As the weather is cooling off, you are probably concerned about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently add up to a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some homeowners look closely at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is on during a regular cycle, what can the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and when you can use it to reduce costs over the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan stays on. A few furnaces can operate at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off once the cycle is over.

There are advantages and disadvantages to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and what’s ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort requirements.

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more consistent by permitting the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase as steady airflow will keep forcing airborne particles into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you could prevent the need for furnace repair.

Disadvantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan will likely add to your energy bills by a small margin.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter up more quickly, increasing the frequency you should 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 will sometimes linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system might pull this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the set temperature. In severe heat, this may result in needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can take place during 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 running will sometimes pump more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to 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 be best 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 enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has hot and cold spots. All kinds 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 might help minimize these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.