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

Most thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a regular cycle, what does the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll walk through precisely what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to cut costs in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting means that the air handler’s blower fan stays on. A few furnaces can generate heat at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, 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 using 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 uniform by permitting the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase as steady airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. Since the air handler is usually connected to the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan could raise your energy expenses slightly.
  • Constant airflow could 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

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

The opposite can take place during the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running could draw more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should use the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be best for you if:

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

Your home experiences hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help minimize these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s airflow.