Once the weather is cooling off, you may be wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can contribute a large piece of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to reduce costs, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Is there a setting they could use to increase efficiency?

The majority of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a regular cycle, what does the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll walk through precisely what the fan setting is and when you can use it to save money in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC 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 generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will turn on the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is finished.

There are advantages and disadvantages to switching on the fan setting on your thermostat, and what’s ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort preferences.

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by allowing the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality should improve as constant airflow will keep passing airborne contaminants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could add to your energy expenses by a small margin.
  • Nonstop 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 Summer/Winter

During the summer, warm air can persist in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system may gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to preserve the desired temperature. In severe heat, this can result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can take place during the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually drift into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on may pull 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 use the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household deals with allergies. Allergies and similar 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 wrestle with difficult 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 airflow.