Once the weather begins to cool off, you may be concerned about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs routinely contribute a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to reduce costs, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they should use to boost efficiency?

The majority of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a typical cycle, what does the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll share just what the fan setting is and whether 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 means that the HVAC blower fan remains on. A few furnaces can generate heat at a low level in this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will start the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off once the cycle is over.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more consistent by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since steady airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants into the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the blower fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is often connected to the furnace, this means you could avoid needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan will likely raise your energy bills by a small margin.
  • Nonstop 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 Summer/Winter

Through the summer, warm air may persist 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, pushing the HVAC system to run longer to keep up with the set temperature. In severe heat, this can result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can happen during the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on could draw more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to remain warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out 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 could be ideal for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from allergies. Allergies and similar 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 experiences hot and cold spots. Lots of homes deal with persistent 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 consistently refreshing each room’s ventilation.