Once the weather is cooling off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can contribute a significant portion of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some owners take a closer look at their thermostat. Is there a setting they can use to improve efficiency?

The majority of thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a regular cycle, what can the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll walk through just what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan keeps running. A few furnaces can operate at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will start the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and shut it off after the cycle is complete.

There are benefits and drawbacks to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and whether you do or don’t {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort requirements.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more balanced by allowing the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality should improve as steady airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is often part of the furnace, this means you might prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan will likely increase your energy bills somewhat.
  • 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 Summer/Winter

During the summer, warm air may stick around in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system might pull this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the set temperature. In serious heat, this can result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can take place in the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on may pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to 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 might be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from 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 deals with hot and cold spots. Many homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help lessen these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s airflow.