I find the word "air-conditioner" quite clumsy. I wonder if there exists a simpler word meaning the same thing.

  • 2
    Consider AC or cooler.
    – SEL
    May 12 '14 at 7:31
  • *** aircond *** May 12 '14 at 9:14
  • Note: abroad, where the construction doesn't feel quite as wrong as it does in English, air-conditioner is frequently abbreviated to "air-co"
    – Kaz Dragon
    May 12 '14 at 13:38
  • 1
    @BlessedGeek it's air-con (with or without the hyphen) in the UK
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 9 '16 at 13:05

Informally, an air conditioner is often referred to as simply the air:

Do you have the air on?
Could you turn on the air?

The AC would work in these sentences as well:

Do you have the AC on?
Could you turn on the AC?

Talking about air conditioning in general, AC without an article works:

Does this apartment have AC?
My old car doesn't have AC.

I'm from Illinois, and these recommendations reflect the English I grew up speaking. I don't know whether or not people say the air everywhere with this meaning.

I would personally not say airco, aircon, or aircond, as they all sound a bit clumsy to me.

  • 1
    AC here is pronounced ay cee and not ack. May 9 '16 at 12:36

Try one of the abbreviated versions, aircon or AC.

  • 3
    I've never heard "aircon" in my life. It appears to mostly be used in the Philippines and a few other Asian countries.
    – phenry
    May 12 '14 at 18:52
  • 4
    I'm in the UK and am very familiar with the term "aircon". May 9 '16 at 8:17
  • "Aircon" is very widely used, but not in the USA. Conversely, I've never heard "AC" or "air" used outside the US. May 9 '16 at 13:22

Contrary to the accepted answer, from my personal experience (Singapore, UK), the term "aircon" is also widely used as a short form for "air conditioner".

In the UK, the two words have similar levels of usage, and in tropical Singapore (where usage of aircons is close to being a necessity), the term "aircon" is considerably more widely used than the term "AC".

The NGram for air conditioner vs aircon seems to show this pretty clearly. American English has a 100:1 ratio for the two words, where British English has a 10:1 ratio.

  • The same goes for Japan, where long loan words are shortened. エアコン (ea-kon) is the respective Japanese expression.
    – Matsmath
    May 9 '16 at 9:02
  • 1
    "Aircon" is not very common in the US. (Whereas "AC" is quite common.)
    – Hot Licks
    May 9 '16 at 12:00
  • @HotLicks The point is that it is common in other English-speaking regions, and I am providing examples of places where "aircon" is frequently used.
    – March Ho
    May 9 '16 at 12:18
  • Nice use of resources to support your answer! Well done. Though I will note that I clicked your BrE nGram link, then clicked specifically on the "aircon" link at the bottom right of that page, which takes you to the actual Google Books search results for that particular word in British-English works, and scanning through them, I note that nearly all results (within BrE) are concentrated in Asia, in particular Singapore, but also HK, Myanmar, and some other countries. That is to say: I'm not seeing a lot of evidence that aircon is used in British British English.
    – Dan Bron
    May 9 '16 at 12:35
  • @DanBron You mean this link? I do see lots of British publications (mainly travel guides) there, but I would guess that the preponderance of Singaporean examples is due to the greater amount of the devices being used there.
    – March Ho
    May 9 '16 at 12:51

Consider, air[-]cooler

A device for reducing the temperature of air, typically inside a building.

Oxford Dictionaries


To air-condition.


To cool by means of air-conditioning.

Random House


: air-conditioned

Collins American English Dictionary

  • 2
    Your link leads to "air cooler" - not to "cooler" alone. To me, "cooler" alone would be more likely to mean a "cooler box", i.e. a portable container for keeping food cool.
    – TrevorD
    May 9 '16 at 11:12
  • Are you suggesting that "aircooler" can spelled/spelt as one word? In the link it is clearly two words. And an air cooler is not the same as an air conditioner unit, it is in fact a type of water tank with a fan that blows out cool air.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 9 '16 at 12:39
  • An Air-Cooler is another type of appliance that sprays small droplets of water to the air to cool it. It's popular in some open-air restaurants in Singapore.
    – annawie
    May 9 '16 at 13:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.