As the weather starts to cool off, you are probably concerned about how you’ll prepare your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently contribute a significant piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to save, some homeowners take a closer look at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

Most thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going during a regular cycle, what will the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money during 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 stays on. Certain furnaces may continue to generate heat at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off after the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in each room more consistent by allowing the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality can increase because steady airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps lengthen its life span. Because the air handler is usually connected to the furnace, this means you could prevent the need for furnace repair.

Disadvantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A continuous fan can raise your energy bills slightly.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter soon, increasing the frequency you will want to 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 can persist in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system might draw this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to maintain the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite can take place over the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on could draw 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, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on should help to increase indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home deals with hot and cold spots. Lots of homes wrestle with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly shift to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting should help limit these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.