Japanese Words in the Air Conditioner and Remote Control

Many of the rental apartments, public and private, comes with already installed air conditioners at least in the living room, if not in all the rooms. Some apartments have air conditioners installed in all the rooms. Air conditioner is  known as エアコン in Japanese. Remote control units, shortly known as Remote in English is a Rimokon in Japanese. it is written in Katakana as  リモコン.

Understanding the meaning of the Japanese words written in a rimokon helps to avoid a hell of troubles especially during the winter season. Without proper understanding of the functions of the buttons in a rimokon, foreigners may end up cooling the room in winter season instead of heating.

In this blog, let us try to understand and learn the meaning of Japanese words written on an air condition equipment and it’s remote control unit. Let’s start from the main body of the air condition equipment.

Japanese air conditioner inside the room
Typical Air Conditioner in a Japanese apartment

Japanese words in the main body of air condition equipment.

The Japanese words that can be seen on a typical air conditioner inside a Japanese apartment are shown below;






運転:うんてん (unten) means driving. Here the meaning would be ‘Run’ means the air conditioner is in running mode, or working. The kanji for ‘un’ 運 means ‘luck’. 転 means ‘turn’. You can see the kanji 車  (Kuruma – Vehicle) inside the kanji 運 and an outer cover radical of ⼍ (わかんむり) and a side radical of ⻌ (しんにょう) meaning road/walk/to advance etc.

タイマー: Timer. This is the Katakana for Timer.

点滅:てんめつ Tenmetsu meaning ‘Blinking’ or ‘Switch ON and OFF’. If the Kanji stand alone, the meaning are different. 点(てん) means point and 滅 (めつ) means destruction.

Note: リモコンからリセットを行なわないと、ランプの点滅は消えません。If you do not reset from the remote control, the blinking lamp will not be switched off.

内部クリーン: ないぶくりーん. This is a combination of Kanji and Katakana. 内部 means ‘Inside’ クリーン is the katakana for ‘Clean’. 内部クリーン means inside cleaning. Modern air conditioners do automatic cleaning of internal parts. ‘Inside clean’ is a function that dries the inside of an indoor unit that has been wet by cooling or dehumidifying (drying) to suppress the generation of mold and odor. After the operation is stopped, the inside is dried by blowing air and heating.

運転/停止: We saw the first word 運転 unten above, which is repeated here also. 停止 means stop, which is pronouced as ていし Teishi. Both 停 and 止 indicates ‘stop’. The kanji 停 is used when a train stops due to some reason and the in the notice board, you can see 停車. When power outage happens, or when there would be a power cut due to maintenance in the apartment or office, you can see the word 停電 (ていでん).

Remote Control Unit

Remote control unit of air conditioner

設定温度:せっていおんど (Settei Ondo) Preset Temperature. Settei means set or setting, Ondo means temperature.

ひかえめ自動:ひかえめじどう Hikaeme jidou – Moderate Automatic. Note that the hikaeme is written is hiragana ひかえめ for easy reading. Automatic operation is a good option if we don’t know how much temperature we should set. When you press the “ひかえめ自動” button, the air conditioner automatically adjusts according to the indoor temperature and outdoor temperature.

運転/停止: うんてん/ていし unten/teishi – Already explained above.

運転切換:うんてんきりかえ unten kirikae – Switch Operation or Switch the Mode. There are two kanji words here. 運転 Unten and きりかえKirikae. This button is to switch modes between cooling operation and heating operation. Each time you press the [Switch Operation] button, the operation mode is switched.

風量:かぜりょうkazeryou means air flow. 風量 is the amount of air that the air conditioner moves per unit time, which is the amount of air that is exhausted or supplied per unit time in terms of a ventilation fan.

温度:おんどondo is Temperature. You can increase or decrease the tempearure by pressing this button up or down respectively.

風向:ふうこう fūkō means wind direction. You can control the direction of the wind blowing from the air conditioner.

風ないス:かぜないす kazenaisu means Windless operation. What is windless operation? Windless operation is an operation that automatically adjusts the air volume and the vertical wind direction. The wind will not directly hit our body. The air volume setting is set at “automatic” and therefore the air volume cannot be changed. Windless operation cannot be set when ventilation, Rest, and laundry operation modes.

ストリーム: symbol is displayed on the remote control. When the streamer function is “ON”, the streamer symbol will be displayed. Stream function suppresses mold and allergens by the decomposition power of streamer discharge and cleans the air in the room.

快眠: かいみん Kaimin means ‘Good Sleep’. 快眠 is a function that controls the temperature in the room while sleeping to support a good night’s sleep and a refreshing awakening. The good sleep timer can be set when operating with “cooling”, “dehumidifying cooling”, “heating”, and “humidifying and heating operation”

空気清浄:くうきせいじょうKūkiseijō Air purifier. An air purifier removes contaminants from the air in a room to improve indoor air quality. 空気清浄機や空気清浄機は、室内の空気から汚染物質を取り除き、室内の空気の質を向上させる装置です。これらのデバイスは、アレルギー患者や喘息患者に有益であり、中古のタバコの煙を減らすまたはなくすのに役立つものとして一般的に販売されています。

内部クリーン: ないぶくりーん Already explained above. In the bracket you can see (2秒押し) 2びょうおし means “Press 2 seconds”. If you press 2 seconds, the inside cleaning process will start. 「内部クリーン」 とは、冷房や除湿 ( ドライ )で濡れた室内機の内部を乾燥させて、カビやニオイの発生を抑える機能です。運転停止後に送風や暖房運転をおこない内部を乾燥させます。

タイマー:Timer button. You can set the timer by pressing on the selected buttons below this タイマー.

入:いり iri means enter.

切:きり kiri means cut or delete timer.

パワーセレクト:Power select is a function that limits the current during operation and when selected will suppress power consumption.

取消:とりけし Torikeshi means cancel.

サインリセット: Sign Reset. Press  this button to turn off the maintenance notification display such as blinking timer lamp.

If you know more about the Japanese words written on an air condition unit or its remote contol, please use the comment box below to share your knowledge.


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