Once the weather is cooling off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses frequently make up a large portion of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Is there a setting they can use to boost efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a normal cycle, what will the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and whether 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 HVAC blower fan remains on. Certain furnaces can generate heat at a low level with this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off when the cycle is complete.

There are benefits and drawbacks to switching on the fan setting on your thermostat, and what's ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort requirements.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more consistent by enabling the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality can increase since constant airflow will keep passing airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is typically connected to the furnace, this means you can prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan will likely raise your energy bills somewhat.
  • Continuous airflow may clog your air filter up more quickly, increasing the frequency you’ll need to replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Summer/Winter

Through 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, forcing the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In serious heat, this can result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can happen in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may 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 remain 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 are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on could work for you if:

Someone in your household deals with allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be tough on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

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