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.


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.


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.


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.


I am going to touch more than the two features that I depend a lot on.
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.


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.