When the weather is cooling off, you may be wondering about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills can add up to a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some homeowners take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they can use to boost efficiency?

The majority of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a typical cycle, what will the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll walk through precisely what the fan setting is and when you can use it to cut costs in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan remains on. A few furnaces can generate heat at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off after the cycle is complete.

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

Advantages to using 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 as continuous airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is typically a component of the furnace, this means you might prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan will likely add to 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 can stick around in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system may draw this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to run longer to maintain the set temperature. In extreme heat, this could result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can happen in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on could pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should switch to the fan/on setting, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might work for you if:

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

Your home has hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help minimize these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s supply of air.