When the weather is cooling off, you are probably thinking about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills can add up to a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some people take a closer look at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

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

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the air handler’s blower fan keeps running. Some furnaces will run at a low level in this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will run the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off when the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to trying the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by permitting the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest since steady airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is typically connected to the furnace, this means you can avoid needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan can raise your energy costs slightly.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter up more quickly, 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 Summer/Winter

During the summer, warm air may linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system may draw this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to run longer to preserve the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this may result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can happen over the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually drift into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on may pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to decide 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 work for you if:

Someone in your household deals with allergies. Allergies and similar 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. Many homes wrestle with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help lessen these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.