Air Conditioner Symbols. What Do They Mean?

By February 13, 2019Air Conditioning

Ok, so you’ve just had a brand new air conditioning unit installed. It’s a scorching hot day, and you want to put your new system to the test… but when you pick up the remote, you can barely read it!

The controls on a new air conditioning unit can be a little confusing at first, it might even look like another language to those who haven’t had a system before.

Different manufacturers may use slightly different symbols, however, you’ll also find a lot of commonality between different remotes. This article is here to explain some of the functions you’ll likely encounter.
Air Conditioner Symbols

If your air conditioning remote looks like a slab of ancient hieroglyphics, we’re here to help. This article should help to demystify the functions of your air conditioning unit.


Universal ‘On’ Button

The first one is pretty easy. It should look like a circle with a slit in it, and it’s the universal symbol for On/Off. You probably have one on your TV remote as well.

Plus and Minus Buttons

Also relatively straight forward, these buttons control ambient room temperature. As you’d expect plus is more, minus is less.

Snow Flake Symbol

Most air conditioning remotes will have something that resembles a snowflake, which activates cold-mode. This means the air conditioning unit will push out cold air.

Sun Symbol

The sun symbol is common on reverse cycle air conditioning systems, and activates the heat mode, meaning the air conditioning unit will push out hot air.

Fan Speed

The speed at which the air conditioning unit’s fan blows is usually indicated by a row or a stack of bars, the more bars, the faster the fan speed.

Automatic Mode

Automatic mode is usually depicted as a circle of arrows, sometimes with the letter ‘A’ inside. With this function engaged the unit will maintain a temperature after it has been reached. It’s available in hot and cool modes.

Quiet Mode or Silent Mode

Quiet or silent mode is often indicated by a symbol of a figure with a finger over their mouth, or sometimes a night time scene with a moon icon. This mode makes the air conditioning unit operate as quietly as possible, reducing fan noise to a minimum.

Vertical Air Swing

This function is often depicted as a rotating set of bars, sometimes with an indicative arrow. It can usually be set to static or rotating, which means the fans will angle down and up in a cyclical fashion.

Horizontal Air Swing

Horizontal air swing is similar to a vertical air swing, however, the function affects the horizontal axis. The symbol is usually similar to the vertical button but rotated 90 degrees.

Turbo Button 

Turbo mode makes the system run at full capacity for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the make of the unit. It is usually marked by a bicep symbol, an arrow that indicated motion, or simply by ‘turbo’.

If you have any questions about your AC system or would like to know more about installation or maintenance, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. With over 9 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing electrical and air con services of the highest quality. Get in touch with us today.

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