As the weather begins to cool off, you might be wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely contribute a big portion of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to reduce costs, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

Most thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a typical cycle, what can the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan stays on. Certain furnaces will generate heat at a low level in this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will turn on the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off once the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality can increase because constant airflow will keep passing airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps expand its life span. Because the air handler is usually connected to the furnace, this means you could avoid needing furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could raise your energy bills somewhat.
  • Constant airflow may clog your air filter soon, 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 may linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system can gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work more to maintain the set temperature. In extreme heat, this can result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear increases.

The opposite can occur over 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. Leaving the fan setting on may pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should try the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could work for you if:

Someone in your household deals with allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be tough on the family. Leaving the fan on can help to increase 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 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 ventilation.