Mitsubishi’s New Air Conditioner Turns Off When You’re Not Home

Air conditioning is a major energy suck, even when we try to use it sparingly. Unless you’ve got a steel-trap brain that remembers to adjust the thermostat every time you leave the house, it’s all too likely that your air conditioning just stays on the “auto” setting all day and night. While this will keep your home at a predetermined temperature, it also means the air conditioner will inevitably work to cool the house even when no one’s around.

A new release from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. aims to make the mindless air conditioner a thing of the past. The “ZW series” of household air conditioners are programmed to automatically switch to a low-power consumption mode when there is no person in the room.


Image via Mitsubishi

According to Mitsubishi, the new ZW series air conditioners will feature a “Smart Stop System” that uses infrared sensors to determine if there’s a human body in the room at any given time. The sensors are called the “Smart Eye” and the “Eco Move Eye.” The Eco Move Eye, which is movable, is used to check the states of the entire room and people while the Smart Eye detects movements of a person in front of the air conditioner in 0.3 seconds.

The company claims that by combining these two sensors, it becomes possible to switch to the low-power consumption mode in three minutes. Also, the ZW series has a function to turn itself off if there has been nobody in the room for 30 minutes or longer as well as a function to automatically turn itself on when it detects a person.

This sophisticated air conditioner literally takes the guess work out of keeping a comfortable home while also conserving energy. The ZW series also has a “Smart Hybrid System,” which saves energy by measuring a sensible temperature with infrared sensors and automatically switching among three modes (“cooling,” “cold air” and “wind”). Ready to buy one? Here’s the whammy: the ZW series won’t be available for purchase until around November 2012 (not exactly air conditioner weather) and will carry a price tag of around $2,651.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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