Once the weather starts to cool off, you may be thinking about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely make up a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some people look closely at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting provide for an HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For most thermostats, the fan setting means that the air handler’s blower fan keeps running. Some furnaces may continue to generate heat at a low level in this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is complete.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more consistent by allowing the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest since constant airflow will keep passing airborne particles into the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could add to your energy costs by a small margin.
  • Constant airflow can 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

In the summer, warm air can stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system can pull this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the preferred temperature. In extreme heat, this may result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can take place in 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. Keeping the fan on will sometimes pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should switch to the fan/on setting, don’t forget 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 deals with allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be tough on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to enhance 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 return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help lessen these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s ventilation.