Once the weather begins to cool off, you might be thinking about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs routinely contribute a significant piece of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to save, some owners take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

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

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting means that the HVAC blower fan stays on. Some furnaces can generate heat 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 run the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off after the cycle is finished.

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

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 can increase since continuous airflow will keep passing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. As the air handler is typically connected to the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan could increase your energy bills by a small margin.
  • Constant airflow can clog your air filter up more quickly, 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

During the summer, warm air may linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system might gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the set temperature. In severe heat, this may lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can occur over the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually flow into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on will sometimes pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to the fan/on setting, keep in mind 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 deals with allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be stressful 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. Many homes wrestle with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help lessen these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s ventilation.