As the weather is cooling off, you may be concerned about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can contribute a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to reduce costs, some owners look closely at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they can use to increase efficiency?

The majority of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting provide for an HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to cut costs in the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For most thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the HVAC blower fan remains on. A few furnaces can operate at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will start the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is over.

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

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase because constant airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants through the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps lengthen its life span. As the air handler is typically part of the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan could add to your energy bills slightly.
  • Continuous airflow can 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 Each Season

During the summer, warm air may linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system can draw this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. In serious heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear gets worse.

The reverse can take place in the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually flow into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on will sometimes pump 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, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be best 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 experiences hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes deal with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help minimize these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.