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Decoding Your AC Remote: Air Conditioning Symbols Explained


As you sit in the comfort of your home, adjusting the temperature to your liking, have you ever wondered about those mysterious symbols on the AC remote? Did you have any intrusive thoughts like randomly pressing your air conditioner remote control symbols to find out what that symbol is for?

While setting the temperature and forgetting about the remote is tempting, understanding the various remote control symbols can help you maximize your cooling experience with the unit. The symbols indicate various settings and modes on your air conditioner.

Here, we’ll decode the common air conditioning symbols found on most remotes, empowering you to control your indoor climate fully.

What Do the Symbols on Your Air Conditioner Remote Mean?

The air conditioning remotes often come adorned with an array of symbols, each serving a specific function. Understanding these air conditioner symbols can significantly enhance your control over the cooling experience in your home.

A standard air conditioner remote control may have a display and several buttons through which you can switch the unit’s modes and functions. The display type may vary from remote to remote.

Here are their meanings:

 Power Button (On/Off)

Let’s start with the basics. The power button, or on-off symbol, is the most common for all air conditioner types. This is a vertical bar surrounded by a semi-circle illustration similar to the television or laptop on and off buttons.

Based on its name, the primary function of this air conditioner symbol is to turn the AC unit on and off. It’s the gateway to a cool and comfortable space.

Mode Selection

Next, you’ll likely encounter symbols representing different operating modes. These typically include:

  • The Cool Mode (Snowflake icon): The cool mode is one of the main functions of the unit. Click this button if the unit is not blowing cold air, since it is a popular way to cool down a room quickly.
  • The Heat Mode (Sun icon): Opposed to the snowflake icon, the heat mode (depicted with the sun icon) is one of the most unique functions in an aircon. It indicates that the unit is in heat mode and will release hot air. Some air conditioners do not have heat mode. 
  • Dry Mode (Dewdrop icon): Dry mode is often confused with cool mode, but the two work differently. While heat mode is represented by a sun symbol, dry mode looks like a water drop or a series of water drops. This air conditioner symbol is used to reduce humidity from the hot air while the cool air is being received. Dry mode is not a very common function but is often seen on centralized air conditioning units. 

    When the temperature naturally lowers during rainy days, increasing the cold air in the room can be inconvenient. However, since there will be lots of uncomfortable excess moisture because of the rain, the dry mode is a great solution.
  • Fan Mode (Fan icon): The fan mode, depicted by a fan symbol, activates the air conditioning unit’s internal fan to produce cooler air at reduced capacity, aiding energy conservation. It prevents the unit from overcooking. 

    In energy-saving modes like Cool mode, it provides both cooling and warm air. The internal fan speed symbol resembles signal bars. It is for indicating the fan speed of your unit currently – the higher the bar, the higher the fan speed.

    The major advantage of using the fan mode in ACs will be the obvious energy saving due to the absence of the compressor function. Unfortunately, it does not offer any cold air but rather circulates or blows air.
  • Auto Mode (Auto icon): Typically, it is used to indicate the automatic mode where the system sets the temperature and fan speed automatically.

Temperature Control

Look for symbols with arrows pointing up and down. These represent temperature control. Sometimes, the temperature control button is depicted with a plus and minus sign. It’s used to increase and decrease the desired temperature. You can use these buttons to set the desired temperature of the aircon unit for the room, and the system will work to maintain it.

Airflow Direction

To optimize air circulation, your air conditioner remote control may have symbols to adjust the direction of the airflow. This is often represented by horizontal or vertical arrows. You can experiment with these settings of the AC to find the most comfortable airflow pattern for the room.

Sleep Mode

The ‘moon’ or ‘bed’ air conditioner remote control symbols typically signify sleep mode. When this mode is activated, the room temperature of the unit will adjust gradually at night for a more comfortable sleep. 

You can use the Sleep Timer to automatically switch off your unit after a set amount of time between 30 and 240 minutes. It’s perfect for ensuring your air conditioner turns off after you fall asleep, which can help reduce running costs.

Timer Function

Many air conditioning remotes come with a timer function, represented by a clock symbol. This is to allow you to set a specific time for the air conditioner to turn on or off, helping you save energy and customize your cooling schedule.

Filter Reset Indicator

This is a symbol that may appear when you need to clean or replace your aircon filter. Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and air quality.

Eco Mode

The leaf symbol is often associated with the eco-friendly mode of the AC. When this mode is activated, the AC operates with energy-saving settings, contributing to a greener environment and lower electricity bills.

Dehumidification Mode

This is the mode that helps remove excess moisture from the air, enhancing comfort in humid conditions.

Understanding these symbols and their meanings empowers you to harness the full potential of your air conditioner. Take a moment to explore your air conditioning remote and familiarize yourself with these functions. Whether it’s adjusting the room temperature, optimizing airflow, or setting a timer, you’ll be able to create the perfect indoor climate for every situation. Understanding your air-con controls can be tricky, especially if you have a modern AC.

What Do the Air Swing Symbols Look Like?

There are usually two versions of the air swings available for the AC unit. These are usually represented by a vertical air swing and the horizontal air swing symbol. 

The vertical air swing symbol on the remote resembles an arc depicting air movement. It enables the unit to direct air vertically, either in a fixed position or rotating up to 90 degrees.

Similarly, the horizontal air swing symbol, portrayed as air strokes in the unit, functions like the vertical air swing but directs air horizontally. To make the fan blow air horizontally in the room, press this button.

What Is the Circle Symbol on the Air Conditioner?

The circle symbolizes the power button of the air conditioning remote. Pressing this button toggles the air conditioning unit on and off, serving as the primary control for initiating or halting cooling operations.

What Is the Symbol for Ventilation on an Aircon?

The fan icon is typically the symbol of ventilation. This mode ensures that the air conditioner operates as a fan, promoting air circulation without altering the room temperature.

What Does the “A” Symbol Mean?

The “A” symbol on the aircon remote likely stands for Auto Mode. In Auto Mode, the unit intelligently adjusts between cooling and heating modes based on the ambient room temperature. It is for maintaining a comfortable environment in your home without the need for manual input.

What Is the Symbol of Cooling in Your Aircon Remote?

If you want to cool down your excessively warm home, you need to locate the snowflake symbol on the remote. This signifies the activation of the compressor, resulting in the circulation of cool air.

It’s the most commonly used symbol, often the primary motivation behind purchasing an air conditioner. Once the internal sensor detects the desired temperature, the compressor switches off, and the fan operates independently.

If you are all about saving, this symbol signifies the most energy-efficient setting on your AC unit’s remote. Lowering the air temperature extends the duration of the compressor’s operation, aiding in energy conservation.

If you want to lower your energy bill a bit more, you should consider getting a thermostat with a built-in timer. By setting specific hours, you can optimize its energy usage for greater efficiency. Having the unit handle this alleviates the need for manual intervention, ensuring seamless operation without concerns.

What Is the Symbol for an Inverter?

The inverter symbol signifies the presence of an inverter compressor in your air conditioner. Inverter technology enables the aircon to adjust its compressor speed, resulting in more energy-efficient and precise temperature control.

What Is a Symbol for Air?

The symbol for air circulation or fan mode is often depicted by an icon resembling a fan. This function doesn’t alter the room temperature but ensures constant air movement for improved comfort.

What Does the Star Symbol Mean?

The star symbol usually indicates the energy efficiency rating of the air conditioner. More stars typically imply higher energy efficiency, meaning lower energy consumption and reduced environmental impact.

This symbol is used to identify how efficient your air-con is. 

How Do I Unlock My Aircon Remote?

To unlock your AC unit’s remote, locate the lock symbol on the remote and press and hold the corresponding button until the lock icon disappears. This feature prevents accidental changes to your settings.

How Do I Reset My AC Remote?

Resetting your AC remote varies by brand and model. Generally, you can find a reset button or follow specific steps outlined in your user manual. Alternatively, removing and reinserting the batteries might serve as a simple reset method.

What Do the Numbers on My Thermostat Mean?

The numbers on the thermostat represent the desired temperature setting. Use the arrow keys to adjust these numbers based on your comfort preferences, and the air conditioner will work to achieve and maintain the room temperature.

What Do the Numbers Mean on Air Conditioner Remote Control?

The numbers on an air conditioner typically represent the temperature setting. Lower numbers indicate a cooler setting, while higher numbers imply a warmer setting. Adjust these numbers according to your comfort preferences.


Understanding the symbols on the  AC unit’s remote is crucial for efficient usage. We’ve outlined their meanings to assist in comprehending your air conditioner’s functions. If unsure, refer to your air conditioning manual.

A user manual will be included with every unit you purchase, explaining all necessary information about your unit. For additional information, you can also explore the manufacturer’s website.

Understanding these air conditioner symbols and functions on the aircon remote empowers you to efficiently manage your indoor climate. Take a moment to explore these features, and you’ll find yourself in complete control of your air conditioning experience.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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