Setting Your Thermostat: Fan On or Auto?

Image via Better After 50
Image via Better After 50

Many homeowners get used to leaving their A/C fans running all the time or set on auto and believe their method is the cheapest way to get the most out of their heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. But there are a few rules that govern when keeping the fan on or setting it to automatic can be more effective. Here’s why you should consider using both at different times during the year.

Leaving Your Fan On

Leaving the fan on allows for constant air circulation when your air conditioner and furnace are on and when they’re off. Some homeowners prefer the fan’s on setting because moving the air can even out the temperature in your home and keep it a constant, comfortable degree. It also can be the best option for homes of allergy sufferers. The constant running filters more air and can significantly reduce the number of allergens and dust in the air.

A constant on setting, however, does have a few drawbacks. You’ll likely have to change the filter more often and have maintenance inspections and tune-ups more frequently. You’ll see the energy expenditure reflected in your monthly bills, which could be a deal breaker for some people. Using the setting during the winter season may also circulate colder air throughout the home.

Leaving Your Fan on Auto

The auto setting turns the fan on only when the air conditioning or furnace is actively running. Auto helps distribute air in the beginning of the cooling or heating cycle and then cuts off when the set temperature is reached. The auto setting is energy efficient and may be enough for most typical-use homeowners. On auto, your energy bills may not fluctuate as much from month to month, and you may not experience the same level of comfort as you might if the fan had been left in the on position.

Why Using Both Is the Best Solution

Using both settings at different times offers the best of both worlds. For instance, during seasons when the temperatures are milder, you may prefer to use only the fan to circulate the air in the home and forego turning on the system at all. Turning the fan on can also reduce dust when you vacuum and clean your home. On the most unbearable days, the extra circulation may feel much better than when you leave the system on auto.

Play around with your thermostat during different times of the year. If you prefer the fan on setting, try leaving it on when you’re at home and switch it over to auto when you’re away to offset some of the operating costs. You may find you don’t need to use the fan at all during the summer but can keep your home comfortable by using the fan only during the fall and spring.

Do make sure you reach out to a qualified heating and cooling company such as Patriot Air Comfort Systems for regular inspections, whether you keep your system on or on auto most of the time.

Author: Patriot Air Comfort Systems