Friday, May 4, 2012

Panasonic air conditioner

I recently purchased the following Panasonic System-3 Inverter air conditioner.

Indoor unit - CS-C9NKZW
Outdoor unit - CU-3S27MKZ

Having owned a Daikin and a Sharp before, I cannot help but compare them with the Panasonic. There are a few things that matters to me when it comes to air conditioners. Apart from the obvious, which is the power consumption, features like timers and automatic modes are important to me.

I will touch on the Daikin and Sharp a little before I go on to the Panasonic.


DAIKIN

I do not remember the model but the Daikin was reliable if I remember correctly. It did not breakdown during the 6 years of operation. There was nothing that stands out feature wise that I can recall though.

What I don't like
- power consumption was on a high side
- auto mode switches the unit on and off.
- compressor was noisy.


SHARP

I like the Sharp. It was pretty quite, fast to cool and very easy to operate. I mean really easy. There is nothing on the remote control that will confuse you. The PLASMACLUSTER is awesome. As a smoker then, my room did not reek of odours commonly associated with a smoker.

What I don't like
- power consumption was on a high side.  
- compressor broke down twice during the 8 years of operation.
- compressor was pretty noisy.


PANASONIC

The Panasonic has some cool features. 


It has movement and heat sources detection feature that automatically adjust how it cools the room when set to either ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode. I seriously could not tell the difference between these as I am not able to experience any difference at all. According to Panasonic


"When comfort is your priority and energy-saving is your concern, press the AUTOCOMFORT button. AUTOCOMFORT Examines, Evaluates and Executes based on the same 3 key factors* as ECONAVI and looks after your comfort with an additional factor, High/Low Activity Detection."

Panasonic illustration of the difference between the two is of no help either as you can see from the images below.




While both are cool features, it can be an inconvenience as it take quite a while for the unit scan the surrounding before it starts to cool the room when the unit is turned on with ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode. In fact, it is a bit too long for me sometimes. It cools the room pretty quick once it when actually starts.

It also has its own version of Plasmacluster called nanoe-G technology. While I am able to scientifically prove anything, I think the effect is pretty similar, judging from how the room smells afterwards.

The horizontal airflow vents are not static and can be set by the remote and can be set to automatic as well.

In terms of noise level, both the condenser and the compressor are pretty quiet.

What I don't like
- on/off timer is based on actual clock time and not duration.
- takes sometime to start cooling when the unit is turned on with ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode
- unit on and off when fan is set to auto mode.


TIMER AND FAN AUTO MODE

I am going to touch more than the two features that I depend a lot on.
Timer
I use the off timer all the time. I normally set it to turn the unit off after a certain number of hours during the night when I go to sleep, which I find easier than having to set it to turn off at a specific time.

On the Panasonic, the on/off timer is based on the clock set on the remote. It is also a based on preset times, which means it is fixed and not flexible, unless of course you change the settings again. While you can have multiple on/off set times, I still find it useless unless of course you leave home, return back and sleep at the exact same time each day.

Not only the Sharp has something similar, it has another form of timer based on time difference which I find to be more useful and practical. It is so simple to use that I just need to press one button, which is the off timer button to activate the off timer in multiples of 1 hour. If I need to set it to 2 hours, I just press it again and so on for something longer.

Fan Auto Mode

When the fan is set to auto mode, it will switch the indoor unit on or off when the room temperature reaches the set temperature regardless of other mode is on. This upsets the comfort level, ranging from momentarily to quite a while, defeating what, for example, the AUTOCOMFORT mode is supposed to provide.

I feel that the Sharp auto mode for the fan is better. When in auto mode, the unit do not turn on or off. Instead, it adjusts the fan speed and cooling power accordingly. When the room temperature reaches the set temperature, the fan speed and cooling power is set really low, maintaining the comfort level at all times. When the room temperature increases, the fan speed and cooling power increases accordingly.


CONCLUSION

So do I recommend the Panasonic? Well if the two features above are not important to you, then you may like the Panasonic. It has cool features like ECONAVI and AUTOCOMFORT and almost everything can be set, including the horizontal louvers, giving you the freedom to set it to what best suits you.

The Panasonic also really saves energy. I used it at least 12 hours a day and my bill is around $200 including all the other services.

By the way, Panasonic was installed by contractors appointed by Courts, where I purchased it. Compared it those installed by Gain City contractors for the Sharp that I had previously, I think the latter did a way better job.

25 comments:

julia k said...

I using it. I would say its gd & autocomfort & really quiet. Compare to mitsubushi elec.
& I also has a sensitive nose too. & Depends on individual sensitivity too.

Shi Yun said...

Hi, wanna check how you find the Panasonic Inverter Aircon after used for 1 year plus? Spoken with a few Company, they recommend Mit.

Azhar Khamis said...

Hi Shi Yun,

Apart from the quirks that I mentioned in the post, the aircon has been working fine for me for the past 2 years. One of the internal units broke down once which was repaired under warranty and two internal unit had the LED change as it stop lighting up.

Shi Yun said...

Thanks for your quick reply. May i check how is the internal unit noise level? i was told after used of a year or so, internal unit can be noisy.

Azhar Khamis said...

Hi Shi Yun,

I did not find the noise level to be any louder or I am probably accustomed to it by now. There isn't any vibration noise or movable parts noise if that is what you are asking. Anyway it has a quiet mode which does what it says.

Zep said...

Hi Azhar, Thank you for the reviews on the Panasonic Air Con. I came across your blog afer googling the Panasonic air con reviews and it's not many out there that did a perfect reviews like you did. Most of the panasonic models are quite common all over Singapore. I'm old school and base on experienced there's only 2 brands that I trust which is Sanyo & National. My Sanyo presently is still running after 9 years without breakdown, the only thing that is spoil is the remote control.
So it's time for me to change a new set of air con for my 5 rooms flat before my Sanyo breakdown soon and my power consumption is pretty high. So obviously my next model would be National but since Matsushita abandon the National brand, I'm left with Panasonic. So I hope Panasonic will not disappoint me in the next decade.
I was told the air con produce now is not like it was last time, so keeping my fingers cross on this Panasonic Brand.
Agree with you about Gain City, my previous Sanyo air con was install by gain city and they did a superb job with no issues even after 9 years. So Gain City here I come again.

Azhar Khamis said...

Hi Zep. Glad you found the review useful. Yes, you should go back to Gain City but don't forget to bring Courts promo brochure to get matching deal at Gain City

Anonymous said...

Hi,

How's your panasonic econavi after a few years?

I have just bought a system 3 earlier on from gain city and they are fixing it next week. So far most people i know are using starmex so i had no one to check on about panasonic but cos my folks prefer the nanos function etc.

Does it create a lot of noise or is it quiet even after 1 yr? And any noise with the swinging mechanism?

Sotona

Azhar Khamis said...

Hi Sotona,

Still quiet as before. The louvers are never noisy in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Hi, mine used for a yr plus. No problem so far.
As for the noise, i find acceptable. And also can set as quiet mode.

Anonymous said...

I would like to leave a note on the my extreme frustration I have on Panasonic agent. I left a email with reminder on the problem on the newly system 3 but they have yet to get back to me when I mentioned the problem was not solved. Panasonic agent is NOT showly professionalism in their work. They refuse to reply to their email when they think they can't solve a problem.

Anonymous said...

Just to cautious everybody better NOT to purchase Panasonic air-con. I have written to the service centre since 24 May on my System 3. They reply for the first email, but after checking in June, they refuse to reply me on the solutions.
Till date, my air-cons are still having problem. Panasonic agents really unprofessional!!!

Azhar Khamis said...

Hi Anonymous,

What is the issue you are facing with the your system 3? I had issues too but was promptly rectified.

Anonymous said...

My aircon temperature varies widely. When I first on the air-con and set remote control temperature to 25degree, it can cool it very fast to that temperature for my small HDB room. However, throughout the night, the room temperature can increase up to 26.5 which cause me to wake up in the middle of the night sweating. I use a watch which can measure temperature of room every 30 mins.

Azhar Khamis said...

Hi Anonymous,

Do you set the aircon to manual or automatic? If set to automatic, this is expected because the system switches on and off depending on the temperature. However if you set it to manual and still experience fluctuating temperature, it could be a system issue.

Anonymous said...

I have set it to manual, it still gives fluctuating temperate. I am very annoyed...
Every night, I shiver and perspire/sweating alternately.

Advo said...

Anonymous, I think you probably have "Auto-X" on.
After 4 hours, Auto-X switches to some kind of stupid energy saving mode. If I accidentally leave the unit switched to Auto-X, I invariably wake up at night bathed in sweat.
Ridiculous, really. If you want proper cooling, you have to make sure that Auto-X, Econavi and Autocomfort are all turned OFF.
Alternatively, you can turn on Econavi but then you need to set the temperature 1 degree lower than usual.
I am in general happy with my Panasonic AC, but the electronic programs are badly designed. Thankfully, you can turn them off.

Azhar Khamis said...

Then try setting the fan to manual instead of auto.

UZMA said...

My first time using panasonic inverter and pretty dissapointed coz the cooling is so slow to spread. And it is not as cooling as york, the previous brand i used before.

I dont understand the functions of auto x nanoe g and auto comfort coz all of these doesnt give me any comfort at all. I would wake up in a middle of the night finding myself sweating?? What kind of comfort is that?

Auto x makes the cooling faster?? No, i dont feel that way. I can hear the sound of its fan quite strong but not cooling at all!! And it take a few hours to cool my bedroom but not the whole area of my bedroom. I have to move nearer to the aircond so i can feel the so-called 'cooling'.

Advo said...

Autocomfort is useless. Auto-x is useless. It appears that both just lower the performance to save electricity after a few hours.
Just don't use any of those stupid functions.

Azhar Khamis said...

nanoe-G is an ioniser technology. It does not affect cooling etc.

As for the other two, they are smart technology to cool based on specific situation, more localised that to cool the whole room.

You can use them but just don't set the fan speed to auto.

Dent said...

Hi Shi Yun,
When we set this Panasonic air conditioner either ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode, it automatically adjust how it cools the room. This is really a positive side for this product. Thanks to share this nice and informative post.

Anonymous said...

I am using Panasonic inverter multi system 3 and it broke down twice in 5 years, both times compressor problem. Consideirng to switch brand...

Anonymous said...

Me too, using Panasonic Invertor Multi-system 3 Model No. CS-S9NKZW. Became so noisy that all 3 units are not usable unless I change fan motor and side bearing. Panasonic servicing is also very lousy. Never check all 3 units properly only quote for replacement of fan motor and side bearing for 1 unit. I sent email complain to their HQ also no response. So angry with the service and the lousy air con unit. Stupid Developer installed such a lousy air con, now I have to decide to change the parts only wait for it to spoil in 1 to 2 years or just replace the entire system to Mitsubishi or Daikin. I will not recommend Panasonic Air Con to anyone. Too unreliable and bad service.

Azhar Khamis said...

For those with aircon ledge, dust will accumulate easily behind the compressor as it has no where to go and it will get sucked in and sticks itself to the fan and overworked the compressor causing it to break down faster.

Those installed with bracket are less likely to face this problem as dust do not accumulate behind the compressor.