Once the weather begins to cool off, you might be thinking about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses can contribute a large portion of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some owners take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a normal cycle, what will the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll walk through precisely what the fan setting is and how you can use it to save money during the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the air handler’s blower fan keeps running. Some furnaces can generate heat 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 through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off after the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by enabling the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest since steady airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you can avoid needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan can add to your energy expenses slightly.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter up more quickly, 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

During the summer, warm air can persist in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system might pull this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work more to preserve the desired temperature. In serious heat, this may lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear grows.

The opposite can take place in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually flow into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on may pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should try 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 work for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be tough on the family. Leaving the fan on can help to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home experiences hot and cold spots. Many homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help limit these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s supply of air.