Once the weather begins to cool off, you are probably thinking about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely make up a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some homeowners look closer at their thermostat. Is there a setting they can use to increase efficiency?

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

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the system’s blower fan keeps running. Certain furnaces can operate at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off after the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to trying the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by permitting the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest since continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is often part of the furnace, this means you could prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan could add to your energy bills slightly.
  • Constant airflow may clog your air filter soon, increasing the frequency you will want to replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Summer/Winter

During the summer, warm air can persist in unfinished spaces like 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 maintain the set temperature. In extreme heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear grows.

The opposite can occur in 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 will sometimes pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

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

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

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle 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 constantly refreshing each room’s supply of air.