As the weather is cooling off, you may be wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses routinely make up a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to lower their HVAC bill, some owners take a closer look at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to improve 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 offer for an HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review what exactly the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money during 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. Some furnaces may continue to run at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will run the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off after the cycle is over.

There are pros and cons to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and whether you do or don’t {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort needs.

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by enabling the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest because steady airflow will keep moving airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps extend its life span. As the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan will likely increase your energy costs slightly.
  • Constant airflow can clog your air filter soon, 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 persist in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system may gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the preferred temperature. In extreme heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

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

If you’re still trying to determine if you should use 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 suffers from allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be hard on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to improve 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 can help minimize these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.