As the weather starts to cool off, you may be wondering about how you’ll make the most of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills frequently contribute a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To figure out new ways to lower their HVAC bill, some people take a closer look at their thermostat. Could there be 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 on during a normal cycle, what will the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll walk through what exactly the fan setting is and whether you can use it to cut costs during the summer or winter.

My Thermostat Has a Fan Setting?

For most thermostats, the fan setting signifies that the air handler’s blower fan remains on. Certain furnaces will operate at a low level with this setting, but for the most part heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, in contrast, will run the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off once the cycle is complete.

There are benefits and drawbacks to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort needs.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature in every room more consistent by allowing the fan to keep circulating air.
  • Indoor air quality can increase since steady airflow will keep moving airborne pollutants into the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps expand its life span. Since the air handler is typically part of the furnace, this means you could minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan could add to your energy bills slightly.
  • Continuous airflow can clog your air filter in a shorter amount of time, 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 Each Season

During the summer, warm air can stick around in unfinished spaces like the attic or an attached garage. If you use the fan setting, your HVAC system might gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, forcing the HVAC system to work more to keep up with the set temperature. In extreme heat, this may result in needing AC repair more often as wear and tear grows.

The reverse can occur during the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually drift into the rest of your home. Keeping the fan on may pull 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 could be ideal for you if:

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

Your home experiences hot and cold spots. Many homes wrestle with stubborn hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help limit these changes by steadily refreshing each room’s airflow.