Once the weather starts to cool off, you may be wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses frequently contribute a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to reduce costs, some homeowners look closely at their thermostat. Is there a setting they can use to improve efficiency?

Most thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a typical 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 whether you can use it to save money in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan keeps running. A few furnaces may continue to generate heat at a low level with this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off when the cycle is over.

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

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve as steady airflow will keep passing airborne contaminants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is typically a component of the furnace, this means you might minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan can add to your energy expenses somewhat.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter up more quickly, increasing the frequency you should replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Summer/Winter

In 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 pull this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the preferred temperature. In extreme heat, this can result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can take place over 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 keep warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should use the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could 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 is more likely to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes deal with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help limit these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.