Air Conditioner Energy Saving: Are Dry Mode & Inverter ACs the Answer?
For years, people have been struggling with the same air conditioning problem: how to stay comfortable but still manage to save money on the energy bill? With a multitude of air conditioner models, technologies and advancements – and a lot of information thrown at us – it’s easy to get confused. Here are the facts.
How Does Your AC Actually Work?
A common misconception is that the air conditioner generates cool air on its own; this couldn’t be further from the truth! Your air conditioner simply uses the existing indoor air, passes it through an evaporator and compressor, and releases cooler air back into the room.
Traditional vs. Inverter AC? Help!
In a traditional AC, the compressor can be either on or off; when on, it works at full capacity consuming all the electricity it can consume. Once the thermostat reaches the set-point temperature, the compressor stops and the internal fan continues, until the temperature increases and the compressor turns back on to cool the room once again.
In an inverter AC, the mechanism is similar to a car’s accelerator. The compressor will adjust its power consumption based on the indoor temperature and the setting you choose. What this means is that the compressor is always on, but doesn’t always run in full capacity. Thus, it’s pretty safe to say that inverter ACs will eventually consume less electricity and help you save some money on your bills! Many brands offer the inverter technology, including Panasonic, Daikin, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi – so do your market research!
Although it seems that inverter ACs are more efficient, possibly saving you 30-50% on energy, there are still things you should do in order to use less power, no matter which AC you own. First of all, make sure you install the right sized air conditioner for the designated room; but even more importantly, get acquainted with your AC’s capabilities.
Dry Mode, Cool Mode, What Mode?!
Your AC will most likely have several modes for you to choose from; but how would you know which to use in order to save more energy and maintain comfy conditions?To make it easy, we’ll focus on Cool, Dry and Fan. Here’s the low-down:
1. Compressor & fan are at full capacity
2. Blows out very cool air to alleviate heat
3. Consumes the most energy
4. Use when it’s too hot and you need quick cooling
1. Fan is low and compressor is slow
2. Humid air — evaporator — dry air (not cool!)
3. Uses less energy/saves $
4. Use when the temperature is comfy but humidity is high
1. Compressor is OFF = energy saved
2. Simply circulates existing air
3. Doesn’t cool or dehumidify
4. Use when both temperature and humidity are at comfy levels
Seems simple enough, right? Think again.
How would you be able to correctly monitor the actual conditions in the room? Aside from sensing how you feel, you have no actual data to rely on.
- You could be hot since the temperature is high, but you could also be hot because the humidity has risen. Which mode should you use then?
- Dry Mode doesn’t act like a dehumidifier does, meaning it is limited in its ability to reduce humidity levels. While using Dry Mode may assist in energy saving, if used for a prolonged period of time it might actually do the opposite and make the system work even harder.
- Fan Mode is a guessing game – how do you really know that both temperature and humidity are at a good level so you don’t compromise on your comfort?
It’s clear that a combination of settings is the ideal way to ensure comfort and energy savings; but we lack the tools and sensors to notice these subtle nuances.
With full control from anywhere and capabilities like different modes, timers and Smart Home integrations, a Smart Controller with a dedicated app can provide you with the ultimate control over your home’s environment while sustaining comfort and efficiency. With the benefit of technologies like AI and Machine Learning, combined with unique sensors and data, you can enhance your air conditioner in the most energy-saving and comfort-maximizing way.
For instance, a device like Ambi Climate can do all that while helping you save up to 30% on your monthly energy bill!