As the weather begins to cool off, you are probably thinking about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC expenses can add up to a significant chunk of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some people take a closer look at their thermostat. Maybe there’s a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

The majority of thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a normal cycle, what does the fan setting offer for your HVAC system? This guide should help. We’ll review what exactly the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money over the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting means that the HVAC blower fan remains on. Some furnaces will generate heat at a low level in this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being made. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will start the fan through a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off once the cycle is complete.

There are advantages and disadvantages to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and whether you do or don’t {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort preferences.

Advantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more balanced by permitting the fan to keep running.
  • Indoor air quality can increase as continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne particles through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is typically a component of the furnace, this means you can avoid needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan could add to your energy bills by a small margin.
  • Continuous airflow can 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 Each Season

In the summer, warm air can linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you keep the fan running, your HVAC system can pull this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work more to maintain the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this can lead to needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear increases.

The reverse can happen during the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can 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 stay warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should switch to the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may be best for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be hard on the family. Leaving the fan on should help to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has hot and cold spots. Lots of homes wrestle with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting might help lessen these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s ventilation.