Once the weather begins to cool off, you are probably concerned about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses can contribute a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some owners look closely at their thermostat. Maybe there’s 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 on during a typical cycle, what can the fan setting offer for the HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll walk through just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to cut costs over the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the air handler’s blower fan keeps running. 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 start the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off after the cycle is complete.

There are pros and cons to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your unique comfort requirements.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more uniform by permitting the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase because steady airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps extend its life span. As the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you might prevent the need for furnace repair.

Downsides to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan can increase your energy costs by a small margin.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, 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 linger in unfinished spaces including the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system may gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In serious heat, this can result in needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can occur over the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually flow into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running may pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should try the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be ideal 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 improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

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