As the weather begins to cool off, you might be thinking about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills can add up to a large portion of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some people look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they should use to boost efficiency?

Most thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a regular cycle, what will the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll review just what the fan setting is and how you can use it to reduce costs in 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 system’s blower fan remains on. Certain furnaces will operate at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off once the cycle is finished.

There are benefits and drawbacks to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort preferences.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by enabling the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since steady airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants 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 usually connected to the furnace, this means you might minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Downsides to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan could raise your energy bills by a small margin.
  • Constant airflow could clog your air filter soon, 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 will sometimes stick around in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system may gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work harder to maintain the set temperature. In severe heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear increases.

The opposite can happen in 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 could draw 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, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may be best for you if:

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

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Lots of homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help lessen these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s ventilation.