Once the weather begins to cool off, you may be wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can add up to a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to lower their HVAC bill, some people look closely at their thermostat. Is there 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 going during a regular cycle, what does the fan setting offer for the HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to save money during the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan keeps running. A few furnaces can generate heat at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off after the cycle is over.

There are pros and cons to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and what’s ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort needs.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more balanced by enabling the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase since steady airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps expand its life span. Because the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan can increase your energy bills slightly.
  • Constant airflow can 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 including 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 run longer to preserve the preferred temperature. In serious heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear increases.

The opposite can happen over the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running will sometimes pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to determine 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 could be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household has 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. Lots of homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help limit these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s supply of air.