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What Does Eco Mode Mean on Air Conditioner?


Air conditioners have come a long way since they were first invented. Today, an air conditioner is a must-have appliance that can be found in many homes and buildings around the world. 

Air conditioners have various modes to choose from depending on what best meets your needs. Among them are cool mode, dry mode, fan mode, and auto mode. Nowadays, a lot of air conditioners come with a feature called eco mode. 

What is Eco Mode on an Air Conditioning Unit?

Eco mode, also known as energy saver mode, econ mode, or economy mode, is a feature that is commonly found in modern split-system air conditioners. Some AC units even offer various types of eco modes. As its name implies, the eco mode setting in an AC unit can help save energy without sacrificing performance. 

The eco mode runs similarly to central air conditioning. This means that when your AC is in an eco setting, your room will continue to be cool or warm but you won’t have to worry about your electricity bill as your power consumption will be reduced.

How Does the Eco Mode in an AC Save Electricity?

The eco mode in an air conditioner can be very enticing, especially if it means reducing electricity bills. But how exactly does it reduce power consumption? 

Limit the Temperature Range

The eco mode works against the set temperature. This means that when you put your AC to a particular temperature setting, it works to get to that temperature by using the AC unit’s compressor and fan efficiently at a lower setting. Once the AC reaches the desired temperature and stabilizes, the AC will turn off until it starts to get hot again in the room.

The implementation of the eco-mode temperature setting can vary depending on the manufacturer. Some use a temperature increase, meaning the required thermostat setting will be a few degrees higher than your selected temperature. 

Motion Sensor

When there’s no one at home, the room temperature doesn’t have to be kept as low as usual. Some air conditioner units use a motion sensor or a human presence sensor to detect movement or people inside a room.

When the eco mode is on and there is no movement detected in the room, your AC unit will raise the temperature and in turn, use less energy.

Sunlight Sensor

Some units with the eco setting have a sun load sensor to detect the intensity of the sunlight. When the intensity is high, it will increase the cooling output. Accordingly, it will also reduce the output when the intensity is low.

Is It Good to Run the Air Conditioner in Eco Mode?

Running your AC in the eco setting has its advantages. Arguably, the biggest benefit is that it saves energy and therefore reduces the upfront cost of your AC use. 

The compressor and the fans are running at a lower speed when in the eco setting, decreasing the cooling capacity. You can get much more efficiency when you use the eco setting as these parts will break down in a slower manner, making your air conditioning system last longer. 

Does Eco Mode Really Save Energy?

When it comes to energy savings, the eco setting is the best option to use. It helps mitigate the pressure of the condenser by running it slower. You may experience a low cooling capacity but in this way, your AC consumes less power as well. This allows you to stay cool and comfortable and you won’t have to worry about a high electricity bill.

What Mode Should My Air Conditioner Be On?

Back in the day, an AC unit didn’t offer many modes. One simply had to turn on the AC and cool air would immediately blast from it. Nowadays, most air conditioning units are equipped with a lot of modes for the user to choose from.

Even if you read the user manual, It can still be quite confusing. Each mode on an air conditioner has an actual difference from others and each serves a unique purpose.

Eco Mode

Also known as power saver, econ, or energy saver, the main purpose of the eco mode is to save energy. It does this by running the AC compressor slower at a maximum of 70%, more or less. Instead of limiting performance, the eco mode setting sets the desired temperature a couple of degrees higher than the one you see on the settings.

Once the air conditioning unit reaches the intended temperature in the thermostat setting, it will turn off. A lot of times, however, the eco mode will go a step further. Instead of letting the fan keep running, it will shut off as well. Unlike auto mode though, you can still control the fan speed if you use eco mode. 

Auto Mode

The auto mode on an air conditioner emphasizes automating the fan and therefore, this mode won’t affect the compressor. Once the compressor turns off, the fan will usually continue running. 

When your air conditioner is in auto, you won’t be able to control the fan settings. It will adjust automatically based on the temperature difference between the AC and the room. However, in an HVAC system, the auto setting works a bit differently.

In an HVAC unit, the air conditioner and furnace work together. The auto setting will usually switch between Heating and Cooling when the temp is below or above the number set on the thermostat.

Cool Mode

Most users are probably familiar with this setting as it is typically the default option when the AC is switched on. Instead of saving energy, this option prioritizes doing its job – which is to cool a room. It will run with the default power consumption.

In the cool setting, the compressor will work at 100% to cool the home. Then, when it lowers the temp to the setting on the thermostat, the compressor will turn off. The fan will continue running and you can also control the setting. 

It’s worth noting that the lower you set the temp, the more energy the AC will consume when you use this option. 

Turbo Mode

Not a lot of air conditioning units will have this setting but many modern ones today do. The turbo function is the complete opposite of the eco setting. Contrary to using less energy, it cools the room by using the most amount of energy.

It distinguishes itself from the cool setting by using the maximum speed of the fans. Moreover, it will run continuously for 30 minutes. If this setting is activated, you will not have control of the temp or the fans. If you want to cool a room quickly, this is the best mode to use. Additionally, you can use this setting if you want an instant boost of heating to the room.

Dry Mode

This setting focuses on dehumidification rather than cooling. The fans of the AC will run at a fixed speed when operating in this setting and you can’t adjust it. However, some units allow you to set the temperature as desired.

Final Thoughts

Stay cool without worrying about your energy bills with the use of your aircon’s eco mode. It can dramatically save more power and can serve you better at the same time. If you’ve never used this setting, try it out and see the difference for yourself. 

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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