When the weather starts to cool off, you might be thinking about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently add up to a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to lower their HVAC bill, some owners take a closer look at their thermostat. Is there a setting they can use to improve efficiency?

Most thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For most thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the system’s blower fan stays on. Some furnaces can run at a low level with this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off after the cycle is complete.

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 utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest because constant airflow will keep forcing airborne particles into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. As the air handler is typically a component of the furnace, this means you might prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan will likely increase your energy expenses slightly.
  • Continuous airflow may clog your air filter soon, increasing the frequency you should 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 will sometimes stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system might gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In serious heat, this may result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can occur during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on will sometimes pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to the fan/on setting, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. 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 enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help limit these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s airflow.