I'm a little sensitive to cold temperatures and will often ask my roommate to increase the temperature of the air conditioning as he usually has the remote control.

One time, I said, "Dude, can you turn up the air con?" He thought I was asking him to increase the fan velocity of the air conditioning.

I thought of multiple ways of shortening this sentence myself. Here are a couple of my attempts:

"Can you make the air con hotter?" But this would mean that I would like to increase the temperature of the air conditioning itself and not necessarily the surroundings. Also, it doesn't sound very right... to me.

"Can you make it hotter/warmer? Again, 'sounds a little strange. But most importantly, my roommate might be confused if he isn't thinking about the air conditioning at the time.

I still can't think of a perfectly smooth and chill way of expressing this sentence. Please help me out!

marked as duplicate by green_ideas, Nigel J, lbf, Scott, J. Taylor Apr 26 '18 at 8:18

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According to my chemistry teacher, there is no such thing as cold, only the lack of heat intensity. And, since an air conditioner (A/C) draws heat out of a space, a room usually, increasing the level on the control ("turning it up") makes the room "colder" (at a lower temperature).

Therefore, turning up the A/C (referring to the function of it) also lowers the temperature in the room. So, that is where the confusion lies (see 1st comment to your question).

Most people that I know here (US, SE Region) say, "Turn down the A/C," if they want to keep more heat in the room (or make it warmer, so to speak). To actually make it warmer (i.e., generate heat), they say, "Turn up the heat(er)."

Note: It depends on which part of the HVAC system is functioning at the time.

I hope that made it clearer. BTW, we were never allowed to be "cold" in chemistry class. Instead, we would say, "We're experiencing a lack of heat intensity!" Ha-ha, really.


In my UK based experience, "air-con" makes things cold. (Side note:It also makes the air dryer; useful when de-condensing your car's windscreen.) You could therefore say "turn the heating up" or maybe even just "turn the heat up".

The US typically has HVAC (Heating, Ventilation And Cooling) systems. Therefore, potentially saying "turn the HVAC up" might work.

The target heat is controlled by something called a thermostat. Therefore you could consider "turn the thermostat up".

  • I live in a subtropical area where we rarely use heaters (we use them only during SOME winters). Pretty much every room here in Hong Kong only has an air conditioner and nothing else (not literally). Our room uses one of these: mitsubishi-ryoden.com.hk/products/… (no advertisement intended; I don't even mind which air con brand I have). So, thermostat and HVAC sound foreign to me (By the way, if it stands for Heating, Ventilation and Cooling, isn't it supposed to be HVC? What exactly were the Americans thinking?); perhaps we just talk about the air con? – user276221 Apr 26 '18 at 15:04