When the weather begins to cool off, you might be concerned about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently add up to a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some owners take a closer look at their thermostat. Is there a setting they could use to increase efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a typical cycle, what will the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll walk through what exactly the fan setting is and how you can use it to reduce costs in the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the air handler’s 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 produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will start the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off when the cycle is over.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more consistent by permitting the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since constant airflow will keep passing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is often part of the furnace, this means you could avoid needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan will likely raise your energy costs by a small margin.
  • Nonstop airflow could clog your air filter up more quickly, increasing the frequency you will want to replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Each Season

Through the summer, warm air will sometimes persist in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system might gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to run longer to maintain the desired temperature. In serious heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can occur during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may 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 determine if you should try the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may 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 can help to increase indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has 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 should help minimize these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.