As the weather is cooling off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs can add up to a significant chunk of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some homeowners look closely at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

The bulk of thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a typical cycle, what does the fan setting offer for the HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share what exactly the fan setting is and how you can use it to cut costs in the summer or winter.

How Do I Access the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For most thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the HVAC blower fan remains on. Some furnaces can generate heat at a low level with this setting, but in most cases 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 shut it off after the cycle is finished.

There are pros and cons to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and what's ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your unique comfort requirements.

Advantages to switching to 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 can increase since continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne particles into the air filter.
  • Fewer start-stop cycles for the system's fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you might avoid needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan will likely add to your energy expenses slightly.
  • Constant airflow may 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 Each Season

In the summer, warm air will sometimes persist in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system can draw this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this may lead to needing AC repair more often as wear and tear increases.

The opposite can happen during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually drift into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on could pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay 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 will vary. 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 can help to improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. All kinds of homes wrestle with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help minimize these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s ventilation.