Air Conditioner Remote Control Symbols Explained – A Complete Guide

As technology advances, air conditioners offer an increasing number of features to enhance our overall comfort. By pressing the buttons on the remote control or thermostat, you can change the modes and functions of your air conditioner.

However, there are a plethora of confusing-looking air conditioner symbols on the remote, leaving you unsure of how to properly operate your air conditioner.

Don’t be concerned! This post will explain the meaning of all the common air conditioner symbols. You will get the hang of it in no time!

I know there are hundreds of air conditioner brands on the marketplace. Luckily, the symbols they use are more or less the same. So this guide will likely help you out irrespective of the model you have. 

Power on and off symbol

power ac symbol

This is a symbol that appears on the button and is responsible for turning on and off the air conditioner.

This symbol is usually accompanied by a visible color, such as red, yellow, or orange. It could be the ON/OFF or START/STOP characters, or the encircled capital letter I or “I.”

When the air conditioner is turned on, pressing it once will turn it off. When the air conditioner is turned off, a single press can turn it back on.

Plus and minus or up and down arrow symbol

The plus and minus symbols on the buttons are primarily used to raise and lower the target temperature. Sometimes the symbol is an up and down arrow.

After pressing the “fan speed” button, you can also adjust the fan speed with these two buttons.

Snowflake symbol

The snowflake symbol doesn’t mean that you should use it in winter. Instead, it means that the “cool mode” is activated.

It is the most common symbol you will see on an aircon remote. You can set it by pressing the “mode” button on the remote.

Sun symbol

If you can find a sun symbol on your air conditioner remote, it indicates that your air conditioner has a heating function. That is to say, you can use it as a heater on cold winter days. 

You can press the “mode” button to change the symbol from a snowflake to a sun when you want to use the “heat” mode. Don’t use it in summer!

Water drop symbol

The water drop symbol indicates that “dry mode” is enabled. This mode is designed to reduce indoor humidity and keep you comfortable. Because high humidity can make you feel warm, you may notice that the room is cold when this mode is activated.

ECO symbol

eco ac symbol

More and more air conditioner manufacturers include an ECO mode in their products to help their customers save energy.

Depending on the brand, some have a dedicated button with green “ECO” characters, whereas others only show “ECO” characters on the display when this mode is activated.

Fan symbol

This is another symbol you will see when fiddling with the “mode button”. When the “fan” symbol is on, it indicates that the fan mode (also known as ventilation mode) is on. 

The air conditioner will not cool or heat the air in this case. Only the fan is working, which will circulate the air in the room. If you find the air is stale and don’t have a  ceiling fan in the room, running your ac in this mode would be helpful. 

A round of arrows symbol

This is another air conditioning symbol that you will see when changing the mode. In some cases, the symbol includes a “A” character in the round.

When this symbol appears, it indicates that the machine is in auto mode, which allows the machine to choose between cool and heat modes based on the current temperature automatically.

Turbo/Powerful symbol

turbo symbol

Some air conditioners come with a turbo button, like Daikin ones. If you turn on this mode, your AC will run at its maximum capacity, which can make your room cool in a short time. It is not recommended to run your ac at this mode continuously, though. 

Signal bars symbol 

The signal bars on display show how fast the fan runs. After pressing the “fan speed” button, you can adjust the fan speed.

The more black bars it shows, the quicker the fan will operate and cool your room. 

It is important to note that setting the fan speed too low at first is not recommended because your air conditioner will take too long to cool your room.

Vertical air swing symbol

When you see a symbol that looks like an airflow coming out from the ac and going down, it would be the vertical air swing symbol. 

This symbol is for controlling the airflow but only in the up and down direction. You can set it in static, oscillating, or automatic mode.

If you stay in the room and don’t want the airflow goes directly to you, you can use the static mode.

Horizontal Air Swing Symbol

This symbol is similar to the vertical air swing symbol, except that the airflow is horizontal.

You can also control how the airflow moves. There are static, oscillating, and automatic modes available.

Earphone symbol

This air conditioning symbol represents the silent or quiet mode. When you select this mode, the fan speed decreases, allowing you to sleep better. There are usually different noise levels to choose from. Although no air conditioning system can be completely silent, this mode can significantly reduce the decibel level.


You should understand what these air conditioner symbols and modes mean to get the most out of your air conditioner. 

Since the ac remote can keep your current settings, you can make your ac run perfectly by only pressing the power button. However, you need first to figure out what is the best setting for yourself and your family.

These aircon symbols on the remote are easy to understand, which will guide you in making the right adjustment. 

In rare cases, an ac remote can malfunction. You can often fix it with a reset. Otherwise, purchasing a new one from the same manufacturer is better than repairing it.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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