Once the weather starts to cool off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently add up to a big portion of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to lower their HVAC bill, some homeowners look closer at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they could use to increase efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review precisely what the fan setting is and how you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan keeps running. Certain furnaces will generate heat at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will run the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off once the cycle is finished.

There are pros and cons to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and whether you do or don’t {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct 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 circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality should improve because constant airflow will keep moving airborne particles into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you might avoid needing furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan can raise your energy bills slightly.
  • Continuous airflow may clog your air filter up more quickly, 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 will sometimes linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system might draw this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the desired temperature. In severe heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear grows.

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

If you’re still trying to decide if you should use the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could work for you if:

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

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