Heating Systems

Should you run your air conditioner in auto mode?

Heating Trends on December 13, 2022

Air conditioner auto mode is a very useful option and used by most people whether they're cooling or heating their home. But what does it actually do?

#air conditioner

Should you run your air conditioner in auto mode?

A lot of people don't read their AC user manual or don't use their AC often enough to remember the way an AUTO mode works. But there's also one little detail that makes it even more confusing - air conditioners often have two AUTO modes!

AC units have auto operation mode and auto fan mode. While we definitely recommend having the fan on auto, we're not so sure about the operation mode.

How does auto operation mode work?

So, in addition to the usual heat-only and cool-only modes, auto operation mode selects an appropriate operation mode (cooling or heating), based on the indoor temperature. It's basically a hassle-free mode which, when switched on, automatically cools or heats to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Although it sounds cool to have your AC automatically decide everything it needs to do, we don't find this feature very useful. If it's hot outside, we just want to cool our space and have the temperature right where we set it using our remote. We don't want an AC to automatically decide whether it needs to heat or cool the room based on the indoor temperature.

Can you imagine a scenario where it gets too cold in your room during a hot summer day because you wanted it that way, and the air conditioner suddenly decides to warm it a bit by blowing hot air?

The same thing goes for heating your home. If it's freezing outside, the last thing we would want is for the AC to start blowing freezing cold air.

That's why we prefer to press COOL on our remote during hot summer days, and press HEAT during winter.

Now, if your AC can cycle through COOL and DRY mode during summer, that might serve some purpose, but most air conditioners only switch between cool and heat operation modes.

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How does auto fan mode work?

Now, auto fan mode is golden! We recommend using it all the time, regardless of whether you're cooling or heating your space. Let's explain exactly what it does.

To put it simply, when the auto fan mode is turned on, it means that your air conditioner's fan will only run when it needs to achieve the temperature you've set on your remote control. Regardless of whether it cools or heats, AC will automatically adjust the fan speed to achieve the set temperature as fast and as efficiently as possible.

This feature can be used in any weather and it's designed to work well with both cold and warm weather.

Main benefits of using auto fan mode

  • If you manually set your fan to a certain speed, it may be too low for the AC to achieve the set temperature in your room. But it may also be too fast once the temperature is comfortable. This is exactly why auto fan mode is perfect; it'll automatically adjust the fan speed to achieve the ideal temperature.
  • In larger spaces, manually setting the fan to a lower speed will result in uneven temperatures in different parts of the room. Auto fan speed can deal with this by blowing harder to circulate the air when needed, and reducing fan speed when in maintenance mode.
  • Auto fan speed provides better comfort. Instead of having the AC blowing all the time, in auto fan mode it will go into a maintenance mode once it reaches the set temperature and even stop working once the sensor registers there's no need to. It's also much more comfortable to have less air blowing throughout the room, which is one of the most common things people complain about when using an AC to heat their homes.
  • Auto fan mode is energy efficient! Why have your fan use the extra electricity if it doesn't need to? Let the auto fan mode regulate your fan's speed and enjoy the benefit of its efficient work and lower energy bills.
  • By keeping your AC in auto fan mode, you reduce the wear and tear on the fan motor and increase its lifespan.

How to set AC to auto mode?

Depending on your air conditioner manufacturer and model, you might have separate buttons for AUTO mode and auto FAN mode, while on other models you need to keep pressing the MODE button to cycle through available modes on your remote control.

Air conditioner remote control

If there's a separate FAN button (not to be confused with FAN ONLY button) on your remote control, keep pressing it to cycle through fan speeds until you get to the fan auto mode, which is usually labeled as A on your remote's screen.