When the weather begins to cool off, you are probably concerned about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently make up a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some homeowners take a closer look at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to reduce costs during 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. Certain furnaces will run at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will turn on the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off when the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more consistent by permitting the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since steady airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps extend its life span. Because the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you might minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan will likely add to your energy costs somewhat.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter soon, 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

During the summer, warm air may linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system can pull this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to run longer to preserve the set temperature. In extreme heat, this may lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear gets worse.

The reverse can happen over the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on will sometimes pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

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

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

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