Once the weather is cooling off, you might be concerned about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can contribute a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to reduce costs, some people look closer at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they can 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 can the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and how you can use it to save money during the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For most thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan stays on. A few furnaces may continue to generate heat at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will start the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off after the cycle is finished.

There are advantages and disadvantages to switching on the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your unique comfort needs.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve because steady airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants through the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is usually part of the furnace, this means you could minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan will likely increase your energy bills slightly.
  • Continuous 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

Through the summer, warm air will sometimes persist in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system may pull this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work more to maintain the desired temperature. In severe heat, this could result in needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can take place in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually drift into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on could draw more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to 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 ideal for you if:

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

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes deal with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help minimize these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s ventilation.