Once the weather is cooling off, you may be wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs routinely make up a big portion of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some owners look closer at their thermostat. Is there a setting they should use to boost efficiency?

Most thermostats come with a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is going 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 when you can use it to cut costs during the summer or winter.

What Is the Fan Setting on My Thermostat?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting indicates that the HVAC blower fan keeps running. A few furnaces may continue to generate heat at a low level in this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off after the cycle is finished.

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

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by permitting the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality can increase since constant airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps extend its life span. Because the air handler is typically part of the furnace, this means you might prevent the need for furnace repair.

Drawbacks to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan can add to your energy expenses by a small margin.
  • Constant airflow could clog your air filter soon, increasing the frequency you should replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Each Season

During the summer, warm air may stick around in unfinished spaces such as 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, compelling the HVAC system to work more to keep up with the preferred temperature. In severe heat, this can result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The opposite 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 pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to figure out if you should use the fan/on setting, remember that every home and family’s comfort needs will vary. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on may work for you if:

Someone in your household suffers from allergies. Allergies and other respiratory conditions can be tough on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to improve indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

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