Once the weather is cooling off, you are probably concerned about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently contribute a significant piece of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to lower their HVAC bill, some homeowners take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they should use to increase efficiency?

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

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the HVAC blower fan remains on. A few furnaces will run at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will turn on the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when the cycle is over.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more balanced by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest since constant airflow will keep passing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps extend its life span. As the air handler is usually part of the furnace, this means you might minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan can raise your energy expenses somewhat.
  • Constant airflow can clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, 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 Each Season

In the summer, warm air will sometimes persist in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system can gradually move 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 increases.

The opposite can take place during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually flow into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on may pull 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 might be best for you if:

Someone in your household has 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. All kinds of homes wrestle with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help limit these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.