When the weather is cooling off, you may be wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently make up a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some owners look closely at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to increase efficiency?

Most thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a normal cycle, what can the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money during the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the air handler’s blower fan stays on. Some furnaces will run at a low level in this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off when the cycle is over.

There are pros and cons to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your unique comfort needs.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest because constant airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you can minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan can increase your energy costs by a small margin.
  • Constant airflow may clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, 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

Through the summer, warm air will sometimes linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system might gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to keep up with the preferred temperature. In extreme heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear increases.

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

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be best for you if:

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

Your home has hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help minimize these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.