If you’ve ever been to Japan and been in need an air conditioner, you might have had to think twice before pushing a button on the remote control. Learning how to use a Japanese air conditioner doesn’t have to be hard, though. You just have to learn a little bit of what symbols do what. I’ve made a little guide to help you out.
Dealing with a Japanese air conditioner
All right, so there are a bajillion different kinds of Japanese air conditioner remotes, so I can’t tackle everyone’s, but I have taken a photo of my Daikin one and will write out the explanations for what each setting does.
Turning it on
For turning on that sweet Japanese air conditioner of yours, you’ll want to look for the 運転 (うんてん/unten) button. This button is for turning ON your unit. To turn it back off, look for the 停止（ていし teishi）button. It will either be the same button as ON or nearby. So far so good, right?
To adjust the temperature, look for arrows of some kind. That is a pretty big visual clue. The word for temperature is 温度(おんど ondo). By pushing the arrows or direction buttons up or down, you can adjust the temperature. If you are from the U.S., remember that the temperature displayed on the remote is in celscius and NOT Farenheit.
Heating or Cooling?
Depending on the season, you’ll want to make sure your Japanese air conditioner is pushing out the right kind of air. You don’t want to make the mistake of turning on the cooler setting in winter or vice versa.
There are a few different settings, but let’s keep things simple and concentrate on heating and cooling. Look for the word 冷房 (れいぼう reibou), this is the cooler setting. It will almost always be written in kanji characters, so don’t try to look for it in hiragana. For heating, look for 暖房 (だんぼう danbou)
In order to change the modes, look for 運転切換 (うんてんきりかえ unten kirikae). This button lets you switch the modes of your japanese air conditioner. Make sure to check on the screen part of the remote to see what mode your unit is in. Remember, look for either 暖房 (heater) or 冷房 (cooler). If you don’t see it, keep pushing the mode change button until you see one of those options.
What if you want to change the strength of the air blowing or set a timer so the heating starts right before you get home? If you look closely at your Japanese remote, you’ll find this is all possible!
風向 DIRECTION OF AIR FLOW
Good for if you don’t want the air blowing directly on you all the time.
風量 STRENGTH OF AIR FLOW
What level of air do you want blowing on you? Low? Medium? High?
快眠 SLEEP MODE
This is used to have the AC unit be a little less strong at night while you sleep. Good for your throat, possibly.
Use this when you want to tell the unit to turn on or off after X amount of hours.
入 TIMER ON
Push this button and check the screen of the remote to see how many hours later you can set the AC unit to turn on.
切 TIMER OFF
This is for having the AC unit turn off. Great for having the heater turn off after you fall asleep.
If you decide you don’t want to use the timer’s settings, just hit this button to cancel anything you previously set.
Everyone has a different air conditioner and a remote control, but most of the words will stay the same. If you have any questions about a particular button or feature, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Always happy to help someone out with their Japanese appliances!