Different Modes in Air Conditioner: Cool, Dry, Fan, Turbo, Sleep

Do you know what is “dry mode” in your AC?

What is Automatic Mode?

What about the Sleep Mode!!

I am sure you may not know each one of them.

Gone are the days when we had just the ON/OFF button or the cooling button.

With time as technology is advancing in the air conditioning and cooling sector, we are seeing new and new modes of operation.

This post is all about the various types of modes available in an air conditioner.

I have divided the post into two sections – standard and other modes.

Refer to the Table of Contents below for better navigation.

Standard Modes

Standard modes are the common modes available across all the air conditioners. 

Every manufacturer uses these modes in their product.

These may slightly differ by name but it is assured that they will be present in every AC.


1. Cool Mode


cool mode symbol

This is the most common mode available by default in your AC. 

It is the “cooling mode” which runs for the first time when you ON your brand new AC.

The compressor starts running to produce cool air in the room. 

After achieving the desired room temperature, the compressor shuts off but the fan keeps on running. This was about a normal “non-inverter” AC.

The nature of a compressor in an “inverter AC” is slightly different. 

Instead of switching off the compressor, it runs on a lower power to maintain the room temperature.

If you desire to achieve a lower temperature in the room or to say you set the thermostat temperature to low like 16-18 degrees celsius.

Then the compressor will run on max power always to chase this temperature. 

Running on 24-26 degree celsius is ideal for saving power.


2. Dry Mode


dry mode symbol

As the name suggests, this mode reduces the room humidity.

Very handy in monsoon season or coastal areas near the sea. 

There is nothing worse than working on a humid day and sweat rolls over your face.

With time the AC brings the room’s humidity to comfortable levels.

It does not matter whether you run the cooling mode or dry mode, both will eventually dehumidify your room.

In terms of working it is no different than the cooling mode.

For my AC, the dry mode sets the temperature setting to 24 degree celsius.

This can be achieved by manually setting the temperature to 24 in the cooling mode.

How AC dehumidifies your room?

There is no dehumidifier device attached in the AC which reduces the humidity level.

It is due to the simple process of “condensation”

That is when hot & humid air comes in contact with a cold surface(evaporator in the case of AC), the gaseous water vapor turns back into liquid water.

This water is collected by the drain pipe.

Remember in summers when you took a cold drink out from the refrigerator, and within a few minutes, you observed water droplets on the surface of the glass.

This is the same phenomena(condensation) happening here.

So the hot and humid air in your room gets in contact with the cold evaporator coils, the air not only cools down but the humidity is also removed from it.


3. Fan Mode


fan mode symbol

In this mode only the fan runs, the compressor remains OFF.

No cooling is done as the compressor is OFF.

Can be used to save power after the desired room temperature is achieved.

The compressor consumes the majority of power in an AC.

The AC compressor being OFF in the “fan mode” makes the power consumption very low.

It is better to use a “ceiling fan” for ventilation and air circulation than to use an AC fan.


4. Sleep Mode


sleep mode symbol

This mode is for use at night time.

How does this work?

When the AC mode is set to the sleep mode.

It increases the set temperature by 0.5 or 1 degree after each hour till 2 hours max have passed.

So for example, if you set the temperature to 24 degrees before going to sleep.

Assuming you went to sleep at 12:00 midnight.

Then this mode will increase the temperature to 25 at 1AM and 26 at 2AM. 

Sleep mode can slightly vary from model to model.

But the goal will be the same. 

How is it useful?

There is a dip in outdoor temperature during the night.  

As the time passes by while you are in your sleep the outdoor temperature slowly goes down.

So setting the thermostat temperature low before going to sleep may be ideal for achieving a comfortable temperature inside but you can feel cold as the night passes by.

This is also not optimal for power saving.


5. Turbo Mode


Other names include Quick Cool, Jet Mode, Power Chill, etc. 

For LG’s dual inverter AC this is called H’Cool or Himalayan Cool.

Its working differs from model to model.

But essentially it is used to make the room cool faster.

Let’s see the case of a “non-inverter” AC

Turbo mode in non-inverter AC sets the thermostat temperature setting to the lowest possible.

For my AC this mode sets the temperature to 18 degree celsius.

Does this mode make the cooling faster for non-inverter AC?

Setting the temperature to 18 degree or the minimum possible does not make the room cool faster.

The cooling power depends on the compressor.

For non-inverter AC, the compressor power cannot increase or decrease from its operating power.

Suppose you want to achieve the inside room temperature of 24 degrees, and you turn on the turbo mode.

Then the time taken by the AC to cool down the room to 24 degrees will be the same if the thermostat setting is 24 or 18 degrees.

So turbo mode plays no significant role here.

But “turbo mode” differs in inverter AC.

In inverter ACs, the compressor can run on varying power and can produce varying cooling power.

So a 1 ton AC can work as a 1.2 ton AC.

In turbo mode inverter AC takes the cooling power to the highest.

Making the room cool faster.

Very useful when we want to quickly comfort ourselves from the harsh outdoor temperature.

Read More | Inverter vs Normal AC


6. Energy Saver Mode


energy saver mode symbol

Also called the Eco Mode.

It differs from model to model.

Whatever be the different mechanism used in power-saving mode across various air conditioners.

All essentially helps in “power saving”.

I will tell you one mechanism here.

Ideally, the compressor shuts down when the desired room temperature is achieved and then only the fan runs.

But in the power saving mode, the fan also shuts down with the compressor.

After a few minutes(assume 10 minutes), the fan starts to take the indoor air inside the AC to check the room temperature.

If the room temperature has increased since the previous cooling cycle.

The compressor starts again.

By such a mechanism the time gap between cooling cycles increases and so the power consumption reduces.

This leads to power saving.

Personally when I use this mode the “comfort level” is not good.

The AC compressor shuts down often and so the set temperature is never reached.

The switching-off of the fan decreases the comfort level more.

Other Modes

The modes listed in this section are not found in every AC and few of them are specific to a company or a model


7. Heat Mode 


heat mode symbol

In this mode, the refrigeration mechanism “reverses” to make the AC throw hot air instead of cold air inside a room.

Comes with hot and cold AC or AC with a heat pump.

An AC with the heating mode is better for warming up the room when compared to a heater in terms of power consumption. 

Read More | Can you run your air conditioner in winter for warming up your room.


8. Automatic Mode


automatic mode symbol

Mostly available in the inverter ACs.

The “auto mode” available in your air conditioner serves to achieve a specified temperature and then maintain it.

The AC in this mode “automatically” changes the compressor power and fan speed to achieve the room temperature.

After that, it may shut down the compressor and even the fan to save power.


9. Quiet Mode


This allows the AC compressor and fan to run slow so that it makes the least amount of noise possible.

Starts only after the room temperature achieves the thermostat temperature.

This setting can be found on the Samsung split ACs.


10. Samsung’s Single User Mode


Available in Samsung’s split inverter ACs.

This mode is useful only when one person is there in the room.

There can be times when a user is alone in the room or the AC is for single person use.

It helps save power by lowering down the compressor power.

Samsung believes this mode would allow consumers to save 26% of energy.


11. LG’s 4-in-1 Mode


This mode is found in LG’s dual inverter split ACs.

It allows “three options” for power saving – 80%, 60%, 40%.

In this mode, the compressor runs at a lower power to save electricity.

For example, if the AC is set on 80%, then the power saving will be 20%.

Do note by lowering the compressor’s power, the AC will also cool slower.

Using the LG 4-in-1 mode from the very start will make your comfort level low.

So if you want to use this mode then first let the AC cool the room to the desired temperature.


12. Follow Me Mode


The “goal” of this mode is to direct the flow of air from the AC to persons sitting in the room more effectively.

This technique varies from company to company.

One variation of this mode is detecting human presence from built-in sensors in the AC and then directing the flow of chilled air in that direction.

Another variation of the “follow me” mode is the use of AC’s remote. The airflow is directed towards that person who is holding the remote.

And instead of using the AC built-in temperature checker or thermostat, the remote thermostat is used.

I found this setting in Hitachi and a few Voltas AC. In Bluestar, it is called i-Feel mode.

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