When the weather is cooling off, you might be concerned about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs routinely add up to a significant chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some people look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

The majority of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a typical cycle, what does the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll review what exactly the fan setting is and when you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the air handler’s blower fan remains on. A few furnaces can operate at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will run the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off when the cycle is finished.

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 in each room more balanced by permitting the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest since steady airflow will keep passing airborne pollutants into the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps extend its life span. As the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you can avoid needing furnace repair.

Downsides to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan can raise your energy costs somewhat.
  • Constant airflow may clog your air filter soon, increasing the frequency you should replace it.

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

In the summer, warm air will sometimes linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system may draw this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to maintain the preferred temperature. In serious heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can occur 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 setting on may draw more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to decide 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 could be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be tough on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle with persistent 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 constantly refreshing each room’s supply of air.