throw cool air in the room but it also helps in taking the indoor air for thermostat to check the temperature. In Power saver mode, the fan gets switched off for a few minutes and the thus the compressor does not start till the fan switches on again to notice that the temperature has increased. This increases the time between compressor cycles thereby making it run less and thus saving electricity.

Does it decrease comfort level? If the room is well insulated, then it may not. The temperature may increase slightly (not a lot) and if that does not disturb you then it is the right mode for you to save electricity. Also because the fan switches off and on, it makes sound every time it does so. If sound disturbs you in your sleep, then this may not be the right mode for you.

Quick Cool Mode

This certainly is not an electricity saving mode. In fact it consumes more electricity. Ideal temperature for air conditioning is 25 degree centigrade, but this option starts the AC at 16 or 18 degree centigrade. If the room temperature is 35 degrees then the time it will take to reach to 25 degrees will be the same in both Cool Mode and Quick Cool Mode (with high fan speed). In fact extra electricity is spent to get it down to 16 or 18 which is not required if you like to keep temperature at 25.

Sleep Mode

The Sleep mode increases the thermostat temperature by 1 degree after every hour till it increases temperature by 2 degrees. This will help save electricity if you like to sleep at low temperatures as you save electricity with every degree of increase in temperature. If thermal comfort is your only priority it is better to use cool mode or energy saver mode at 25 degrees.

6th Sense mode (for whirlpool ACs)

The whirlpool technology adjusts the fan speed (to high, medium or low) based on the temperature of the room. It surely has a benefit over the Cool Mode as it saves electricity on running the fan motor.

Is it good to have automatic filter cleaning feature in the air conditioner?

It surely is good to have such a feature in the air conditioner. A clean filter ensures smooth flow of cold air and room air, in and out of the air conditioner. This makes sure that the thermostat is able to sense properly and thus ensuring right operation of the air conditioner thereby saving electricity.

Operating Air Conditioner in the right mode can always help you save electricity, so please make sure that you choose the right one. We will keep updating this article as we research more on the modes and options available in air conditioners with different brands.

Have question, doubt or comment? Leave a message

There Are 4 Comments

  1. Abhishek says:

    I do not agree that Jet Cool/Quick cool/Turbo modes necessarily are more electricity consuming. On the other hand it might be exactly the opposite if a person knows how to use it well. In non inverter ACs the compressor runs at peak capacity until the desired temperature is reached both in cooling mode and in quick cool mode. The only difference is that in most ACs, the fan runs at its highest RPM during quick cooling. This high RPM means that more air will be circulated in less time. Thus higher volume of room air is cooled in considerably lesser time. Once the user feels that the room has cooled down to a comfortable temperature, like around 26C, he or she can then turn off the AC completely and the room usually stays cool for a long time. Of course if you are lazy or forgetful, then quick cool mode can burn a big hole in your pocket as well as mess with your health because unnaturally cold temperatures and extremely low humidity levels are bad for your health. Good article this one though!

  2. Kalpana malani says:

    What is the energy consumption of a 1.5 ton room AC in fan mode?

    • abhishekjain203 says:

      Hello,

      Hello Ms Malani. In Fan mode, the compressor stops working and it is only the fan which is on. We did a measurement on our own 1.5 ton air conditioner and we found that the wattage in Fan mode varied from 110 W to 150 W (based on the speed of the fan). So compared to cool mode a Fan mode will consume a lot less. But there will be no cooling. Also it is better to use ceiling fan instead as it will consume a lot less.

      Regards,
      Abhishek

      • Abhishek says:

        One of my Samsung 1.5T AC’s fan motor malfunctioned and had to be replaced. At that time I had a chance to inspect the fan motor’s specifications and the maximum power consumption was specified as a mere 31 W only!

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