Once the weather is cooling off, you may be concerned about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills can add up to a big chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some homeowners look closely at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

The majority of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a regular cycle, what does the fan setting offer for an HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll review precisely what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money in the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting means that the HVAC blower fan keeps running. Certain furnaces will run at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will run the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off once the cycle is complete.

There are pros and cons to switching on the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort preferences.

Advantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by enabling the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality will be highest because continuous airflow will keep moving airborne particles into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you might avoid needing furnace repair.

Drawbacks to switching to 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 in a shorter amount of time, 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

Through the summer, warm air may stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system may draw this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to keep up with the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this may result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can occur over the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually drift 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 remain warm.

If you’re still trying to determine if you should use the fan/on setting, don’t forget that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may be best for you if:

Someone in your household deals with allergies. Allergies and other 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 deal with persistent 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.