As the weather is cooling off, you might be concerned about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses frequently contribute a significant piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some homeowners take a closer look at their thermostat. Is there a setting they should use to increase efficiency?

Most thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a regular cycle, what can the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll review what exactly the fan setting is and whether you can use it to reduce costs in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan keeps running. Some furnaces can run at a low level in this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will turn on the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off after the cycle is complete.

There are pros and cons to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and whether you do or don’t {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort needs.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more consistent by enabling the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest as continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. As the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you might minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan will likely add to your energy bills slightly.
  • Nonstop airflow may 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 can persist in unfinished spaces like 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, pushing the HVAC system to work harder to maintain the preferred temperature. In serious heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can happen over 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 pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should try the fan/on setting, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may be best for you if:

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

Your home has hot and cold spots. Lots of homes wrestle with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly shift 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.