What Is An Air Conditioner’s Energy Saver Mode?

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Updated May 16, 2023

It’s a story as old as Pangea: after the first month of summer’s heatwaves, you rip open the electric bill and find that the cost has shot up like a rocket. However, the best air conditioners now have settings to help you avoid this unfortunate expense. The energy saver mode on an air conditioner helps save energy. It works by turning off the main part that uses a lot of energy, but still keeps the room cool. It also adjusts other settings to use less electricity. Using the energy saver mode helps save money and is good for the environment.

Additional settings are the air conditioner auto mode and the dry setting. You can check out our page on dry and cool modes to learn more about their differences. So, let’s discuss what does energy saver does on an air conditioner and when to use it.


  • The energy saver mode automatically controls the AC compressor and fan speeds to optimize for reducing energy use.
  • Purchasing an energy-efficient window unit can save owners up to 50% on power consumption.
  • The energy saver mode allows users to balance and maintain a preferred comfort level and save money.

And if you want to continue your HVAC education, we have another article that explains what an AC’s evaporator coil does.

What is the Energy Saver Function?

Insider Tip

Many older air conditioning systems don’t have an energy saver mode. The savings that result from buying a system with an energy-saving setting can quickly overcome the cost of purchasing a new unit.

Cutting down on power consumption to lower energy costs is a common goal for AC owners. Your energy usage can be lower if your air conditioner tonnage is small and your room is small. And many assume that reducing energy costs means dealing with a much warmer living space. Fortunately, energy saver mode means you don’t have to.

Energy saver mode is an incredible setting that allows for great indoor climate control while simultaneously cutting energy costs. It regulates the cooling mode ( air compressor) and fan speed when it’s on by sensing the room’s temperature. It then adjusts the AC unit to consume the lowest possible energy.

If your AC unit shows an error code, we have an article explaining what E8 means on an air conditioner.


Even with energy-saving modes, a central air conditioner will still be more energy efficient than a window unit if you want to cool your entire house.

When Should You Use Energy Saver?

It’s good to use the energy saver mode as often as possible regardless of whether you have a window portable or central air conditioning unit. However, the best times to use the energy saver mode depend on your unit type.

Central AC owners should always switch their thermostat settings to energy saver mode for central units before going away for a long trip. They should also leave it on as often as possible when home, only switching it off when attempting to change the temperature drastically.

And for window or portable air conditioners owners, energy saver mode is best used as soon as the room is up to a comfortable temperature. Additionally, if you would like to check out an energy-efficient type of cooling like an evaporative cooler, read our Honeywell CO48PM review and see if it will work for you.

STAT: ENERGY STAR recommends that to be as energy-efficient as possible, owners should keep the temperature setting at 72-73 degrees (source)


How do I choose an energy-efficient air conditioner?

Most modern air conditioners will be very energy efficient and come with an energy saver mode. But you also can check the unit’s Energy Star rating and the EER (energy efficiency ratio) that calculates the BTUs to wattage.

Is it good to have an automatic filter cleaning feature in the air conditioner?

Having a clean air filter is the best way to take advantage of a unit’s full efficiency. And a dirty filter can also lead to higher energy costs. The self-clean function is a great way to keep your unit running at total efficiency without having to do much work yourself.

How do I choose an air conditioner size?

When choosing a standard air conditioner, you have to consider the square footage you need to cool and the amount of BTUs that can do the job. There are many websites with charts outlining how to select the right AC size.

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