Once the weather is cooling off, you might be concerned about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills routinely contribute a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some people take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they can use to improve efficiency?

The majority 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 the HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to cut costs in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the system’s blower fan stays on. A few furnaces may continue to run at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will turn on the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off once the cycle is over.

There are pros and cons to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort preferences.

Advantages to trying the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by enabling the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since constant airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps lengthen its life span. As the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you could minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan will likely add to your energy bills by a small margin.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter soon, 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 Each Season

During the summer, warm air can persist in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system can gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear gets worse.

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

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should try the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could be best for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on can help to enhance 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 shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help minimize these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.