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 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.

Air Conditioner Quick Cool

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.

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There Are 41 Comments

  1. yesvindra says:

    hi abhishek
    what is your opinion regading Samsung ar18hv5dawknna 1.5 ton inverter ac. perhaps it is highest eer 3.82 in market . pls suggest should I go with it.
    I heared Samsung used alluminium coils in their units which are not durable(as per many internet review) . are these coils are repairable.what do you think should I go with it or not. I also heared now every inverter ac manufacturer use alluminium coils to reduce the cost.
    pls suggest what should I do?

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      A lot of brands had aluminium models till some time back. Now most have moved to blue fin which is aluminium coated with anti corrosion resin. Even Samsung has blue fin now. In fact Samsung ar18hv5dawknna has triple protection from 1) Corrosion 2) Voltage 4) Temperature. So I do not think that Samsung inverter is a bad choice. It’s EER is also quite good.

  2. Rama Raju says:


    I am planning to buy Hitachi I -Clean Inverter AC of 1.5 Ton. Please suggest whether to go ahead?

  3. ANIL says:

    I want to buy 1T inverter AC with copper condensor in Mumbai .
    Which are top 3 brands , I should prefer

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Carrier is the only one that claims to be 100% copper. Most others have copper coils and aluminium fins. Carrier Superia plus 1 ton inverter AC is quite good.

  4. himanshu kanaujia says:

    Which 2 ton ac I should buy which have all the features. .
    I am totally confused

    • Abhishek Jain says:


      There are several factors that one need to consider while buying AC:

      1) Tonnage of AC: Depends on several factors, but primarily on size of room, city where you live in, window sizes, people in the room. Oversized AC consumes more electricity, and undersized does not cool properly.

      2) Star Rating: Choice of BEE 5 star/inverter tech or a lower rating depends on your usage of AC. If your usage is more than 1000 hrs per year (with traiff more than Rs 5), it is better to go for higher efficiency models. Benefit of inverter tech is that it is a variable tonnage AC and as the tonnage requirement is different every month and every day, this AC auto adjusts to the needs and thus saves electricity.

      3) Brand: Some brands offer better reliability/technology and some have better service network. One has to factor in both. Once you have decided on star rating, the most efficient models from good brands can be selected.

      If you provide us with more details as in which city you are in, what is the size of your room, which floor they are on, is there any floor above it, are the walls exposed to sun, usage in hours per day and months per year, and approximate budget, then we can recommend you something.

  5. viral says:

    I simply use automatic mode

  6. Vimal says:

    Dear Sir, Great Article, Pl put commonly used signs on remote / AC indicating the modes because there we dont find anything written like cool mode dry mode etc.
    Further MY room has 3 star Voltas 2 Tone AC room size 13×16 ft one big glas door 5×6 on west but well curtained, two window 4×5 on south well curtained and other two wall is toward other rooms( do not heat at all).. west do not get much heat during day,(only two hr a day and even that has some hollow parts with box type wall structure covering 4/3 wall area) south wall has two layer wall( 14 inch thick) except the Door towards balcony, South gets heat for two to three hour after a 3.00 pm in noon. THe room has roof with no POP and gets heated to some extent.. now problem is that my AC consumes too much power and my bill increases by RS 2000.00 per month for 5 hr use during night in summer of this AC.Please note i set 25 degree temp in cool mode generally and off timer at 4.00AM i start aprox at 11 PM .Is this ok or its using too high?? what should i do to reduce energy consumption??

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hi Vimal,

      Which city are you in? A BEE 3 star 2 ton AC would be rated at about 2 kW (as per latest BEE ratings). Assuming it is right sized it should be on about 80% of the time in summers. So it would consume 2 x 0.8 = 1.6 units in an hour (in summers). So in 5 hours it will consume 1.6 x 5 = 8 units. So in 30 days it will consume about 240 units. The best way to reduce electricity consumption of air conditioners is to improve insulation of the room. You can get a lot of ideas on insulation on the insulation section of this website: https://www.bijlibachao.com/save-electricity/insulation . The other thing that you can do is to use a timer switch https://www.bijlibachao.com/general-tips/time-switches-easy-automatic-way-to-switch-on-and-off-appliances-and-save-electricity.html

      The timer switch can be programmed in such a way that it switches on the AC for a short duration and then switches it off. In my own air conditioner I have a energy saver mode in which the AC remains on only for 15 mins in an hour. It cools it enough and as the doors and windows are tightly closed, the room remains sufficiently cool for rest 45 mins. Then again it starts for 15 mins and then switches off. The result is that in 8 hours of use the AC runs only for 2 hours effectively resulting in a lot of saving.

  7. Farooq Surti says:

    I have purchased second hand 2star whirlpool split ac. I have its remote but don’t have manual. I am unable to understand on which mode it is as remote shows only symbols of mode rather than its name. Can you please mail and answer all the symbols with its name. One more question, currently it is not giving much cooling and temperature goes down very fast from 28 to 18 in hardly 3 minutes and compressor goes off when it reaches 18. Please suggest as I am unable to get the cooling.

  8. Manoj Kumar Sharma says:

    wonderful information. I have doubt, how ac fan mode works/ does it circulate the fresh air from outside or just circulate internal room air?

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hello Mr Sharma,

      ACs do not get fresh air from outside. They just circulate internal room air in fan mode.

  9. Ashwani Babbar says:

    Hi Abhishek

    Thanks for the wonderful information shared. Yesterday as Monsoon started in Delhi/NCR and it rained, so I decided to try Dry mode post reading your article. I kept AC temperature as 25 degrees Celsius, after certain point of time AC got turned off (compressor and fan both), seems it worked as its working on Energy Saver Mode. Can you please let me know if this is true.

    • Abhishek Jain says:


      Dry mode should not work as energy saver mode. Dry mode is more to remove humidity. You should check the operating manual of your air conditioner.

  10. vinay says:

    Hi Abhishek, i have sharp 1.5 ton inverter AC AHX18PET. Can you please tell me that AC in cool mode at 28°c will use more electricity or in dry mode at 28°c? Thanks in advance.

  11. deepak says:

    Why does ac makes noise when compressor is on

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      compressor is just like a motor. When a motor works it makes noise, similarly when compressor works, it makes sound.

  12. Rahul Sreekandan Nair says:

    Hi Abhishek,
    I was going to purchase a Lloyd Air Conditioner 1.5 ton which was too cheap. The sales man wrapped me in offers and schemes but after reading to your blog, i found out how to choose an Air conditioner. finally i bought a Samsung 1.5 ton 5 Star Air Conditioner. The price is little higher but i feel proud of myself that i have made a wise decision. All credits to you Abhi. Thank You so much.

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Awesome Rahul. One step towards saving electricity for self as well as for the betterment of all in the country :).

  13. Harman says:

    Can u please explain me auto function in ogeneral ac as it feels complicated? How it actually works ? N how to set it ?

  14. neha says:

    Sir I have voltas 4011097 model. It doesnt have energy or power saver mode… and in cool.mode it does not get fully off after attaining desired temperature … fan continues to run. Please suggesy me some way how can I save electricity with this a.c.

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hi Neha,

      What temperature do you use the AC at? Do you get direct sunlight on any of the walls? Are there any more rooms on top of the room? Do you keep the doors/windows/cupboards closed while using the AC? Are your windows big or small and do you get direct sunlight from the windows?

  15. Rajesh says:

    Dear Abhishek
    I like to know what happen to Fan motor of outdoor unit in auto mode when indoor unit fan & compressor stop running.

    what should be ideal logic in auto mode once desire temperature achieve and compressor stop running should indoor unit fan stop till temperature goes up if so how thermostat sense the temperature.


  16. surjit singh says:

    i have a godrej ac one ton. i want to know ac air out put tempreture if ac on 16. my ac not working properly. there is only 16degree c air out put tempreture. plz let me know how much air tempreture when ac is runing.

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Mr Singh,

      You should be able to increase the temperature on the AC. 16 is too less, you should try to keep it at 24 or 25. You can check the manual of the AC to figure out how to change the temperature.

  17. balu says:

    iam using mitsibushi mr.slim 1.ton ac my room size is 13/13 this is perfect ac for my room coz my room is not cooling

  18. Sachin Pathak says:

    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

    Question :

    That i am using this function /Mode but My Air compressor only turns on for a few hours in the evening then at some point in the night it turns off (even though the temp is above the thermostat setting) The fan blows continuously… So then we have no cold air for most of the day..

    I’ve tried shutting down power for 10 min, and then turn it back on. In the first 2 min, I can hear the compressor active, and cold air comes out of the vent. But afterwards, i hear a thump, and the compressor noise is gone, and no cold air comes out. can any one provide a diagnosis as to what the problem may be? could it just be my thermostat acting up or does it require a technician?
    Sachin pathak
    +91 9927200166

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hi Sachin,

      It is better to call the helpdesk of the manufacturer of the AC. Ideally compressor should startup again once the temperature rises much above the setting in the thermostat. If it is not happening, then there may be a technical problem in the AC.

    • Arslan says:

      Get the capacitor of ur AC replaced. Ur compressor heats up due to faulty capacitor

  19. vimal says:

    i have a 1.5 to split ac Godrej Eon. when i switch of the ac using my remote, the fan (outdoor unit) keeps running. what could be the possible problem ?

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      you should call up Godrej service support and ask the engineer to come and inspect. It surely looks like a problem.

  20. Ashok Suthar says:

    i want to buy 1 ton inverter ac. please guide me as of which brand to buy between O general with R410 or Daikin with R22

  21. 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!

  22. Kalpana malani says:

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

    • Abhishek Jain says:


      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.


      • 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!