Once the weather is cooling off, you may be thinking about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently add up to a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some owners look closely at their thermostat. Is there a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

The majority of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a typical cycle, what will the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll share precisely what the fan setting is and how you can use it to cut costs over the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan keeps running. Certain furnaces will generate heat at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will start the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off after the cycle is over.

There are pros and cons to trying 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 throughout your home more uniform by permitting the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest as constant airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps lengthen its life span. Since the air handler is usually connected to the furnace, this means you could minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan will likely add to your energy costs somewhat.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, increasing the frequency you should 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 will sometimes stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system can gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to run longer to maintain the set temperature. In serious heat, this may result in needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can occur in the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running 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, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may be ideal for you if:

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

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes wrestle with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help limit these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.