Once the weather starts to cool off, you might be concerned about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently make up a big chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to reduce costs, some homeowners take a closer look at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

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

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan keeps running. Some furnaces will operate at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off once the cycle is over.

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 utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more uniform by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. As the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you can avoid needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan will likely raise your energy expenses 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

In the summer, warm air will sometimes linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system can gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the set temperature. In extreme heat, this can result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can happen during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running could draw more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should use the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household deals with allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on should help to increase indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help limit these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.