When the weather starts to cool off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely contribute a big portion of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some people take a closer look at their thermostat. Is there 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 will the fan setting provide for an HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review precisely what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to reduce costs during the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the system’s blower fan remains on. A few furnaces may continue to operate at a low level in this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will start the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is complete.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your unique comfort preferences.

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by permitting the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you can minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan can add to your energy expenses by a small margin.
  • Continuous airflow may clog your air filter up more quickly, 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

Through 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, forcing the HVAC system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. In serious heat, this may lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear gets worse.

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

If you’re still trying to decide if you should use 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 best 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 experiences hot and cold spots. Lots of homes wrestle with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help limit these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s ventilation.