As the weather begins to cool off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills can contribute a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to reduce costs, some people look closer at their thermostat. Is there a setting they can use to increase 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 provide for an HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and how you can use it to reduce costs in the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting means that the system's blower fan keeps running. 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, conversely, will turn on the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off when the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more uniform by enabling the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality should improve as continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you might minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could increase your energy expenses by a small margin.
  • Nonstop airflow could clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, 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 Each Season

During the summer, warm air may linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system might draw this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work more to preserve the set temperature. In severe heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear increases.

The opposite can happen in the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running will sometimes pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should try 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 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 should help to improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home experiences hot and cold spots. Lots 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 lessen these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s airflow.