When the weather starts to cool off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can contribute a significant piece of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some people look closely at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they can use to improve efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a regular cycle, what does the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to reduce costs over the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the system’s blower fan keeps running. Some furnaces may continue to operate at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will start the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is complete.

There are benefits and drawbacks to switching on the fan setting on your thermostat, and what’s ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your unique comfort requirements.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality should improve because constant airflow will keep moving airborne particles into the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you could minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could raise your energy bills slightly.
  • Continuous airflow could clog your air filter up more quickly, 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 Summer/Winter

In the summer, warm air can linger in unfinished spaces such as 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, forcing the HVAC system to work more to preserve the preferred temperature. In extreme heat, this can result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can happen during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may 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 stay warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should try the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on should help to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Many homes deal with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help lessen these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s ventilation.