Tips for making best use of room air-conditioners
Here are some tips!
Your room air-conditioner (AC) may or may not have all the Modes and Settings given below. Each Mode and Setting is explained before telling when or how to use it.
What is it? In Cool Mode, the fan runs continuously and the compressor turns on and off only as needed to maintain the set temperature.
When to use it? Use the Cool Mode when you want the Room AC to cool the room and maintain the room temperature as set by you.
2 – Fan Mode
What is it? In Fan Mode, the fan runs continuously and the compressor is off.
When to use it? Use the Fan Mode when you do not want cooling but want the fan in the AC to provide ventilation (air circulation) in the room. Instead of running the AC in Fan Mode (which will provide only a limited ventilation), you may prefer to run the ceiling fan (if it is there in the room) for a thorough air circulation.
3 – Dry Mode
What is it? In Dry Mode, the fan and the sealed system of the AC run, but the AC does not blow out cold air. As the air passes through the AC, the humidity (water vapours in the air) condenses on the evaporator so that the air comes out drier. Thus it is a function that reduces the humidity in the room, making it more comfortable when humidity outside the room is high. However, it should be clearly understood that the AC in Dry Mode is not intended to replace a dehumidifier or act as a dehumidifier. The capacity to dehumidify of an AC is much lower than that of a dehumidifier.
When to use it? Use the Dry Mode during spring and rainy seasons when the temperature is not hot enough to run the Cool Mode, but the humidity is a little high.
4 – Energy Saver Mode or Smart Fan Mode
What is it? Energy Saver or Smart Fan Mode is intended to decrease the energy consumption of the AC. When this mode is set, the AC cools the room as it does normally and the compressor turns on and off as required to maintain the set temperature. As and when the temperature falls below the set temperature, the compressor turns off and the fan will also be switched off to save energy consumed by it. But the fan will be switched on and off every 2 to 3 minutes to check the temperature in the room. Once the temperature rises above the set temperature, the compressor will turn on along with the fan.
When to use it? It is always good to use Energy Saver Mode because it decreases the energy consumption of the AC. But some users do not like this mode because of repeated turning off and on of the fan.
5 – Sleep Mode
What is it? The Sleep Mode works only along with Cool Mode. The intention is that the AC will gradually increase the temperature level maintained by it during your sleep. This helps to increase your comfort level because, during the sleep, the metabolism in human body reduces and hence the requirement of cooling also reduces. The other benefit of this mode is the reduction in energy consumption of the AC due to lesser cooling.
When to use it? If you have set your AC in Cool Mode and the Timer is not turned on before going to sleep, then you should make use of the Sleep Mode.
6 – Temperature Setting
What is it? In the newer-type ACs, the temperature maintained by the AC is displayed in digital form and this temperature can be set by the user at the desired value. In the old-type ACs, the temperature is not displayed while the temperature setting is allowed on a potentiometer with a circular knob. It has been observed that many AC users set the temperature at the lowest value (16oC or 18oC or “Very Cool”) thinking that this will give faster cooling. In reality this does not happen because the AC, irrespective of the temperature setting, injects cool air at 16oC to 18oC into the room. The compressor turns off when the set temperature is reached in the room and after that the temperature is maintained at this setting by turning the compressor on and off.
How to use it? The best temperature setting from the considerations of your health as well as comfort is 24oC to 27oC (24 to 27 degree celcius). At the same time, this setting (instead of the usual setting of 18oC or so) will avoid huge wastage of money and protect the environment too. In case of old-style ACs, the temperature knob should be set around mid-way.
7 – Fan Speed Setting
What is it? As a common practice, most of the room ACs have three settings of Fan Speed: Low, Medium and High, along with an Off position. The fan is meant for ventilation or circulation of the cooled air produced by the AC. The fan speed does not change the cooling produced by the AC, although higher ventilation has a better cooling effect on the occupants of the room.
How to use it? The Fan Speed should be selected as per the ventilation (air circulation) desired. It is generally better to select Low or Medium speed of the AC fan and use a ceiling fan for a thorough air circulation in the room.
8 – Timer-Off Setting
What is it? The Timer-Off setting is meant to set the time delay or the switching time (in hours or minutes) to switch off the AC automatically when air conditioning is not needed, and thus avoid wastage of electricity and money.
How to use it? Generally the Timer-Off is set appropriately at the time of going to rest or to bed with the room AC running, so that the AC will be automatically switched off after the desired delay or at the desired time.
9 – Timer-On Setting
What is it? The Timer-On setting is meant to set the time delay or the switching time (in hours or minutes) to switch on the AC automatically. As a typical situation, the user may like the room to be cooled a little before he returns from the office in the evening. He can use this timer setting to switch on the AC automatically at appropriate time, instead of keeping the AC running throughout the day. The use of Timer-On can thus give a lot of energy saving.
How to use it? The Timer-On can be set appropriately (when the AC is off) so that the AC will be automatically switched on after the desired delay or at the desired time.
A study by Dr. H.K. Verma, a Distinguished Professor from the School of Engineering and Technology, Sharda University