When the weather begins to cool off, you might be wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely make up a big chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some people take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they should use to increase efficiency?

Most thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting offer for the HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share what exactly the fan setting is and how you can use it to reduce costs during the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan stays on. Some furnaces may continue to run at a low level in this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will start the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off when the cycle is over.

There are advantages and disadvantages to switching on the fan setting on your thermostat, and whether you do or don’t {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort preferences.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more uniform by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since constant airflow will keep forcing airborne pollutants into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps extend its life span. As the air handler is typically connected to the furnace, this means you could avoid needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan can add to your energy bills slightly.
  • Constant airflow could 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

In the summer, warm air may persist in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system may 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 quickly as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can occur in the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running may pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out 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 might be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be hard on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Many homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly return 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.