How To Use A Japanese Air Conditioner

Atsuuui! It’s summer again in Japan and guess what? I haaaate it! I’m from a tropical country so the heat, I can contend with. But the humidity… please, somebody turn it off! Good thing you always have your trusty air conditioner at home. Of course, that air conditioner is not only good for combatting the summer heat but for getting your through the chilly winter months as well. I know! Really useful stuff that is worth mastering the use of.

When it comes to your air conditioner, you would hardly be touching the unit (which the Japanese call ‘air-con’/エアコン) and would be accessing the features using the handy remote control (‘rimo-con’/リモコン) that comes with it.

As always, how your remote control looks and the buttons that are available may be different from what is shown on this article. However, the features available are widely similar and this article should get you started using if not have you mastering the use of your air conditioner.

The Buttons

  1. 冷房  (reibou)

Press this button to turn on the cooling feature – yes, this is what would get you through the summer months.

2. 除湿 (joshitsu)

During Japan’s infamous tsuyu/rainy season when the air is thick and the humidity is at its max, this button will be your best friend as this dehumidifies the air.

3. 暖房 (danbou)

In the colder seasons, however, press this button for your air conditioner to produce warm air.

4. 風量 (fuuryou)

Use this button to control the intensity of the air (the levels will be indicated on the control panel – more on this later).

5. 温度 (ondou)

This button lets you adjust the temperature.

6. 風向 (fuukou)

To adjust the swing/angle of the wind, press this button.

7. におい除去 (nioi jyokyo)

Not a very common feature for Japanese air conditioners but if you have this button on your remote control, you can use it to get rid of unpleasant smell inside the room.

8. パワフル (pawafuru)

Literally translates to ‘powerful’, this feature means ‘high-power’ and pressing it would set your machine to strongly release air.

9. 停止 (teishi)

This is the button to turn off your air conditioner. In some machines, this would double as the ON button but for the one that we have at home, which is from Panasonic, you directly press the mode that you want to turn it on.

10. 切タイマー (kiri taimaa)

Use this button to set the timer and program it to turn off between 1-12 hours later.

11. 入タイマー (iri taimaa)

Use this button to set the timer and program it to turn on between 1-12 hours later.

12. 取消 (torikeshi)

Press this to cancel timer settings.

13. メニュ (menu)

Use this to access more detailed menu.

The Display Panel

Your air conditioner’s remote control will have a display panel that will show the details of the settings you have chosen.

  1. At the topmost, you will see the mode you are using.
  2. In the middle, you have the current temperature displayed.
  3. The bottom left box will display your timer settings (if you chose to program your timer).
  4. At the center, you will see the 風量 (fuuryou) or wind strength will be displayed. In the case of our Panasonic air conditioner, there are four levels available. In addition to those four levels, you can also set it to 自動/jidou (automatic) and 静/shizuka (quiet) – as in quietly release air.
  5. On the bottom right, 風向 (fuukou) or wind swing will be displayed. This also comes with a 自動/jidou (automatic) option.

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