As 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 expenses frequently add up to a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to reduce costs, some homeowners look closer at their thermostat. Is there 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 on during a normal cycle, what will the fan setting offer for the HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll share precisely what the fan setting is and how you can use it to reduce costs during the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat's Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the system's blower fan remains on. A few furnaces may continue to run at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will start the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off when 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 unique comfort needs.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more consistent by allowing the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase as steady airflow will keep passing airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps expand its life span. As the air handler is often a component of the furnace, this means you can avoid needing furnace repair.

Downsides to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could raise your energy costs somewhat.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter up more quickly, 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 will sometimes stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system may gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to maintain the set temperature. In severe heat, this may result in needing AC repair more regularly as wear and tear gets worse.

The reverse can take place in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which may eventually flow 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 figure out if you should switch to the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs are different. 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 improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has 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 might help minimize these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s airflow.