When the weather begins to cool off, you are probably concerned about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently contribute a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to reduce costs, some people look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and how you can use it to save money during the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the air handler’s blower fan keeps running. Certain furnaces may continue to operate at a low level in this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will turn on the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off once the cycle is complete.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort needs.

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more consistent by enabling the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve as steady airflow will keep moving airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is often part of the furnace, this means you could minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan could raise your energy expenses slightly.
  • Constant airflow may clog your air filter soon, 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

In the summer, warm air will sometimes stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system might draw this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In serious heat, this could result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear grows.

The opposite can happen in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running may pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should switch to the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be best 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 should help to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has hot and cold spots. Lots of homes deal with difficult hot and cold spots that quickly shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help lessen these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.