As the weather begins to cool off, you might be thinking about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely make up a big portion of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a typical cycle, what can the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll walk through precisely what the fan setting is and when you can use it to cut costs over the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting means that the air handler’s blower fan stays on. A few furnaces can operate at a low level with this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is over.

There are benefits and drawbacks to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort requirements.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more balanced by enabling the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest because constant airflow will keep passing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is usually part of the furnace, this means you might prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan can add to your energy bills somewhat.
  • Nonstop airflow could clog your air filter soon, increasing the frequency you’ll need to replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Each Season

In the summer, warm air will sometimes linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system may draw this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this could result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear increases.

The opposite can take place during the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually flow into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on could pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should try the fan/on setting, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could work for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on can help to improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes deal with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help minimize these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s supply of air.