When the weather starts to cool off, you may be thinking about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently make up a significant piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some people look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they can use to boost efficiency?

The majority of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a normal cycle, what will the fan setting offer for the HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share precisely what the fan setting is and how you can use it to save money in the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For most thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the system’s blower fan stays on. A few furnaces may continue to run at a low level in this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will turn on the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off when the cycle is over.

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 personal comfort needs.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by permitting the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality can increase since constant airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you can minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Downsides to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan could increase your energy costs by a small margin.
  • Continuous airflow could 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 Summer/Winter

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

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

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should try 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 may be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from 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 has hot and cold spots. Many 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 limit these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.