View Poll Results: If you want it to be colder, do you turn the air conditioner up or down?
Up 65 56.52%
Down 50 43.48%
Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-12-2018, 06:40 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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If you want it to be colder, do you turn the air conditioner up or down?

Based on a conversation with wife, I'm curious what the rest of the dope thinks.
  #2  
Old 07-12-2018, 06:42 PM
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You turn the thermostat down and the fan/blower up.
  #3  
Old 07-12-2018, 06:48 PM
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Lower numbers=cooler air!

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 07-12-2018 at 06:49 PM.
  #4  
Old 07-12-2018, 06:56 PM
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If you're turning your air conditioner up or down, then turning it up makes things colder and turning it down allow them to get warmer.

I don't adjust my air conditioner directly. I have a thermostat that does that for me. I don't turn my thermostat up or down; that doesn't make sense. I set it to a goal temperature and turn on the heat or AC, at which point it runs at constant intensity until it likes the temperature, then (intermittently) stops.

Last edited by begbert2; 07-12-2018 at 06:56 PM.
  #5  
Old 07-12-2018, 07:08 PM
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Because of internal conflict I deliberately skid this and ask about turning the temperature up or down.
  #6  
Old 07-12-2018, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
You turn the thermostat down and the fan/blower up.
This is the correct answer.
  #7  
Old 07-12-2018, 07:52 PM
HowSoonIsThen HowSoonIsThen is offline
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If I was driving and someone asked me to turn the air con down, I'd turn the fan down. So the temperature would technically remain the same, but we'd probably feel warmer with less air on us.
  #8  
Old 07-12-2018, 07:55 PM
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Cold, down and warm, up
  #9  
Old 07-12-2018, 07:55 PM
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Up. Down would make it blow less hard, and be warmer.
  #10  
Old 07-12-2018, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
You turn the thermostat down and the fan/blower up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
Because of internal conflict I deliberately skid this and ask about turning the temperature up or down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowSoonIsThen View Post
If I was driving and someone asked me to turn the air con down, I'd turn the fan down. So the temperature would technically remain the same, but we'd probably feel warmer with less air on us.
I agree with all of these.
  #11  
Old 07-12-2018, 08:45 PM
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If I want it colder in my house, I press the down arrow on my thermostat.

If I want it warmer in my house, I press the up arrow.


Even though we are pressing buttons and not turning a dial, we say "turn it down" for colder or "turn it up" for warmer.
  #12  
Old 07-12-2018, 08:55 PM
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I turn it down on my house and up in my car. Likely due to the fan/thermostat difference aforementioned.
  #13  
Old 07-12-2018, 09:01 PM
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If you want it to be colder, do you turn the air conditioner up or down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiannon8404 View Post
Even though we are pressing buttons and not turning a dial, we say "turn it down" for colder or "turn it up" for warmer.

That’s what we say generally, but it’s specifically tied with the implied “turn the thermostat...”

Ie, “ It’s hot in here, can you turn it (the thermostat) down”

However if someone were to specifically say “can you turn the air conditioner up” it unquestionably means make it colder

Last edited by Bootis; 07-12-2018 at 09:03 PM.
  #14  
Old 07-12-2018, 09:57 PM
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Most air conditioners these days have a thermostat that allow you to set the desired temperature. As such, it makes sense to refer to it as turning the air conditioner down--since you are reducing the numbers.

On the other hand, the older models might simply have a setting that increases or decreases the amount of time the air conditioner is blowing cold air. On those, it makes sense to say that you are turning them up.

Since the former are more common than the latter these days, I go with turning it down, even if I'm using an older air conditioner.
  #15  
Old 07-12-2018, 10:00 PM
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We turn the a.c. up up to make the temperature go down.
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The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
  #16  
Old 07-12-2018, 11:08 PM
BobBitchin' BobBitchin' is offline
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I say turn the temp up/down, not turn the AC or themostat up/down.

IMO if the phrase is unclear, I change it, not create an exception and hope we all remember it.

Turn up the TV, needs no help.

Turn up the AC? Unclear.



PS I've been running into many people the last few years that use any old word/made up word and insist "Everybody knows what I mean, it's how I talk" like it's a style choice.

One doofus said (as a threat of violence) he would "facilitate me to the floor"
  #17  
Old 07-12-2018, 11:29 PM
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It's all arbitrary. So when I want it to be colder, I turn the air conditioner inwards.

Okay, seriously, I turn it up. You're increasing the level of work your air conditioner is doing, so it's "going up".

Same thing with a furnace. When you turn that up, you're increasing the level of work it's doing. So both machines are going up even though they are producing opposite results.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 07-12-2018 at 11:29 PM.
  #18  
Old 07-12-2018, 11:39 PM
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On a related note, English speakers talk about the future being in front of them and the past being behind them. Which makes no sense when you think about it literally. The past and the future aren't locations. You can't reach out your hand and touch the future or lean back and be in the past. But apparently the metaphor linking the future with being ahead of us and the past being behind us is a common one and most languages use it.

But it's not universal. I once read about a tribe in South America and in their language they spoke about the past being in front of them and the future being behind them. And when they were questioned about this, they were able to give a surprisingly logical explanation. We know what's happened in the past but we don't know what will happen in the future. And we can see things that are in front of us while we can't see what's behind us. So it made sense to these people that the past, which we know about, is in front of us where we can "see" it and the future, which we don't know about, is "unseen" behind our backs.
  #19  
Old 07-13-2018, 12:06 AM
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"Turn it up" = "Increase the power". Which, for an AC unit, increased power makes for colder air. So turn it up to get cold.
  #20  
Old 07-13-2018, 12:38 AM
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I adjust the temperature.
  #21  
Old 07-13-2018, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBitchin' View Post
I say turn the temp up/down, not turn the AC or themostat up/down.
This is the simplest solution, and it's what I've begun doing to avoid confusion. I say turn up/down the temp.

That being said, turning up the air means making it cooler. If someone were to say "Crank up the AC!" would you be confused? To me, that means make it colder. So saying "Turn up the AC" means the same thing.

Last edited by Happy Lendervedder; 07-13-2018 at 01:03 AM.
  #22  
Old 07-13-2018, 02:13 AM
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Down if there's a thermostat, up if there's just an arbitrary dial.
  #23  
Old 07-13-2018, 03:11 AM
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AC up, thermostat down.
  #24  
Old 07-13-2018, 03:40 AM
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My way of being clear is just to precede the request with a statement. "I'm cold. Can you turn up the A/C?" "It's getting warm in here. Turn the air down a smidge." Sure, I may use "temp" instead of air or A/C, but I'm far from consistent.

And, if someone says it in an ambiguous way, I guess, but confirm. "Can you turn up the air?" If it feels warm or they look hot, I say "Oh, are you hot?" Or the other way around. I'm usually right. And they usually say down for lowering the temperature, while saying up to raise it, unless they are older--in my experience.

Granted, it's been a while since I've heard anyone I didn't already know ask. Though this is also what other people I know have said. I'm surprised at the diversity of answers.

Cool.
  #25  
Old 07-13-2018, 04:34 AM
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Depends on the AC unit.

Since mine has a temp setting rather than a fan setting, mine goes down.
  #26  
Old 07-13-2018, 05:42 AM
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I get why the question needs asking. I cannot answer the poll because my request usually goes something like this:

"Could you turn the air up? I mean, higher? Not up, up. You know, make it cooler?"


mmm
  #27  
Old 07-13-2018, 08:00 AM
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Saying "up" when you want to be colder is the textbook definition of being too smart for your own good.
  #28  
Old 07-13-2018, 08:30 AM
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At least most air conditioner controls are clearly marked. What gets me are refrigerators. Those are usually marked 1 to 10, with the "explanation" of "10 = max, 1 = min". Well, yes, I was awake in 1st grade math, but is 1 the minimum temperature, or the minimum amount of refrigeration?
  #29  
Old 07-13-2018, 08:46 AM
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I ask for clarification if someone talks about it and it isn't obvious. I myself talk about adjusting the temperature to make it "hotter" or "colder" if I think about it beforehand which I don't always. When I say "up" or "down" I use either interchangeably.
  #30  
Old 07-13-2018, 08:59 AM
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I voted Down, but my hubby would have voted Up.
  #31  
Old 07-13-2018, 09:40 AM
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Typically on an appliance, when you turn it up, you're making it do what it does with more intensity. For an air conditioner, that is making air colder.
  #32  
Old 07-13-2018, 10:20 AM
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Right. You turn the temperature (setting) down which is turning the AC up.
  #33  
Old 07-13-2018, 10:22 AM
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"I'm too hot, please address this." Is what I've said at work when a dyslexic employee had trouble understanding things like this.
  #34  
Old 07-13-2018, 01:45 PM
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Well, I'm glad to see that there is no consensus on this. Mainly because every time my wife asks me to turn the AC up/down I always have to ask if she wants it colder or warmer.
  #35  
Old 07-13-2018, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Right. You turn the temperature (setting) down which is turning the AC up.
When you turn the volume setting down, are you turning the TV up?

An "AC" can't go up or down. It can only be on or off.

When someone says: "Turn the TV down" that's shorthand for: Turn the volume on the TV down.

When someone says: "Turn the AC down", that shorthand for: Turn the temp down on the AC.
  #36  
Old 07-13-2018, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ashtura View Post
Typically on an appliance, when you turn it up, you're making it do what it does with more intensity. For an air conditioner, that is making air colder.
Agreed. And everyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. It says so in the Bible.
  #37  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:26 PM
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I decided to run a similar, but not identical poll on twitter.

If you turn the air conditioner up, the room gets:
21% hotter
79% colder
  #38  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
When you turn the volume setting down, are you turning the TV up?

An "AC" can't go up or down. It can only be on or off.

When someone says: "Turn the TV down" that's shorthand for: Turn the volume on the TV down.

When someone says: "Turn the AC down", that shorthand for: Turn the temp down on the AC.
You are (IMHO) confused with the idea being expressed. If the appliance is being asked to produce more of what it produces you are turning it up. One the things a TV produces is volume; when you turn the TV up it gets louder. You turn the volume dial up to turn the TV up, to have it produce more sound. The main thing an AC produces is cold air, so you turn it up to produce more of it.

You turn the thermostat down to turn the AC up.
  #39  
Old 07-14-2018, 09:10 AM
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Our office air con has 3 temp settings - hot, fan only, and cold. If I want it cooler, I'd say "turn up the AC". If I want it warmer, I'd say "turn up the heater" . Referring to "The AC" refers to turning up the fan, with the temp dial on cold, referring to "the heater" refers to the exact same machine, but with the temp dial on warm. We almost never use just the fan for some reason.
  #40  
Old 07-14-2018, 09:18 AM
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heres my results from a few years ago

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ht=conditioner

I'm jealous you have more responses, but the results seem consistent/

Now to solve the problem of the past tense of "blow dry"

Last edited by Sigene; 07-14-2018 at 09:21 AM.
  #41  
Old 07-14-2018, 11:04 AM
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The modern thermostat is a closed-loop controller. You tell the thermostat what the set point temperature is. This is the temperature you want the room to be. As an example, if you set the set point temperature to 72 F, the thermostat will actively control the air conditioner (by turning it on off on off on off...) so that the temperature is at (or around) 72 F.

How does it actually do that?

The air conditioner is always measuring the actual air temperature, and comparing it to the set point temperature. This is an oversimplification, but if the actual air temperature is greater than the set point temperature, it applies power to the AC compressor and it blows out cold air. If the actual air temperature is lower than the set point temperature, it turns off the AC compressor and it does not blow cold air. (In reality there is a non-zero "bandwidth" around the set point temperature. As an example, if the set point temperature to 72 F and the bandwidth is 2 F, the compressor will kick on when the temperature is greater than 73 F and kick off when the temperature is less than 71 F.)

As some others have said, "turning up" the air conditioner can have two meanings:

1) Increasing the set point temperature (e.g. from 72 F to 73 F) thus making the room slightly warmer.

2) Increasing the power consumption of the air conditioner. This is achieved by decreasing the set point temperature (e.g. from 72 F to 71 F) thus making the room slightly colder.

Therefore, when someone says they want you to "turn up" the air conditioner, you should ask them if the want the room warmer or colder.
  #42  
Old 07-14-2018, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
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Now to solve the problem of the past tense of "blow dry"
This is only a problem if you spell it "blow dry". Spell it "blow-dry" and "blow-dried" becomes completely unproblematic.
  #43  
Old 07-14-2018, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
Based on a conversation with wife, I'm curious what the rest of the dope thinks.
This comes up in conversations at my house also. I clicked None of the Above.

Here's a loosely related question: When you want to turn on the A/C, or a light, by changing the position of an ordinary wall switch, do you 'Open' the switch or 'Close' it? (Assume your language lacks the terms 'turn on' and 'turn off.')
.

Last edited by septimus; 07-14-2018 at 02:31 PM.
  #44  
Old 07-14-2018, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
At least most air conditioner controls are clearly marked. What gets me are refrigerators. Those are usually marked 1 to 10, with the "explanation" of "10 = max, 1 = min". Well, yes, I was awake in 1st grade math, but is 1 the minimum temperature, or the minimum amount of refrigeration?
I'm glad I'm not the only one; first time my parents went away and left me at home for a few days by myself, the fridge started freezing things and I pretty near had a breakdown trying to work out which way I needed to turn the dial...
  #45  
Old 07-14-2018, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
At least most air conditioner controls are clearly marked. What gets me are refrigerators. Those are usually marked 1 to 10, with the "explanation" of "10 = max, 1 = min". Well, yes, I was awake in 1st grade math, but is 1 the minimum temperature, or the minimum amount of refrigeration?
1 means minimum amount of refrigeration. If you turn it to 10, you'll usually find that it eventually begins to freeze things left on the top shelf of the refrigerator.
  #46  
Old 07-14-2018, 05:59 PM
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Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!


On the temperature thing, I have to disagree with anyone thinking up is down and down is up...

What color is the sky in your world?

You want it colder, Turn it Down.
  #47  
Old 07-14-2018, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
It's all arbitrary. So when I want it to be colder, I turn the air conditioner inwards.

Okay, seriously, I turn it up. You're increasing the level of work your air conditioner is doing, so it's "going up".

Same thing with a furnace. When you turn that up, you're increasing the level of work it's doing. So both machines are going up even though they are producing opposite results.
While that's certainly consistent, the reason this is a question at all is the disconnect between temperature and whether the machine is working harder. With a furnace, temp and work line up but not with an a/c. Like Ruken, I try to avoid the conflict by just saying "make it colder!".

Last edited by CarnalK; 07-14-2018 at 06:27 PM.
  #48  
Old 07-14-2018, 10:57 PM
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Two I would deal with are down (digital displays) and one up (knob labeled "cooler/1-8").
  #49  
Old 07-15-2018, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
This comes up in conversations at my house also. I clicked None of the Above.

Here's a loosely related question: When you want to turn on the A/C, or a light, by changing the position of an ordinary wall switch, do you 'Open' the switch or 'Close' it? (Assume your language lacks the terms 'turn on' and 'turn off.')
.
Close the switch
If you OPEN it you OPEN the contacts and disconnect the current from the device you want on.
  #50  
Old 07-16-2018, 12:00 AM
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Around here we say "Make more cold" / "Make less cold" for AC.
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