When the weather begins to cool off, you might be thinking about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC bills can make up a big piece of your monthly electric bill. To try and find ways to save, some people look closer at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to boost efficiency?

Most thermostats have a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a typical cycle, what will the fan setting provide for the HVAC system? This guide can help. We’ll share what exactly the fan setting is and whether you can use it to cut costs in the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For the majority of thermostats, the fan setting means that the system’s blower fan keeps running. Certain furnaces may continue to operate at a low level with this setting, but in general heating or cooling isn’t being generated. The ‘Auto’ setting, conversely, will turn on the fan over a heating or cooling cycle and turn it off once the cycle is complete.

There are pros and cons to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and the ideal option {will|can|should]] depend on your distinct comfort preferences.

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 should improve as constant airflow will keep passing airborne pollutants through the air filter.
  • A smaller number of start-stop cycles for the HVAC fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is often part of the furnace, this means you could prevent the need for furnace repair.

Disadvantages to switching to the Fan/On setting:

  • A nonstop fan could increase your energy bills slightly.
  • Nonstop airflow may 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

In 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 can pull this warm air into the rest of your home, pushing the HVAC system to work harder to preserve the desired temperature. In extreme heat, this could lead to needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The reverse can happen over the winter. Cooler spaces like a basement will hold onto cooler air, which can eventually make its way into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan setting on could pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to keep warm.

If you’re still trying to decide 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 work for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be hard 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. Many homes wrestle with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly return to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help minimize these changes by constantly refreshing each room’s airflow.