As the weather starts to cool off, you may be concerned about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses can add up to a big portion of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they can use to boost efficiency?

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

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the air handler’s blower fan remains on. Certain furnaces will operate at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more uniform by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest because constant airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you could avoid needing furnace repair.

Downsides to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could raise your energy costs by a small margin.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter up more quickly, 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 stick around in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system might pull this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work more to preserve the preferred temperature. In severe heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear grows.

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

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should switch to the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Many homes deal with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help minimize these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s airflow.