[Life in Korea] Part 4: How to operate air conditioner (Remote + Translations)

How to use Korean air conditioning?

I saw a post on Facebook the other day asking for translations of the air conditioning remote and I realized that I've never made a post about it! So, here it is!
How to use Korean air conditioner (Korean air con)

Please send me a picture of your air conditioning remotes! I can continue to update this post with all of the remote options!

Moving to and Living in Korea Series!

Part 1: Packing for study/living in Korea | Part 2: Getting a Phone in Korea
Part 3: Doing Laundry in Korea | Part 4: Using your air conditioner in Korea

So, when I first moved to Korea, this was one of the most challenging pieces of summer life...turning on and using the air conditioning unit (Konglish: aircon).

I have been lucky to have air conditioning in almost all of my houses. The only one that did not have an air conditioner was located on the 20th floor of an apartment complex by the Han River, so we did have a nice breeze all summer long.

Korean summers are notoriously humid! The heat is probably around 35 degrees in July, which is nothing to sneeze at, but the humidity is what makes Korean summers miserable.

I am coming from the United States, where I have Central AC/Heating, so this remote was really confusing to me the first time I saw it. There are so many options!

This is my current remote, but the others have all had the same functions, they just appear differently depending on the brand.

My current brand is Hauzen, if you are wondering.

This current one hides what I think is the most important feature, the dehumidifier function.
I have to push the center button (operation mode) to select which operation I want to use. The options are:
냉방: AC
자동: Automatic
제습: Dehumidifier
송풍: This is hard to translate word-for-word, it basically is a really strong wind. I rarely use this.

My previous air conditioner had 제습 (dehumidifier) and 자동 (automatic) as separate buttons for easy access.

온도: Temperature (if you are on auto 자동 mode, this is the desired temperature)
바람: Controls the fan strength
상하바람 turns on the oscillation mode, so that the breeze distributes a little more.
열대야쾌면: this is also a little hard to describe. I don't usually use my air conditioner at night, but basically this option allows you to set a timer/setting for night mode. This is especially useful for really humid nights. It allows you to sleep comfortably.

I also like that you can set timers to either turn on or turn off your air conditioning unit.
켜짐 예약 sets a timer for turning it on. So, you can set a timer so your aircon turns on while you're commuting back to your house, so when you get home, it is nice and comfortable.
껴짐 예약 sets a time for turning off your air conditioning. I sometimes use this in combination with the dehumidifer option to dry my laundry while I'm out of the house.

For my current air conditioner, I have to hit the set/cancel (확인/취소) button to set the timer. My other remotes automatically set it after a few seconds.

The on/off button is the 운전/정지 button. For me, it's the orange one.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions!
Or, if you want help figuring out your remote, feel free to send me a picture at eatstretchexplore@gmail.com. I'll update this post and add it here for future readers!

Travel tips:

  1. Buy your SIM card: Prepaid 4G/LTE Sim Card: Unlimited Data+Voice call+SMS (5/7/10/15/30 days)
  2. Get a great view of Seoul: Discount Seoul City Tour Bus Ticket
  3. Great Korean (traditional and modern) culture and cooking classes.
  4. Check out these great things to do in Jeju!
  5. Don't want to rent a car in Jeju? Check out this Hop On/Off Bus Tour of Jeju
  6. Don't want to rent a car in Jeju? Check out this Taxi Tour
*FTC Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through the links provided and make a purchase.*


  1. Hi,
    My aircon is a Samsung but I think it shares the same features as yours. Mine also has several different modes. For a while it was putting out good, cold air; now it is barely better than room temperature. Right now it's on cooling mode and the temperature is set at 18, but like I said it is barely cool at all. Any ideas on what I should try, or should it be cold if it's set at 18 and maybe the machine is not working? Thanks!

    1. Hello, I am not sure about your particular unit. Have you tried cleaning the filter?

      I usually only use the dehumidifer function (제습). Some of the other aircon units also have a Power AC function (파워냉방). That should force it to pump out cold air.

      I hope this helps!

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