Once the weather is cooling off, you might be wondering about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently contribute a large piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some owners look closely at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they can use to increase efficiency?

Most thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a typical cycle, what does the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll share precisely what the fan setting is and how you can use it to reduce costs over the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan remains on. A few furnaces may continue to run at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will start the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off when the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to trying the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by allowing the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality should improve because continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is typically part of the furnace, this means you could avoid needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could increase your energy expenses slightly.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, 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

Through the summer, warm air will sometimes persist in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system might gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work harder to keep up with the preferred temperature. In severe heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can occur during the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on could draw more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should try 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 might work for you if:

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

Your home has hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle with stubborn 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 constantly refreshing each room’s supply of air.